The Registrar, International Humanitarian and Environmental Law Institute, Professor Cyprian Edward-Ekpo, has called on the Acting Inspector of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to arrest the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom State, Nsima Ekere, as ordered by the court.
Edward-Ekpo also called on the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC) to act accordingly by disqualifying Ekere from participating in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Worried that days after the warrant of arrest was issued, it was yet to be complied with. He, therefore, cautioned that no institution or body should threat court orders with levity.
Edward-Ekpo, a counsel to Multi-Intelligence Development Limited, the complainant in the suit, who spoke Friday in Abuja, was reacting to the judgment delivered March 5 by the Magistrate Court, Port Harcourt Division.
The court had in its judgment, ordered arrest of former Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), now APC governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Ekere as well as Director of Legal services of the Commission, Mr Kaltungo Moljengo over a N2.4 billion fraud.
Accordingly, Edward-Ekpo called on the current management of NNDC to comply with the October 28, 2015 judgment of the Federal High Court.
“We demand that the Acting Inspector General of Police should not threaten the order of a court with levity but effect the warrant order immediately.
“We are also calling on INEC, following the proceedings of the Federal High Court, Friday, to comply with the warrant of arrest.
“We also urge the people of Akwa Ibom not to vote Ekere as he is not fit to stand election in the country”, he stated.
The Chief Magistrate, Andrew-Jaja, had issued the warrant of arrest with charge number PMC/MSC/15/2019 on March 5 against Ekere and Moljengo.
However, following the Warrant of Arrest and Order of committal for the offence for Criminal Conspiracy to Defeat or Prevent Execution of Court Judgement placed on the two, the Federal High Court, Abuja, Friday, disqualified the candidacy of Mr Ekere as the APC governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State.
Edward-Ekpo noted that as it stands, the status of Ekere as a candidate for Saturday’s election has been affected under Section 182 (1c) of the 1999 Constitution, which states that when an offence is imposed on a person, he is not qualified to contest the election as a governor of a state.
“Based on this offence having been imposed on him by the Chief Magistrate Court, which is a court of competent jurisdiction recognized under Section Five of the 1999 Constitution, he is not qualified to stand election on Saturday.
“Following the judgment, a suit was filed by a citizen of the state, asking the Federal High Court to disqualify or void the candidacy of APC in Akwa Ibom State, and Friday, motion Ex-parte was moved and the court has granted order of subservient service on all the parties, and also, cautioned INEC to apply restraints on the matter”, he said.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till April 8, for hearing on the substantive suit.