A North Side business owner slapped a 79-year-old Cook County judge in the face, spit on her and called her “Rosa Parks” after becoming angry that she was smoking near him outside the Daley Center, authorities said.
Monday’s attack outside the courthouse came as a shock to friends of Judge Arnette Hubbard, a silver-haired African-American jurist who was the first female president of the National Bar Association and Cook County Bar Association, both black lawyers’ groups.
“She’s an icon in our community,” said Delores Robinson, past president of the Cook County Bar Association, who noted that Hubbard, a former commissioner on the Cook County Board of Elections, had been an international election observer in Haiti and South Africa and had long been a voice on civil rights and women’s issues.Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday that Hubbard was outside the Daley Center smoking a cigarette when she walked past David C. Nicosia, 55, who became angry that she was smoking near him.
The two argued and Nicosia, who is white, stepped near her face and said, “Rosa Parks, move,” and spit in her face, prosecutors said. As he walked away, the Law Division judge followed him and called out for assistance.
Nicosia then turned and allegedly slapped the judge on the left side of her face with an open hand, prosecutors said. He was then arrested by sheriff’s deputies and charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime.
Judge James Brown ordered him held on $90,000 bail Tuesday.
Chief Judge Timothy Evans, whose offices are also in the Daley Center, declined to comment. A representative said judicial rules of conduct barred Evans from speaking about a pending criminal case.
Born in Arkansas, Hubbard graduated from Southern Illinois University and John Marshall Law School and began her legal career in 1969 working on civil rights cases, according to online biographies. As part of the city’s African-American power structure, she spent several terms on the city’s election board as well as the cable commission.
Hubbard was appointed to the bench in 1997, re-elected to a six-year term the following year and retained since in two more elections, most recently in 2010.
Nicosia, who state records show is president of an IT consulting business, has no prior Cook County convictions. His attorney did not return a message seeking comment.
Friends of Hubbard were left shaking their heads Tuesday.
“People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged by this,” Robinson said. “Not just because of who she is but that this happened to anybody.”
“I’m still in shock,” said longtime friend Geraldine Simmons, 75, also a past president of the Cook County Bar Association, who questioned whether deputies acted quickly enough
Source: Chicago Tribune
Nigerian Ambassador to Russia and the Belarus, Chief Assam Ekanem Assam (SAN) has expressed his intention to resign to enable him contest the Akwa Ibom State governorship election in 2015.
Assam, who stated this at the weekend while addressing hundreds of his supporters from the 31 local government areas of the state at his country home in Idua, Eket LGA, disclosed that he would tender his resignation letter to President Goodluck Jonathan by next month (August).
Assam vowed to stop Gov. Godswill Akpabio from imposing a candidate on the people of Akwa Ibom state during the forthcoming governorship election.
He denied the rumour making the round that President Jonathan had asked him to withdraw from the governorship contest, maintaining he would go ahead and contest and win the race for the Akwa Ibom State Government House.
According to him, his entry into the governorship race would disrupt the succession plan of Governor Godswill Akpabio whom he said was hell-bent on imposing his successor on the people of the state.
“I have the energy, capacity and political will to stop Akpabio from imposing his successor because I have always said; Akwa Ibom people are too republican for an outgoing governor to impose a governor on them”, he boasted.
He asserted that the only person he was contesting the governorship office with was Governor Akpabio, adding that the day Akpabio withdraws from the race he would have no opposition to his way to the Hilltop Mansion.
“I want to tell you all that the only person I will contest the governorship with is Akpabio and the day he withdraws from the race I will have no opposition. Akpabio is the only obstacle to a free and transparent party nomination and election but I am glad because the People’s Democratic Party has started the process of a free and fair nomination and election”, Assam said.
Assam promised to revitalize and reposition education to international standards, localize the economy, industrialize the state, create jobs for the teeming unemployed people, fight corruption and stop capital flight if voted in as governor.
Culled from Weekly Insight News
By Thompson Essien.
