We arrested LP chairman for attempted murder- Police


By Titus Akhigbe

The Nigeria Police Force has said the National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure, was arrested for attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms, and other offences.

The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force Zone 5, Tijani Momoh, confirmed the arrest of Abure on Wednesday in Benin City.

Momoh told reporters that Abure and four other persons had been detained due to a petition that was filed against them.

Momoh said, “I wish to confirm the arrest of the factional chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, and four others.

“It has to do with a written petition that was endorsed by the AIG Zone 5 from the office of the Inspector General of Police. There are video clips, recordings of the petitioner 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. They were also in possession of firearms; a short gun and three rounds of ammunition. Investigation is ongoing. They were just arrested today. More details will be provided later.”

Also confirming the arrest of the LP chair, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiorah Ifoh, said Abure was arrested by a combined team of Police and DSS personnel.

Ifoh, in a statement on Wednesday, said: “Heavy crowd of protesters on Wednesday besieged the Zone 5 headquarters of the Police Command in Benin City over the arrest of the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure.

“Also arrested was the state chairman of the party, Kelly Ogbaloi.
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 State Security. 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 the 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.

“He informed that the arrest was to frustrate the primary process and possibly interrupt the party’s participation in the governorship election.

“The Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Ayo Olurunfemi in a video post said that no form of intimidation from the highest quarters can stop the party from concluding the process leading to the emergence of the Labour Party government in the state.”

Speaking on the arrest, the Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the party, said Abure was arrested in connection with alleged forgery and perjury.

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The national publicity secretary of the Apapa faction, Abayomi Arabambi, said this in a terse statement.

Arabambi said, “Abure’s arrest today was in connection with the police investigation report that indicted and established a prima facie case of forgery, perjury and criminal conspiracy over his involvement in the forgery of the signature of FCT High Court Judge, forgery of Commissioners of oath and generating his own receipts from the Treasury Single Account (TSA). His arrest is also connected to the arson and attempted murder of our party national youth leader.”

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