He said: “The law is clear that the petitioner must tender the voters’ register, relate the document to the specific area where the documents were affected.
“However, in this case, the appellant has not done so, it merely dumped form ec8a and ec8b before the court but did not call any witnesses to prove its allegations of over-voting”.
Justice Galunje added that the card reader print out tendered by the appellant at the trial tribunal cannot be converted into the constitution or electoral act which is the yardstick for proving over voting as such relying on the card reader is fatal to any petitioners case.
He concluded that the appellant failed to lead credible evidence in proof of their case and the two lower courts are right to dismiss the appeal.
The Federal High Court in Lagos has found the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, and two others guilty of N7.65billion fraud.
Mr Kalu’s co-defendants are his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Mr Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure as governor.
In an amended 39 counts, the EFCC accused them of conspiring and diverting N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.
In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Mr Kalu, who was Abia State Governor between 1999 and 2007, procured Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by him and members of his family – to retain its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7
The prosecution claimed that the sum N7.1bn formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government and therefore violating Section 17(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.
Apart from the N7.1bn, the ex-governor and the other defendants were also accused of receiving a total of N460million allegedly stolen from the Abia State Government treasury between July and December 2002.
The prosecution called 19 witnesses.
Justice Mohammed Idris thereafter sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment.
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia on Friday upheld the victory of Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the governor of Abia State.
The tribunal also dismissed the petition filed by Alex Otti of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
Chairman of the panel, Justice Lekan Ogumonye while delivering a unanimous judgement held that the petitioner failed to prove his allegations of over-voting and non compliance with the electoral act in the conduct of the election.
The police have arrested 53 kidnap and robbery suspects, through a tip-off from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), while 22 have been charged to Court in Abia state.
According to the Commissioner of Police, Ene Okon, during a press conference held at Police Headquarters in Umuahia, revealed that the introduction of operation Puff Adder launched in the state command is yielding the desired results.
He added that a total of eighty ammunition, firearms and other stolen items have been recovered from the suspects.
The police boss stressed that three suspected kidnappers and their armourer were also arrested.
“The arrest of three notorious kidnappers and recovery of firearms following a tip-off generated from the IGP IRT team. The team arrested three suspected notorious kidnappers, alongside their armourer, a 65-year-old man who hails from Abia state.
“All the suspects confessed to several kidnapping incidents around Aba. The police are not resting; we are hunting for other gang members.
“A total of 80 ammunitions, firearms and other stolen items have been recovered by the Abia State Police Command, and 53 suspects involved arrested while 22 have been charged to Court.”
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr. Alex Otti and that of the All Progressive Congress, Dr. Uche Ogar in Abia State, have rejected the result of the governorship election.
At a joint press conference in Umuahia, the state capital, shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the results on Sunday, both candidates described the election as a ‘sham’.
The Returning Officer, Professor Damian Ozurumba, had declared Ikpeazu winner of the poll after he secured 261,127 votes, more than double the 99, 574 votes polled by Ogar and 64,366 votes polled by Otti.
Otti alleged that INEC once again, breached its guidelines, adding that the results do not represent the true wishes of the people.
He further stated that any result that does not agree with the card readers will not be accepted.
Both candidates, therefore, gave INEC the next 24 hours to cancel the election, adding that both parties are willing to present themselves when the Commission is ready to conduct a free and fair election in the state.
The Abia State Command on Thursday held a meeting with herdsmen and farmers at the police officer’s mess in Umuahia, the state capital.
In attendance were security agencies, traditional rulers, Hausa Saraki, the leadership of Miyetti Allah amongst others.
Though the agenda of the meeting is yet to be clear, it may be connected to issues of cattle colony and finding a lasting solution to incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes and also ensuring a peaceful coexistence between both parties.
A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has adjourned the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu to January 22 and 23rd.
Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the proceedings after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to produce one of its major witnesses in court.
The former governor is being tried on a 34 count charge alongside one of his aides, Udeh Udeogu and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited for allegedly diverting the sum of N2.9bn from the coffers of the Abia State Government.
At the resumed proceedings of the case today, January 16, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told Justice Idris that the witness in question, one M.A. Udoh had been evasive, and the anti-graft agency was having difficulty bringing him to court.
He urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable him to locate and bring the witness, a retired employee of the Abia State Government House, Umuahia, to court to testify.
The defence counsel promptly opposed the move for an adjournment, describing it as frivolous.
They expressed disappointment at the EFCC’s request for an adjournment and indicated their readiness to continue. They also told the court that most of them had flown to Lagos from Abuja just to ensure that there was no further delay in the case that had lasted for over 10 years.
The defence then urged the court to either foreclose the prosecution’s case or in the alternative order the EFCC to bear the cost of their transportation and hotel accommodation.
But the EFCC prosecutor countered by reminding the court that the case was delayed for over 10 years at the instance of the defendants who pursued an interlocutory appeal all the way to the Supreme Court.
In his ruling, Justice Idris described the development as unfortunate.
He noted that the case had been adjourned on four different occasions at the request of the prosecution.
Though he conceded to an adjournment, the judge warned that it would be the last of its kind.
He then fixed further proceedings for January 22 and 23rd.