CJN Onnoghen pledges to tackle infrastructural deficit in lower courts

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has pledged to address poor infrastructural facilities, currently militating against the smooth flow of judicial proceedings in lower courts across the country.

Mr. Onnoghen made this known at a national workshop for judges, in Abuja with the theme: “Enhancing Administration of Justice in the Area, Sharia/Customary Courts”.

The CJN, who was represented by a Justice of the Supreme Court, Olu Ariwoola, also advised judicial officers in the lower courts to not allow themselves to be deterred by the current facility situation in the respective courts.

“We cannot behave like the proverbial ostrich and hide away from the fact that there are major issues plaguing the lower courts,” he said.

“I am aware that these courts have poor infrastructure and can be very uncomfortable to sit in for long period of time.

“Bathroom facilities are non-existent, stationary and basic office equipment are also not available and welfare is generally considered inadequate.

“You are usually the first point of contact the public has with courts. This negative perceptions can only be redressed when we act according to the dictates of the law, ethics and our conscience,” he said.

Mr. Onnoghen noted the indispensable role of the lower courts towards ensuring the adequate and efficient dispensation of justice in a democratic setting and urged the staff to remain dedicated to their duties.

He reiterated the commitment of the NJC towards ensuring that new polices and laws are put in place to bridge current challenges experienced in the course of justice.


Source: Premium Times

Six Unilag students charged with gang-rape, get N6m bail

Six students of the University of Lagos (Unilag), who allegedly gang-raped a 17-year-old female colleague, were on Wednesday granted reprieve by a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

They were released on a N6 million bail.

The accused are — Simeon Omowole, 18; Randy Chukka, 17; Samuel Oyefara, 18; Peter Adeboyega, 17; Chuka Chukwu, 19; and Peace Nwakanma, 18 (a female) — pleaded not guilty to a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, rape and sexual harassment.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Anthonia Osayande, told the court that the offences were committed sometime in January at High-Rise, University of Lagos.

?She alleged that that the accused with another man still at large conspired and raped a 17-year-old fellow student (name withheld).

Osayande said that Nwakanma, the only female among the accused persons, was the one that lured the girl to where she was raped.

“The six students sexually harassed the girl with video clips in order to intimidate her.

“They all had sexual intercourse with the 17-year-old without her consent,’’ she said.

The offences contravened Sections 137, 140, 260 (2), 264 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 (revised).

?The Chief Magistrate, Mrs A. Ipaye-Nwachukwu, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500, 000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
Ipaye said one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the accused, while the second surety should be a civil servant of not less than Grade Level 14.

She also directed the sureties to provide an evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

?The magistrate adjourned the case to May 18 pending advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions.

Arms scam: Obanikoro’s wife loses Abuja mansion to FG

A Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Jabi, Abuja, has ordered that Alhaja Moroophat Obanikoro, the wife of a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, should forfeit her property pending the outcome of investigations into her husband and children.

The court also rejected a prayer asking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to pay her the sum of N200m for violating her fundamental human rights.

Obanikoro’s wife has, however, headed for the Appeal Court to challenge the court judgment.

As part of investigations into the $2.1bn arms scam, involving the Office of the National Security Adviser, the EFCC had traced the transfer of about N4.7bn to the Diamond Bank account of Sylvan McNamara, a company allegedly owned by Obanikoro’s two sons – Gbolahan and Babajide.

Out of the N4.7bn, Obanikoro allegedly gave N3.880bn to Ayodele Fayose and Senator Iyiola Omisore in July 2014, when they were the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidates in Ekiti and Osun states respectively.

Part of the money allegedly given to Fayose was said to have been converted to $5.377m and handed to him at Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, in the presence of the then Ekiti State PDP Secretary, Tope Aluko, and other party stalwarts.

Obanikoro allegedly kept over N600m to himself.

The EFCC subsequently seized a house in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State allegedly belonging to Obanikoro’s sons – Gbolahan and Babajide – and a property located at 44 Mamman Kotangora Crescent, Katampke Extension, Abuja, belonging to their mother.

However, Obanikoro’s wife argued that she bought the property over seven years before the alleged arms scam took place.

She said the EFCC had no right to punish her for any crime allegedly committed by her husband and urged the court to award her N200m.

Obanikoro’s wife demanded “an order setting aside the sealing of the property; an order directing the EFCC to tender an unreserved public apology for the unlawful and unconditional invasion of the aforesaid property and the sum of N200,000,000 as general damages for the unlawful and unconstitutional invasion of the property.”

In an affidavit, deposed to by one Jackson Edet, the EFCC claimed that Obanikoro’s wife could not claim to be ignorant of her husband’s alleged crime.

The commission said Moroophat’s husband and her sons collected over N600m from the ONSA for a non-existent contract.

The EFCC argued that investigation had shown that, “the property belongs to Musiliu Obanikoro and he paid for the statutory charges for the property.”

The commission added, “That a lawyer, Tejumola Adeboye, who volunteered a statement to the commission, stated that he managed the said property and remits the rent to MON Integrated Services (a company allegedly owned by Obanikoro, which is also under probe).”

In his ruling, the Justice Y. Halilu said he could not stop the EFCC from doing its work, adding that all Nigerians must unite in the fight against corruption.

