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Court Fails To Give Verdict In Maina’s Bail Request

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday failed to deliver its scheduled ruling on the bail application filed by former Chairman of the Police Pension Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The accused is facing trial for allegedly diverting pensioners’ funds estimated at N3 billion.

Justice Okon Abang said the court would not be able to render its decision on the application because of its current heavy workload.

“On account of the heavy workload of this honourable court, the court shall reserve ruling on the bail application. The ruling is not ready. The court will give another date,” he said.

Maina was absent in court last Tuesday on account of ill-health.

Justice Abang thus ordered the Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigerian Correctional Services in charge of Welfare and Medical to conduct a thorough examination on the defendant to ascertain his health status and report to the court.

The accused was brought to court on a wheel chair by prison officials.

Prosecution lawyer Mohammed Abubakar told the court that the enrolled order of the court was forwarded to the Deputy Comptroller, Medical and Welfare of the Prison, Mr H. B. Kori, on November 6, 2019.

Abubakar said Kori, in a letter, dated November 6 and which was served on the prosecution on November 6, requested for one week to enable him comply with the court order.

He said Kori’s request was reasonable and urged the court to grant an adjournment till November 21, 2019 for the continuation of trial.

The prosecutor said this would enable the prison medical official comply with the court order on Maina’s health status.

Upon the agreement by lawyers in the case, Justice Abang adjourned till November 21 and 22.

The judge frowned at the way the media reported the proceedings in the case.

He accused journalists of not reflecting the gestures of the court in their reports, alleging that, “some of them serve their personal interest rather than national interest”.

Justice Abang noted that the media were silent on instances where the court indulged the defendant and his lawyers.

The judge averred that when the court allowed Maina to sit down during proceedings and the day the court allowed him to take his drugs in the open court, the press failed to reflect the kind gestures in their reports.

“Lead counsel to Maina, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), walked out on the court during the proceedings of October 30; the press did not report that. Even when Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN) threatened the court while arguing for adjournment, the press didn’t mention any of these,” he said.

The judge said the media chose to misinform the public that the judge ordered Maina not to look directly at him while he was delivering a ruling during one of the previous proceedings. “The press is bias. On account of all these, I come to the conclusion that the press is unfair to the court,” Justice Abang added.

On Maina’s decision to attend court on wheel chair, the judge said: “I noticed that the accused was in court in a wheel chair. I didn’t order him to come on a wheel chair. I was deeply touched when I saw him this morning.”F

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Jonathan’s Kinsmen Celebrate PDP’s Defeat

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Kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Kolo, Ogbia Local Government Area trooped out to celebrate the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 9.

They took over the road leading to Ogbia Town immediately the results of the 13 units in Ward 9 were announced by electoral officials and APC was declared the winner of the ward.

Some of them flew the flag of APC while others used their brooms to sweep the road saying they had suffered under the current PDP government.

Some of them said they were given as much as N10,000 but that they rejected the money because they were United and determined to vote out PDP.

“We are happy because we won the PDP in all the units” one of them, who failed to mention his name out of excitement said.

Also in Eppie-Atissa in Yenagoa, residents took over the road jubilating over the defeat of the PDP in the area.

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Voting Ends As Collation Underway In Bayelsa Governorship Poll

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Voting has ended and collation of votes is in progress across Bayelsa in respect of Saturday’s Governorship elections, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports

NAN also reports that the election was generally peaceful, although pockets of violence were reported in some places.

Sources across the state indicated that the card readers functioned smoothly in most polling units.

In Yenagoa, a voter, Ebikeme Doubra, described the process as “peaceful except for isolated cases of attempts to snatch ballot box which was thwarted by security agents”.

“Some thugs attempted to disrupt the process and they were contained by security agencies in Ekeki and Opolo areas of Yenagoa, but other places were peaceful.

“The election was smooth and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be commended for the smooth conduct of this election. We expect them to ensure that our votes count,” Doubra said.

However, Gov Dickson of Bayelsa, who is serving his second term on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform and the party’s candidate, Sen. Douye Diri, have complained of electoral fraud and widespread violence.

Dickson made the allegation while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Oruerewari, Polling Unit 005, Toru Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area.

He called for outright cancellation of the elections in Nembe Local Government Area where 20 people were reportedly killed by gunmen at a PDP campaign rally.

Dickson called on the Chairman of INEC to issue an order canceling the process in all the affected units, wards, local government areas, where election materials had been stolen or hijacked.

He also urged INEC to cancel the electoral process in areas “where officials have been kidnapped and held hostage to enable the APC cook up non-existing figures”.

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INEC Official Abducted In Lokoja

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An unidentified official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been abducted in SUBEB polling unit in Lokoja.

The abduction occured after gunmen shot sporadically into the air while voting was going on.

It was gathered voters scampered for safety before the gunmen went away with the official.

Meanwhile, voting has ended at Bishop Crowther LGEA Primary School Lokoja.

Sorting of votes and counting of ballots will commence by 2pm.F

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