The management of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) told the Bayesla State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja that the State Deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo graduated from the institution.
While being led in his evidence by the Deputy Governor’s lead cousel, Mr. Chukwuma-Macgukwu Ume (SAN) on Wednesday, the Directorate of Legal Services at the university, Mr. Fyne Le Amanie informed the tribunal that Senator Ewhrudjakpo graduated from the institution in the 1996/1997 academic session.
The confirmation came on the heels of a petition filed by a candidate of the Liberation Movement (LM) in the November 16, 2019, governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Vijah Opuama challenging Ewhrudjakpo’s qualification to stand election.
He alleged in his petition that the deputy governor submitted a forged exemption certificate of his National Youth Service (NYSC) certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission before the election.
The petitioner further told the tribunal that there were discrepancies in the name of the deputy governor on his NYSC exemption certificate.
But clearing the controversy, Fyne Le Amannie told the tribunal that the deputy governor actually graduated from the school.
Amanie, a subpoened witness who testified as RW4 explained that although the deputy governor graduated in 1996/1997 academic session, “but that the ceremony took place in 1998.”
The witness who was led in evidence by counsel to Senator Ewhirudjakpo, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN) said he has been a staff of the institution for over 30 years.
“I am a legal officer in the Department of Directorate of Legal Services, Rivers State University. I was served with the subpoena of the tribunal on June 11, 2020.
Making clarifications on the controversy surrounding his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Exemption Certificate, of the the deputy governor, Amanyie said that his surname was misspelt, adding that Instead of Ewhrudjakpo, the name was misspelt as Ewhrudjakpa.
“He wrote a letter to to the university dated January 1, 2000 complaining that his name was misspelt in his degree certificate and that it should be corrected.
“The 4th respondent applied to the university for the correction of his name through the Exams/Record Department.”
The witness tendered some documents including the Certified True Copies (CTC) of spread sheet of result of part time students of the University of 1996 including the CTC of the convocation brochure of the school.
“The 4th respondent (Ewhirudjakpo) graduated in 1996 but the ceremony took place in 1998”, he told the tribunal.
On his part, the Deputy glGovernor had told the tribunal that there was an error in his NYSC Exemption Certificate, which he explained was the fault of NYSC, adding that it was corrected when he applied to NYSC authorities.
Others who testified were a Principal Registrar II with the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Musa Garba who tendered some documents including an enroll order of the court, the Director Legal Services of the Department of State Security Service, Ibrahim Adbulsalami who tendered copies of correspondence between the Service and the NYSC in respect with the forgery allegations.
Under cross examination, the DSS admitted that the deputy governor was not invited during its investigation into the allegation.
According to Ibrahim, “we did not interface with the 4th respondent or interview him in the course of our investigation.”
Subsequently, the three-member tribunal adjourned the petition for the adoption of final written addresses by parties.
BREAKING: Court Stops Farouk From Parading as President of AFAN
The All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has obtained a court injunction from a Federal High Court in Kano, stopping Mr Mudi Farouk Rabiu from further parading himself as the president of the umbrella farmers’ body and holding any activity in the name of AFAN.
The Mudi led breakaway faction had illegally usurped the authority of the association at the national level without grassroot support and in violation of the association’s constitution, to the extent of gaining recognition from the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, who did not heed to appeals from the bona fide executive to disregard him.
In a statement made available to the media, Alhaji Salisu Mukhtar, Assistant Publicity Secretary of AFAN, noted that: “the desperation and misadventure of the lawless group led by Faruk Rabi’u Mudi and his fraudulent obtuse supporters have led them to earn the wrath of the law in Kano.”
According to Murktar, on Monday, 16th August, 2021 the Mudi led group organized a charade at the Sani Abacha Indoor Stadium, Kano to illegally conduct the election of officials of AFAN Kano State chapter, before the injunction which was issued on the 18th August 2021.
He said: “The group boastfully announced that they would be on air to be seen by the whole world. This was regardless of the pendency of a matter they filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja, slated for definite hearing on 27th September, 2021.
“A law-abiding group would wait for the determination of the matter before proceeding to do anything but because they are bereft of decorum and good education they landed themselves in a serious quagmire.”
