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Court of Appeal orders relisting and hearing of Nya-Etok’s petition

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By Philip Ekong

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday, August 18, ordered the Akwa Ibom State Election Petition Tribunal to relist the petition filed by the ADC Governorship Candidate, Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok, and hear the case in its merit.

Recall that the Tribunal had on the 12th of June dismissed Nya-Etok’s petition on the grounds that the petitioner had only paid N1 million security-for-cost deposit; instead of N11 million.

Arc Nya-Etok then proceeded to the Appeal Court in Calabar. As part of his Appeal, he pleaded for speedy hearing of the case as, being an election petition case, time was of essence.

After over a month of not having as much as a date for the consideration of his case, he felt compelled, abcs subsequently approached the headquarters of the Appeal Court in Abuja. A transfer of the case was made to Abuja. Within days, hearing was fixed for his case, and the subsequent prompt judgement.

The Appeal Court, however, affirmed that the petitioner ought to have paid only N5 million, as against N11million.

Delivering judgement in an appeal brought by Nya-Etok, Hon. Justice M. L. Shuaibu of the Appeal Court, determined that non-payment of security deposit should not result in dismissal of cases; rather the hearing of such cases could be suspended pending when payment is made. Other members of the three-man panel were: Justice H. A. Abiru and Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri.

‘’This is a victory for justice and Akwa Ibom people. My fight is not personal, but to interrogate and sanitize our electoral process by getting to the bottom of what happened during the last election. The results that were announced by INEC were fraudulent. They did not reflect the actual votes that we scored’’, an elated Nya-Etok said after the judgment was read.

However, the Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, representing Mr. Umo Eno, the respondent, has indicated his intention to appeal the judgement to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Appeal Court judgement came more than 60 days from the day the Tribunal gave judgement.

In the election results announced by INEC, the ADC governorship candidate was ‘awarded’ not up to 2,000 votes. But the candidate believes that he actually scored over 60,000 votes based on the evidence he has at the counting of ballots as presented to him by his ‘votes defenders’ at the various polling units, which will be evident at the examination of the election materials used in conducting the election.

To ensure this, he, knowing where he was heading for, had earlier obtained judgement of the Tribunal that compelled INEC to make “all election materials” available and accessible to him.

Said Nya-Etok, ‘’The whole frauds happened at the polling units after the election at the writing of results after the counting of ballots; and that is why no election result was pasted at the polling unit, contrary to what the electoral law says.

The big parties, in collusion with our agents and the electoral officials, simply deducted my votes and added the deducted figures to the votes of the purchasers before entering the results in the Result Sheets. I am sure that other smaller parties might have suffered the same fate. How can I score either zero, dash or nil in over 1,500 polling units out of the about 4,000 polling units in the state?

“It was so ridiculous that though my party had adopted Mr Peter Obi, ADC, my party still scored over 4,000 votes as our committed party members did not want to take any chances! Where are those my ‘fanatical’ followers that defied every inducements even in the face of biting hunger? To me, their votes are sacred. It is a clear case of recording fictitious results’’.

Nya-Etok has had a tortuous search for justice and his story speaks to why Nigerians have launched a campaign tagged ‘’All Eyes on the Judiciary’’. The campaign seeks to trigger mass vigilance on the activities of the various Election Petition Tribunals across the country.

Soon after he filed his case at the Tribunal, it was clear to Nya-Etok that he had to be vigilant.

He recalls: ‘’On the first day of the hearing of my case, the first statement the Tribunal Chairman, even before lawyer being introduced, proceeded to ask whether I had paid all my fees.

“To this, my lawyer responded in the affirmative. The Chairman could not take his words so he stalled proceedings and called for the Tribunal Secretary who also answered in the affirmative, but the Chairman was not satisfied and he probed further, asking the Secretary to tender evidence of my payment’’.

And when the Secretary confirmed that the ADC candidate had paid N1 million, the judge summarily dismissed the case, despite pleadings and entreaties from the petitioner’s lawyer who had told the Tribunal they might have acted in wrong presumption, and that his client was ready to instantly make up the difference.

‘’The judge’s action was strange’’, said a lawyer who witnessed the proceedings.

With the judgement of the Appeal Court, Nya-Etok is set to prove his case at the Tribunal. The ADC candidate is asking the Tribunal to determine his true scores at the election and to determine the eligibility of the other candidates, given their respective legal statuses with respect to issues of CONVICTION, and DOUBLE NOMINATION.

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FC Tobol Secures the Signing of Talented Nigerian Defensive Midfielder, Ededem Essien

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FC Tobol of Kazakhstan has sealed the signing of highly-rated Nigerian defensive midfielder, Ededem Essien from Pari Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.

The midfielder joins for an undisclosed fee on a two-and-a-half-year deal with an option to extend for a further year.

