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2019: Senator Ben Bruce Withdraws From Senatorship Race, Gives Reasons [Full Statement]

Peter Okunoren

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Ben Murray Bruce, the Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, on Monday withdrew from the senatorial race.

Ben Bruce revealed in a letter posted on his Facebook page.

Read his full statement:

Letter of withdrawal from the Bayelsa East Senatorial Race

I thank God and the good people of Brass, Bayelsa East Senatorial District who offered me the golden opportunity four years ago to represent them and the state in the Senate, Nigeria’s highest lawmaking chamber.

It is without a doubt that I have tried to discharge my duties as a legislator and representative of my people creditably to the best of my ability so far.

My voice has been very loud on the issues that matter to our people and our country at all time.

My support to our party, my people and state government is unquestionable. I am humbled that the national leadership of my party supported by the State chapter in appreciation of my efforts offered to support my re-election to the Senate to continue my service.

I have also intensified consultations in the last couple of week in the course of which I have come to realize an existing local rotational arrangement of over 20 years beginning with the late Great Chief Melford Okilo, by which arrangement the Senatorial seat rotates per local government area among the three councils for four years in the Senatorial District.

Even with the support of my party at the National and state levels with the full backing of my state government and leadership, as a man of honour interested in the well being of my people, I hereby announce my withdrawal from the Senatorial race.

I do not want whatever reason to appear to have used my privileged position and influence to do anything that other than the well-being and the stability and the good of the people. I am in all of these for the people, not for myself.

Once again, I thank the former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebelo Jonathan, the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, my colleagues in the Senate and Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson for their support and encouragement.

I also thank the leadership of my Senatorial District and state, for being there for me.

I thank specially the people of my constituency for their trust and confidence in me to serve and represent them in the Senate.

By trusting me with this mandate, I have come to know them and our people even better, an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life.

I am indeed grateful to my darling wife, my children, other members of my family for their support and prayers. I appreciate the efforts of my hardworking campaign staff for their support and dedication.

Again, I thank the leadership of the party for their continuing support. I also assured the party of my availability and readiness to serve at any capacity when the opportunity comes. Best Regards Senator Ben Murray Bruce.

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BIG STORY

Akpabio Parading Fake Results, INEC Tells Akwa Ibom Tribunal

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday, informed the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, that the figures being bandied by the APC in the Akwa Ibom North-west Senatorial district election, Senator Godswill Akpabio were fake.

Akpabio, a petitioner who is challenging the victory of Senator Christopher Ekpenyong of the PDP, had claimed that he scored 61,329 votes in the election, but INEC says the figures were not from the Commission.

Counsel to INEC, Robert Emukpoeruo told the court that Akpabio was parading a bogus result and there was no accreditation of voters at the unit he claimed to have voted.

“You did not apply for smart card reader and voters register reports because you know they do not support the bogus votes you parade for Essien Udim.”

The INEC lawyer also told the court how the embattled former governor visited war on the people of Essien Udim on the day of election. “I put it to you that you declared WARSAW on Essien Udim.”

During proceedings on Tuesday, June 15, he claimed he won the election, but it turned out from the evidence that one of the prosecution witness 17, Anietie Ekong did not perform a critical process required in any election, which is accreditation.

The respondent’s lawyer challenged the witness, letting him know if he was not accredited, it therefore, means that he did not vote.

“Election result is a function of accreditation which is done through voters register. If he did not go through the proper channel of accreditation, therefore the result he has bandied about was not authentic.

“To be declared a winner, your victory must have been actual votes of electorates after accreditation,” counsel to the 2nd respondent,” Solomon Umoh (SAN) said.

“Where there was no accreditation, you could not have valid votes,” Umoh (SAN) also said during his questioning session with Senator Akpabio.

(New Telegraph)

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Buhari Govt Has Driven 100 Million Nigerians Into Abject Poverty – Former APC Spokesman Timi Frank Backs Sanusi

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Timi Frank, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to remark credited to the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II that Nigeria was on the threshold of bankruptcy, following unfavourable economic policies by the Federal Government.

Frank said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC, government has driven “100 million Nigerians into abject poverty.”

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had said this during the ongoing 3rd National Treasury Workshop organized by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation holding in Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano.

Sanusi advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to cancel subsidy in petroleum and electricity tariffs if the economy must stabilize.

The monarch lamented that for 30 years, successive governments have had this project called petroleum subsidy, insisting that this is the right time to stop it so as to save the nation’s economy.

Reacting, Frank commended the Emir of Kano for his timely warning over the precarious state of the nation’s economy.

In a statement he signed, Frank also called on other traditional rulers and religious leaders to emulate the Emir, who was known to speak the truth “even at his own peril – by speaking out to save the country from imminent collapse.”

According to Frank: “This is a Government that has failed to implement a new minimum wage for its workforce after Buhari hurriedly signed the minimum wage bill into law in April to save face on May Day. Buhari has breached the minimum wage act by refusing to implement it.

