Court Admits More Exhibits Against House Of Reps Member

Court Admits More Exhibits Against House Of Reps Member
Court Admits More Exhibits Against House Of Reps Member

Court Admits More Exhibits Against House Of Reps Member
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has tendered more exhibits against a serving member of the Federal House of Representatives, Nse Bassey Ekpeyong, who is facing trial on a ten- count amended charge bordering on forgery and forging of documents.
Ekpenyong is facing trial, alongside Okon Bassey. While the legislator is alleged to have forged a West African Examination Council, WAEC’s certificate and a National Diploma certificate of Abia State’s Polytechnic, Bassey is facing trial for allegedly writing examinations for Ekpenyong. At the resumption of the trial on Wednesday, prosecution counsel, A.I.Aroga tendered statements of account of four banks through Prosecution Witness2, PW2, Umar Aminu, an operative of the EFCC.
The banks which statements of account were presented are: First bank, Diamond bank, United Bank for Africa and Ecobank . They all belong to Ekpenyong and were admitted as exhibits: HH1, JJ1, KK1 and LL1. The defence counsel, Ekpeyong Ntekim opposed the admissibility of the bank statements, arguing that the witness was not the author of the statements. Arogba, however, urged the court to reject the defence’s position, “because in the course of investigation, the documents were recovered and the witness is conversant with the said documents”. Justice Ijeoma Ojokwu, overuled the defence’s objection and admitted the statements as exhibits.
Concerning the 2nd defendant, Oron Bassey, Aminu said that he made a useful statement, that he sat for a WASC examination in 1999 for Ekpeyong. The statement was tendered and admitted as an exhibit. Also, letters were sent to the office of Bassey in Maritime Academy, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, asking it to furnish the Commission with details of the 2nd defendant’s employment. The details supplied by the Academy were admitted as exhibits. Also admitted as exhibits were the original Photo Card and Entry Form used by Bassey to write the examination for Ekpenyong. They were admitted as exhibits X, X1.
Aminu further disclosed that the 1st defendant and 2nd defendant made ten different statements between 22 May 2017 and 5 June, 2017. These statements were also admitted as exhibits except the confessional statement of the 2nd defendant made on 5 June 2017. The statement was opposed by the defence. In his opposition, Ntekim argued that the statement was made by the 2nd defendant under duress. This claim was denied by Aminu.
According to Aminu, Bassey requested to speak with his lawyer, Okechukwu Anaja, before writing his statement. “After discussing with his lawyer, he voluntarily made his statement and signed, while his counsel endorsed it”, he said. Besides, Aminu told the court that, ” after the 2nd defendant finished writing his statement, another EFCC staff in another department, Macaulay Olayinka, witnessed his attestation”
After listening to all the submissions, Justice Ojukwu adjourned the matter to 1 & 2 February, 2018 for continuation of trial.
Ekpenyong, representing Oron Federal Constituency in Akwa- Ibom State,was arraigned on 30 March, 2017 for allegedly forging an Abia State Polytechnic’s Ordinary National Diploma Certificate and uttered a December 1999’s West African Examination School Certificate, WASSCE and thereby committed perjury before an Electoral Tribunal where he claimed that the certificates were genuine.

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