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Certificate Forgery: Petitioner Withdraws Case against Kwara Gov-Elect

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A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, Adekunle Abraham, challenging the veracity of the secondary school certificate of Kwara State Governor-elect, Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq  has withdrawn the case.

Abraham, in the suit in the state high court is seeking to disqualify AbdulRazaq as governor-elect.

In a notice of discontinuance, Abraham said: “I hereby wholly discontinues the case against the defendant.”

The application is dated May 21, 2019 and filed on May 22, 2019.

The petitioner did not state any reason for the sudden decision to terminate the case.

However, it was gathered that his decision was predicated on the filing of the official confirmation of AbdulRazaq’s WAEC certificate in the respondent’s proof of evidence.

The confirmation was sent by the examination body through the legal team that had earlier applied for same.

“Not only this, the governor-elect’s legal team has also filed a number of depositions that proved Abraham’s claim that WAEC doesn’t issue a certificate with initials to be false,” a source said.

“The depositions contain a number of certificates with initials and within the years the governor-elect left secondary school,” the source added.

In view of Abraham’s application, the court is likely to strike out the case at the next adjournment date in June.

The governorship petition tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, has fixed June 13 and 14 for the beginning of the trial in the PDP’s petition challenging the  declaration of AbdulRazaq as governor.

The PDP claimed the governor-elect does not have the secondary school leaving certificate, which is the legal prerequisite for anyone running for the office of governor – a claim AbdulRazaq insisted is false.

Chairman of the three-person panel Justice Bassey Effing announced the date after listening to counsel to the parties in the case at the continuation of the pre-hearing session yesterday.

He said the trial will hold at 10a.m. on every hearing date.

Effing said the petitioners will have four days (June 13,14 and July 9 and 10) to call their witnesses who would then be cross-examined by the respondents.

The first respondent, the INEC, will have two days (July 11 and 12) to present its defence. AbdulRazaq, who is the second respondent, will present his defence between July 16, 17 and 18; while the third respondent, which is the APC, will present its defence between July 23, 24 and 25.

Effing also said the report of the pre-hearing conference will be available after Monday May 27.

The Nation

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

Agency Report

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

The Punch

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