“This is a Government that has failed to operationalize financial autonomy for state judiciary and legislatures which Buhari signed into law in June 2018 following the last constitutional amendment exercise.

“This is a Government that has failed to name ministers and key aides to the President after over a month of being sworn into office.

“In many states of the federation, full workers’ salaries have not been paid for upwards of three years. Is it not benumbing that the newly inaugurated government in Ogun State had to secure a N7billion bank loan to pay May salaries?”

The former APC spokesperson stated that” having failed in the last four years to meet the aspirations of Nigerians for humane, purposeful and progressive governance, the present administration has resorted to churning out lies in order to keep Nigerians in perpetual bondage.”

Frank further urged Nigerians not to be carried away by Buhari’s promise, during his inauguration, to lift 100million Nigerians out of poverty, saying, “already, Buhari’s rudderless and overly corrupt administration has driven over a 100 million Nigerians into abject poverty and countless others to their early graves through suicide and banditry.”

He called on international development partners to prevail on Buhari to be more responsive to the genuine needs of the people in order to save Nigerians from the current state of avoidable and unnecessary hardship in the land.

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Chrisland School’s Supervisor Accused Of Defiling 2-year-old Pupil Sent To Kirikiri Prisons

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Justice Sybil Nwaka of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court yesterday revoked the bail of Chrisland School Supervisor, Adegboyega Adenekan, standing trial for allegedly defiling a two-year-old pupil (names withheld) of the school.

Justice Nwaka revoked Adenekan’s bail for one day after expressing concerns that he might become a flight risk and not come to court at the next adjourned date fixed for Wednesday.

The judge took the decision after Adenekan was led in defense for over an hour by his counsel, Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN).

At the end of his defence, the trial judge declined to let him go back home in line with the bail he has been enjoying but rather sent him to Kirikiri Prisons.

“My intuition is telling me that the defendant may not appear tomorrow for the continuation of his trial. For his own security I am hereby revoking his bail and order that he be remanded in Kirikiri Prisons until the next adjourned date,” the Judge ruled.

The defendant is facing alone count charge of child defilement before the court.

During resumed proceedings, Adenekan told the court that he found the allegations that he defiled a pupil of the school as ‘false and highly embarrassing’.

The defendant told the court that he had built a teaching career spanning over 23 years and that no parent has ever accused him of child defilement.

When the defendant was asked how he met the victim’s mother, the school supervisor said he knew the mother of the survivor as one of the parent of pupils at Chrisland School, Ajah, Victoria Garden City.

He said he became aware of the allegation against him on November 14, 2016.

“It was on a Friday around 8p.m., I received a call from an unknown number and she introduced as a parent in the school. She outrightly told me that I had sexually abused her two-year-old daughter.

“I was shocked at the allegation. She now further went on to tell me that we should keep the matter between the two of us and not tell anyone.

“She ended the call and thereafter sent me a message that read: ‘I want you to still be friendly with my child.’

Adenekan claimed to still have on his phone the text message sent to him by mother of the survivor.

He also claimed to have told his wife about the discussion he had on my phone.

The defendant told the court that he was also threatened by the father of the survivor.

Adenekan said he reported the matter to the Head Teacher as a result of which a meeting was convened, with the survivor’s mother in attendance.

“During the meeting it was concluded that the child should be examined by the school hospital. The mother refused. She later called her husband who gave his consent.”

Adenekan said it was the mother of the survivor that made arrangement for a polygraph test to be conducted on him by Halogen Securities, in Maryland (Lagos), and that he consented because he had nothing to hide.

“I was shocked when the report of the Halogen test came back and it said that I was lying. I strongly believe that the child’s mother and the security company that conducted the test fabricated the results.

“The child was in pre-school 1 when I met her. I only stand at the door of their class and say, ‘hello children.’ The class teacher and the two class assistants are usually there. I have never been alone with the child in question I have never taken her out of the class to my office,” he said.

When asked if he defiled the child, he said, “I have two daughters aged fourteen and sixteen. I would never allow someone do such to my children.

“I have been married for 18 years. My wife is even here. I have no special relationship with the child.

When the school supervisor was asked if he knew the child drew his penis, he said, “I heard she drew a penis but that is between her and her mother.

“I have never exposed my penis to this child neither have I fingered her or put my penis in her vagina.

“I am very sure everything is fabricated,” Adenekan said.

The two-year-old in her testimony had earlier accused the defendant of defiling her.

She had told the court, “Mr. Adenekan put his wee wee (penis) in my bum bum (vagina).

State Prosecutor, B.T. Boye had called about six witnesses who testified before the court while the defence had called two teachers of the school who described the defendant as a role model.

Adenekan was forced to open his defence after the court dismissed his application in which he submitted that he had no case to answer.

The trial judge, Justice Nwaka adjourned the matter till tomorrow for cross-examination of the defendant.

(The Nation)

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