Commissioner Aniekan Umanah may not be the best Commissioner for Information Akwa Ibom State ever had. His professional weaknesses notwithstanding, I am of the opinion that the poor man is really getting tired of defending the evils committed by Godswill Akpabio against the people he is supposed to govern.
Every time Akpabio does bad things, Aniekan Umanah will be called upon to come to the social media, and other media outlets, with a mission to polish-up what appears to be a never-ending bruised image of Godswill Akpabio.
But recent responses issued by Aniekan Umanah in his Press Statements indicate that the poor man is running out of words while working so hard to make his boss—Godswill Akpabio—look good to the public. Aniekan Umanah just doesn’t have any more new things to say in defense of Godswill Akpabio, except the same mantra upon the same mantra.
Earlier this year, when several armed men entered the office of Sunny Udom (the campaign director for Umana Okon Umana) in broad daylight in Uyo to kill him, Aniekan Umanah, without even one-half page of police report on the incident, was quick to blame everything on armed robbers.
This is exactly what Aniekan Umanah said then and now; “It is unfortunate that a robbery incident at the office of Chief Sunny Udom has been misconstrued as an assassination attempt. It is on record that the State Security Service, SSS, has since smashed an armed robbery gang and subsequently paraded them before the Press. Arrested gang members have made confessional statements claiming responsibility for the attack on Chief Sunny Udom’s office on May 6, 2014 at No. 7 Umoh Essien Street, off Obio Imo Street, Uyo.” (Source: Akwa Ibom State Press Statement, June 7, 2014.)
To Aniekan Umanah, the facts of the incident did not matter to him, even after Sunny Udom issued the following statement; “I was outside the State on Tuesday 6th May 2014 when I had a call by 2:34pm that some gunmen had raided my office in Uyo. I was highly disturbed about the mission of the gunmen because since my use of this office in the last 7 years there has not been a single incident of criminal operation in broad daylight around this neighbourhood. On my return to the state yesterday, I noticed that the operation was something else. According to eye witnesses, the gunmen, 5 in number came into the premises and held hostage, the security man and other officials and staff including students on Industrial Training and a youth Corper at gun point, seized their phones and started ransacking the office room-to-room, breaking into toilets to look for me. The gunmen, according to eye witnesses, were well-armed some with two pistols strapped to their waist. When some of them started picking phones from my staff, one of the gunmen shouted “is that what we came for?” and shot him; cutting off his finger. (Source: Weekly Insight Newspapers).
When Edidem James Robert Obot was killed, Aniekan Umanah blamed the killing on armed robbers.
When Chief Paul Inyang was assassinated, Aniekan Umanah blamed it on armed robbers.
When Chief Albert Ukpanah was assassinated earlier this year, Aniekan Umanah blamed armed robbers and when he and Godswill Akpabio knew that the public did not believe the mantra, Akpabio ordered the son of Chief Ukpanah arrested for killing his father; the young man is still languishing in prison, awaiting a trial that may never come before Akpabio leaves the office on May 29, 2015.
Now Akwa Ibom people are asking why armed robbers like to attack those who are opposed to Akpabio. Aniekan Umanah wrote that shortly before he was assassinated, Chief Albert Ukpanah was in the same office with Akpabio for a discussion. This may be true. But the same scenario took place before Chief Paul Inyang was assassinated; Pau Inyang had a meeting with Akpabio a day or two before he was killed.
General Akpan had a meeting with Akpabio, within a few days, he was kidnapped.
Group Captain Samuel Ewang had a discussion with Akpabio over the phone, few days after that telephone discussion, his wife was kidnapped. (Please click here to read the story: http://saharareporters.com/2010/10/17/sam-ewang-fingers-akpabio-over-wifes-kidnap.)
In normal societies, people in positions of Aniekan Umanah would have saved their integrity by resigning from a government where the leader is always committing atrocities and then turn to his spokesperson to rescue him from all his bad behaviors, as Godswill Akpabio is doing.
