The Akwa Ibom chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said it never expelled or suspended former governor, Godswill Akpabio, from the party.
The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Ini Ememobong, stated this at a news conference in Uyo, the state capital.
He said that the claim by Akpabio that he was expelled by the party was a “transparent lie’’, adding that the former governor had never “even been suspended at any time’’.
“Chief Akpabio had announced to the world on Aug. 8, 2018, that he was defecting from the PDP to the APC in pursuit of national interest and to stem the tide of defections in the National Assembly.
“In fact, at different campaigns, he mocked the PDP as being empty since his `uncommon defection’.
“At no time did he mention the issue of expulsion, which has now become his creation, as a lame defence in his struggle to keep his seat at the Senate,’’ Ememobong said.
He alleged that Akpabio colluded with a former chairman of PDP in Essien Udim Local Government Area to procure a letter purportedly expelling him from the party, and back dated it.
According to him, after completing the assignment, the former chairman defected to APC to join Akpabio.
The PDP insisted that there was no way Akpabio could have been expelled by the party without the concern of the executive committee of the party the area and the state.
The party’s spokesperson also stated that there was no record showing the existence of such a punitive action against the senator by his ward or local government executive committee of the party.
Akpabio had told the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a case instituted against him by a civil society organisation, that he was expelled from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) before he moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The organization sought that the lawmaker’s seat be declared vacant for defecting from the party (PDP) whose platform he got elected.
The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, agreed with Akpabio that having been expelled, he was no longer a member of any political party as at the time he “moved” to the APC to exercise his constitutional right under section 40 of the constitution, and to declare that he has defected to another political party has no backing of the constitution.
He further held that to declare Senator Akpabio’s seat vacant as requested by the Plaintiff, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), would be to punish him for exercising his right to Freedom of Association under Section 40 of the Constitution of 1999 as Amended.