The factional National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Lamidi Apapa, was on Wednesday, May 17, booed by scores of the party’s supporters outside the Presidential Election Petitions Court sitting in Abuja.
The LP supporters were screaming ‘Ole’, meaning thief, “You must not talk, you are an impostor, thief, thief”.
It, however, took the intervention of some security operatives to contain the pandemonium as they battled to free Apapa from the irate youths.
The security personnel succeeded in wrestling Apapa from the youths and taking him back into the courtroom.
This came after the party’s factional leaders clashed over seats in the court.
The Conclave had reported that Apapa exchanged words with the Director-General of the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, over seats.
The drama began after Apapa and his loyalists confronted Osuntokun and other LP chieftains who were already seated in the plaintiffs’ gallery in the court.
The LP factional chairman asked Osuntokun and others seated him to vacate their seats, saying he is the rightful person to sit in the plaintiffs’ gallery.
The Apapa-led faction later moved away from the corner designed for petitioners and sat in the main hall of the courtroom leaving the Abure-led faction at the corner.
When the matter was called, the presiding judge, Justice Haruna Tsammani, refused to recognise any representative for the LP since Apapa and Dudu Malunga had introduced themselves as representatives of the party.
Shortly after the proceedings, as newsmen were set to conduct an interview with the Apapa-led faction, supporters loyal to the suspended National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, mounted guard and blocked Apapa from approaching the cameras.
In spite of pleas from the newsmen that both sides would be heard, the supporters maintained their grounds and resisted, saying Apapa was not the LP chairman and would not speak on its behalf.
The tribunal has however adjourned the party’s petition against the election of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to Friday, May 19.
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