On signing for the Kazakhstan side, Ededem has increased his chances of playing in UEFA competitions next season as the team is a top side in the region.

The deal for the 25-year-old who has played for FC Van in Armenia, Al Nasr SC Benghazi, and Al Akhdar in Libya before moving to Pari Nizhny Novgorod in Russia was brokered by K24 Sports and Consult.

Speaking on the transfer, the CEO of K24 Sports And Consult, Olalekan Kolejo said it’s a testament to the agency’s resolve to become a household name in player transfers in Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.

“We are happy to have been able to seal this deal for Ededem Essien who is a big talent in football. Our agency will continue to pull the strings in terms of players movement around the world”, he said.

Essien played a total of 18 games for his previous club before his move which included Cup games.

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Akwa Ibom Photographer Wins 3rd Place at 2023 International Close Up Photographer Of The Year Photo Contest.

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David Joseph, Macro Photographer

An Akwa Ibom photographer, David Joseph has clinched the 3rd place spot, Animals category at the 2023 edition of Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY).

The Close-Up Photographer Of The Year (CUPOTY) is a yearly global photo competition that celebrates close-up, macro, and micro photography, where tiny creatures and things (or tiny parts of larger things), are captured to reveal details our naked eyes can’t pick therefore revealing the hidden wonder of the world.

Winning Images for Animal Catergory

The winners and Top 100 pictures of its 5th edition were announced on Tuesday, January 9, via the contests’ official website, with David Joseph making the list in the Animal category of the CUPOTY with his flawless “Natural Architecture”, a picture of a sac spider in a curled and webbed grass.

Olympus

According to the CUPOTY website, It took over 20 hours of Zoom calls with 23 judges looking at 11,870 photographs to create what is the best survey yet of close-up, macro, and micro photography in the world across 11 categories from 67 countries.

“Personally, I think this is our best collection of winning images yet, and I’m so grateful to those who entered as it allows us to see and learn from their work and to recognize how incredible and surprising the world is”, says CUPOTY co-founder Tracy Calder.

David, a native of Ikot Annung in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and a 2023 English Education graduate from the University of Uyo had won Akwa Ibom State Professional Photographers and Cinematographers Guild (ASPPACG) Macro Photographer Of The Year Award, 2022 edition.

(more…)

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Leader On a Mission: Ntatam Rescues 1 Month old Motherless baby

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Leader On a Mission: Ntatam Rescues 1 Month old Motherless baby

…… Revisited 5months old motherless twins

Fulfilling the purpose and goal of the mission, Akwaobongunwana Dr Emmanuel Ntatam, Friday, visited Wisdom Sunday, a one month old motherless baby, who lost his mother to the cold hands of death immediately after his announcement into the world at Afaha Ediene, Ikono Local Government Area.

Baby Wisdom crying his way into the world on the 1st of December 2023, was left with the fate of having to battle through the tunnel of his destiny without a mother’s care, love and attention, but mercy came through for him and he found help.

His story took another dimension when Mrs Itohowo Sunday, another nursing mother had compassion on him, and decided to nurse Wisdom alongside her baby, bringing Wisdom into the arms of a mother he had lost.

Dr Emmanuel Ntatam, on hearing the touching story of the new born baby, sprang into action, ensuring his welfare and that of his foster mother was safeguarded to lessen tension, tears and emotional trauma from the family.

The Ikono born philanthropist in his usual gesture, purchased basic needed items for baby Wisdom such as NAN 1, baby oil, baby lotion, diapers, wipes, dettol, baby syrups, baby soaps, tissue, rice for the family, and cash gift to Carter for other urgent items that was not included in the package.

Emmanuel while praying for baby Wisdom, pleaded God to preserve his life, direct his steps on earth, guide him through the path of his destiny and increase his level of greatness throughout his existence on planet earth.

Meanwhile, Heal the world project team revisited Marvelous and Miracle, the 4months old motherless twins now 5months at Nkwot, Ikono Local Government, to inspect their health condition and as well rate their progress level for immediate follow up.

The leader of the team, Dr Emmanuel Ntatam with a broaden smile and gratitude to God almighty was impressed on their current health status, as they were kicking with joy and happiness for life restored.

The entire team feeling encouraged, glorified God for working miracle through the team to the fraternal twins in a matter of one month, believing God to perfect the good works He had started.

The leader of the team out of his own magnanimity decided to topup baby items for Marvelous and Miracle, even as he presented cash gift to the family for the twins upkeep.

Recalled that Akwaobongunwana and the team had visited Marvelous and Miracle last year who were on the verge of giving up due to poor treatment and malnutrition after they lost their mother at birth, and today, sunshine has returned to the family.

Ntatam is currently on a mission to heal the world, restore hope to the hopeless, helping others grow, inspiring the younger generation to stand up to their dreams and potentials, care for the helpless, and putting smiles on the faces of the downtrodden, with the reassurances of a better life

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