By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
A former National Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, has refused to withdraw an appeal he filed at the Court of Appeal in Abuja over the crisis iinthe All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom.
He told the Court of Appeal on Monday that he had not withdrawn the appeal challenging the decision of a high court on the dispute between him and five purported elected Executive members of Akwa Ibom chapter of the the ruling party.
He also told the Court of Appeal that he will never withdraw the appeal even as the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu through his counsel insisted that Akpanudoedehe was no longer the National Secretary of APC, therefore cannot act in that capacity.
Akpanudoedehe bared 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 All Progressive Congress came up for hearing .
But a panel of the Court of Appeal presided by Justice Hamman Tsammani could not hear the matter as the 1st to 5th defendants counsel insisted that Umoh ( SAN) had been debriefed by the party.
They claimed that APC has asked Umoh to withdraw the matter.
Chief Umeh Kalu (SAN), lawyer to the first defendant, Stephen Leo Ntukekpo told the Court of Appeal that a letter dated May 6, from the APC National Headquarters signed by the Head of Legal Service and addressed to Solomon Umoh (SAN), and Niyi Akintola (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 (SAN) said that while Akintola (SAN) has complied with the instructions of the party, Umoh (SAN) refused to.
Kalu SAN further submitted that Akpanudoedehe has since relinquished the post of National Secretary of APC adding that if he has an interest, he should seek the leave of the Court to pursue his personnel interest.
The other lawyers to the 2nd to the 5th defendants alligned with the submissions of Kalu (SAN).
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 APC national headquarters, but five elected members of the party in Akwa Ibom State.
“They cannot advise 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..