UPDATED: Nigeria police confirm arrest of Labour Party national chairman Abure over attempted murder and possession of firearm

The National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Comrade Julius Abure, has been arrested and detained by the police in Benin City, Edo State.

The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force Zone 5, Tijani Momoh confirmed the development saying, the party chairman was arrested on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, over attempted murder and possession of firearms.

The police spokesperson said the arrest comes after a petition by the party’s former Youth Leader, Eragbe Anselm Aphimia. 

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Momoh said; “The arrest of Abure and four others has 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”.

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

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.

Anselm Aphimia’s petition addressed to the Edo State Police Commissioner of Police, alleged that a “heinous act of violence” was perpetrated against him on December 29, 2023.

He said, “I am a member and National Youth Leader of the Labour Party (LP) in Nigeria, and the events I am about to recount are of utmost importance for justice and the safety of individuals involved in political activities.

“On December 28, 2023, I flew into Benin City Airport around 2 p.m. as part of an official 5-member delegation authorised by the Acting National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Lamidi Basiru Apapa.

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“Our mission was to organise Ward, LGA, and State Congresses in Edo State, as well as supervise the sale of nomination forms for various posts, as mandated by INEC guidelines, within the stipulated time frames.

“On arrival at the Benin Airport, I was received by one Mrs Mary Okheime Newberry, who falsely claimed to be providing transportation and accommodation on behalf of unnamed ‘stakeholders’.

“She proceeded to lodge us at the Smart Homes Hotel, unknown to us that she was plotting a sinister and gruesome ambush. The next morning, a man named Austin Emeka came to pick me and my colleague, Mr Patrick Anethua, up from the hotel lobby, pretending to take us to a meeting venue.

“Instead, we were violently attacked just outside the hotel gates by a waiting mob.”

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