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Ex-lawmaker Sentenced To Prison For Misappropriation

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A former Maryland state lawmaker was sentenced Friday to six months in prison followed by two months of home detention for misusing campaign funds for her personal benefit.

Tawanna Gaines, a Democrat who had served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2001, also must pay $22,565 in restitution.

Gaines, 67, of Berwyn Heights, pleaded guilty in October to one count of wire fraud. She faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines called for a range of eight to 14 months. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang wasn´t bound by those guidelines when he sentenced Gaines, who must report to prison by Feb. 24.

Gaines told the judge that she didn’t want other public officials to be judged by her actions, according to Daily Mail.

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“I took my oath very seriously, but I fell short,” she said.

The judge said the prison sentence reflects a need to deter others, particularly public officials, from engaging in “this type of corrupt behavior.” He called her crime a “lapse in judgment” in an otherwise law-abiding career.

“It may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, but it undermines our citizens’ faith in their democracy,” Chuang said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom has said Gaines spent campaign money on personal expenses including fast food, hair styling, dental work, a cover for her swimming pool and an Amazon Prime membership. The prosecutor, who recommended an eight-month prison sentence, said Gaines made more than 200 illegal withdrawals of money over three years, but it added up to a relatively modest amount.

“There doesn’t appear to be a reason for it,” he said. “The defendant does not lead an extravagant lifestyle.”

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Gaines resigned days before she was charged in a criminal information. The Oct. 7 court filing accused Gaines of defrauding her campaign and its contributors out of more than $22,000.

(PUNCH)

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I’m Sorry For Treating You Badly – Oshiomhole Apologises To APC Defector

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Former Edo State Governor, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, has tendered an unreserved apology to the immediate past Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Matthew Urhoghide over how he treated him in the past.

Oshiomhole, a former All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, made the apology while welcoming Urhoghide and other defectors into the ruling party in Benin, Edo capital, on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Urhoghide rejoined the APC after dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside eight local government chairmen.

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Speaking at the event, Oshiomhole recalled how he opposed the returnee’s candidacy during his first stint in the APC in favour of Senator Ehigie Uzamere, a decision he later regretted.

He noted that the decision caused the party to lose Edo South to the PDP twice.

“I was wrongly advised. I am not going to blame those who mislead me but I accept the responsibility that I took the decision to support former Senator Uzamere. The late Esongban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri told me, my son, you made a mistake.

“There are several others who spoke in the same vein. Urhoghide also came to me and said, Comrade, this your decision to support someone else against me, I pray and believe that you will regret it sooner than later.

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“After Uzamere won and became a Senator, he returned to PDP. God then decided to use Urhoghide to teach us a lesson. So, for two consecutive elections, spanning eight years, Urhoghide beat APC in the Edo South Senatorial zone for two terms,“ Oshiomhole stated.

Urhoghide, who was made the party’s governorship campaign director general, expressed his happiness to return to the APC fold.

Though he said the current administration has done its best, the former Senator believes the APC will do better if its candidate, Monday Okpebholo, wins the September contest.

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APC ‘ll Defeat Obaseki, PDP In Edo – National Scribe

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Ahead of the gubernatorial election in Edo and Ondo States, the National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Ajibola Basiru has disclosed the party will defeat the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo state.

He also declared that Ondo State is an APC state and no political party would dislodge it’s from the seat it from the seat of power.

Speaking with newsmen in Osogbo on Friday, he said everyone was surprised with the manner the party dealt with the aftermath of its primary election in the state, saying all stakeholders are on the page ahead of the poll.

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Our candidate for the poll in Edo was a PDP member but when he cross to the APC, he delivered his senatorial district for the APC for the first time in many years and we won another seat with Labour winning the third one.

“We are confident that we are going to send Godwin Obaseki and his annointed candidate out of the government house by the grace of God in the September 21 election.

“People thought we were already in for Armageddon in Edo State but within a week, we were able to resolve the matter amicably”.

With regards to Ondo State, the former legislator disclosed that it is a one party state, adding that the only contest is that of selection of candidate within the party.

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“Ondo State is a one party state, it’s a state of our party, so the struggle is actually about getting the APC ticket, the moment we someone picked the APC ticket, we are home and this is not a boastful venture.

“Go and check the House of Assembly result, check National Assembly election results. And just like we did with Edo state, we are going to manage whatever crisis that will come out of the selection process in a very matured and cordial manner.

“We must give kudos to the leadership role being played by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in giving moral authority to ensure that whatever crisis brew up within the party is nipped in the bud.

“For me, PDP is a dead political party in Nigeria”, he added.

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Ondo: APC Sets up 7-man Governorship Screening Committee

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The National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has set up a seven-man Governorship Screening Committee to screen aspirants ahead of the party’s primary slated for April 20 in Ondo State.

The party’s Deputy National Organising Secretary, Nze Duru,
inaugurated the committee on behalf of its NWC on Friday in Abuja.

Duru charged its members to undertake the exercise with necessary diligence, discipline and friendliness.

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He said the committee had to work round the clock to complete the exercise within the projected time frame, adding that the Appeal Committee would commence work immediately after the screening of the aspirants.

For us at the secretariat, we will also help you to midwife most of the things that will be required, and then hand it over to the appeal committee.

“The committee at this moment stands inaugurated. I wish you the very best of luck.

“We will support you in any way you need assistance in the process,” Duru said.

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The screening committee is headed by a former Deputy Governor of Gombe, Mr Joshua Lidani, while a former member of the house of representatives, Bimbo Daramola, is its Secretary.

Addressing newsmen after inaugurating the committees, Duru said the screening of aspirants before every primary election was compulsory in line with the party’s constitution.

You are chosen to partake in the screening of the 16 aspirants who purchased the party’s Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to contest its primaries in the Ondo state governorship election,” he said.

DAILY POST reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had fixed the off-cycle Ondo state governorship election for November 16.

 

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