Every time I read the Press Statement issued by Aniekan Umanah, I become inclined to wonder if he is convinced that there is any Akwa Ibom person who believes him. On the other hand, I cannot help to understand that the man is doing what he is paid to do; deceive the public by trying to paint a rosy image of Godswill Akpabio, whom the rest of Nigerians are beginning to understand that he is a Satan.
Say no to imposition. Akpabio must be probed!
Ikpafak Thompson Essien, Portland, Oregon
A 21-year old university undergraduate, Tolani Ajayi, has killed his father, chopped the body to pieces, before dumping the remains in a bush near their home in Ogun State, the police said. The suspect has since been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command.
A witness told PREMIUM TIMES that the attack occurred Tuesday after an argument between Tolani and his father, Charles Ajayi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. The late lawyer had reportedly questioned his son over his attitude and refusal to follow Biblical teachings.
The suspect, a 300-level student of the Department of History and International Relations at Redeemer University, RCCG Camp, Ogun State, became infuriated when his father slapped him. Tolani retaliated by stabbing his father with a knife. He then hacked the body to pieces, packed the mutilated corpse in a box and dumped it in a nearby bush.
The Ogun State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident which he said occurred at the Redemption Camp along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. “The shattered body of Barrister Charles Ajayi, 60, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was seen and recovered in a nearby bush at Canaanland Street in the RCCG Camp, in a box after he had been killed by his son,” Mr. Adejobi said. He said Tolani, the suspect, was arrested at his father’s home after the corpse was discovered.
Mr. Adejobi told PREMIUM TIMES that the Divisional Police Officer of Redemption Camp, Olaiya Martins, had led a team of detectives and some members of the community to where the body was found. The community members had earlier noticed the strange attitude of the suspect while he dumped the box. Following the drag marks made by the box, police officers traced the suspect to his home. Mr. Adejobi said upon interrogation, the suspect lied that his father had gone on evangelism. He later confessed to the crime, Mr. Adejobi said. He said the exhibits, including the knife and cutlass the suspect used in the attack, were recovered by the police while the corpse had been deposited at a morgue in Sagamu.
Mr. Adejobi said the Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, had sent a team of detectives, led by the officer in charge of the Homicide section of the Department of Criminal Investigation, Eleweran Abeokuta, to assess the situation and take over the matter for further investigation and necessary action.
The commissioner also sympathised with the family of the deceased.
By Thompson Essien
Umana Okon Umana says Akpabio wants to kill him; this is no news for many people in Akwa Ibom State. It is not a secret that Akpabio will order his “boys” to kidnap, kill, or arrest anyone who disagrees with him.
Umana Okon Umana says Akpabio has a hand in the assassinations and kidnappings of his political associates; this is news!
It is news because the accusation comes from Umana Okon Umana. If anyone knows the intrigues of Godswill Akpabio, that person is Umana Okon Umana. Since 2007 when Akpabio was sworn in as a governor, Umana remained the Secretary to Akpabio’s version of a government, until July 2013, when Akpabio sent his wife to kick him (Umana) out of his cabinet.
Therefore, for Umana Okon Umana to send a petition to the human rights commission in which he accused Akpabio of having a hand in crimes of assassinations and kidnappings, the information in such a petition must be as authentic as the palms of a man’s hand and could not be far from truths.http://leadership.ng/news/377037/alleged-political-assassinations-umana-drags-akpabio-nhrc.)
Umana’s petition to the National Human Rights Commission, or NHRC, is also a vindication of the critics (including me) of Godswill Akpabio, who have all along been saying that Akpabio is responsible for all the heinous crimes in Akwa Ibom State. Be it kidnappings or assassinations, it will not happen in Akwa Ibom State without the knowledge and sanctions of the governor, who is not only the Chief Executive Officer of the State, but also the Chief Security Officer, who have been receiving billions of naira every year known as Security Vote.
