The secretariat of the Labour Party in Imo State, South-East Nigeria has been sealed, by the Nigeria Police Force.
This is coming barely 48 hours after three legal practitioners working on an election petition for the All Progressives Congress (APC), a candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, were arrested in Port-Harcourt Hotel and had their laptops and other materials confiscated.
Disclosing the sealing of the Labour Party Secretariat in Imo State on Monday, the national secretary of the LP, Umar Farouk, said it was sealed by the police in connivance with the Governor Hope Uzodimma led-government.
Farouk who described the incident as an attack on democracy that called for more significant concern noted that policemen are currently occupying their Secretariat without any order from the court as none have been shown to the party leadership.
He said, “The national leadership of the Labour Party is shocked over the invasion and occupation of its Secretariat in Owerri, today, Monday, April 3, 2023, by the agents of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, including thugs and unauthorized policemen from the government house.
“Such an illegal occupation is akin to a similar invasion on the same secretariat on Wednesday, March 15, 2023."
Farouk said unlike the March invasion where no reason was given by the state government on why it took such unlawful action against the party, this time, the government said that the move was due to a court order.
“But as of now, no such Order to our knowledge was given. No Order has been presented to us by the court or its agents. The policemen presently occupying our secretariat have not even shown us the Order. At the moment, all our officials and staff have been barred from accessing the secretariat.
“We have contacted the office of the Inspector General of Police on the ongoing development in the state, and it has been confirmed that the Force is not aware of any security breach whatsoever in the state to warrant the occupation of our secretariat.”
Regretting the development, he said that the police authority had also informed the party that it had not detailed any of their officers and men to the Labour Party secretariat in Imo State, and that the officers might have been drafted from the State House in the state.
“The Labour Party however is not unmindful of the efforts of the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma to hijack the leadership of the party in Imo state.”
Farouk urged members of the party in the state to be peaceful even in the face of the present provocation.
Reacting, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, said that the allegation was unfounded.
He said, “The Labour Party’s allegation is unfounded. They should stop pointing fingers at the wrong place.”