All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), national treasurer, Alhaji Isyaku Abdullahi, has petitioned the party’s national chairman, Chief Don Etiebet, alleging that he illegally withdrew N1.17 million from the party’s bank account.
In the October 22, 2004 petition addressed to Chief Etiebet and copied the board of trustees, the national treasurer is claiming that the amount was withdrawn from the ANPP’s account with Hallmark Bank Plc on September 22, 2004 (N870,000.00)and the next day, another sum of N300,000.
Both withdrawals, Alhaji Abdullahi said, were made from the account without the signatures of either the national secretary, Alhaji Sani El-Katuzu and himself, adding that Etiebet’s action contr-avened the party’s constitution.
“The national executive committee did not approve for the national chairman to act as a sole signatory or to add additional signatures to the said account, as there is no need for it.
“The national secretary and national treasurer who are co-signatories as prov-ided for in section 22.2 of our constitution, have not resi-gned their appointments and are still members of the nati-onal executive committee,” he said.
Moreover, the treasurer said the withdrawals were made with the tacit conni-vance of Hallmark Bank Plc officials, who honoured the bank instrument without authorised signatories as provided in the party’s constitution and mandate deposited with the bank.
While describing the alleged action of the national chairman as fraudulent, Alh-aji Abdullahi requested that disciplinary measures be taken against him within 14 days as provided in section 24.3 of the ANPP const-itution.
After attempts to speak with Etiebet on the allegation failed, Daily Trust spoke with one of his aides who desc-ribed the allegation as spu-rious and baseless.
He said in a telephone interview that Etiebet’s oppo-nents have resorted to blac-kmail in their desperate bid to oust him from office, explaining that the national secretary, Alhaji El-Katuzu is a signatory to the account.
The chairman’s signature and that of El-Katuzu, he said, are enough for the pa-rty’s bankers to honour any financial request from the ANPP.
According to the chair-man’s aide, “the game plan of these people is to make sure no northern presidential candidate emerges in the party in 2007 because they are working for someone who has his eyes on the 2007 elections.”
Also, part of their destab-ilisation plot is to dissolve the executive committees of the party from the national to the ward levels and install their lackeys in such posit-ions, he said.
Etiebet’s opponents, he added, favour the emergence of a candidate from the south east who in their thinking will pose no challenge to their candidates.