It may be difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the allegations leveled against Akpabio. Below is a partial list of all the men and women—all of them peace-loving Nigerians—who have been destroyed by Godswill Akpabio and his administration since he became a governor in 2007. Any indigene of Akwa Ibom State, who goes through the list, will find it difficult to disagree that the crimes have affected him or her in one way or the other.
Ikpafak Thompson Essien
The Voice of the Poor Masses
Defender of the Oppressed
A native of Ibibio nation of Ubium Republic extraction, now living in the safe and beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, where no AKPF, ADUMA, ADV, and Akwa Ibom State politicians can reach.
GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO: Governor of Akwa Ibom State
NAMES OF KIDNAPPED VICTIMS IN AKWA IBOM STATE: Names No. Year/ month–Not in Alphabetical Order:
1) Abel Daminas children (2) 2008
2) Mr. Ubong Obot (1) 2008 (Ibibio)
3) Mr. Mustag Obot (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
4) Senator Aloysius’ wife (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
5) Chief Nelson Effiong (1) Feb. 2009 (Okobo)
6) Ita Enyong- Entaco (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
7) Apostle Uwa (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
8) Nse Ntuen (1) 2009 (Annang)
9) Aniefon Aniedi Abasi (1) Feb. 2009 (Annang)
10) Mrs. Iniobong Ekpenyong (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
11) Pa. Kevin Edet (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
12) Mrs. Michael Bush (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
13) HOP, Nsit Ubium (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
14) Opulopm Ettes’ Wife (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
15) Russians (2) 2009 (Expatriate)
16) Russian Employees (6) June 3 ,2007
17) Stemco Staff (6) 2008 (Expatriate)
18) Uwemedimo Archibong (1) feb.2009 (Ibibio)
19) Mrs. Adrina Uko (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
20) Mrs. Anne Enoidem (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
21) Dr. Owen R. Owen (1) June 2009
22) Mrs. Jumbo (1) June 2009 (Ibibio)
23) Pastor Akan Weeks (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
24) Awak Treasurer, o/Akara (1) 2008 (Ibibio)
25) Mr. Ikpe Ukpe (1) 2008 (Ibibio)
26) Mr. Clement Uwemedimo (1) July, 2009 (Ibibio)
27) Mr. Fiokedu Okorie (1) July 2009
28) Miss Edikan Okon Ufot (1) July, 2009 (Ibibio)
29) Daughter of Okon Usoro (1) July, 2009 (Ibibio)
30) Expatraites’Wife(abducted toNturukpum) (1) Mar. 2009
31) Mr. Eseme Essien (1) Sept. 2009 (Ibibio)
32) Eld. Nse Ikpe (1) Sept. 2009 (Ibibio)
33) Jackie Jay (1) Sept. 2009 (Annang)
34) Ediomo Udoko (1) Sept. 2009 (Ibibio)
35) Iniobong Sunny Jackson (1) Sept. 2009 (Ibibio)
36) Adiaha Eka Sunny IBANGA (1) Sept. 2009 (Ibibio)
37) Pst. Jonah Solomon Akpan (1) Oct. 2009 (Ibibio)
38) Mrs. Eshiet –Etinan (1) Nov. 2009 (Ibibio)
39) Mrs. Sunny Daniel (1) Nov. 2009 (Ibibio)
40) Bishop C.O Akpan (1)Dec. 2,2009\ (Ibibio)
41) Mr. Usen –manager, UBA (1) Dec. 2009 (Ibibio)
42) Hon. Hogan Ita (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
43) Mr. Michael Nkono (1) Oct. 2009 (Ibibio)
44) Mrs. Michael Nkono (1) Oct. 2009 (Ibibio)
45) Dr. Uwem Umoh (1) Nov. 2009 (Ibibio)
46) Chief Inyang Eno (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
47) Gen. Edet Akpan (1) Jan.31, 2010 (Ibibio)
48) Hon. Mike Dan (Itu) (1) Jan.2010 (Ibibio)
49) Miss. Edikan Udo (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
