Booed LP factional chairman to attend election tribunal sitting again

Lamidi Apapa, the factional chairman of the Labour Party (LP) who was not recognised yesterday at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) intends to appear again for recognition.

Mr Apapa appeared at the PEPT on Wednesday, demanding to seat on the seat reserved for party official which Akin Osuntokun, the director-general of the defunct LP Presidential Campaign Council, sat on as a representative of the opposition party.

Mr Osuntokun who refused to vacate the seat retorted of not knowing Mr Apapa, resulting in the duo exchanging words inside the court before the intervention of a court official.

When the sitting finally began, Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the party stood up and introduced himself while Dudu Manuga, the party’s national women leader and Mr Apapa separately announced their appearances on behalf of the party.

The five-member panel, after listening to Messrs Manuga and Apapa, ruled that it only recognised Mr Obi while noting that the party was not represented at the court session due to the leadership crisis therein and adjourned to May 19.

After the court session, Mr Apapa was booed by party supporters who chanted – Ole (thief)  repeatedly before police officers in the premises whisked him away from the angry mob.

Featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, the factional leader of the party said he intends to appear at the tribunal again with the hope of being recognised.

“I intend to go,” he answered when asked if he plans to return to the election tribunal. “May be by the next one, I will be recognised.”

He explained that his appearance at the tribunal was to assert his authority of the party engulfed in crisis after federal high courts in Edo and Abuja gave conflicting rulings recognising the different factions of the party.

“I was at the Tribunal yesterday to assert my authority as the Acting National Chairman of the party,” Mr Apapa explained, continuing: “When I got there, there was a seat provided for the chairman of the party. I moved down to see Mr Osuntokun and told him that since I am there, he is not supposed to be there.”