The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja has squashed a suit challenging the leadership of Labour Party by the aggrieved former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Callistus Okafor.
The judgement of the three member panel read by Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill held that the subject matter before the Federal High Court in Abuja was an internal affair of the political party and did not fall under the disputes that require court’s intervention.
He said “the claim of the 1st Respondent (Okafor) from his own showing and as endorsed by him in his Originating Summons is clearly one involving the internal affairs of the 6th Respondent, Labour Party, a registered political party in Nigeria. The claims do not at all fall within any of the ambit of the provision of the law providing for intervention by the courts”
The appellate court, which also had Justices Olabisi Ige and Ugochukwu Anthony Ogakwu as members, declared the claims as non-justiciable, incompetent, and without jurisdiction.
The panel further maintained that “In law, neither are the internal affairs nor decisions of a political party, regarding strictly, the appointment or even election of their leadership the business of the courts”.
Subsequently, the appellate court set aside the ruling of the Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, in suit no.
FHC/ABJ/CS/1636/2021 on June 16, 2022, wherein he assumed jurisdiction in the matter, abridged time for filing of processes to seven days, and ordered the executive of the party led by Barrister Julius Abure to file a counter affidavit in respect of the suit brought by Okafor.