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Tribunal upholds election of Akwa Ibom governor Eno

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Tribunal upholds election of Akwa Ibom governor Eno

The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday upheld the election of Governor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

The tribunal, in a two-and-a-half-hour judgment, also dismissed the petition of Senator Bassey Akpan of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) who had challenged the election of the governor.

 

Delivering the unanimous judgment on the matter, the tribunal held that Eno did not present forged WAEC certificates j as claimed by the petitioner, describing Akpan’s petition as ”frivolous.”

 

The panel’s judgment, which was read by its Chairman, Justice Adekunle Adeleye, held that a WAEC official, who was summoned via a subpoena as PW10, authenticated the governor’s certificates.

 

“WAEC did not disclaim the 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates. Without a disclaimer by the issuing authority, the certificates remained valid.

 

“There is no legislation in Nigeria that a person’s name should be arranged in a particular order on a document.

 

“In the absence of any other person holding claims to the said 1981 and 1983 WAEC certificates, I hold that the certificates belong to the 2nd Respondent.”

 

“Even the 1st Petitioner himself told the court that he was a victim of the same issue as three documents bearing his name tendered as exhibits before the tribunal carried different arrangements of his name, Sen. Akpan, Sen. Akpan Bassey Albert and Bassey Albert Akpan. This is a case of a pot calling a kettle black,” the tribunal ruled.

 

The tribunal also upheld the preliminary objections concerning jurisdiction and non-qualification of the 2nd Respondent and declared that Eno was eminently qualified.

 

It further ruled that an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court in the case filed against Eno by Akan Ekpe Okon was binding to all human beings in the world, including the petitioners.

 

Adeleye fumed at the petitioners for abuse of the judicial process in resurrecting the matter which had already been buried by the Apex Court.

 

The tribunal also decided that the petitioners lacked the locus to challenge how the 3rd Respondent (PDP) conducted its primaries to produce a candidate.

 

In striking out the accusations of electoral infractions levelled against Iniobong Robson, the tribunal ruled that the said person was not joined as a respondent in the case by the petitioners and any decision taken under such circumstances would amount to lack of a fair hearing.

 

On another WAEC certificate of 1998, which the petitioners claimed belonged to the 2nd Respondent, the tribunal upheld the objection of the 2nd Respondent.

 

The panel ruled that it was a fresh allegation that was not in the main petition, adding that the time for amendment of petitions had long elapsed, hence the petitioners were merely attempting to spring surprises, contrary to the provisions of the law.

 

The tribunal also dismissed the testimonies of APC wards and local government collation agents who were paraded as witnesses of the petitioners, stressing that their testimonies were merely ”speculative.”

 

According to the tribunal, a particular witness, PW16, one Daniel Akpan, who was presented by Sen. Akpan as a staff of the University of Uyo, is in fact a liar.

 

It explained that the witness claimed to have been admitted as a student of the Quantity Survey of the University of Uyo in 1998 and graduated in 2021, spending over 22 years on the course.

 

The panel also wondered how a senior staff of a university could not know the meaning of CONTISS, could not remember his telephone number, did know his gross salary and take-home pay and came to the court with a mask and fez cap, an indication that he was hiding something.

 

Accordingly, the tribunal discountenanced the evidence of the said Daniel Akpan described him as an impostor and dismissed all the exhibits he tendered.

 

On the report of a ”so-called” statistician (PW17) relied upon by petitioners, the tribunal ruled that the report was of no probative value because it was founded on reports of petitioners’ unit agents, who were never called to give evidence on their reports.

 

The tribunal also held that the statistician, who confessed to having not been involved in any electoral matter before, also admitted being well paid by the petitioners and as such had obligations to please his clients.

 

The Election Panel further held that the 2nd Respondent’s Witness, RW1, Uwem Okoko, tendered all the local government results of the election and none was objected to by the petitioner, hence was the reason for its decision to uphold same.

 

Reacting to the judgment, the Counsel to the first, second and third respondents, Paul Bassey SAN; Uwemedimo Nwoko SAN; and Emmanuel Enoidem, respectively, expressed satisfaction with the verdict.

 

 

They called on all parties to support Eno to move the state forward.

 

The petitioners’ counsel, Tunde Olaola, however, said that the tribunal was not the final bus stop, so there was room for his client to appeal the judgment.

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Network8tv Special

Father’s unyielding pursuit: 2 years on, justice still eludes late Dowen College student

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Father's unyielding pursuit: 2 years on, justice still eludes late Dowen College student

In a poignant continuation of an unresolved tragedy, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, the father of the late Dowen College student who tragically passed away on November 30, 2021, remains resolute in his quest for justice. Two years after the 12-year-old’s demise, allegedly a result of severe health complications exacerbated by traumatic incidents at the Lagos-based school, the grieving father addressed reporters in Warri on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

 

The ongoing legal battle surrounding the circumstances of Sylvester Oromoni Jr.’s death has left his body lingering in the morgue, awaiting justice’s delayed arrival. The father, undeterred by the passage of time, expressed his unwavering determination to see the pursuit of justice through to its logical conclusion.

 

Speaking from the heart, Sylvester Oromoni Snr conveyed the somber news of his son’s extended stay in the morgue during a press briefing in Warri. The 12-year-old’s untimely demise has been shrouded in allegations of physical abuse, including claims that he was forcibly given a concussion to drink by five senior students at Dowen College.

