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Coast not yet clear for Peter Obi on presidential bid, says LP factional chair

Coast not yet clear for Peter Obi on presidential bid, says LP factional chair
July 06
20:37 2022

Calistus Okafor, factional chairman of the Labour Party (LP), says his current suit challenging the legitimacy of the leadership of the party is a “fight against injustice”.

According to Punch, Okafor said this in an interview with journalists.

In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1636/2021, Okafor is challenging the legality of the leadership of Julius Abure and Akingbade Oyelakin, which he said “represents persons wrongfully and unlawfully parading themselves as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of Labour Party”.

Giving an update on the court case, Okafor said his decision to file the suit is in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution.

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“I have read in the news media where Dr. Doyin Okupe was quoted to have said that I was demanding for N48m for the lawyers who have been representing me in court before I would withdraw my case against the Labour Party,” he was quoted as saying.

“I am however happy that he did not say that I have collected the said amount from anybody or group of people. I have also read the mischievous claim of a group that I had collected N15m draft to withdraw the case I instituted against the Labour Party. This is also not correct.

“I am fighting for my right, I’m fighting for justice. Peter Obi left the Peoples Democratic Party because of the injustice carried out against him there. If Peter Obi could dump the PDP for LP in order to get justice, he should consider the case of someone who is looking for justice.

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“I have not been bought over by anyone. I want to let Nigerians, especially the Igbo people, know that I did not go to court because of Peter Obi. I instituted my case in court on December 21 2021 and 0bi joined the Labour Party on May 29.

“I was in court in January, February, March and April. It was after Obi joined in May that people started saying that I had been bought. Obi is fighting to become president while I am fighting to become the chairman of the LP, based on the provisions of the constitution which empower me to act as chairman if the chairman is removed or dies.

“Obi is an Igbo man like me. He has never offended me. I have no reason to fight him. When the supporters of Obi came to me and demanded settlement. I asked where we would start from? I asked them whether it’s about the N48m I had spent on the case so far that they want to pay.”

He also accused Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) under the Abure leadership, of trying to “intimidate” him with regards to the court case.

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“On June 30, I went to court with my lawyers including SANs. I have sold my house in Gwarinpa. I am ready to sell another house in Wuse 2 to continue fighting. If anyone thinks that anybody is sponsoring me, let that person have it in mind that when I started this battle, I did not see Obi in the picture,” he said.

“If Obi thinks he can come to the Labour Party and carry out injustice against me, like the way he was treated in the PDP, he is making a great mistake. If anyone also believes that I have collected money from Peter Obi, the person is making a mistake because I’m in court. I have no hard feelings against anybody and I will not allow anyone to intimidate me with SANS.

“My case is coming up again on July 8. I have brought in two SANs. I know that there are people benefiting from the current situation who are making Peter Obi not to see the reality of life. They didn’t allow him to come into reality that he has no ticket with which to contest next year’s election yet.

“There are people telling Obi not to mind me thinking that my case had no merit. He (Obi) is paying lawyers, hundreds of millions instead of him to resolve the crisis in the Labour Party.

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“This is a man who wants to change the narrative politically, who wants to do something differently but he could not settle the crisis he met on the ground. He cannot resolve the Labour Party crisis and he want to resolve the problem of Nigeria.

“If anyone wants to crucify me for fighting for my right, I’m also prepared to fight on, even to the logical end.

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“This issue of Igbo man fighting another Igbo man is not correct. Nobody is sponsoring me. Instead of resolving the issue in the LP, Obi is spending millions of naira to hire senior advocates of Nigeria to intimidate me in court. He believes that his money would get him what he wants but we shall see the outcome at the end of the day.”

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