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Court Convicts Nigeria Ex Minister In Absentia  Over  Fake APC Gov Primary Result | NEWS RANGERS Court Convicts Nigeria Ex Minister In Absentia  Over  Fake APC Gov Primary Result – NEWS RANGERS

Court Convicts Nigeria Ex Minister In Absentia  Over  Fake APC Gov Primary Result

MINISTER-CONVICTED

LAGOS DECEMBER 10TH (NEWSRANGERS)-A Magistrate Court in Abia State, has convicted the former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah for forgery of the APC governorship primary election result.

Ogah’s conviction followed a criminal complaint brought by his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State.

The Abia chapter of APC  had alleged that the former minister did not participate in the governorship primary election of the party held on May 26, 2022 but forged the party’s direct primary election result sheet and presented it as genuine.

The APC stated that the forgery perpetrated by Ogah was prejudicial to the party and its authentic governorship candidate in the State, (Chief Ikechi Emenike) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 465 of the Criminal Code (as applicable in Abia) and punishable under Section 467.

Delivering judgment on the Suit No. UMSC/362/2022, Magistrate Ngozi Nwangwa, found the former guilty as charged.

“I’m convinced that the defendant has no defence. I hereby commit Dr Uche Ogah for the offence as charged,” the Magistrate ruled.

Since the defendant was absent in court, the Magistrate ordered security agencies to arrest him anywhere he is seen and keep him in the nearest correctional centre pending the day he would be brought to court for sentencing.

Sources told Pointblanknews.com that Ogah had failed to appear before the court since November when the matter came up for hearing. He also failed to send any counsel to represent him in the suit.

When the matter came up for hearing, the Magistrate stated that she had been served a copy of petition written by the ex minister to both the Chief Judge and and the Attorney General of the state, alleging bias and compromise against him.

However, the lead counsel of APC, Mr. Vigilus Nwankwo submitted that the said petition was the unusual antics adopted by those wanting to evade justice,insisting that the  outcome could not stay proceedings based on the petition.

The counsel cited Order 40 Rule 6(1) of the Abia State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2007 and noted that what the defendant did was an administrative step and not a formal application before the court for stay of proceedings.

The APC counsel further cited Section 305 of the  Abia State Criminal Justice Law which stipulates that application for stay of proceedings in respect of any criminal case shall not be entertained.

Having found merit in the submissions of the counsel to the APC, the Magistrate granted the request for the prosecution to continue with the proceedings.

The sole prosecution witness, Chief Chidi Avajah, who is the state Secretary of the APC in Abia State, was led in evidence to adopt his written deposition,dated November 30, 2022, in respect of the criminal case.

The depositions admitted as exhibit by the court also contained affidavits deposed by both the Chairman and Secretary of the APC governorship primary election panel for Abia, Chief Tony Obiefuna and Mr. Chukwudi Kanu, respectively, confirming that their signatures were forged by the respondent, Ogah.

Since the ex minister failed to open his defence on the charges against him, the prosecution after making its submissions closed its case and prayed the  court to accept the documentary evidence, rely on them and act on them.

 

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