A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, has dismissed the objection raised by the suspended chairmen of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure and three other national officials of the party against a suit seeking their sack over alleged forgery and corrupt practices.
Justice Hamza Muazu, in a ruling on Friday held that his court has jurisdiction to hear and determine suit filed by some aggrieved members of the party.
The ruling was on the preliminary objection filed by Abure, and the suspended National Secretary, Alhaji Farouk Ibrahim. Justice Muazu faulted the argument by Abure and Ibrahim that the subject matter of the suit was within the realm of the internal affairs of the party on which no court could adjudicate.
The judge held that it was no longer the law that the court could not adjudicate on issues relating to party’s internal affairs.
The judge noted that had the party been at peace with itself, there would not have been any need for the court to interfere in its affairs.
“When there is no crack on the wall, there will not be need for an outsider to come mend it,” he said.
Justice Muazu held that plaintiffs’ case was justiciable contrary to the argument by lawyer to Abure and Ibrahim, Alex Ejesieme (SAN), adding that the plaintiffs were right to have instituted the case via an originating summons.
Following the April 5 ex-parte injunction made by Justice Muazu, stopping Abure, the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Umar Farouk and two other national officials, Ejesieme had on April 20 argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The senior advocate had submitted that the matter before the court bordered on the internal affairs of the Labour Party, adding that criminal allegations made by the plaintiffs in the case, could not be ventilated in an origination summon.
While objecting to the preliminary objection raised by the counsel for Abure and Farouk, counsel for the plaintiffs, George Ibrahim, urged the court to dismiss same.
According to him, the first to fourth defendants had yet to obey the April 5 order of the court as they were still parading themselves as national officers of the LP. With the ruling of the court on having jurisdiction to hear the case, its order of April 5 subsists.
The judge adjourned until May 19 to hear the substantive case.