Lamidi Apapa, self-acclaimed National Chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has attributed his survival from the hands of members and supporters of the party, who nearly lynched him in the premises of the Court of Appeal, Abuja on Wednesday, to the mercy of God and presence of the media at the scene.
Narrating his experience, Apapa, who was practically whisked away by the police and other security operatives after an initial drama inside the courtroom serving as the venue of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) for the 2023 polls, thanked God for saving his life, saying he was in court to assert himself as the Acting National Chairman of the party and to confirm the state of things on the petition of the candidate of the party, Peter Obi.
Obi, who was desatisfied in the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on March 1, had filed a petition at the tribunal to challenge it.
Apapa, who told the reporters that he had before the court began its proceedings, sensed trouble, after the Director-General of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisations, Akin Osuntokun, refused to vacate a chair that was reserved for chairman of the party, recounted his ordeal thereafter.
“I went to him and inquired to know on what capacity he was sitting on the seat. I told him that since I am in court today, I am the right person to sit on that chair. They pounced on me, removed my cap and I am very sure that if not that you people (journalists) were there, I would have been dead by now.”
The 78-year-old, who accused Obi of being aware of the plot to attack him, explained how he allegedly met with members of the presidential campaign group of the party on Tuesday to broker peace among the warring factions, where he was warned that he would be dealt with should he attend the court session.
“They threatened that if I appear in court that something would happen. There is no truth in the allegation that I collected N500million to scuttle Obi’s petition against the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Obi is liar. I had been shielding him before. He’s a liar for saying that he does not know me. I actively participated in all the campaigns the party held before the presidential election and also flew back to Abuja with him in the same aircraft on one of the occasions.
“I want to tell the whole world that he is a liar. I have been in the party for over 21 years while he is not even up to one year in the party. I have never taken any kobo from anybody and I have challenged anyone that has any evidence to bring it forward. It’s not true that I was in court to withdraw the petition against Tinubu. Apart from money, what else does he (Obi) have that I don’t have?”
Still accusing the party’s candidate of refusing to respect the court order that suspended the Julius Abure-led executives of the party, he also rained curses on those that removed his cap during the incident.
“As you can see, I have recovered my cap. But as for the person that removed my cap, he will suffer till the end of his life. I saw him. He is a young chap but he will never grow old,” he added.