 

“As the father of the deceased, I cannot be tired or discouraged from pursuing justice. I have promised my son to get him justice even if it will take thirty years to achieve it,” Oromoni asserted, highlighting the enduring commitment to ensuring accountability for his son’s tragic fate.

 

November 30, 2023, marks the second anniversary of Sylvester Oromoni Jr.’s passing, yet the legal proceedings continue to unfold, leaving the grieving father in a prolonged state of uncertainty and sorrow.

 

Concluding his address with a heartfelt prayer, Oromoni extended his wishes for peace to all departed souls, including his late son. “May the soul of Sylvester Oromoni Jr. and all departed souls rest in perfect peace. Amen.”

 

The unresolved tragedy surrounding Dowen College underscores the pressing need for justice in cases of alleged abuse within educational institutions, sparking broader conversations about the safety and well-being of students in schools. As Sylvester Oromoni Snr persists in his pursuit, his resilience stands as a testament to the enduring fight for justice and accountability in the face of heartbreaking loss.

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Network8tv Special

Tinubu and King Charles III forge alliance against climate change at COP28

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Tinubu and King Charles III forge alliance against climate change at COP28

In a landmark encounter on the sidelines of the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria engaged in a high-level meeting with His Majesty, King Charles III of England. The rendezvous, marked by shared commitment to environmental advocacy, signifies a significant stride in global collaboration to combat climate change.

 

His Majesty, known for his fervent advocacy on environmental issues, has consistently championed the cause, making this meeting a pivotal moment in fostering united efforts against the climate crisis.

 

President Tinubu took to Twitter to share his satisfaction with the outcomes of the meeting, characterizing it as a productive engagement with the 75-year-old monarch. In his tweet, he stated, “I had a productive meeting with His Majesty, King Charles III of England, who is also the Head of the Commonwealth and a passionate climate advocate.”

 

The discussions, held against the backdrop of the COP28 Climate Summit, centered on fortifying the partnership between Nigeria and the United Kingdom in addressing the pressing challenges posed by climate change. President Tinubu expressed optimism regarding the potential positive impact that collaborative efforts between the two nations could have on the future of the planet.

 

Acknowledging the need for a global standard in environmental stewardship, President Tinubu highlighted the significance of COP28 as a platform for nations to actively contribute to the ongoing global discourse on climate action. He emphasized the importance of setting an equitable standard for environmental responsibility.

 

“The meeting was a significant step in strengthening the partnership between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, and I am optimistic about the positive impact our joint efforts will have on our planet’s future as we look forward to setting an equitable global standard for environmental stewardship at COP28,” President Tinubu affirmed.

 

As the COP28 Summit progresses, the collaborative spirit exhibited by President Tinubu and King Charles III serves as a beacon of hope in the collective fight against climate change. Their joint commitment underscores the importance of global partnerships in addressing the urgent environmental challenges that impact nations worldwide.

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Entertainment

Funke Akindele, Chidi Mokeme, Chioma Chukwuka headline inkblot’s crime thriller “No Way Through” premiering on Amazon Prime Video

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Funke Akindele, Chidi Mokeme, Chioma Chukwuka headline inkblot's crime thriller "No Way Through" premiering on Amazon Prime Video

Inkblot Productions, a trailblazer in the Nigerian film industry, has unveiled the much-anticipated crime thriller, “No Way Through,” set to exclusively premiere globally on Amazon Prime Video this December. The star-studded cast includes Nollywood luminaries Funke Akindele, Chidi Mokeme, Chioma Chukwuka, Ikechukwu, Nengi Adoki, Seun Ajayi, Jnr Pope, Eso Dike, Roberta Oroma, and Sheggz Olusemo.

 

Directed by Inkblot CEO Chinaza Onuzo, the film explores the intricate balance between family, survival, and the risks taken in the pursuit of freedom. The storyline revolves around Jolade Okeniyi, a single mother employed as a driver for a local drug cartel. When confronted by the authorities, she faces a dilemma—become an informant against the cartel to secure her freedom and protect her daughter, risking deadly consequences.

 

Onuzo, who also penned the screenplay, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “I loved making No Way Through because it was an opportunity to explore the lengths people will go to for the people they love. In the film, we see this through the lens of a mother’s love for her daughter.”

 

The director commended the cast for delivering exceptional performances, especially highlighting the trio of Funke Akindele, Chidi Mokeme, and Chioma Chukwuka. Onuzo extended appreciation to collaborative partner Film One Studios and acknowledged Amazon Prime Video for providing a global platform for the film’s premiere.

 

Inkblot Productions, known for its commitment to storytelling excellence, has enjoyed recent success with critically acclaimed titles like the romantic comedy “Big Love” and the gripping thriller “A Weekend to Forget,” which recently concluded its successful cinematic run.

 

As “No Way Through” gears up for its Amazon Prime Video debut, audiences can anticipate a compelling narrative that delves into the complexities of love, sacrifice, and the unyielding spirit of those facing the challenges of life in the bustling cityscape of Lagos. Inkblot’s legacy of producing captivating stories continues to captivate audiences globally, cementing their reputation as a cinematic powerhouse in Nigerian cinema.

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