Recall that the All Farmers Association of Nigeria Kano Chapter illegally registered by Mudi which was used to open a fresh bank account in Heritage Bank was disapproved by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
AFAN has continued to flay Heritage Bank for allowing the illegal account which was opened without due diligence to remain open and deployed in fraudulent activities which Mudi has been accused of by third parties.
According to Murktar, AFAN had earlier written the management of Heritage Bank on the 14th of February 2021 referenced AFAN/HERITAGE/FRAUD/CAC/2021/014th February, 2021 on the illegality of the account opened with them in the name of a fake entity claiming to be AFAN.
The letter reads in part: “We write to inform you that your Branch has inadvertently opened an Account: All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Acct. No.5100311787 without due diligence.
“All Farmers Association of Nigeria Kano Chapter is a nullity as the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) has issued a letter dated 22nd June, 2020 (copy attached) to them to change their name within six weeks or it will be cancelled.
“The registration of All Farmers Association of Nigeria Kano Chapter contradicts CAMA as it is not done with the express permission of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), the parent body.
“We implore you to close this account forthwith because it has been opened to defraud the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and all Nigerian farmers.”
AFAN further disagreed with the minister for permitting Mudi to give a goodwill message at the Council on Agriculture conference held in June 2021, where the police soon moved in to arrest him over a criminal matter but was shielded from the arrest by the minister.
“We are looking up to the police to ask Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono to produce him since he has not been seen in his office since June,” Murktar said.
The association noted that the injunction secured from the Kano Judiciary has finally clipped the wings of the renegade faction and their leader Mudi from parading as members or representatives of AFAN anywhere, warning that anything that the group received in the name of AFAN from the ministry of Agriculture for AFAN members nationwide should hitherto be accounted for.
“We reiterate that anyone who transacts any AFAN business with Faruk Rabi’u Mudi does so at his own peril.
The Faruk faction had earlier advertised a paid registration platform for farmers with the promise of accessing micro-credit loans, benefitting from programmes and interventions.
Intending registrants were required to indicate their names, states, and commodity they produce, while making the payment.
However, the executive led by Arc Kabir Ibrahim had insisted that Mudi is not a member of AFAN but a fraud.
See judgement below;
#BuhariMustGo: Court Orders SSS to Release Protesters Arrested at Dunamis Church
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered State Security Services, (SSS) to release five worshipers who were arrested at Dunamis International Gospel Centre on July 4 for allegedly wearing #BuhariMustGo t-shirts.
The applicants, Ben Manasseh, Anene Udoka, Henry Nwodo, Emmanuel Larry and Samuel Gabriel Iwatonaiye, filed their separate suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Anwuli Chikere gave the order following separate ex parte applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer,Tope Temokun.
Justice Chikere ordered that the SSS should release the applicants with immediate effect.
They had sued the SSS, President Muhammadu Buhari, the church’s pastor-in-charge, Pastor Paul Enenche and others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
The plaintiffs, who urged the court to declare their arrest and detention unlawful, also asked the court to award N10 million, each, in damages, for the violation of their fundamental rights.
Mr Temokun had argued in the separate suits that his clients were entitled to fundamental right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination and right to personal liberty.
According to him, the rights are guaranteed under Sections 35, 38, 39 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and under Articles 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement.
Other defendants include the Director-General of the DSS, Mr Yusuf Bichi and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The matter has been adjourned until August 2 for hearing.
Kemi Adeosun: Court Clears Ex-Minister of NYSC Certificate Controversy
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, cleared the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, of National Youth Service Corps certificate forgery, which resulted in her resignation in 2018.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his ruling on the originating summon with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/303/21 brought by Wole Olanipekun SAN, on her behalf, held that the NYSC certificate based on the constitution is not a mandatory requirement for holding a political office in the country.
“I am of the view that denying the plaintiff of the relieves sought is not going to be doing justice to the matter,” she said.
The judge, therefore, granted all the four relieves sought for determination by the former minister.
Taiwo noted that the defendant stated that the Federal Government did not withdraw the ministerial appointment of the plaintiff or ask her to resign, but that Adeosun resigned on her own accord.
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