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Drama at Abia tribunal as Ahiwe’s lawyers squeeze INEC witness



It was an intriguing outing as Nkemjika Kelechi Okere the sole defence witness called by the Independent National Electoral Commission, on Wednesday, laboured to strenuously to defend the controversial result of Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia, which swung victory in the way of Alex Otti in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state.

Okere, who incidentally served as Electoral Officer (EO) for the electoral body, had after adopting his written deposition and relying on same as his evidence, conceding that exhibit P188 before the court was the authentic result sheet for the local government, denied that the same exhibit P188, was ever rejected, taken to INEC headquarters in Abuja and declared after three days by the State Returning Officer, Nnenna Oti, a professor and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO).

Reminded under cross-examination by the Ahiwe’s lawyers that Oti brought a result from Abuja which was not signed by any party agent and declared same as Obingwa LGA result after three days, he first said it was not true.

But following a loud murmuring in the and pressed further he recanted, agreeing that though political parties observe collation and are allowed to sign result sheet, that of Obingwa was not signed by an agent of any political party including that of the Labour Party.

Confronted with exhibit P38, Okere also acknowledged that it bore signature marks of agents of more than six political parties and that it was not a polling unit Collation Officer and could not have been physically present in all the polling units but merely relied on information he obtained from collation officers of the 312 polling units of the local government in question.

Further agreeing in his deposition that collation could not hold in Nadiakata/Amairinabua Ward 9 of Obingwa LGA because of the violence that broke out there but that upon return of the State Returning Officer from Abuja, votes were surprisingly allotted for same Ward 9 where voting could not take place because of violence, he confirmed that ward 9 was mysteriously allotted votes on the result sheet (P188), while affirming that he was not the INEC collation officer for the council.

After J. C. Nnodim SAN, announced that INEC would no longer call any witnesses from the five earlier scheduled to be called, the tribunal adjourned to Thursday, 24th August, 2023, for Otti to open his defence.


Police after ‘drunken hunter’ who shot 14-year-old girl in Lagos  



Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command, are after a local hunter they claimed was responsible for the fatal shot that killed a 14-year-old girl yet to be identified in the Ayinla Akera area of Orile Agege, Lagos on Tuesday.

The PUNCH METRO, reports that they had already arrested three yet-to-be-identified suspects linked to the incident, quoting on James Joel, a resident of the area as saying that the incident happened on Tuesday night.

The unfortunate girl, whose corpse was seen in a viral video lying on the ground with fresh blood oozing out from a wound in her head, was said to be running an errand for the parents, when she was shot dead by the hunter who said to be riding on motorcycle.

While residents at the scene wailed in anguish, some voices in the background alleged that the act was carried out by the policemen from the Elere Police Station in the area.

“Policemen from Elere; they have killed somebody. If this turns to war, they will run. She was sent on an errand and she was killed,” the voices were overheard saying differently, as they implicated the police operatives.

But the Divisional Police Officer of Elere Station, Amodu Jimoh, when contacted on Wednesday, reportedly dismissed the report linking policemen to the incident, even though he confirmed the incident, saying the corpse was taken to a nearby hospital, and that the woman who ran the shop where the man went to drink, had been traced.

He said: “On Tuesday night, our men were patrolling. The policemen saw some people crowded on the street there. They tried to find out what was happening. They were told somebody shot at a small girl.

“They saw the corpse on the ground. It was a 14-year-old girl. They asked for the person that shot her. They were told it was a hunter carrying a Dane gun. He was drunk. There is a woman selling alcoholic drink beside the place. Maybe he was about to remove something and the gun fired. He came with a bike and it was likely an accidental discharge.”

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BREAKING: Kegame, eyes fresh tenure, set to rule Rwanda till 2034



Paul Kagame, Rwandan President, who assumed power in 2000, would be seeking another term in office which would see to his being in power for 34 years if he wins over the next 10 years that would see him stretching till 2029 in the first instance and another five.

A 2015 resolution via a referendum which changed the country’s constitution, apart from allowing him contest for a seven year tenure, which he won, also allowed him the eligibility to contest for two extra terms of five years maximum at the end of it, which would start by next year.

This would be the fourth time he would be seeking election for the nation’s top job, after serving as Vice President and Minister of Defence for six years in the government of Pasteur Bizimugu from 1994 to 2000.

The 65-year-old President, while speaking on the election due to be held next year, was quoted to have told Jeune Afrique, a French-language news magazine, in an interview published online on Tuesday: “Yes, I am indeed a candidate. I am pleased with the confidence that Rwandans have placed in me. I will always serve them, as long as I can.”

In March, the country’s government decided to synchronise the dates for its parliamentary and presidential elections, due to be held in August next year, meaning that Kagame, the hero who ended the government that saw the killing of over 800,000 citizens during the infamous Rwandan genocide and had been at the corridors of power ever since, would be contesting alongside the parliamentarians.

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We didn’t write tribunal judgement – Tinubu lawyers *Explains watermarks on PEPC document



For lawyers to President Bola Tinubu, known as Tinubu Presidential Legal Team (TPLT), the insinuation that the watermarks on the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), was a confirmation that the team wrote the judgement for the five-man panel, is nothing but mischievous.

Babatunde Ogala (SAN), who dismissed the claim, offered explanations on how the inscriptions appeared on the document, saying it was deliberately made on the copies given to the team by the PEPT secretariat to differentiate it from the others, adding that those given to other parties in the dispute did not bear the same marks.

Ogala while explaining the situation, said: “Following some mischievous insinuations being made in certain quarters regarding the innocuous water-mark of copies of the consolidated judgment of the Court of Appeal with the inscription -“Tinubu Presidential Legal Team ‘TPLT’”, it is has become necessary to offer this clarification.

“After the delivery of judgment in the 3 (Three) election petitions by the Court of Appeal on September 6, 2023, the Court directed its registry to make physical copies of same available on September 7, 2023. Accordingly, the Tinubu Presidential Legal Team applied for a certified true copy of the said judgment and paid the prescribed fee. Lawyers for PDP were present at the registry at the same time to collect the same judgment.

“In fact, the representative of the PDP collected the first copy that was made available by the registry. On collecting our own copy, we immediately scanned and water-marked with the inscription – “Tinubu Presidential Legal Team ‘TPLT’” before circulating the scanned soft copies to the lawyers in our team.

“The certified true copies issued to us and other parties in the petitions by the registry do not contain the said inscription and any insinuation to the contrary is untrue. Counsel to the petitioners will also appreciate the fact that the insinuations being circulated in some quarters are untrue, unkind, unfair, and unfortunate, as they have the same certified copies of the judgment as we have.”

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