Breaking New : Apc Chairman suspended due to fund misappropriation



Paul Akpanke, the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Utugwang, Utugwang North Ward, located in Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State, has been suspended from his position.

The suspension was authorized by the Utugwang ward chairman and the executive committee (exco) members. They leveled allegations against Akpanke, including financial misconduct, improper behavior, and disregard for party regulations and directives.

Ninety ward executives signed a notice of suspension addressed to the party's chapter chairman, formally announcing the decision. The suspension came into effect on Friday, June 23, 2023.

The exco members expressed their lack of confidence in the ward chairman and blamed him for the party's poor performance in recent elections. They cited his high-handedness and inability to advance the party's interests as key factors.

Additionally, Akpanke was accused of violating certain sections of the APC constitution by serving a third consecutive term as chairman with the support of officials from the previous administration.

The notice of suspension referenced Article 26 of the APC constitution, which permits a valid meeting to be convened by one-third of the executive committee of any party organ. The meeting held on June 23, 2023, with the attendance of at least nineteen out of twenty-six members of the Utugwang North Ward Executive Committee, resulted in a vote of no confidence against Chairman Paul Akpanke.

The suspension notice further highlighted Akpanke's disregard for Article 17 (iii) of the APC constitution, which restricts elected or appointed party officers from remaining in office for more than two terms. It was noted that Akpanke had unlawfully extended his tenure for a third term.

Moreover, Akpanke was accused of factionalizing the party, as per the violation of Article 21 (vi) of the party's constitution. He allegedly refused to collaborate with his executive committee and stakeholders in making crucial party decisions, opting instead to create a faction with only two stakeholders, which contributed to the party's underwhelming performance in the last election. Out of thirteen polling units in the ward, the party only secured victory in three.

The suspension notice also highlighted instances where Akpanke marginalized his exco members and made unilateral decisions, disregarding lawful party directives and prioritizing the interests of his sponsors.

Efforts to contact Akpanke at the time of reporting were unsuccessful, as his phone line was unavailable.

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