He added, “I shall refuse the application because it is most unmeritorious and specially packaged to deceive this court. God forbid.”




Man jailed for investing customer’s money in MMM

A Karmo Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced one Hassan Joshua, 38, to two months’ imprisonment for criminal breach of trust and cheating, bordering on failure to pay back customer’s N430, 000.

The judge, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq, however, gave him N 10,000 option of fine and warned him to desist from committing crime.

The judge also ordered the convict to pay N430, 000 to the complainant.
Joshua, a welder, who resides at Nimasa Estate Gwarimpa-Abuja, said that he paid the money into the money doubling scheme, Movrodi Mondial Movement.

MMM is social financial network, a mutual aid funding network of ordinary people helping each other.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Zannah Dalhatu, told the court that one Mr. Fagbo Tubosun of Gwarimpa Estate reported the matter at Gwarimpa Police Station on Feb. 7.

Dalhatu said that in October 2016, the convict was given the money to construct water tank and doors.

He said, “After collecting the money, he refused to do the work and he absconded to an unknown destination.”

The prosecutor said that during police investigation Joshua confessed to the crime.

Nokia Sues Apple for Infringing on Patent Rights

Finland’s Nokia Corp (NOKIA.HE) on Wednesday said it had sued Apple Inc (AAPL.O), accusing the iPhone maker of violating 32 technology patents.

Apple sued Acacia Research Corp (ACTG.O) and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc [GEGGIM.UL] on Tuesday, accusing them of colluding with Nokia to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anti-competitively from Apple.

Nokia’s lawsuits, filed in courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, covered patents for displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets and video coding.

“Since agreeing on a license covering some patents from the Nokia Technologies portfolio in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers made by Nokia.

“Apple also declined to license other of its patented inventions which are used by many of Apple’s products’’, Nokia said in a statement.

However, Apple and Acacia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Creation of more courts, not solution to congestion, says CJN.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen has said reducing the volume of cases is the only way to solve the congestion problem in the nation’s courts.

He maintained that appointment of more judges as well as the creation of more judicial divisions were not the solutions. Onnoghen, who disclosed this yesterday while commissioning the Court of Appeal complex, Lagos Division, said the 17 justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria were enough in the dispensation of justice in the country.

According to him, “we always think we can solve the problem of congestion in our courts by appointing more judges and justices and creating more divisions of the courts, because the idea is that the more they are, the lesser the job or workload.

“It lies in the controlling of the jurisdiction of the court in the quantity of number of cases that get to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. If we have 21 or so provisions for vacancies to the Supreme Court, we believe if we appoint that number it will be the solution? No.”

In response to an issue raised by Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Vice-President, Monday Ubani, Onnoghen said that the United States and India with far more people than Nigeria had fewer Supreme Court justices.

“Apart from the physical constraints that the Supreme Court has in terms of space, there is another idea we should look at. Which of the countries in the world can you point to that has that kind of number of justices on its Supreme Court bench? There is none. Even in America as large as it is, it has nine. Go to India, it is not so.

“We say appeals should get to the Supreme Court as of right, on matters of questions of law. Yes. If it is on point of law, the point of law must be enough to attract the attention of the Supreme Court, otherwise we are just playing about.”

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode represented by Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti-Adebule, commended the upgrade and pledged the state’s support for the judiciary.

Others in attendance included, Appeal Court President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Supreme Court Justices, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Sidi Bage, and Justices of the Sokoto, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Makurdi, Abuja, Jos and Yola Divisions of the Appeal Court.

CAN Rejects Idea of Christian Courts in Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has rejected the proposed bill seeking to establish Christian Courts in the country.

Rev. John Hayab, who is the Public Relations Officer of the body, argued that the bill might trigger religious crisis.

In place of the Christian Court Bill, Hayab urged the lawmakers to make laws that will unite Nigerians, rather than further divide them.

“This Christian Courts Bill cannot help us, that is why we are voicing it out.

“This thing is not really what Nigerians want now”, he declared.

Hayab also noted that the traditional religion worshippers were entitled to rights of worship as enshrined in the constitution, adding that “what if they wake up tomorrow and demand that there must be court for the ‘pagans?’”

Money laundering charge: I am not ready for trial, Justice Ngwuta tells Court

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, who is facing 16-count charge bordering on money laundering, age falsification and his alleged illegal possession of multiple international passports, on Tuesday, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that he was not ready for trial.

Ngwuta who was docked before the high court on November 21 and subsequently granted bail to the tune of N100million, pleaded for an adjournment to enable him to adequately prepare his defence to allegations the Federal Government levelled against him.

The embattled jurist made the application on a day the prosecution, led by a former attorney at the International Criminal Court of Justice, ICC, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, disclosed that three witnesses were in court to enter evidence against him.

“My lord we are ready to open our case today. Our witnesses are in court and we have all our arsenals ready”, the prosecution told the court.

However, Ngwuta’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, who was formerly an Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, insisted that his client would need more time and facilities to prepare for his defence.

“My lord we are anxious for this matter to commence so that we will know our fate.

However, we will be pleading with your lordship to grant us an adjournment so that we can be fully prepared. We have so many documents yet to access. Under the constitution, the defendant requires adequate time to prepare for his defence. “The matter cannot even go on tomorrow (Wednesday) as earlier stated, because we still have a lot of work to do”.

