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Iniubong Umoren: Defence seeks acquittal, court fixes judgement for August 4

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Iniubong Umoren: Defence seeks acquittal, court fixes judgement for August 4

An Akwa Ibom State High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang has fixed August 4, 2022, for judgement in the murder case involving Uduak-Abasi Akpan, Frank Akpan, and Anwan-Bassey Akpan, over the alleged rape and murder of Inubong Umoren, a job seeker.

Justice Nkanang fixed the date on Tuesday after the two defence counsels and the prosecuting counsel adopted their final written addresses.

The first accused, Uduak-Abasi Akpan is standing trial on a two-count charge of rape and murder, while both his father, Frank Akpan (second accused), and sister Anwan-Bassey Akpan (third accused), were charged with accessory after the fact to murder respectively.

Speaking while adopting the address, counsel to the first accused, Samson Adula, urged the Court to discharge and acquit his client in the overall interest of justice.

Adula, who is the State Chairman of the Legal Aid Council, also prayed the court to discountenance the three confessional statements given by the first accused during trial within trial.

“My Lord, this is a case where the offences which the defendant was alleged to have committed were not witnessed by anybody,” Adula argued.

Adula, who adopted the address on behalf of Abasidiong Ekpenyong, counsel for the second and third defendants, who took permission to be represented, prayed the Court to also discharge and acquit the second and third defendants.

He said, “I pray the Court to discharge and acquit the second and third defendants. My Lord this is a case where the second and third defendants are charged with the offence of being accessory after the fact to murder.

“My Lord, we submit that both the prosecution and defence are all in agreement that [the] first accused was arrested the day after the alleged date of commission of the offence.

“My Lord, the prosecution and defence are also in agreement that as at the time the first accused was arrested, the offence for which the first accused was arrested that day was [the] offence of kidnapping and not murder, and as such, the second and third defendants cannot be said to be accessory after the fact to murder.”

Adula who stressed that there was no evidence before the court indicating that the second and third defendants knew that the first defendant committed murder, described the case of the third defendant as more pathetic as she was charged for the mere fact of communicating with her brother (first defendant).

“On the strength of that, we most respectfully pray my Lord to specifically look at the status of the second defendant who is a senior citizen, having served this country for 35years should not be subjected to the ordeal that he is being subjected to presently,” Adula prayed.

The Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Friday Itim, while adopting the final address filed June 16, 2022, faulted the submission of Samson Adula that there was no evidence before the court, adding that the second and third accused were culpable of charge of accessory after the fact to murder.

The prosecuting counsel who insisted that both the second and third accused assisted the first accused to escape to Calabar, Cross River State, recalled that Frank Akpan had told the court that he had sent a text message to his daughter in Calabar which read, “He said he is using flying boat. It is better to escape than to die”.

He urged the Court to find all the defendants guilty as charged, adding that “the Prosecution had proven its four-count charge against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt”.

The prosecuting counsel added, “And that being so, in the interest of justice demand this honourable Court to hold that the defendants should accordingly be convicted and sentenced respectively according to Law.”

Justice Bassey Nkanang adjourned the case till August 4, 2022, for judgement.

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the petroleum products subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021.

The resolution followed a motion by Honourable Sergius Ogun who stated that component costs in the petroleum products subsidy value chain claimed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is highly over-bloated while the transfer pump price per litre, used by the NNPC in relation to Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC), is underquoted.

The lawmaker described this as fraudulent while also expressing worry that the subsidy regime has been used by the NNPC and other critical stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of over $10 billion.

The committee is to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.

Wednesday’s move by the lawmaker came on the same day that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mele Kyari ruled out the possibility of a subsidy for diesel.

He made the comments while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream, alongside the CEO of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, among others.

“In our country today, we do not produce AGO and we regret that our refineries are not working,” he said. “Are we doing anything about it? Yes. I have heard the honourable members lamenting; yes, they (the refineries) are not working.

“This is the truth. I don’t want to bore you with why they are not working, but they are not working; I admit they are not working but we regret it. I will invite this committee at your convenience to join us to see how much work we have done to get them back to work, but they will not come back tomorrow.

“They will not! You cannot start it tomorrow. We regret this; we regret this situation, and we are doing everything possible. As a matter of fact, we have decided to do a quick fix for the Warri refinery. The reason is very simple: we don’t even want to go the long route of doing comprehensive turnaround maintenance because we are concerned.”

 

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

A former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has insisted that the southern part of Nigeria must produce the country’s president in 2023.

Fayose, a two-time governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this in a series of tweets on his official handle on Wednesday, pinning his argument on the party’s constitution.

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness’,” Fayose maintained.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon.”

Fayose, who contested the PDP presidential primary, lost out to former Vice President Atiku Abukar in the exercise held earlier this month.

He has been one of the strong advocates for a power shift to southern Nigeria despite the party Atiku from the northern region, as the party’s flagbearer.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who also lost in the exercise, had campaigned, among others, based on a power shift to the south.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), however, is fielding a southerner – Bola Tinubu – as its presidential candidate to honour the power-sharing deal called zoning between the north and south.

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

The senate has confirmed seven persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari for ministerial positions.

The upper legislative chamber confirmed the nominees on Wednesday after they were screened by the “committee of the whole” chaired by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The ministers-designate will replace those who resigned to pursue political bids.

Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio and Emeka Nwajiuba are some of the ministers who resigned to pursue presidential bids.

The ministers confirmed on Wednesday are Henry Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekuma Joseph (Ebonyi), Goodluck Nana Obia (Imo), Umar Ibrahim Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegorioye (Ondo), and Odo Udi (Rivers).

During screening, Ikoh said as a way of tackling employment in the country, “technical” graduates can be job creators.

“On the unemployment situation, we need more technical graduates to do most of the things we are doing right now. If you are a technical graduate, you can employ yourself and employ others,” he said.

On his part, Umana said the country could boost its foreign exchange earnings with its free trade zones.

“On the issue of how to boost foreign exchange, I want to say that even the free zones platform is a veritable platform for this,” he said.

“The free zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange.”

Nakama said the federal government must be ready to make some compromise to end the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“On tackling the issue of ASUU, my answer is that there will be leave of compromise. Government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise and through this, we will able to solve these incessant strikes once and for all,” he said.

The remaining four nominees were asked to “take a bow and go” on the grounds of their experience.

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