Still reeling from the loss it suffered in the hands of the People’s Democratic Party in the last general elections, the Ebonyi State chapter of the Labour Party has been thrown into fresh crisis.
The chairman of the party, Sabastine Obyia, was on Saturday suspended for anti-party activities, gross misconduct and incompetence. Subsequently, Odoh Fidelis and Augustine Uguru were appointed acting chairman and secretary of the party.
In a resolution signed during their emergency meeting, 25 state executive council, SEC, members said they lost confidence in Mr. Obyia’s leadership of the party. They accused the chairman of unlawfully suspending the party’s financial and organizing secretaries, Emmanuel Ibe and Augustine Nwankwo, respectively.
According to the SEC members, the duo resisted the connivance of Mr. Obyia with some politicians in the state to hijack the party to achieve their selfish ambitions.
The party executives accused the chairman of hobnobbing with the PDP in the state to frustrate the petitions of various Labour Party candidates before the election tribunal. The executives affirmed their unalloyed commitment and support to all the candidates.
However, the embattled chairman has rejected the suspension, saying his accusers are not members of the Labour Party but those recruited by its governorship candidate in the last general election, Edward Nkwegu.
He noted that Mr. Nkwegu had earlier congratulated and embraced the winner of the election and PDP candidate, Dave Umahi, in public but went ahead to challenge his victory in court.
Mr. Obyia stated that the national leadership of the party through the legal adviser resolved to write-off the name of the party from the petition filed by various candidates that ran under the party in the last general election including that of the governorship candidate on discovering that they had joined the All Progressives Congress.
He described his suspension as unlawful, adding that it was only the national secretariat of the party that had the right to suspend him. He also denied ever working with the ruling PDP in the state.
Meanwhile, the headquarters of the Labour Party has submitted two motions before the state elections petition tribunal seeking to strike out the party from the petitions filed by various candidates that contested the last general election under its platform.
The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Joel Agya, fixed July 8 for hearing on the motions on notice.
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