The Police has said it has established a case of fogery and perjury against the factional Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Akwa Ibom State, Stephen Ntukekpo and absolved the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC Mike Igini of any complicity.
The Police investigation on the allegation of forgery and perjury has also confirmed that Mr. Augustine Ekanem was duly elected as the State Chairman of APC during the party’s congress. It further said that from the facts and available evidence in the case file before it, a prima facie case of impersonation and forgery was established against Ntukekpo and advised that he should be charged to court.
These were contained in the legal advice from the Police legal unit forwarded to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, DIG, Force Criminal Investigation Department, for the prosecution of Mr. Ntukekpo over allegation of forgery and perjury.
The legal advice titled, “Re: Case of Forgery and perjury,” sent to the DIG was signed by the Commissioner of Police, Legal/Prosecution Section, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, DCP, Ochogwu Ogbeh.
According to the Report, the complainant, Yusuf Sheriff Banki, had in a letter to the Police with the reference No. CB: 3514/X FHQ ABI/SEB T3 VOL. 4 209, dated 22nd June, 2022, requested for legal advice on the alleged case of forgery and perjury against Ntukekpo.
The advice stated further that the petitioner in the case, Mr Yusf Sherif Banki had in a letter dated 11th January 2022 and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, stated that he was the Chairman of the APC Congress Committee for Akwa Ibom State during the recently conducted nation wide Congress of the party.
It said, “That in his capacity as the Chairman, he (Banki) superintended over the Congress and submitted report with summary of result sheet to APC National Secretariat.
“That couple of days ago, he was furnished with a Court Process by the legal Department of his party from the Federal High Court, Abuja, between Stephen Leo Ntukekpo (the suspect) and two others and APC & three others where his signature was forged on several documents purported to be result of Akwa Ibom State Congress.”
It further stated that “the petitioner denied and claimed that the documents are fake and the signature contained therein are forged.” The Police in the report said that after going through the facts, statements of parties and documents attached therein, it was observed that:
“All the Seven-Man committee gave statement to the police and they corroborated each other that election was held, vote counted in the presence of security agencies and delegates and Mr. Augustine E. Ekanem was announced and declared winner with 1278 votes except Akeem Ayo Babalola whose statement differ from the six members of the committee, that there was no enough time to count the ballot papers one after the other as it was already late, that the chairman Hon. Yusuf Sharif Banki just announced the prepared list he has as winners of the congress elected and that he did not sign the Report as he was not happy with the report.
“It was further observed that, Akeem Ayo Babalola in his statement to the police did not disclose who was announced or declared as the winner of the election.
“It is also observed, that records received from both Independent National Electoral Commission INEC and the All Progressives Congress APC Headquarters revealed that Augustine Ekanem is the State APC Chairman of Uyo Akwa Ibom State.
“That the Police extended investigation to the National Chairman of APC and INEC to avail them with the certified true copy of the result sheet and documents showing the winner and the result sheet show that Augustine Ekanem is the winner.
“That Akeem Ayo Babalola who denied in his statement not to have signed the report as he was not happy with the report, documents supplied by the APC to the police shows he signed the report.”
It further submitted that, “It is also observed that the suspect uttered a copy of All Progressive Congress Summary result sheets which returned him as the winner of the election held in Akwa Ibom State purportedly signed by the Complainant and used same in support of his claim in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1635/2021 before Federal High Court Abuja wherein he is the First Plaintiff.”
On its legal advice, it said, “From the facts and available evidence in the case file, we are of the considered opinion that a prima facie case of Impersonation and Forgery has
been established against the suspect, Stephen Leo Ntukekpo and therefore advise
that the suspect be charged to court accordingly.
“This is respectfully forwarded for the Deputy Inspector General of Police
information and further directive please.”
Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC
The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.
Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman
The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”
There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri
Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.
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