Labour Party’s Chairman Abure Arrested In Edo

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The National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure, has been arrested by policemen in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Abure was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, it was gathered. The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force Zone 5, Tijani Momoh, confirmed the development to Channels Television.

Momoh, however, did not disclose details of Abure’s arrest as of press time.

Viral videos showed Abure being manhandled by policemen, even as LP supporters fought to prevent his arrest.

‘No Intimidation Will Stop LP’

LP national spokesman Obiora Ifoh confirmed Abure’s arrest in a statement, saying the Edo State Chairman of the party, Kelly Ogbaloi.

He said, “The Labour Party on Tuesday had a very successful delegate election in Benin ahead of the Party Primaries scheduled to hold on Friday.

“The party chairman only this morning along with party governorship aspirants also kept a scheduled security briefing with the Department of the State Security.

“Abure was however arrested after the meeting by a combined team of DSS and Police officers. Abure, Ogbaloi and their aides were also manhandled.”

Ifoh alleged that the arrest of the party’s officials was in connection to a protest letter by one of the expelled member of the party loyal to Lamidi Apapa camp.

He alleged that the arrest was to frustrate the primary process and possibly interrupt the party’s participation in the governorship election.

“The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Ayo Olurunfemi in video post said that no form of intimidation from the highest quarters can stop the party from concluding the process leading to the emergence of the Labour Party government in the state,” the statement concluded.

The party’s national chairman has been embroiled in a crisis with the party’s suspended National Treasurer, Oluchi Opara, who accused Abure of financial malfeasance, forgery and embezzlement of the party’s funds realised during the 2023 presidential election.

Abure and the party had denied the allegations even as Opara insisted that the national chairman should account for both naira and dollar donations to the party in the last poll.

LP presidential candidate in the last poll, Peter Obi, had said external auditors would probe the party’s financial books.

Last week, the Labour Party suspended Opara for six months, saying contrary to allegations of abuse levelled against the leadership of the party by Opara, the party only realised N1.2 billion from donation from members and sales of forms to some aspirants in the 2023 polls.

The party alleged that Opara was being sponsored by the same people who used Lamidi Apapa, Anslem Eragbe, and Yomi Arabambi to derail the party.

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