The crisis in the Taraba State chapter of the All Progressives Congress took a dramatic turn on Tuesday as the El-Suldi Ibrahim-led State Working Committee expelled a governorship aspirant in the build-up to the just-concluded general elections, David Kente.
The party said Kente was expelled for alleged anti-party activities.
The party also suspended the senator-elect for Taraba South, Jimkuta David, for anti-party activities and recommended his expulsion from the party to the national secretariat.
Addressing a press conference in Jalingo, the chairman of the party, El-Suldi, also explained that he remained the chairman of the party following the recommendation of the committee set up by the national secretariat to look into the purported vote of no confidence passed in him by some members of the State Working Committ
He said, “Sometime in July 2022, the executives of APC Kente Ward of Wukari Local Government Area wrote the Chairman of the APC Wukari Local Government Area, calling for the expulsion of David Kente, citing a series of alleged offences he committed against the party.
“The APC in Wukari LG severally invited Kente to defend himself on the allegations levelled against him by the ward executives but he refused to honour their invitations and abused them instead.
“On August 12, 2022, the APC Wukari Local Government wrote a letter to the state APC on the above complaints. Having investigated and confirmed that all constitutional procedures of fair hearing and disciplinary steps were satisfactorily followed by both the ward and local government levels of the party in Kente and Wukari Local Government. The State Working Committee, in its sitting on Thursday, April 20, 2023, exercised its powers under Article 13 (9) (iv) of the party constitution and ratify the decision of the APC Wukari Local Government Area.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Kente stands expelled from the All Progressives Congress and should stop parading himself as a member of the party henceforth.”
As for the senator-elect, Jimkuta David, El-Suldi said a petition was written against him by the APC Fete ward of Takum LG, alleging anti-party activities.
El-Suldi said the APC Takum LGA constituted a five-man disciplinary committee that invited David but he refused to honour the invitation.
“We, hereby, suspend Jimkuta David from the party and recommend to the National Executive Committee his expulsion from the party for the plethora of offences he is found guilty of.
“Jimkuta David stands suspended from the party henceforth,” the chairman said.
Efforts to get the senator-elect to react were unsuccessful as he could not be reached on his mobile line and there was no response to a text message sent to him.
But Kente, on his part, told journalists that El-Suldi lacked the powers to act as chairman because he had been removed by a court order.
Kente said, “We are surprised that El-Suldi, who is a lawyer and should know the position of the law, is trying to cause confusion in the party in the state.
“His removal by the Federal High Court has not been challenged. We now have an acting APC Chairman in Taraba, so the public should disregard anything coming from El-Suldi and his cohorts.”