He also prayed the court to direct the prosecution to furnish him with all the documents he intends to adduce in the course of the trial. “My lord you heard the prosecution describe it as an arsenal. We became afraid when he made that statement”, Agabi stated. However, FG, urged the court to refuse the adjournment request and okay the matter for immediate trial.

“My lord I am terribly astonished by my friends application this morning. This matter was fixed by consent of parties on November 21. May I also draw your lordship’s attention to Section 396(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, which makes provision for day-to-day trial of the defendant.

“Also bearing in mind that the front loading procedure of this court requires that all evidence must be adduced before hand and also served on the defence. “There is nothing materially different to warrant an adjournment.

So I will be asking my lord to reject the application. “I also want to refer my lord to the practice direction of this court. My lord this is indeed a high profile trial and there is need for expediency”, Adeogun-Philips submitted.

He further decried that a great amount of resources was expended to bring the three witnesses to court for the trial to commence. He urged the court to allow the prosecution to open its case and then adjourn to enable the defence to cross-examine the witnesses later.

Nevertheless, Agabi, SAN, pointed out that under the ACJA, his client was entitled to five adjournment requests. “I appreciate the sacrifices made by the prosecution. But it is a sacrifice made in the interest of justice. We have to come prepared. May I refer your lordship to Section 396 (4) of the ACJA. It said were day-to-day trial is practicable. We are entitled to five adjournments, but after today we won’t ask for another.

“Let us also not overlook provisions of the constitution in section 36(6) which allows for adequate time and facilities to be given to anyone charged to court to prepare his defence. The State is supposed to give us facilities. The application is made in good faith”. The prosecution immediately countered him, saying; “My lord, the right that accrues to the accused is to prepare his defence. Section 396(4) of ACJA only made reference to when day-to-day trial is impracticable. They have not demonstrated that to this court.

So I do not really see why my friend on the other side does not want this case to go on today”. In a bench ruling, trial Justice John Tsoho noted that section 396(4) of the ACJA indeed made provision for a maximum adjournment of five times. The judge stressed that section 36(6) of the 1999 constitution which allows a defence to have adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence, has a wider scope, saying it also encompasses the mental preparedness of an accused to stand trial.

“Viewed towards this perspective, this court is inclined to grant the request of the defence counsel”, Justice Tsoho held, noting that it was the first indulgence sought by by the defendant. He further held that section 36 of the Constitution overides the provision of section 396 of the ACJA. The matter was eventually adjourned till January 18 and 23, 2017, for trial.

FG had earlier opposed Ngwuta’s release on bail, stressing that he has the capacity to interfere with some of the witnesses billed to testify against him before the court.

The government told the court that shortly after Ngwuta was granted administrative bail by the DSS, he quickly called one of the proposed witnesses to help him conceal some of the evidence against him, including N27million he hid in his bathroom at Abakaliki in Ebonyi State.

In a 29-paragraphed counter-affidavit deposed to by one Ganau Noma Wando, FG further told the court that barely 20 minutes after Justice Ngwuta was released from DSS custody, he called one of the key witnesses, Mr. Nwamba Linus Chukwuebuka, to go to his house in Abakaliki and dispose off money and cars there. “The first instruction was ‘Go and get rid of those cars’. The second instruction was ‘go into my bathroom at my residence where you will find two or three bags, get rid of it immediately’.

“If the witness had gotten into the bathroom and found bags stuffed with newspapers, we won’t be raising this objection today. But the bags contained N27m which they removed from the defendant’s residence to another place. We could not even find it again”.

The prosecution also told the court that the defendant equally removed three exotic cars from his residence in his home town. “As at October 9, the defendant was already aware that he was subject of investigation by the DSS. In fact he had been in their custody for two nights and was interviewed for that 48 hours.

“He was aware that the subject matter of the items removed from his residence at Abakaliki would have been of interest to this investigation. This has put me in a very difficult situation, so much so that the defendant is charged with interference in count three. “In count 10- 16 in the charges, the defendant was alleged to have maintained multiple identities.

My lord, in any jurisdiction in the world, if a person is found to have multiple identities, I cannot but object to his release on self recognition or being released at all.

“On October 8, a day before the call was made to Abakaliki, the defendant was found with four valid passports.

Two of them were diplomatic passports while two are standard passports. “It did not stop there, it transpired from investigation by the Nigerian Immigration Service that earlier in the year, the defendant had declared two of those passports lost.

“Now we are confronted with such acts of dishonesty, with offences committed whilst in administrative bail. “It is not enough that he was found with four passports, but the NIS confirmed that he was using the passports concurrently and interchangeably.

“We only found four, there might be others. How do we know? When we searched his residence in Abuja we didn’t know there was N27m in his bathroom at his private residence located at Engineering Close, Off Onwe Road, Abakaliki Ebonyi State”, the prosecution counsel added.

It told the court that the witness, Nwamba, initially hid the bag that contained the N27m cash at the residence of one Abraham Ezeani in Abakaliki, saying the Money “was subsequently dissipate by Mr Nwamba on the direct instructions of the defendant/applicant”.

