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Ayade, APC tender 749 exhibits, seek to upturn election of Sen. Jarigbe




Former Gov Ben Ayade and the All Progressives Congress have tendered 749 exhibits to upturn the election of Sen. Jarigbe Jarigbe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the ongoing National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal (EPT) in Cross River.

The sitting in Calabar, which continued to the late hours of Tuesday, was however adjourned to 10 a.m. on July 26 due to the poor lighting system in the courtroom.

The petitioners, Ayade and APC, called four witnesses for cross examination from Bekwarra Local Government Area, one of the LGAs in the northern senatorial district of the state where they alleged electoral irregularities.

However, a mild drama ensued in the courtroom when the lead counsel of Sen. Jarigbe, Mba Ukweni, SAN objected to the right of two witnesses of the petitioners to identify evidence P39 brought before the court.

Ukweni argued that for a witness to be able to identify or tender a document from the witness box, he or she must have mentioned or referred to it in an earlier deposition.

“It is similar to the rule of pleading; if you don’t plead any fact, you cannot lead evidence on it.

“So, if a witness does not refer to a document in his statement, he cannot also identify the document from the witness box or have it tendered, not just in election cases but also in civil matters,” he said.

Vehemently opposing the counsel to the respondent, Lead Counsel of the petitioners, Prof. Mike Ozekhome, said a witness could mention matters relating to the document in his deposition if he is a polling unit agent for his party.
“Our witnesses have mentioned register, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, (BVAS) and voters, the only thing they said they did not do was that they should have said voter register in their deposition.

“Our witnesses said they are from their polling units and can identify the document, the document was already tendered as exhibit, they were not trying to tender them but to identify them.

“A witness from a polling unit can be made to look at the register of voters or any document from that polling unit which he has identified,” he said.

Ruling on the matter, Justice M. A. Sambo upheld the objection of counsel to the respondent, Jarigbe and the PDP that a witness can only identify and speak on an issue contained in the deposition which he tendered.

This decision did not go down well with the counsel to the petitioners as he disclosed that they would challenge it in the end in their final written address.

Ayade is contesting the Feb. 25 Cross River Northern Senatorial District election in which Sen. Jarigbe of the PDP was declared winner.


Navy disowns list of successful candidate for Batch 35 recruitment



The Nigerian Navy (NN) has disowned the purported list of successful candidate for its Basic Training School (NNBTS) Batch 35 Recruitment, saying it is fake.

Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Director of Naval Information, said this in a statement in Abuja.

Ayo-Vaughan said the exercise was conducted in three centres across the country, namely; Lagos, Rivers and Kaduna States.

He described the information, being circulated recently as fake, and handiwork of fraudulent miscreants who were trying to dupe some unsuspecting applicants.

He said the list of successful candidates had not been released and that no form of invitation for training, via text message had also been disseminated by the Nigerian Navy.

‘’The alarming rate of circulation of fake information by unscrupulous individuals, regarding enlistment or recruitment into Navy is quite worrisome.

‘’Efforts are on to track and arrest the miscreants.

“Members of the public especially prospecting applicants who participated in the said recruitment are strongly enjoined to always authenticate information from the NN official website,, and other official social media handles, as well as other credible mainstream media platforms.

“Similarly, miscreants and mischief makers are warned to desist from this unwholesome practice, otherwise they will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Ayo-Vaughan said the text message, had invited unsuspecting applicants to report for military training at NNBTS Onne, Rivers, following their purported selection.

He said the criminals further claimed in the text message that the exercise would commence on Oct. 6.

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Gov. Alia condemns kidnapping of commissioner, one other



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

Gov. Hyacinth Alia has strongly condemned the kidnaping of Mr. Matthew Abo, his Commissioner for Information, culture and Tourism, and former Chairman Ukum Local Government Area (LGA), Mr. Iorwashima Erukaa.

This is contained in a press statement on Monday, signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Sir Tersoo Kula, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.

According to the statement, while Mr Abo was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in his Sankara home at about 8pm on Sunday, September 24, Mr. Erukaa was taken away by a yet-to-be identified gunmen on Saturday, September 23.

The Governor, who described the act as barbaric and unacceptable, has directed security agencies to immediately commence operations to ensure the safe release of the duo.

He called on the people of the State to remain calm, as his administration would do everything possible to make the State safe for all.

“The kidnappers have made contacts with the family of Mr Erukaa but are yet to contact Mr Abo’s family,” the statement stated

Several gunmen had stormed the the commissioner’s residence in Zaki-Biam, Ukum LGA and kidnapped him.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to NAN, said that the kidnappers who came on four motorcycles, ordered everyone in the house, including the his wife and children, to lie face down and took him away to an unknown destination.

The witnesses said the abductors compelled the commissioner at gun point to sit behind the rider of one of the motorcycles while a gunman sandwitched him.

Mr Abo was sworn in as a member of the Benue State Executive Council on August 29.

He hails from Ukum Local Government Area of Sankera axis, a major flashpoint of criminal activities with rampant killings and kidnappings for years now.

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