Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
National Secretary of the defunct Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe has warned against allowing a factional chairman of the party in his Akwa Ibom State, Stephen Ntukekpo, into Wednesday’s meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC.
Akpanudoedehe in a letter dated 19th April 2022 and signed by his lawyer, Tawo E. Tawo SAN said there is a pending case at the appellate court that has asked that the status e be maintained.
The letter was addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had mid-March ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to issue a certificate of return to Stephen Ntukekpo as the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the APC.
Consequently, the court sacked the Akpanudoedehe-backed Augustine Ekanem-led executives of the party and ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to them.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgment, held that the inauguration of the Ekanem-led state executives of the party was an act of illegality.
Akpanudoedehe, through his lawyer, AA Malik consequently approached the Appeal Court. While the case was on, Senator Adamu had days ago swore in Ntukekpo, an ally of Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, in disregard of an April 7 Court of Appeal ordered that the status quo be maintained in the Akwa Ibom State APC executive.
The danger of the APC NWC action is that all actions undertaken or superintended by Stephen Leo Ntukekpo will be set aside subsequently.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja ordered that the status quo be maintained in the Akwa Ibom State APC executive elected on 16th October 2021 and inaugurated by the APC National Caretaker Committee until the determination of the motions for jurisdiction and stay of execution which comes up on 17th May 2022.
Akpanudoedehe in a letter of protest written by Adamu and dated 12rh April 2022, the ex-party scribe gave the national chairman 24 hours to revert to the status quo.
Tawo said Ntukekpo and the party are parties in the Appeal and therefore bound by the order of the Honourable Court of Appeal as it were.
“Thereafter, he (Mr Stephen Leo Ntukekpo) ie. the 1st Respondent in the appeal proceeded to Akwa Ibom State to swear in some other people as what he called members of his Executive Council both at the State and Local Government levels, thereby further altering in a serial manner the status quo that was ordered to be maintained by the Court of Appeal.
“Our client further informed us and we verily believe him that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party has been scheduled to hold on the 20th April 2022. Take notice therefore that the attendance of the meeting by the 1st Respondent (Mr Stephen Leo Ntukekpo) parading himself as the Akwa Ibom State Executive Chairman of the party shall constitute a further serial breach and or noncompliance with the extant order of the Court of Appeal.
“We, therefore, advise against admitting him into the NEC meeting as doing otherwise would constitute further noncompliance and total disregard to the extant orders of the Court of Appeal. Be warned”, the letter stated.