May 23, 2024

Electoral fraud: Prof Uduk absent from court over ill health

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Ini Billie, Uyo

Professor Ignatius Uduk, accused of electoral fraud in the 2019 general elections was absent from the court on Monday, June 27, 2022, over ill health.

The absence of Prof. Uduk is standing trial on three amended charges over the abandonment of duties, publishing of false election result score, and lying on oath stalled the case.

He was supposed to open his defence Monday as the court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang had on April 28, dismissed the ‘no-case submission” filed by the defence.

Defence Counsel, Mr Abasidiong Ekpenyong, who spoke with journalists during proceedings in Uyo, apologised to the court for the absence of his client owing to ill health.

Ekpenyong told the hearing that the accused person was on admission at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, and sought adjournment of the case, adding that the accused needed to recover from ill health before could be in court.

He presented a copy of the medical report to the court, and to the prosecution.

Counsel to INEC, Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN) did not object to the adjournment sought by the defence counsel but stated that he should have been informed of his client’s health condition earlier.

Meanwhile, a copy of the medical report from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, obtained by newsmen after the court proceedings were dated June 17, 2022, and signed by the Snr. Registrar, Dr. Akintunbo A. O.

It reads in part: “The above-named person, who is a professor in the Department of Physical and Health Education, University of Uyo, Nigeria is a known patient of Urology Unit of this facility, who presented on 26th May 2022 with a history of recurrent lower urinary tract symptoms.

“On examination, he was diagnosed to have been suffering from Bladder Outlet Obstruction(stricture) Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (B. P.H).

“Meanwhile, since he has been treated and is yet to be discharged, he is gradually responding to treatment and will be observed in the hospital for the next three (3) weeks, 22nd June 2022-13th July 2022 and be placed on monthly appointment thereafter for clinic review.

“He has since been placed on potent antibiotics and analgesic. He is currently on Cap Contiplo OD 0.4mg daily. He has been advised to stay away from strenuous activities to enhance quick recovery”.

The trial Judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang adjourned the case to July 27th and 28th for defence.

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