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Drama As PDP Witness Confirms Result From Akpabio’s LG Announced At Akwa Ibom REC, Igini’s Office In Uyo

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The National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State caputal, continued proceedings Friday with the first respondent, Chris Ekpinyong, the People’s Democratic Party candidate for the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district and the declared winner of the election, calling his last witness.

Anny Asikpo, who was led in evidence by Uche Njoku, counsel to Ekpinyong, confirmed that the result from the Essien Udim Local Government Area, where the petitioner, Senatorial Godswill Akpabio comes from, was contrary to INEC’s guideline that all results should be announced at polling units and collation centres, announced at the state Resident Commissioner, Mike Igini’s office in Uyo.

Answering a question under cross examination by the the petitioners counsel, Sunday Ameh (SAN), Asikpo said the result was announced when the Resident Officer (RO) for the local government absconded the local government collation centre.

She said the result from was not announced untill the third day – Feb 25 – of the election.

The proceedings went as this:

Counsel to INEC, Ifeoluwa Ojediran: The result of Obot Akara was not cancelled. Am I correct?

Witness: Definitely, Yes

Counsel to INEC: Would I also be correct to say that no issue was raised with regards to the result of Obot Akara LG.?

Witness: No issue at all

Counsel to INEC: Was there any physical examination of the result of Obot Akara LG

Witness: Yes, My lord

Counsel to INEC: At the senatorial diistrict collation centre, the allegation that was made by the petitioner is that Essien Udim collation officer received a phone call.

Witness: My lord, Essien Udim C.O (collation officer) was not there in the hall. So I did not see when he received a phone call

Counsel to INEC: Was any of the senatorial district agents given the result of the LG to be presented (i.e form EC08)

Witness: Yes, my lord

Counsel to INEC: I would therefore be correct to say that the result of Essien Udim was not cancelled

Witness: The E.O left the collation centre without the knowledge of any body.

Counsel: He took permission from Ikot Ekpene EO to use his hall.

Witness: My lord, at that point, I raised an observation and asked him why he came to Ikot Ekpene to tidy up his result instead of Essien Udim while he was there, we were taking results from other LGs. We expected the CO to bring his result. We waited for about 1hr 30mins till about midnight. Thereafter, the EO came into the hall and informed the people that he had gone from one office to the other in the premises looking for the R0 (resident officer) of Essien Udim but he was nowhere to be found.

Counsel to INEC: There is this other allegation that the party agent noticed that there was over voting in the result of Obot Akara LG. Was there any thing like that?

Witness: Nothing like that at all.

Counsel to INEC: I would be therefore be correct to say that the result of Essien Udim was not cancelled

Witness: The RO left the collation centre without the knowledge of any body.

Counsel to PDP, Solomon Umoh (SAN) takes over: Did the police get involved in the collation of results at any level?

Witness: No, My lord. They did not because they did not conduct the election

Counsel to PDP: You were at the collation centre? I presumed that there, you had the benefit of knowing what transpired in the entire senatorial diistrict.

Witness: Yes, My lord

Counsel to PDP: Look at Exhibit p557 and p535 simultaneously. What is the scores of PDP and APC in that document?

Witness: PDP scored 118,215, APC: 83,158 votes.

Counsel to PDP: Please look at Exhibit p536, Pleade tell me what PDP and APC scored in Essien Udim

Witness: PDP scored 3,422 while APC scored 6,241

Counsel to PDP: Was election peaceful in Essien Udim based on Senator Godswill Akpabio reliance on the police’s report?

Witness: Election was never ever peaceful in Essien Udim

Counsel to PDP: Because they did not conduct the election, it was not possible for the police to have all the EC8As & EC8Bs

Witness: They did not conduct any election

Counsel to PDP: Look at Exhibit p557, the police report. What is the result given to APC and PDP by the police

Witness: (Senate Election); APC scored 61, 329, PDP scored 9,050

Counsel to petitioners, Sunday Ameh (SAN) takes over: Form p535 that you said result was not signed at Ikot Ekpene that night you claimed RO disappeared

Witness: It was not possible to sign that night because the result was not announced that night because Essien Udim result was not recorded that night (the senatorial district result) due to the absence of the CO for Essien Udim. It was signed on Monday at INEC office Uyo (Headquarters)

Counsel to petitioners: You will agree with me that it is the responsibility of the police not to conduct election but to provide security for the election

Witness: Yes, my lord.

