Alleged forgery: Police grill Akwa Ibom APC chairman loyal to Akpabio
The crisis of leadership in the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is far from over as the Police, on Monday, grilled Mr. Stephen Ntukekpo, factional chairman of the party in the state.
The alleged arrest was on the heels of a petition filed against him by the chairman of State Congress Committee of the party, Banki Sheriff, who had accused him of forging his signature on what Ntukekpo had been parading as result of the state congress where he declared himself winner.
But an associate of the embattled factional chairman, Imo Akpan said claims that the document was forged are false.
According bro him, Ntukekpo was never arrested. He only honoured an invitation from the Police and was later released that day. He (Ntukekpo) is attending to party matters.”
Alarmed by the petition filed since January, a team of intelligence officers swung into action and got Ntukekpo, on Monday. He was released on bail and asked not to go far from Abuja and to ensure he reports for interrogation whenever the police need him.
“The situation is delicate and complicated for the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the ruling party by the failure of the Adamu NWC to obey court orders and their seeming backing of Mr. Ntukekpo after withdrawing an appeal which the Buni Caretaker Committee filed against the judgement of the Federal High Court Abuja,” a member of the party explained.
Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Solomon Johnny, in a statement warned aspirants not to deal with the embattled chairman, as he has been rendered unfit in law to handle any party business given the subsisting court order to maintain the status quo.
He said: “We caution our party members against dealing with unauthorized persons parading themselves as officers of the party in Akwa Ibom State. “We remind our party members that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had ordered that parties contesting the State Chairmanship position of the party maintain status quo pending the determination of substantive matters before the court.
“That Court order makes everything done regarding the nomination process outside the watch and supervision of Mr Austin Ekanem a nullity and void at Law. For emphasis, that court order makes the Austin Ekanem led State Executive Committee of our great party the lawful exco to transact party business in Akwa Ibom State till the determination of the suit in court.
“We urge our members to discountenance any directive that is contrary to this position. Such directives are forged by the group of marauders who have become audacious criminals currently being investigated by the Police over their roles in forging Congress results to ambush the Court to give them judgement.”
It is not very clear which faction of the party will handle the nomination processes billed to commence in no distant time. The odds, however, favour the Ekanem-led State Executive in view of the court order.