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‘There Were No Accreditation’ Udom’s Witnesses Confirmed (legal team calls for abrupt adjournment)

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Just a day after opening its defence, Udom Emmanuel’s legal team abruptly requested for the adjournment of the case at the Governorship Election Tribunal after all their four witnesses confirmed that there were no accreditation of voters in the March 9 election.

It was one of the most embarrassing moments for the legal team that includes Assam Assam (SAN) and Uko Udom (SAN) since the trial began.

The first witness for the day called by the Udom team, Mr. Christopher Ukpong, a pooling agent for Oruk Anam unit 9, Ward 10 told the Tribunal that he voted during the election. But when the Petitioner’s lead counsel, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN, confronted him with the documentary evidence that he was not accredited, the witness mumbled unintelligible sounds: ‘My lord, it was INEC’s responsibility to do accreditation. I don’t know what happened’.

Other witnesses were equally flummoxed when it was obvious from the Voters Register that there was no accreditation. They are Mr. Mbet Essien, of Nsit Ibom Ward 007, unit one; Uduak Essien, Ukanafun collation agent (Ward 7, unit 004) and Attah Akrang, ward collation agent for Edem eya ward 3 of Ikot Abasi LGA.
By INEC’s guidelines, the box in front of a voter’s name in the Voters Register must be ticked by the Electoral Officer to signify accreditation.

From the Register, the four witnesses called today and Emmanuel Enoidem who testified yesterday as the State Collation Agent for the PDP were not accredited. Enoidem who entered the witness box yesterday with a bit of raised shoulders left with his tail between his legs when confronted with evidence that there were no accreditation in his unit.

By 12 noon today, in a bid to save themselves from further embarrassment, Udom’s legal team requested Justice A. Yakubu, Chairman of the Tribunal: ‘My lord, we can’t go further today. We request for adjournment till tomorrow’.

The testimony of Mr. Akrang who was the PDP agent at Nsima Ekere’s ward put a final nail into Udom Emmanuel’s electoral coffin. It was clear that the earlier boasts of the PDP that Ekere was defeated in his own LGA was based on a spurious election.

‘From the documentary evidence we have, only about 200,000 voters were accredited in the governorship election of the over 900,000 total votes declared by INEC’, says a source in Nsima Ekere’s legal team, who also noted that the petitioners were ready to further embarrass Udom’s witnesses ‘when we reconvene tomorrow’.
Another lawyer in the petitioners’ legal team said: ‘Our strategy is to prove convincingly that the governorship election was not conducted according to laid down procedures’.

By ETIM ETIM

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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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