50) Mr. Ita Onyong (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
51) Mr. John Akpan (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
52) Mr. Okon Mkpong (1)2010 (Ibibio)
53) Paramount Ruler –Okobo (1) 2010 (okobo)
54) Prof. Akaninyene Mendie (1) 2010
55) Chief Obosi- clan head InI LGA (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
56) Prophetess Mercy Inyang (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
57) Prophetess Mercy Effiong (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
58) Mrs. Elizabeth Philip (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
59) Mrs. Godwin Udoaka 1st Bank (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
60) Mrs. Godwin Bassey Eton (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
61) Prof. Imo Ukpong (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
62) Dr. Austin Edet (1) 2010 ( Ibibio)
63) Chief Emmanuel Ntukidem (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
64) Mr. Samuel Inyang-PDP Ini LGA (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
65) 83 yr. old retired civil servant, Mbiabong Ikpe Annang (1) 2010 (Annang)
66) Mrs. Rosey Jack Udota (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
67) Joel Francis- Governors’ driver (1) 2010
68) Anthony Akpanobong (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
69) Barr. Archibong’s wife (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
70) Stemco employees (4) May 5 2010
71) Rev. Ntia I Ntia (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
72) Deacon Sandy NtuenUbok (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
73) Rev. Ime Iyire (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
74) A female church member of Imeh Uyire (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
75) Mrs. Iwakeowo Bassey Essien (1) 2010 (Ibibio)
76) Obong Mike Ene (1) 2009 (Ibibio)
77) Mr. Essien Ewoh (1) 2008 (Ibibio)
78) Late Ntia’s Children (2) 2010 (Ibibio)
79) Dr. Uwah (1) July 2010 (Ibibio)
80) Mrs Comfort Enwang—Sept.2010 (Ibibio)
81) Mrs. Lydia Tom Bush –SEPT.2010
82) Mr Enwang’s Personal Assistant— Oct.2010
83) Mr Enwang’s Driver—Oct.2010
84) Mr Mike Eduok —Sept.2010 (Ibibio)
85) Imeh Ekpo (July 2010) (Ibibio)
86) Nsifre Andrew (August 2010)
87) Bishop (Pa) Okon Enyong (Ibibio)
88) Rev. Inno Idiong (Annang)-questionable-Jan.3, 2011(may be staged).
89) Dr Memfin Ekpo (Ibibio) – JAN.16, 2011
90) Elizabeth Jerry Emah (Ibibio)
91) Udo Mma Obot (Ibibio)
92) Chairlady of Onna LGA (Ibibio)
93) Proprietor of Eket Polytechnics
94) John Nta (Onwer of Treasury Island) Feb.11 2011 (Ibibio)
95) Pa Etukudo (Ibibio)
96) Dr. Francis Okon (Oron) — 2009
97) Dr. Inyang Ukot (Ibeno) – 2010
98) Dr. Ofonime Johnson — February 2011
99) Professor Amanam A. Uko — (Vice Chancellor of Obong University)–March 2011
100. Chief Mathias Okonta –Chairman Effiat Council of Chiefs— February 2011
101) Felix Ukpe (Ibibio)
102) Sammy of Nsit Atai (Ibibio)
103) Felix Uko, aka Femo. (Ibibio)
LIST OF THOSE WHO ESCAPED KIDNAPPING
1) Paramount Ruler Etinan, HRM Edidem Ime D. Umoette (Ibibio)
2) Madam Grace James Akpanudoedehe (Ibibio)
3) Mrs. Mfon Kenneth (wife of Etinan council Chairman). (Ibibio)
4) Engrs. Obinna and Bobby, staff of Vich Resources Nig. LTD. (Ibibio)
5) Proprietor, Life care clinic. (Ibibio)
6) Chief Donald Etiebet (Annang)
7) Engr. Iniekong Udonwa (Governorship Aspirant) (Ibibio)
1) Barr. Imo Udonwa (Ibibio)
2) Miss Aniefon Aniediabasi(Ibibio)
3) Engr. Emmanuel Ekpenyong (Submarine) (Ibibio)
4) Mr. Mathias Ekpenyong (Ibibio)
5) Barr. Benjamin Udoekpo (Ibibio)
6) Two women at Qua Iboe Church, Iwok (Ibibio)