Counsel to petitioners: It is the duty of the police to provide security for all citizens.

Witness: Yes, my lord

Counsel to petitioners: You will also agree with me that copies of election results are usually given in the scheme of affairs of INEC, being senatorial collation agent, the procedure is that the result is given to party officials and the police

Witness: Yes, My lord. I agree that it is a normal thing after election results have been announced, copies of the results are given to party agents and security agencies

Counsel to petitioners: I will be correct to say that the results of units are usually in form EC8A and are transferred to EC8B-EC8c

Witness: That is the procedure. I agree that in the procedure specified by INEC to enter results in INEC form EC8A then transferred to INEC form EC8B and EC8E

Counsel to petitioners: Can you look at Exhibit p536 What is the total no of accredited voters in Essien Udim?

Witness: 9,964

Counsel to petitioners: Look at Exhibit r253A (Smart card) Read the total no of the voters on Exhibit R253A

Witness: 19,455

Counsel: Do you agree with me that accredited voters figure on Exhibit p536 as captured are less than the figures on Exhibit R253?

Witness: I agree that the figure entered in Exhibit p536 is far less than those on R253

Counsel: Read out to the hearing of everybody Exhibit p55 (Police Report)

Witness: (Reads the police report)

Counsel: Does what you have read not corroborate with what you presented

Witness: The Essien Udim RO absconded. This letter (police report) came before the result was actually declared. Result for Essien Udim was not declared or even known as at 24/2/19 – a day after the election. It was officially known and declared on Monday (25 Feb.) in Uyo.

Counsel to petitioners: Do you agree that Exhibit p547 is result of Obot Akara and R341 is the result of ward 4 of Obot Akara

Witness: Yes, I agree

Counsel to peitioners: Look at p547. What is the result entered in the column of Total no of accredited voters cancelled?

Witness: The figure is 1140

Counsel to petitioner: Is it the same figure with the total number of accredited voters in R341

Witness: Yes, My lord. It is 1140

Sitting has been adjourned to July 15 for continuation of hearing.

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From Boardroom To Politics, Ex-First Bank Boss Eyes Oyo Governor’s Seat

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Adesola Adeduntan, the erstwhile Managing Director of First Bank has been named as one of the would-be successors of the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde come 2027.

 

The banker who was allegedly eased out of banking for some undisclosed misdemeanors is claimed to have began consultations as he charts a new path in politics.

 

Sources hinted that Adeduntan had been interested in an elective position but his participation was measured because of his banking career. But now, the coast is clear and he is already aligning himself with some stakeholders ahead of 2027.

 

A list of names including Ilaji boss, Dotun Sanusi, Taofeek Arapaja, Stanley Olajide and many more has features as interested minds gunning for the number one seat in Oyo, a list Adeduntan has recently joined.

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Ex First Bank Boss, Afonja Dies In Auto Crash

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-Femi Bamgbose

 

Details have emerged on Monday, 20th May, 2024 regarding the tragic death of a former Chairman of First Bank Plc, Ajibola Afonja.

 

The 82 year-old man was said to have died in a car accident.

 

The accident occurred somewhere around Oyo town.

 

Sources hinted papermacheonline that the former Minister popularly known by his company name ‘IDS’ Integrated Dimensional System was rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan where he eventually gave up the ghost.

 

The news spread like wildfire within the society circle across Oyo State where Afonja was highly revered.

 

Family sources claimed he would be buried today according to Islamic rites.

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‘How Yahaya Bello Withdrew Almost $1M From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees’ EFCC boss, Olukoyede

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

 

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

 

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

 

 

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

 

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

 

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

 

 

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

 

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

 

“I said if that is the issue, I’m going to pass you through my own gate, and you will come to my floor. We will accord you that respect. I will invite my operatives; they will interrogate and interview you in my own office. What could be more honourable than that to allay the fear?

 

“You know what he said: ‘Thank you, sir, but can’t they come to my village? Olukoyede added.

 

The chairman also highlighted the agency’s achievements during his tenure, stating, “We have recovered close to 120 billion and secured over 1,600 convictions in six months.

 

“I’m so passionate about the need for us to move forward in this country. We need the EFCC to survive. There are so many victims that we have wiped tears off their eyes, people that have been swindled in their millions. Every day, we keep recovering money for victims.”

 

PUNCH Online reports that the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede, has vowed to resign from his position if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

 

The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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