It listed the three exotic cars that Ngwuta allegedly attempted to conceal, as a Hummer Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle, Wrangler Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle and a BMW 5 Series Sedan Vehicle which it said was quickly moved by the defendant to Clevero Hotel in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

FG said the properties which it maintained were derived from the proceeds of an unlawful act, were all subsequently recovered by investigators on November 11, following Nwamba’s arrest, weeks after the defendant had been released on administrative bail.

“That the sheer amount of raw cash either found on and/or concealed by the Defendant/Applicant following his arrest by the DSS, is indicative of the fact that he is a man of immense financial means and is sufficient ground for believing that if released on bail, he possesses the material ability to abscond and consequently not surrender himself for trial.

“That in view of the foregoing, despite his position as a serving Justice of the Supreme Court bench, it cannot be said that the Defendant/Applicant conduct as outlined above, is that of a law abiding Nigerian citizen who will surrender himself to the court for trial”, FG argued.

Nevertheless, in his ruling, Justice Tsoho noted that despite allegations FG raised against Ngwuta in the counter-affidavit, it still did not revoke the administrative bail it previously gave the defendant through the DSS. He said there was room for such bail to be revoked once the person it was granted to was seen to have breached it in anyway.

Besides, the Judge said it was no longer secret that security agencies have been monitoring the defendant since the day he was released from custody.

He held that the objection by the prosecution was founded on theories of what the defendant would likely do if granted bail, saying he was of the view that the FG has the security apparatus to circumvent whatever action the defendant could take to scuttle his trial.

“Consequently, this court is minded to grant the defendant bail in the sum of N100m on his personal recognition having reg to his status as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria”, Justice Tsoho held.

It will be recalled that Justice Ngwuta was among seven superior court judges that were arrested between October 7 and 8, after the DSS raided their homes in what it termed “a sting operation”.

He was in the amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/C/232, and signed by a Principal State Counsel, Hajara H. Yusuf, alleged to have among other offences, stashed foreign currencies in his Abuja home.

FG said the DSS, at the end of the search operation conducted at Ngwuta’s official residence, recovered several sums of cash, including the sum of Thirty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Eight Thousand Naira (NGN35,358,000.00); Three Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety- Six United States Dollars ($319,596.00).

As well as Twenty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifteen Pounds Sterling (GBP 25,915) and Two Hundred and Eighty Euros (EURO 280.00).

It said the search also revealed about four Diplomatic passports, one official and two standard Nigerian passports all in the name of the defendant.

FG told the court that the DSS executed a search warrant at Justice Ngwuta’s home on October 8, following series of allegations of corruption that were levelled against him. Documents sighted by Vanguard revealed that FG has lined-up five witnesses that will testify against Ngwuta.

The witnesses are Aminu N Ibrahim, who is to testify on the search conducted on the defendant’s residence on or about 7/8 October, Ngo Awoikiega, who will testify on the investigation/ interrogation of the Defendant Others are Mr. Tanko Nuhu Kutana, an Immigration Officer who will testify on the multiple Diplomatic and Standard Nigerian Passports obtained by the Defendant. Ogudu Nwadire will tell the court how as an Architect to the defendant between 2014 and 2016, he handled several projects for which he received cash payments totalling $100,000.00.

While Nwamba Linus Chukwuebuka will testify on how as a building contractor to the defendant between 2014 and 2016, he handled several projects for which he received cash payments from the Defendant totalling $1,000,000.00.

The DSS official responsible for the investigation of the case, Bamai Abu Nehemiah, had deposed an affidavit of completion of investigation into the matter.

According to him, “That I was informed by Hajara H. Yusuf, a Principal State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation at her office at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja FCT on Monday, 18th day of October, 2016 at about 12 noon that it is the opinion of the Department of Public Prosecution that the investigations conducted in this case has so far revealed a prima facie case against the Defendant”.

Among exhibits FG said it would tender against the defendant, include search Warrant; cash recovered from the defendant’s residence; Video CDs of the defendant’s interview; Statement of the defendant dated October 12, 17, 24, 25 and 27.

FLASH: FG sends bill seeking establishment of special anti-corruption courts to NASS

The Federal Government have sent to the National Assembly, a bill seeking the establishment of a special anti-corruption court to try serious crimes, including corruption cases.


The Special Crimes Bill 2016 was drafted by the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.


The proposed court will exclusively handle corruption cases and other cases including narcotic, human trafficking, kidnapping, cybercrime, money laundering and other related offences.


Details of this bill and more will be passed on as it unfolds…

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Joint Custody Agreement Approved By a Judge

Court documents obtained by ET reveal that the estranged couple’s legal agreement was approved on Dec. 2, and grants Jolie physical custody of their six children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8. Jolie and Pitt had previously agreed to the terms on Oct. 26.

Additionally, a team of five mental health professionals are helping the family with “safe harbor therapy.”

Meanwhile, Pitt will continue to have agreed-upon therapeutic visitations with the kids, as determined by the family’s therapist who “shall at all times consider the best interests of the minor children,” according to the documents. Pitt will also continue to participate in random drug and alcohol testing, as well as weekly individual and group therapy. The Jolie-Pitt children will also continue to participate in individual counseling.

“Originally, Pitt had volunteered to do the drug and alcohol testing himself,” a source tells ET. “But now that a judge has signed off on these docs, it has become mandatory and cannot be reversed without another court filing.”