7) Dr Austin Edet (Ibibio)
8) Daughter of Paramount Ruler Abak (Annang)
9) Mrs. Marie Ikpe (Ibibio)
10) Ezekiel Peter Ebere (Episco) (Ibibio)
11) Chief Paul Inyang (Ibibio)
12) Mrs Philomena Udonwa (Ibibio)
13) Anthony Akpanobong (Ibibio)
14) Mr. Daniel John Ekanem- (Ibibio)
15) Mr. Mathew Inyang – driver of Mrs. Tom bush (Ibibio)
16) Police orderly to Mrs. Lydia Bush
17) Dr Akpanudo Feb.2, 2011 (Ibibio)
18) Pastor David Ieunuoluwa (pastor of living faith church ikot ebido )
19) OKU IBOM III, Edidem Robert James Obot Jan.30, 2011 (Ibibio)
20) Miss Faith Asuquo Udo, December 22, 2010 (Ibibio)
21) Chief Albert Ukpanah (2014) Annang
LIST OF THOSE FALSELY INCACERATED BY AKWA IBOM STATE GOVTERNMENT.
1) Hon. Fabian Ekpenyong (only surviving Ekpenyong brothers) incarcerated for refusing to testify falsely for the government. (Ibibio)
2) Dr. Chris Ekong accused of killing the Ekpenyong brothers. (Record shows he was in South Africa when the murder took place) (Ibibio)
3) Mr. Davidson Uboh substituted for the real killers of Ekpenyong brothers who were let out of jail. (Ibibio)
4) Mr. Otu Ekong substituted for the real killers of Ekpenyong brothers. (Ibibio)
5) Mr. Itoro William substituted for the real killers of the Ekpenyong brothers (Ibibio)
6) Chief Ononokpono incarcerated for asking questions of the governor in the media (Oron)
7) Dr. Chris Nyong charged with treason but released on bail (Ibibio)
8) Amb. Sam Edem falsely accused of stealing and charming the governor- acquitted by a judge (Ibibio)
9) Chief Imeh Umanah—Oct.2010 (Annang)
10) Senator John James Udoedehe (Ibibio)
11) Thomas Thomas—Journalist—July, 2014 (Ibibio)
12) Albert Ukpana’s son—2014—(Annang).
13) Imeime Jerome—Journalist —2007— (Ibibio)
BY NDON ASIAN
The Akwa Ibom State Government found itself at a cross road in the ongoing trial of Dr. Ime Sampson Umanah as Hon. Justice Ifiok Ukana ruled to reject the statement of the first accused person in the trial within trial. This is the second time that the same statement has been ruled upon and marked “rejected” in a second trial within trial.
The first was by the Honourable State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Idongesit Ntem Isua, whose earlier ruling has now been vindicated. Hon. Justice Ukana in a detailed and very well considered ruling captured every argument, evidence led, cross examination and important issues relevant to arriving at the conclusion in the mini-trial. Much of what rendered the case of the state against Ime Umanah and Ikemesit Iyire in the trial within trial hopelessly doomed included evidence of what transpired at the place of arrest of DW 1 (Mr. Ikemesit Iyire) before the departure from Ikot Ekpene to Uyo and inside the bus, which were not challenged nor contradicted.
It is instructive to observe that throughout the trial within trial the state either failed or neglected to have any of the operatives who effected the arrest of the first accused testify as one of its witnesses.
Again, the Court noted that the only version of event which transpired before and after DW1 was taken before the state Director of SSS is that of DW1, concluding that the state failed to cross-examine DW1 in respect of his narration of the event, that is the meeting with the Director. “The prosecution is divided as to whether the two pages of the statement are in the same ink. There is no evidence from the prosecution particularly PW1 (Uche Nwokolo) who said he supervised the taking of the statement that as the statement was being written by DW1 he encountered problem with the writing material he was using.
