Home / News / Local / Police arrest Labour Party Chair, Abure, in Benin; Protest erupts
Barrister Julius Abure, National Chairman, LP

Police arrest Labour Party Chair, Abure, in Benin; Protest erupts

By Usman Aliyu

Benin, Feb. 21, 2024

Less than three days to the primary election of the Labour Party (LP) for the Governorship election in Edo, operatives of the Zone 5 headquarters of the Nigeria Police have arrested the National Chairman of the party, Mr Julius Abure.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that Abure was arrested in Benin, following a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), bothering on conspiracy and causing body harm among others written by a faction of the party.

A visit to the zonal headquarters showed that a crowd, believed to be supporters of the LP stalwart, was at the gate of the premises.

However, some officials of the party were allowed inside to join the national president of the party.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Zone, Tijani Momoh, said his arrest had to do with a written petition of case of conspiracy, murder, armed robbery, causing grievous hurt and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

The petition against Abure, the spokesperson said, was assigned to the office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of the Zone from the Inspector-General’s office.

“There is a standing order for now that nobody should come in. Yes, the Labour Party National Chairman is here and it has to do with a petition that was referred to this office from the Inspector General of Police,” he said.

When asked if he was being detained or just to take his statement, Momoh said “I don’t know for now”.

Meanwhile, a heavy crowd of protesters on Wednesday besieged the Zone 5 headquarters of the Police Command in Benin City over the arrest of Barrister Abure.

Also arrested was the state chairman of the party, Kelly Ogbaloi, a statement by Obiora Ifoh, National Publicity Secretary of the party said.

According to the statement, the “Party on Tuesday had a very successful delegate’s election in Benin ahead of the Party Primaries scheduled to hold on Friday. The party chairman only this morning (Wednesday) along with party governorship aspirants also kept a scheduled security briefing with the Department of the 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 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 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.”

 

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21-02-2024

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