The Registrar, International Humanitarian and Environmental Law Institute, Prof. Cyprian Edward-Ekpo, has called on the acting Inspector of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to arrest the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Nsima Ekere, over fraud to the tune of N2.4bn.
The Chief Magistrate, S.D. Andrew-Jaja, in Port Hardcourt, issued the warrant of arrest with charge number PMC/MSC/15/2019.
The court also held that Ekere should be arrested alongside Katungo Moljengo, Director of Legal Service of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The court order, bearing the seal and signature of S.T. Dappa, principal registrar of the court, indicated that the arrest warrant against Ekere and Moljengo was issued “in Port Harcourt under the seal of the court and hand of the presiding chief magistrate, this 5th day of March 2019″.
Prof. Edward-Ekpo, who is a counsel to Multi-Intelligence Development Limited, complainant in the suit, told journalists in Abuja on Friday that the Independent National Electoral Commission must act accordingly by disqualifying Ekere from participating in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
He said, “We demand that the Acting Inspector General of Police should not treat the order of the 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.”
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 election as a governor of a state.
He said, “Based on this offence having been imposed on him by the Chief Magistrate Court, which is a court of competent jurisdiction recognised under Section 5 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 substituted service on all the parties, and also, cautioned INEC to apply restraints on the matter.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till April 8, for hearing on the substantive suit.