Akwa Ibom: Why Ex-APC national secretary refused to withdraw suit against members

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A former National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Senator John Akpanudoede, has refused to withdraw a suit he filed at the Court of Appeal in Abuja over the crisis in the All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom chapter.

He told the court on Monday that he had not withdrawn the appeal challenging the decision of a high court on the dispute between him and five purported elected executive members of the Akwa Ibom chapter of the APC.

He also told  the court of Appeal that  he would never withdraw the appeal even as the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu,  through his counsel insisted that Akpanuodoede was no longer the National Secretary of the APC, therefore could not act in that capacity.

Akpanudoedehe said his mind through his counsel, Solomon Umoh (SAN), when the appeal he filed against Stephen Leo Ntukekpo and five other elected members of the Akwa Ibom APC came up for hearing .

But a panel of the Court of Appeal presided by Justice  Hamman  Tsammani  could not hear the matter as the first to fifth defendants counsel insisted that Umoh had been debriefed by the party.

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They claimed that the APC had asked Umoh  to withdraw the matter.

Chief Umeh Kalu (SAN), lawyer to the first defendant, Stephen Leo Ntukekpo, told the court that a letter dated May 6, from the APC National Headquarters signed by Head of legal service and  addressed to Solomon Umoh, and Niyi Akintol (SAN) had  informed them and notified  both lawyers of the party’s intention to withdraw the appeal as the party was bound by the decision of the High Court.

Kalu said that while Akintola had complied with the  instructions of the party,  Umoh refused to comply with instructions of his client, the APC which engaged him.

Kalu further submitted that Akpanudoedehe had since relinquished the post of National Secretary of the APC adding that if he had an interest he should seek the leave of the Court to pursue his personnel interest.

The other lawyers to the second to the fifth defendants aligned with the submissions of Kalu.

In his response, counsel to the appellant, Umoh, said he was in receipt of the letter dated May 5, and that the content of the said letter asked him to discontinue the matter at the High Court which he had complied with.

He said the appeal had nothing to do with the APC national headquarters, but five elected members of the party in Akwa Ibom State.

“They cannot advice me to withdraw an appeal of my client that had paid for the service”, he added.

The matter continues on Tuesday at the Court of Appeal.

PUNCH.

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