Lamidi Apapa, the acting National Chairman of the Labour Party, has committed to appear before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal again on Friday.
Apapa said this to our correspondent on Friday during an interview in his hotel room in Abuja.
The LP interim chairman, who admitted getting multiple threats following his altercation with several enraged fans alleged to be members of the Obidient movement, stated that nothing will prevent him from appearing in court again on Friday.
“Why should I run? It is my position as the acting national chairman to be there. I won’t run away from my responsibility just because some random people are calling and sending me death threats,” he bemoaned.
Some belligerent supporters loyal to the suspended National Chairman, Julius Abure, blocked media from interviewing the Lamidi Apapa-led side.
The group waited to disrupt Apapa’s interview and booed him while yelling “Ole” (thief).
The law enforcement officers had to fend off the determined protestors who followed him and sought to bar him from entering his car to leave the premises in order to keep the turmoil at bay.
An enraged Apapa blamed LP presidential candidate Peter Obi and Abure for the attack on him before the trial, describing the psychological damage he underwent.
When asked if he was willing to travel to court with security operatives, Apapa refused and dared his assailants to carry out their threats again.
“Before the assault, I was warned that if I showed up to court, I would be dealt with. They also texted me, saying Obi said he will not give me recognition as the acting National Chairman of the party. I was even more surprised to hear Obi saying he doesn’t know or met me before.”
“But I showed up at the court even without a police escort. And just as they threatened, I was really dealt with. That was why I accused Peter Obi and Abure of being behind the attack.”
“I am still going to the court tomorrow with Arabambi and other party members. And I am going there without any security. Let them do whatever they want to do to me.”
In a similar line, Abayomi Arabambi, the expelled former Apapa faction’s press secretary and spokesman, has accused Abure of accepting an N500 million bribe from the delegation of former Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio to support his Senate presidency ambition among LP lawmakers-elect.
Even he revealed that Abure had purposefully refused to submit the party’s candidate list to the Independent National Electoral Commission, putting the party in danger of losing the governorship and senate seats it had won in both Abia and Kano States.
He said, “What is Abure doing with Akpabio? These are the people they took to court claiming they have a stolen mandate. They are playing on the intelligence of Nigerians. Obi will not see now that they are working against the party because all of them will share in the money they collected.”
“We may lose the only Governor we have, which is in Abia, and also our positions in Kano because Abure failed to submit the register in line with the electoral act.”
“Abure should know that all his statements claiming to be the National Chairman of Labour Party is an affront to the law and a serious criminal contempt which could send him to a maximum of 90 days in prison. He should know for emphasis’ sake that the court has issued an order restraining him and three others.”
Arabambi also confirmed Apapa’s prior decision to attack the tribunal on Friday, despite the dangers to their lives.
“We have been receiving threats to life, warning us to stay away from the tribunal. You saw what happened there yesterday. Let it be noted that I have before now on several occasions raised the alarm over the threat to my life by people working closely with Abure.”
“After yesterday’s staged attack by thugs hired by Abure to attack us at the presidential election petition tribunal, One Omooba, a member of LP in Alimosho Local Government had directed all Peter Obi supporters to come out in large numbers tomorrow to attack and deal ruthlessly with us. But we will go there whatever they want to do to us they should do,” he stated.
Reacting to the allegation, Abure who held another press conference some hours later disclosed that his hands are clean.
He said: “An opposition political party says it is coming to visit you. It is only fair that you listen to what they are coming to say. And so we obliged them the opportunity to solicit our support.”
“But we made it abundantly clear that the responsibility to appoint Senate President is that of the legislature. I also want to make it very clear that no money was given to me during or after their visit.”