That evidence should have come from him but he did not offer any such explanation”, the Court pointed out on the issue of different shades of ink on the two pages of the alleged confessional. On the mutilated date on the confessional statement form signed by PW 3 (DSP Moses Eno), the Court had the following to say, “I have looked at the said confessional statement form. Directly after PW3 signature is his rank DSP next to it is the mutilated date. It shows a superimposition of 5 on 3 with 2 in front of 5 to achieve 25.
Thereafter you find a doctoring of 0 to 1 with another 1 in front obviously to change 11 to 10, all to present to this Court 25/10/2010 as against 3/11/2010. I have said that every document speaks for itself. What the confessional statement form has spoken with respect to the date written by PW3 is that it is mutilated, changed from 3/11/2010 to 25/10/2010”. And for the second time PW3 was said not to be a truthful witness. “Using this to assess the evidence of PW3 is without wasting words, is to say that PW3 is not a witness of truth. I cannot believe him”, the Court noted.
On the urge by lead defense counsel, Samuel Ikpo Esq. that the Court should expunge the evidence of Uche Nwokolo from the record of proceedings in the trial within trial, Justice Ukana ruled that “PW1 was listed as a witness in the main trial to that extent he could be accommodated in the trial within a trial. However given his reaction to the statement filed along with the notice of additional evidence on 12/7/2013 where PW1 distanced himself from the statement credited to him PW1 cannot be the person through whom any document considered fit can be admitted as exhibit in the main trial”. In the end the Court held that, “Arising from the totality of the foregoing I hold that the statement of the 1st accused person who is DW1 in this trial which statement is dated 25/10/2010 was not voluntary. It was a product of inducement. If the statement of 25/10/2010 is not voluntary, the confessional statement form cannot validate it and cloth it with a toga of voluntariness given its own problem.
Consequently the statement credited to the 1st accused and dated 25/10/2010 and the confessional statement form shall both be marked rejected”. The ruling has not only laid to rest the controversy which surrounded the statement but has additionally limited the options of the state to four. The state may proceed to appeal in what may certainly amount to an exercise in delay and waste of time or it may continue into the main trial without any exhibit to found a conviction.
The state may also wish, as a face saving measure, to enter a nully prosecui through the Attorney General, to discontinue the case or commence the trial afresh in another Court, but this option may be impossible to explain to Court why there should be no end to litigation. Speaking shortly after the ruling one Daniel Uko from Abak among the many consistent faces that had followed this trial who spoke with Weekly Insight praised the boldness and forthrightness of the Judge whom he described as “very intelligent and acting without fear or favour”. Uko also praised the defense team particularly Samuel Ikpo Esq. and wondered why the government should not read “the handwriting on the wall and save itself from the embarrassment of losing after this many years in court”, to withdraw. The state was represented by Mary Okobo (Mrs) while Samuel Ikpo Esq led a team of seven layers for the defense.
The National Conference sitting in Abuja today voted that the country’s Constitution should be amended to allow for a less onerous process for state creation. The Conference specifically approved the creation of an additional state for the South East zone, “in the spirit of reconciliation, equity and justice.”
As soon as the unanimous decision was taken, the hall erupted in celebration as delegates from the South East went around shaking hands and thanking other delegates for their support.
Delegates agreed that henceforth, state creation should be on the basis of parity between the geo-political zones to ensure equality of zones.
The Conference said such aspiration must be backed by the potential viability of the proposed state in terms of economic potential, human natural and material resources as well as minimum land and water mass.
The envisaged state, delegates agreed, must have cultural and historical antecedent, with strong cultural affinity amongst its population while the component should be contiguous.
In addition, the Conference adopted the recommendation that for any new state to be created such a new state must have a minimum population of one million persons. Delegates approved in principle, the eventual creation of 18 additional states across the country as a way of meeting the yearning and aspirations of the people. This, added to the one approved for the South east, means 19 new states.
