ABUJA, NOVEMBER 4, 2016 – The Disciplinary Panel, set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC), to look into a petition against the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Timi Frank, has submitted its report, recommending his suspension and subsequent expulsion from the party.
The five-man committee, led by Solomon Edoja, constituted by the party’s South-South zonal vice chairman, Hilliard Etta, to investigate the petition written by a member of the party from Akwa-Ibom state, Mr Aniekan Akpabio, had accused Comrade Frank among other things of making disparaging comments against the party in the media.
While it recommended that Frank be suspended forthwith, the committee also asked the zonal executive committee to recommend Frank’s expulsion to the National Executive Committee.
The committee said it had no other option than to recommend his suspension since he shunned an invitation to appear before the panel to defend himself. The the panel said it relied on relevant articles in the party’s constitution to take such action. “The committee now recommends that Frank be suspended from the party forthwith, in line with Article 21 D(f); the zonal executive committee should recommend to the NEC for the expulsion of Timi Frank from the party in line with Article 21 (D)(h)(ii) and (iii),” the report said.
In a swift reaction, Frank dismissed the report.
He told Daily Sun the exercise is “an effort in futility” and warned that he will not only “shock the party’s National Working Committee (NWC)and those behind the panel” but, will also, “deplore all legal means to fight for his right.
“I made it clear from the get go that I will not appear before any committee not constituted by respected party members and NEC because such committee lacks legality. Yes, I got (an) invitation letter from the panel but, I made it clear that I would not recognise any committee set up outside the NEC.
“I did not appear before the committee because it is in our constitution that only the NEC can suspend any national officer. Therefore, there is no way I would have appeared before a kangaroo committee set up by the zone…”
“Again, the South-south Vice Chairman of the party lacks integrity to set up a committee to try me. He would have known that I am not a zonal officer and cannot be tried by the committee set up by the zone. My pain is that my party is not wise enough to realise that such move is illegal. Any decision from such committee is not binding on me.
“I want to say that the involvement of the Vice chairman South-south in the purported committee to suspend me was to cover up the hatchet and dirty job he has been doing of the party. As far as I am concerned, I am still the acting Publicity Secretary of the party.
“The report is an effort in futility and inconsequential. I want to emphasise that I will not go outside the rule of law in proving to them that all they did was an effort in futility.
“I want to inform those behind this that I am going to come up with a shocking surprise at the appropriate time but for now, I am still consulting with the relevant stakeholders and those working with me. It is not my fight alone. I want to make it clear to them that I am not scared,” he said.