The source also reveals, “Brad has not seen his children alone without a monitored therapist since the plane incident,” adding, “Angelina has not left the children’s side since the plane incident. She still has not completed her film [First They Killed My Father]. She has been with them the whole time trying to make sure they heal.”

As for if Pitt will see the children for the holidays, that remains unclear. “If a child says they don’t want to see Brad on Christmas, the psychiatrist isn’t going to force them,” the source says. “That’s the whole purpose of this agreement.”

A separate source tells ET that the legal custody agreement is voluntary and only temporary.

“It was agreed upon several months ago, which has continued,” the source says. The source also notes this agreement can be changed if Pitt decides to petition the court.

After looking into the aforementioned Sept. 14 plane incident, both the FBI and the Department of Child and Family Services closed their investigations into Pitt, clearing the 52-year-old actor of the child abuse accusations against him, and determining no charges would be filed.

“In response to allegations made following a flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which landed in Los Angeles carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI has conducted a review of the circumstances and will not pursue further investigation,” the FBI said in a statement to ET in November. “No charges have been filed in this matter.”

From Entertainment tonight

Man, 40, Caught Having Sex With Two-Year-Old Girl

A 40-year-old painter, Yisa Aweda, was Thursday caught having sexual intercourse with a two-year-old girl child.

The Coordinator, Lagos State Domestic Violence Response Team, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, in a statement on Thursday, said that the incident happened at Aweda’s residence in Orile Area of Lagos

She said that the crime was initially reported at Orile Police Station.

The statement said that the father of the victim stabbed the rapist with a broken bottle when he caught him in the act.

She said, “On Nov. 16, the victim’s mother found Yisa Aweda having sexual intercourse with her daughter in her living room and immediately shouted for help.

“This attracted other neighbours and her husband who came in and in anger took a broken bottle to cause serious injury on the perpetrator.

“The matter was immediately reported to Orile Police station, while the perpetrator was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

“The father of the girl was also arrested and detained.

“On November 14, Mirabel Centre carried out a test on the victim, which confirmed a penetration but the result has been sent to the Police Station for proper prosecution.

“The matter was reported to the office of DSVRT on Nov.15. We visited the Police station to know the steps taken by the Police and we also visited the perpetrator in the hospital.”

Adeniyi said the case would be filed to court, considering the evidence available, adding that the Office of the Public Defender had been briefed on the matter.

She said, “In view of this fact, the rights of the child need to be adequately safeguarded and the father of the victim will be legally represented.”

Adeniyi said the perpetrator, a relation of the victim by marriage, had been pleading with the family that the matter should be settled out of court.

She said, “Today, the family members came to appeal that the matter be settled out of court. DSVRT has been informed about the case and the state would ensure diligent prosecution.

“We hope the suspect recovers quickly to stand trial in the court for the offence he was alleged to have committed and we urge the public to desist from such act.”

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has urged the Lagos State Task Force Unit to track down offenders of domestic violence and rape cases to serve as deterrent to others.



Judge’s Absence stalls Trial of Lagos lawyer Adegboruwa

The scheduled continuation of trial of a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, before a Federal High Court in Lagos was stalled on Thursday as the presiding judge, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, did not sit.

The case was consequently adjourned till January 30, 2017.

Adegboruwa is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly dealing in a landed property in defiance of a court order.

The EFCC arraigned him on May 13, 2016 on one count alongside one Jonathan Udeagbala, said to be at large.

The anti-graft agency, in the charge, marked FHC/L/181c/2016, claimed that Adegboruwa and Udeagbala dealt in a property “lying, being and situate at House 105, Nicon Estate, Lekki, Lagos,” without the authorisation of the EFCC.

The prosecution said property was a subject of litigation before Justice C. A. Balogun of the Lagos State High Court.

The EFCC claimed that on August 13, 2013, Adegboruwa and Udeagbala leased the property in defiance of an order of interim injunction made by Justice Balogun on June 18, 2012, concerning the property.

The defendants were accused of leasing the property to one Shelf Drilling Nigeria Limited in the sum of N61,631,944.65, which the EFCC claimed was credited to Adegboruwa’s account with Zenith Bank.

The prosecutor claimed that Adegboruwa and Udeagbala committed an offence punishable under Section 32(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.

But Adegboruwa pleaded not guilty, following which Justice Oguntoyinbo admitted him to a N10m bail with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties, the judge said, must be landed property owners in Lagos, whose bank account details and office and residential addresses must be verified by the court’s registrar.

Meanwhile, a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, presided over by Justice Aishat Opesanwo, has reportedly recently vacated the interim order of Justice C.A. Balogun, which the EFCC alleged that Adegboruwa defied.

Man on Trial for Allegedly Raping Housewife

A taxi driver, Ikechukwu Onyia, 48, was on Monday arraigned before an Enugu High Court judge for allegedly raping another man’s wife.

Onyia was earlier brought before an Enugu South Magistrates’ Court for forcefully having the carnal advantage of another man’s wife.

He was subsequently granted bail and the case transferred to the high court for trial.

Narrating the incident, the accused said that on Sept. 20, 2012, his female friend of more than three years called him to pick her at the motor park with his cab and that he took her to his house.

He said, “After staying with me in my house, she told me her problem and I gave her some money, dropped her at a bus stop and went my way.”