On other issues, delegates resolved that henceforth, the office of the President of Nigeria shall rotate between the North and South and revolve among the geo-political zones.
It was also agreed that the office of the state governors shall be rotated among the three senatorial districts of each state while that of the local government chairmen shall to be rotated within the local government areas.
Also, local government councils not democratically elected shall not be recognised by all authorities and persons and would not be entitled to any revenue allocation from the Federation Account or the Account of the State Government or exercise any function exercisable by local government councils.
These were parts of the resolutions adopted by the Conference while considering the Report of the Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government; which attracted intensive debates and lots of amendments.
The committee was mandated to primarily examine the extant structure and forms of governments in the context of the peculiar circumstances of Nigeria’s diverse and multi-ethnic setting.
It was also expected to examine Nigeria’s attendant challenges and the need to lay a solid foundation for an all-inclusive and cost-effective system of government which would serve the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Where the President dies in office, is incapacitated, impeached or where he resigns, Conference agreed that the Vice President shall operate in acting capacity for a period of 90 days during which an election to the same office would be conducted.
This decision was taken because each zone is expected to run the full course of the constitutionally allowed tenure without undue disruption; and it was also agreed that based on the adopted zoning formula, when a president leaves under any of the circumstances stated above, another president would be elected from the same zone where the previous one came from.
Conference also voted in favour of Modified Presidential of Government as recommended by the Committee; described as home-made model of government that combines the attributes of Parliamentary and Presidential systems.
The concept is believed to have the potentials of entrenching the principle of Separation of Powers as practiced in presidential system and promotion of co-operation and harmony between executive and the legislature as operated under the parliamentary system.
The President elected under the new system shall exercise full responsibility for his government and shall select ministers, not more than 18 of them, from the six geo-political zones of the country.
It was agreed that henceforth, the Minister of Finance and no longer the President as presently obtained, would present the annual budget to the National Assembly.
Under the new arrangement, both the President and the ministers would be expected to appear before the National Assembly to render account of their stewardship on quarterly basis.
Conference also voted to retain the bicameral legislative system instead of the unicameral proposed by the Committee in its report.
Still on local government administration, delegates approved the scrapping of Joint State and Local Government Accounts; to be replaced with a State Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
The body would be expected to have as members, representatives of local government areas and a chairman nominated by the state governor for confirmation by the state House of Assembly.
In addition to the functions conferred on the local government councils as specified in the Fourth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended, a State House of Assembly may by law, confer other functions on the local government.
Henceforth, and except otherwise overturned, Conference adopted a recommendation to confer financial autonomy on State Houses of Assembly as a way of freeing them from direct control by the executive.
Conference agreed that the Constitution shall fix the tenures for local government councils.
It was also voted that for functionality, local government should be politically and economically independent.
Delegates voted overwhelmingly on the proposal that each state of the federation should have its own constitution which of course would be subservient to the Federal Constitution.
During consideration of additional recommendations, Conference unanimously adopted a proposal that Nigeria reverts to her old National Anthem, “which is a more credible symbol of unity, peace and prosperity.”
Instantly, delegates were up on their feet and in unison sang the first stanza of the old National Anthem which if adopted eventually, would become the new anthem.
It was equally resolved that the right to self-determination by the states as federating units should be extended to ethnic nationalities within the states if they so desired.
As a policy item, the Federal Government was urged to set up a new commission to address the plight of indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory.
At the same time, Conference said the Local Content Act Provision should be extended to the original citizens of the Federal Capital as it relates to procurement within the territory.
However, attempts by some delegates to increase the number of senators from the Federal Capital Territory from one to two was opposed to and voted out.
As a way of improving the wellbeing of many Nigerians, Conference called for adoption of fiscal federalism.
As the Conference winds down on its activities, delegates resolved on the need for modalities for entrenchment of referendum in the Constitution.
Source News Express