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Certificate forgery: Supreme Court dismisses APC, YPP, NNPP petitions against A’Ibom Gov

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected three separate appeals brought before it by gubernatorial candidates seeking to invalidate the election of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno Bassey, based on allegations of certificate forgery. The petitions were submitted by candidates from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Young Progressive Party (YPP), and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom.

The lead counsel for the respective parties decided to withdraw their individual appeals after indications from the Supreme Court’s panel of Justices that the appeals lacked merit. The petitions by the APC and its candidate Akanimo Udofia, YPP and its flagbearer Akpan Albert Bassey, as well as NNPP and its candidate John James Akpan Udoedehe, were subsequently dismissed by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji upon their withdrawal.

Despite the lawyers’ attempts to argue that ‘Emo Eno Bassey’ and ‘Bassey Eno Emo’ were not the same person, asserting that the governor forged his Secondary School Certificate, the Supreme Court Justices were unconvinced. The apex court questioned the lawyers on whether the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) provided evidence to support the forgery allegations. Since it was admitted that WAEC did not testify in the matter, the lawyers chose to withdraw their appeals separately.

In response to the voluntary withdrawal on the grounds of lack of merit, Justice Abba-Aji dismissed the appeals without objections from the respondents’ lawyers. The Supreme Court did not impose any costs on the lawyers representing the appellants.

In November of the previous year, the Court of Appeal in Lagos had affirmed the election of Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State in the March 18, 2023 governorship election. The appellate court dismissed three separate appeals filed against the governor’s election, affirming the judgments of the election petition tribunal from September 28, 2023. The unanimous judgments declared that all three appeals lacked merit.

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‘You’re responsible for Nigeria’s economic woes’— Atiku tackles Tinubu

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Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 general election, attributed Nigeria’s economic challenges to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement shared on his official social media account on Sunday, the former Vice President of Nigeria urged Tinubu to take cues from Argentina’s President Javier Milei on swiftly restoring investor confidence despite inheriting a troubled economy.

Atiku criticized Tinubu for deflecting blame onto the opposition and his predecessors, calling such actions unnecessary and shortsighted. He emphasized that market dynamics respond to concrete actions, not political rhetoric.

Drawing parallels with President Milei’s leadership in Argentina, Atiku highlighted the need for well-sequenced economic reforms. He commended Milei’s proactive approach in preparing for the post-reform challenges and ensuring the availability of mitigating measures.

Atiku contrasted Tinubu’s administration’s ad hoc and hurried reforms with Milei’s strategic sequencing. He pointed out Argentina’s lean government structure achieved through reducing ministries and privatizing state-owned enterprises, contrasting it with Nigeria’s expanding bureaucracy and excessive spending on official residences.

Atiku likened Tinubu’s administration’s approach to Nero fiddling while Rome burns, accusing him of evading substantive action and blaming the opposition for policy failures, reminiscent of characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Expressing admiration for Argentina’s reforms, Atiku suggested aligning his “Recover Nigeria Plan” with Milei’s stabilization strategy to alleviate Nigeria’s economic distress. He emphasized the need for transparent policies focused on economic revival and warned against dismissing discontent, particularly among the youth, which could manifest in protests.

The statement referred to the worsening economic conditions in Nigeria, highlighted by soaring inflation rates and high living costs, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, with headline inflation reaching 29.90% and food inflation at 35.42% in January 2024.

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BREAKING: Fire guts FCT Minister’s residence

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A fire broke out at the private residence of Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Sunday afternoon.

Situated at No. 9, Justice Roseline Ukeji Close in the affluent Asokoro district of Abuja, the property was reportedly completely destroyed by the blaze.

Despite prompt emergency response efforts, including the arrival of fire service personnel, nothing could be salvaged from the premises.

Mr. Austin Elemue, the Minister’s Special Adviser on Media, confirmed the incident, indicating that the cause of the fire remained unknown at the time.

Authorities have initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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