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Etteh fails to open defense on certificate forgery allegation

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Hon. Okpulupm Etteh of the Peoples Democratic Party, House of Representatives Member-elect for Eket/Onna/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency, has failed to open his defence in the case of certificate forgery preferred against him by the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Hon Eseme Eyibo.

Eyiboh had taken the member-elect to the tribunal in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to challenge his declaration as the winner of the February 25 elections on the grounds that he was not qualified to contest the election, having presented forged certificates with inconsistencies in his name as documents submitted to the INEC.

The petitioner is also asking the tribunal to declare him winner on grounds that he scored the majority of lawful votes cast at the Polling Units and that majority of his votes obtained from the Units and the results as announced and pasted at the Units were unlawfully excluded at the Collation Centres to the advantage of Etteh.
However, at the resumed hearing, Etteh, who was to commence his defence after the Petitioner (Eyiboh) had closed his case on Monday, did not appear before the tribunal, despite having previously said that he would testify as the sole witness.

In testimony before the tribunal, one Ozemene Goodluck James, claiming to be the Registrar of Temple Gate Polytechnic, Aba (formerly School of Management Technology), presented documents, including an attestation letter, admission form, program results, an ND certificate, and an application he wrote to obtain the certificate, to support his claim that Etteh attended the school.

However, when cross-examined by counsel to the petitioner, Jumbo Umoh Esq, James admitted that Etteh got his FSLC in 1988 and two years after primary education, he gained admission into the polytechnic in 1990.

He also admitted before the tribunal that Etteh got WAEC in 2002, ten years after he got his ND.

However, when confronted with names of tertiary institutions (public and private) in the country from 1926 till date, neither School of Management Technology nor Temple Gate Polytechnic was found.

Therefore, the Tribunal rejected the governing council attendance register tendered by the 1st Respondent.

A Deputy Registrar, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, one Alexander Anukam, who testified as second witness tendered documents that included, IT, letter of admission for HND, certificate in marketing from the Polytechnic Oko, pre-national results from Oko, statement of results from Institute of Management and Technology, Aba.

However, counsel to the Petitioner objected to the documents, noting that there is no admission letter to back up the claim.

He also objected to the pre-HND result and submitted that there is no result for admission into any tertiary institution in the country, not to talk of a Federal Polytechnic like Oko.

The Deputy Director of Examination Certification Division, Ministry of Education, Akwa Ibom State, Akaninyene Inyang, also testified as another witness to the PDP on the matter.

He tendered before the tribunal, First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, which the ministry issued in 1998 to Hon. Etteh upon completion of primary school education in the state, submitting that the document was not forged.

But when confronted with the FSLC result and the birth certificate as filed before INEC, Inyang failed to reconcile the inconsistency in both the name on the date of birth and the name on FSLC.

The fourth witness from the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Mr. Oku Johnny, who identified himself as an administrative officer, also testified before the tribunal.

He submitted some documents to back up his claim.

On Monday during the resume hearing, Eyiboh subpoenaed the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, an agency empowered to approve, regulate, accredit and sanction Polytechnics, Monotechnics and related institutions.

The NBTE was represented by its director of legal, Rekiya Shuaibu, Esq who confirmed the non-existence of the school that issued Etteh the diploma certificate.

Meanwhile, Gyang Dung Esq, who represented the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, also tendered the disputed certificates that were submitted by Etteh to the commission.

The Tribunal headed by Hon Justice Kudirat Jose, with Hon Justice Philomena Nweke and Hon Justice Mua’zu Abubakar as members, adjourned for exchange of briefs of arguments.

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Muhajid Alhaji Abubakr Dokubo-Asari Congratulates Governor Siminlayi Fubara on His First Year in Office

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Muhajid Alhaji Abubakr Dokubo Asari, a proud advocate for resource control and good governance in the Niger Delta, extends congratulations to His Excellency, Governor Siminlayi Fubara, on reaching his one-year milestone as Governor of Rivers State.

According to Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari, Governor Fubara’s leadership has been characterized by patience, wisdom, and a commitment to peace, key components in resolving conflicts and promoting unity in Rivers State. With Governor Fubara leading the way, there is hope for a future of growth and development, free from division and discord.

