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Court Jails Professor For Manipulating Election Results In Favour Of Akpabio

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A High Court in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State has on Thursday sentenced a professor of the University of Calabar, Peter Ogban to three years in prison for announcing false election result during the 2019 general elections.

Ogban was alleged to have manipulated results from Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District while serving as the returning officer in the senatorial election in 2019.

The professor had admitted he and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent signed the result sheet but denied manipulating the result.

Earlier, the court discovered that some 5,000 fake votes were added to the APC’s score in Oruk Anam, in the election during a cross section in January by the prosecuting counsel.

Ogban said “I did not extract information from exhibit 2 before filling exhibit 3. I filled exhibit 3 from what was read out to me by the local government area returning officer.”

According to Daily Trust newspaper, the professor of science in a previous court session had told the court how the results of the election were falsified to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) an unfair advantage over PDP.

The prosecutor, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told the court that Prof Ogban altered the results of the election to favour APC, against its main rival, the PDP.

The court, however, found Ogban guilty of altering results of the election in favour of the APC candidate and a former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio who was seeking reelection to the Senate.

In the election which was gripped by pockets of violence, Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State and the PDP’s candidate defeated Akpabio who is now the minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

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Nigerian News

Many Feared Dead As Tanker Explodes In Benue

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Many residents of Oshigbudu in Agatu local government area of Benue state are feared dead today after a tanker explosion in a residential area in the town on Sunday.  Many shops and houses were also razed in the inferno that ensued.

Executive secretary of the state emergency management agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior said the destruction to lives and property was still to be quantified but described the accident as quote, “the chief of all the calamities that have fallen us this year,” end quote.

Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in Ondo State has confirmed that six persons have died in an auto crash in which an 18-seater bus plunged into Owena river in Akure on Sunday.  They include three males, two females and a child.  Eight were reportedly injured and are receiving treatment in hospitals.

A newly married man was among the fatalities, while his wife is said to be seriously injured.

The two were said to be returning to Akure after their wedding at a registry, with plans to conduct their traditional wedding next weekend.

The driver is said to have lost control while speeding in heavy downpour.  As a result of the heavy rain, help was said to have been impeded from reaching them for more than an hour.

The bus was said to have hit a rock at the bottom of the river causing the deaths.

 

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Nigerian News

JUSUN Strike: FG, Staff Union To Meet As Nigeria Judiciary Paralyze

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Fear, Tension As Major Economic Sectors Shut Down

The judiciary workers’ strike is still going strong with no end in sight.  The umbrella body, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN has begun a nationwide protest in Abuja on Monday over its demand that governors across the country comply with constitutional provisions for the judiciary’s financial autonomy.

The union began a nationwide strike two weeks ago and has stuck to its guns that the protest will not end until the union’s demands are met.

This strike action has paralyzed services at the nation’s courts, including the supreme court.  JUSUN decided to begin nationwide protests after talks failed with governors on Friday.

Meanwhile, the judiciary workers’ strike could not have happened at a more opportune time for former aviation minister, senator Stella Oduah, whose arraignment on a twenty-five billion naira fraud and money laundering charges at the federal high court in Abuja today has been scrapped because of the strike.

There was no access to the court today as the gates were locked as a result of the strike.  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had hoped to arraign and dock her today along with eight others.

On two other occasions, other events had prevented Oduah’s arraignment in the same court.  Her lead counsel, chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, says Oduah would be ready to honor the court’s schedule whenever it reopens.

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Health

NCDC Confirms 26 New COVID-19 Cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says 26 new cases of covid-19 have been recorded in the country bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 164,233.

The data shown on its official twitter handle on Sunday say the new cases were registered in five states including, Ebonyi 10 cases, Kano-Two, Lagos nine, Osun-two Oyo-one and the Federal Capital Territory-FCT two cases.

So far, more than 154,000 persons have recovered from covid-19 and discharged from hospitals since the pandemic was reported in 2020.

NCDC has advised Nigerians to take responsibility to protect themselves, loved ones, customers, employees and society by disinfecting surfaces in their homes, shops and offices regularly to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in their communities.

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