He alleged that it was in the course of dropping her that the complainant showed her a man she identified as her cousin.

The accused said that he was surprised when the police invaded his house the following morning requesting him to follow them to Udi Police Station where the man she identified as her cousin accused him of raping his wife.

“I took them with my cab to the police station and the man was threatening me that I will not go scot free for sleeping with his wife.

“I told the man that I have been befriending the complainant for a long time and she never told me that she was married.”

He said that he was granted bail at Udi but the complainant reported the matter to the State Criminal Investigation Department where he was arrested and charged to court.

The presiding Judge, Mrs. Catherine Nwobodo, adjourned the matter till Jan. 23, 2017 for an adoption of written addresses.



APC Blasts Jonathan For Defending Dasuki

More knocks came for former President Goodluck Jonathan over his defence that his erstwhile National Security Adviser (NSA) Col Sambo Dasuki couldn’t have stolen $2.1 billion funds.

The latest knock was from the local chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) which carpeted the former President of trying to cover what has been exposed for all to see.

The party wondered why such defence came from Dr. Jonathan at a time some of those partook in the funds have not owned up but refunding their shares to the federal purse.

It said the former President’s claim only confirmed that he knew how the funds approved to buy arms for troops fighting insurgents in the Northeast was diverted under his watch as the Commander-in-Chief.

In a statement by its spokesman Joe Igbokwe, the APC said there should be a limit to which a leader should rise in defence of his lieutenant with the mind-boggling revelations and overwhelming shreds of evidence that the arms purchase cash was diverted.

The party described as regrettable that the diversion of the security vote led to the loss of thousands of lives of both civilians and soldiers who were ill-equipped to face well-kitted Boko Haram insurgents.

It urged Jonathan to refrain from playing on the intelligence of Nigerians, whose future have been compromised by maladministration, betrayal of public trust and corruption that characterised governance under him.

The statement reads: “Even as we concede that Jonathan is a desperate bid to rehabilitate himself, we wouldn’t believe that a former president should be so contemptuous of the intelligence of Nigerians as to give the kind of defence he gave to Sambo Dasuki. We wonder what Jonathan makes the horrid details that are emanating from the Dasukigate issue with shocking evidence, confessions and even refunds made by those that participated in that monumental corruption.”

“To claim that Dasuki and his partners did not steal the arms purchase fund reveals the inner beliefs of Jonathan. One would have expected Jonathan to be cautious in seeking to advance very childish and inadmissible exculpation of his subordinates for glaring acts of corruption. We had expected that Jonathan would have striven to water down the lowly impression held of him by Nigerians and the international community by not deciding to be so patronising to clear cases of corruption by his subordinates.

“By Jonathan’s defence of Sambo Dasuki, we believe the time has come for the security agencies to pick up Jonathan to tell the nation all that he knows of the many cases of corruption that happened under him. We think that Jonathan knows more than he admits about the unseemly corruption that he presided over and should be brought in for questioning. It’s becoming indefensible for Jonathan to pretend he was innocent of the corrupt acts of his subordinates.

“While we condemn Jonathan’s cheeky defence of Dasuki, even in the face of monumental damning evidence, we want to state that the anti-corruption war is incomplete until Jonathan justifies his defence of corrupt subordinates.”

N47.6bn fraud: Absence of prosecutor, witness stalls Tompolo, Akpobolokemi’s trial

The scheduled trial of an ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, for an alleged fraud of N47.6bn was stalled on Thursday due to the absence of the prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo.

Keyamo wrote to the Federal High Court in Lagos, where the trial was taking place, to ask for an adjournment on the grounds that his main witness was not available for Thursday.

Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, adjourned the case till December 13 and 14, 2016 for trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, on April 18, 2016, arraigned Tompolo in absentia on 22 counts of alleged N47.6bn fraud.

Also arraigned in absentia in relation to the alleged fraud were six brothers of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi. They are Igo, Julius, Victor, Norbert, Emmanuel and Clement.

Tompolo, Igo, Julius, Victor, Norbert, Emmanuel and Clement were declared as being “now at large” when the charges were read before Justice Buba on April 18.

But Akpobolokemi himself, two females – Josephine Otuaga and Rita Uruakpa – and one Kime Engozu, who were also listed as defendants in the amended charge, were present in court on April 18 to answer to the charges.

The other defendants in the charge are five companies, namely: Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE; Oyeinteke Global Network Limited; Wabod Global Resources Ltd.; Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd.; Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd.; and Watershed Associated Resources.

The charges bordered on conspiracy, advance fee fraud and money laundering. But the defendants who were in court pleaded not guilty to all of them.

At the hearing on Thursday, one of the defence counsels, Mr. Oyesoji Oyeleke (SAN), informed the court of a preliminary objection he filed on behalf of his client, challenging the competence of the charges.

Oyeleke is contending that the prosecution had failed to depose to an affidavit stating that it had concluded its investigation before filing the charges.

For this failure he is urging the court to strike out the entire 22 counts filed by the EFCC against his client.

Another defence counsel, Mr. Sylvester Ekweme, representing one of the Akpobolokemi’s brothers, Clement, also informed the court of his client’s bail application pending to be heard.
Ekweme said his client had been in detention since April.

Justice Buba adjourned till November 10, 2016 to take the two pending applications.