Rivers State boasts abundant natural resources that, when properly utilized, can elevate the region into an economic powerhouse, creating opportunities and prosperity for its people. By following in the footsteps of the visionary founding fathers of Rivers State, like Chief Harold Dappa-Biriye and Chief Godfrey Kio Jaja Amachree, who championed unity and inclusivity, it is possible to build a united and prosperous future for all.

As we celebrate this important milestone, Muhajid Alhaji Abubakr Dokubo-Asari calls on all residents of Rivers State to embrace peace, forgiveness, and inclusivity. By working together with Governor Fubara, regardless of political differences, a brighter and more prosperous future for Rivers State is within reach.

In closing, Muhajid Alhaji Abubakr Dokubo-Asari commends Governor Fubara’s achievements and dedication to equitable development across the state. With unity and collaboration, the wounds of the past can be healed, paving the way for a better tomorrow for all those who call Rivers State home.

Congratulations to Governor Fubara on this significant milestone – may your leadership continue to inspire greatness in all.

Muhajid Alhaji Abubakr Dokubo Asari is a respected advocate for human rights and good governance, unafraid to challenge the norm and fight for the rights of his people. As the Paramount Ruler of Edi Abali Group of War Canoe and Chieftain of the Kalabari kingdom in Rivers State, he remains committed to the betterment of the region and its people.

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Senator Godswill Akpabio Endorsed as Sole Candidate for 2027 Senatorial District Election

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Godswill Akpabio

Thousands of constituents from Akwa Ibom Northwest (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial district gathered at the Ikot Ekpene township stadium to endorse Senator Godswill Akpabio as the sole candidate for the 2027 senatorial district election, three years ahead of the next general election.

The motion for Akpabio’s adoption was initiated by Minister of Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, and supported by House of Representatives member for Ikot Ekpene federal constituency, Patrick Umoh. Ekpo urged all intending Senate aspirants to support Akpabio’s candidacy for the benefit of the area, Akwa Ibom state, and Nigeria.

Responding to the endorsement, Akpabio expressed gratitude to his constituents and pledged to attract more development to the district. He emphasized the significance of the endorsement, stating that it sends a clear message to the Independent National Electoral Commission to only recognize his candidacy.

Akpabio also solicited continued support from his constituents, emphasizing his commitment to working with President Bola Tinubu to address Nigeria’s challenges.

Governor Umo Eno commended Senator Akpabio and the constituents for their support and promised to intensify efforts in delivering democracy dividends to the people, while showcasing Akwa Ibom State as a unified entity.

Deputy Senate President, Senator Jubril Barau, led over 80 National Assembly members to the event, expressing their confidence in Akpabio’s leadership abilities. Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, lauded Akpabio for his legislative achievements, particularly in passing the South East Development Commission Bill.

The event highlighted the unity and solidarity among Akwa Ibom constituents and their endorsement of Akpabio’s leadership for the upcoming senatorial election.

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IPG Warns Senator Akpabio Against Discrediting Senate President’s Office

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The Ibomites for Progressive Governance (IPG), a burgeoning socio-political organization, has issued a stern warning to Senator Godswill Akpabio to refrain from undermining the dignity of the esteemed office of the Senate President.

The group’s caution comes in response to remarks attributed to Senator Akpabio, wherein he purportedly claimed that his wife, Ekaette Akpabio, was denied entry to the Government House in Uyo when she attempted to deliver a letter requesting a courtesy visit to former Governor Udom Emmanuel.

During a reception held in his honor in Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Senator Akpabio allegedly asserted that his wife was left waiting at the Government House gate for an extended period without access to the premises.

In a swift response, IPG’s National Secretary, Mr. Chris Effiong, denounced Senator Akpabio’s statement as “a baseless fabrication,” emphasizing that Mrs. Akpabio is not a messenger and urged the Senator to exercise restraint in his public statements.

The group refuted the incident described by Senator Akpabio, asserting that there is no evidence to support his claims. They challenged him to provide proof of the alleged occurrence, highlighting that the former First Lady typically travels with a team of aides, including media personnel who would have documented such an incident if it occurred.

IPG expressed deep concern over Senator Akpabio’s apparent animosity towards former Governor Udom Emmanuel, warning against the propagation of intentional falsehoods that tarnish the reputation of public figures.

In conclusion, IPG called on Senator Akpabio to desist from fabricating malicious narratives and acknowledge the importance of upholding the dignity of the Senate President’s office, a position of national significance.

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