Labour Party Supports Abure Despite Arrest Over Allegations of Attempted Murder, Possession Of Firearms

By Naomisophyblog

Abure was arrested by the police in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Wednesday.

The Labour Party (LP) has stated that the arrest of its national chairman, Julius Abure is to frustrate the Edo governorship primaries process and possibly interrupt the party’s participation in the poll.

Abure was arrested by the police in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Wednesday.

The arrest comes two days before the party’s primaries for the November 2024 governorship election in the state.

A video showing how Abure was arrested by some armed police officers emerged on the internet Wednesday afternoon.

It has been learnt that a petition written by the LP Youth Leader, Comrade Eragbe Anselm Aphimia had accused Abure of committing violent acts against him.

Also, the suspended National Treasurer of the Labour Party, Mrs Oluchi Opara, had insisted that Abure must submit the party’s finances to a forensic audit and explain the source of funds used by him to acquire properties in Nigeria and overseas between 2022 and 2023.

Opara, who was suspended by the party earlier this month, in her memo to the party’s leadership obtained by SaharaReporters, stated that Abure must account for the “N958million raised from off-cycle elections in 2023, provide paper trails and documentary evidence of adherence to due process.”

She added that the party’s national chairman must “declare every single dollar raised from the 2023 US fundraising tour and provide documentation on where donations were warehoused and how same was appropriated.”

It was also earlier reported that Opara called on Abure to render an account of party funds amounting to over N3.5 billion.

However, the national publicity secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, in a statement, on Wednesday said that Abure arrest was connected to the primary election of the party ahead of the Edo State governorship election.

She said the state government was opposed to the possible candidate of the Labour Party to emerge from the primary election.

She said, “The Labour Party on Tuesday had a very successful delegate election in Benin ahead of the Party Primaries scheduled to hold on Friday.

“The party chairman only this morning along with party governorship aspirants also kept a scheduled security briefing with the Department of the State Security (DSS).

“Abure was however arrested after the meeting by a combined team of DSS and Police officers. Abure, Ogbaloi and their aides were also manhandled.

“Effort by some party leaders to have access to the Zone 5 headquarters was turned down due to the huge crowd of party supporters who were expressing their displeasure over the arrest of Abure.

“However, a Police source informed the party officials and other governorship aspirants at the gate of the police headquarters that the arrest was in connection to a protest letter by one of the expelled members of the party loyal to Apapa dissident camp.”

“The source also confirmed that the arrest was not unconnected to the ongoing party primary and the possible candidate that will emerge which the state government is vehemently opposed to,” Ifoh added.

The police have confirmed the arrest of Abure, along with four others.

Tijani Momoh, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force, Zone 5, covering Edo and Delta states, said Abure and the others were arrested for attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms, and other related offences.

But speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Momoh said the “arrest of the factional chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure and four others” had to do with a “written petition that was endorsed by the AIG Zone 5 from the office of the Inspector General of Police”.

He said that the suspects were arrested for attempted murder and that video clips and recordings show how the petitioner was being “assaulted, being beaten when he came home last year to conduct ward matters”.

“It is a case of attempted murder, conspiracy, illegal possession of arms and other related offences,” he said.

Read Also:Edo guber: APC sacks Uzodinma, appoints Governor Otu as election committee chairman

According to Momoh, Abure and the other suspects were also in “possession of firearms; a shotgun and three rounds of ammunition”.

He added that the investigation into the matter was still ongoing.

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