Among other things, the EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired among themselves to defraud the Federal Government between December 2, 2014 and April 10, 2015, by inducing the Federal Government to deliver an aggregate sum of N11.9bn to them.

The EFCC claimed that the accused persons induced the Federal Government by “falsely pretending to the Federal Government that a parcel of land and its appurtenances situated at Mieka Dive Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State had been acquired by NIMASA for the temporary campus of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.”

By allegedly making fraudulent and false representations to the Federal Government, the EFCC said, the defendants violated Section 1 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related Offences Act 2006 and were liable to punishment under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

In another count, the EFCC accused the defendants of fraudulently converting a sum of N13,027,564,822 belonging to NIMASA to their private use sometime in 2014.

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

The defendants were also accused of swindling the Federal Government to the tune of N11.940bn, by presenting a forged Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy of Bendel State of Nigeria dated May 6, 2014 to NIMASA on the false claim that the forged document was genuine and issued by Warri South-West Local Council, Delta State.

For the alleged offence, the EFCC said the defendants were liable to being punished under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

BREAKING: Judges Boycott Courts In Abuja To Protest Arrest Of Colleagues

Judges in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday abandoned their various duty posts to protest last weekend’s arrest of their colleagues in different parts of the country on allegations of corruption.

The Department of State Security (DSS), which carried out the arrests, claimed to have found incriminating documents and foreign currencies in the homes of the affected judicial officers.

The journalists who besieged the Magistrate court located at the Life Camp in Abuja as early as 8:00 am to cover the arraignment of the arrested judges waited endlessly as the case neither came up nor did the judges appear.

It was gathered that some of the judges boycotted the courtroom in solidarity with their colleagues, and were attending a meeting at the FCT High Court in Maitamawhere a position will be taken either to declare a total boycott of the courts or to maintain a neutral posture in the matter.

One of the lawyers who spoke to journalists, Princewell Ebubedike berated the action of the judges saying it would amount to aiding and abetting corruption in the judiciary, which is the last hope of the common man, thereby eroding public confidence in the justice system. He condemned the manner in which the security agents made their arrests without proper recourse to procedure.

Paedophile Spared Jail After He Tells Judge He Wants To Start A Family

A paedophile who was caught with more than 137,000 child porn images on his laptop and phone has been spared jail because he wants to start a family.

Richard Arrowsmith, 41, was facing up to five years in prison but was let-off with a suspended sentence after telling a judge he wanted to become a father.

The married man, of Church Gresley, Derbyshire, was arrested after police received a tip off in February that an IP address linked to his Sky account was used to download depraved pictures.

Officers executed a warrant at his home and seized a computer, external hard drive, laptop, mobile
phone and USB sticks on April 19 this year.

A court heard a police computerised scanning system flagged up at least 10,000 indecent images and videos on the devices.

But a large number couldn’t be categorised due to the sheer amount of movies and pictures – including 4,336 videos and 137,000 images.

Arrowsmith pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images and videos of children when he appeared at Derby Crown Court yesterday.

But he was spared jail after a judge heard he was hoping to start a family with his wife who was still supporting him.

Sentencing Arrowsmith to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, Recorder Martin Butterworth, said: ‘You are 41-years-old, with no previous convictions and you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

‘There are three charges against you in relation to the possession of indecent images of children.

‘I am taking into consideration your previous good character, you have a wife who supports you, a steady employment and your hopes to start a family in the near future.

‘These are not victimless crimes, they encourage serious abuse of sometimes very young children.

‘You were less than honest about the nature of the images.’

Arrowsmith was also ordered to pay £250 costs and carry out 160 hours of unpaid work as well as being made the subject of a curfew restricting him from leaving his house between 7pm and 5am.

He was also banned from working with children and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.

N255m Armoured Cars: Court Refuses To Stop Oduah’s Arrest

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed an application by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, asking ?for an order stopping the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the police from arresting her with respect to ongoing investigation into corruption allegation against her.

Oduah had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to prohibit the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from “inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting” her over the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at a cost of N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the Aviation Minister in 2013.

A similar fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by the former minister, who is now a
Senator representing Anambra North, was earlier struck out by Justice Okon Abang, then sitting in the Lagos Division, on February 17, 2016, for want of territorial jurisdiction.

Justice Abdu Kafarati in his judgment on Wednesday, upheld the objection raised by the respondents, to the effect that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case because the prayer sought in it was outside the ambit Chapter 4 of the Constitution which captured enforceable rights of persons.

He held that that no court had the power to stop security agencies from carrying out their duty of investigation.

He also said such prayer could not constitute a fundamental rights action.

He said it was in the interest of a person suspected of crimes to be invited by the investigating agency so that the suspect could give his or her own side of the story.

He added that the suit did not disclose any reasonable cause of action.

He said, “It is not grantable by this court because the court cannot stop security agencies from carrying out their duties. There is no way a person can be investigated without being invited by (the) body charged with the responsibility of investigation.

“In most cases, the invitation is even in the interest of the invitee because he or she will have the opportunity of giving his or her side of the story.

“I therefore hold that the application seeking to stop security agencies from inviting, investigating, arresting and/or prosecuting any person suspected to have committed an offence does not constitute a fundamental right action.”

Oduah had argued that the criminal allegations leveled against her as minister had been investigated by the EFCC and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation, which both absolved her of any wrong doing.

She had maintained that the investigation was going to be used as tool for political persecution against her.

Source: Punch

Teenager Beats Up Employer Over Delayed Salary in Lagos

A 19-year-old employee, John Edward , was on Tuesday arraigned in Lagos for beating up his employer over the delay in the payment of salary.

The accused, whose address was not stated in court, is facing a four-count charge bordering on assault, conspiracy and malicious damage before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court. The Prosecutor, Mr Ishola Samuel, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Sept. 1 at Olusoji Idowu St. Ilupeju, Lagos.
Samuel said the accused conspired with others still at large and assaulted their employer, Solomon David, over the delay in the payment of their salaries.


“The accused used dangerous weapons such as iron rod and stick to inflict injuries on the complainant,’’ the prosecutor said.

According to him, the accused and his collaborators also destroyed a telephone handset worth N7,000 and tore their employer’s shirt, valued at N10, 000. Samuel said that the offences contravened Sections 410, 171 and 337 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The accused pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate, Miss A .R Onilogbo, granted the accused N50,000 bail with two sureties in like sum. The case was adjourned to Nov. 1, for hearing.

False Asset Declaration: CCT Finds Orubebe Guilty

The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on Tuesday, found a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, guilty of false declaration of an asset.

Orubebe had been standing trial on a one-count charge of false asset declaration.

The Federal Government had claimed that Orubebe, who was a minister under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, committed the offense while he was a public officer.

But the chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, in his judgment, ruled:“?I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057.

“The prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and all evidence tendered are admitted.”

The tribunal chairman held that Orubebe committed an offense for not declaring a piece of property in Abuja, which the former minister claimed he had sold.

Man Sentenced To 30 Months In Jail Over Stolen Slippers

A Kano Senior Magistrates’ Court sitting in Rijiyar Zaki on Monday sentenced, Rabiu Sani, 22, to 30 months imprisonment for theft of slippers.

The Senior Magistrate, Aminu Fagge, sentenced Sani to two years and six months after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge. Fagge did not give the convict of Aisami Quarters in Kano an option of fine.

Prosecutor Yusuf Sale had told the court that Surajo Umar of Kurna Quarters, Kano, reported the case to Nasarawa Police Division, Kano, on Sept. 16.
Sale said on the same date at about 8 p.m the convict went to the complainant’s business place at Gidan Gashash Singer Market Kano.

He said Sani “used razor blade and tore the sack where the complainant Umar kept his goods and stole one roll of bath room slippers containing 35 pairs valued N6, 000.

Sale also told the court that the convict was charged for theft at Chief Magistrate Court and sentenced to three months imprisonment or a fine of N10, 000 on Feb. 5, 2016.

He added that Sani was also sentenced to six months imprisonment or a fine of N20, 000 at the same court on April 7, for theft.
The prosecutor said this was the fourth time the accused was arraigned for theft this year, stressing that the offence contravened Section 285 of the Penal Code.

Alleged N2.3b Diversion: Orubebe, Others Get N50m Bail

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja has granted bail at N50million to former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe and two others arraigned before it Wednesday morning.

Godsday Orubebe, Oludare Lawrence Alaba an Assistant Director, Ministry of Niger Delta Affiars), Ephraim Tewolde Zeri (Director of Contracts in Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria Limited) and the company were arraigned on a six-count charge marked: CR/265/2016.

They are, in the charge filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), accused among others, of diverting about N2.3b meant for the compensation of property owners to be affected by the Federal Government’s dualisation project of Section IV of the East West Road.

Orubebe and others pleaded not guilty to the charge, following which Justice Kayode Adeniyi granted the ex-Minister bail at N10m and one surety, who must be a responsible Nigerian, resident in Abuja and must show evidence of regular tax payment.

The judge granted Alaba and Zeri bail at N20m and one surety each, who are to be residents in Abuja. He said Alaba’s surety must be an Assistant Director in any Federal Government’s agency, while Zeri’s surety must own property in Abuja and show evidence of ownership.
Justice Adeniyi ordered the defendants to be kept in ICPC’s custody pending when they are able to process the bail granted them.

He adjourned to November 10 for commencement of trial.

Extradition: Justice Abang Refuses Kashamu’s Fresh Application To Stop DSS, Police

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused an application by Senator Buruji Kashamu to stop the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police from going ahead with his arrest and extradition to the United States.
Kashamu is the Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly.

Justice Okon Abang in his ruling on Wednesday held that the application was incompetent.

He added that the security agencies deserved to be served notice to show cause before the order was granted.

Kashamu’s counsel, Godswill Mrakpor, had asked the court to grant urgent hearing to the application, insisting that there were moves to arrest and transport Kashamu to the US to face drug-related charges.

Court Orders Evacuation Of Petroleum Products From Seized Tank Farm

Acquiescing to the prayers of an indigenous oil firm, Zone 4 Energy Limited, a Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered First Bank’s receiver manager, Emmanuel Oyebanji, to allow an oil marketing company, Chukelad Nigeria Limited, to evacuate its 2,804,735 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and 1,927,727 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) stored in a tank farm belonging to Zone 4.

The tank farm, which is within the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ), is under the control of Oyebanji, who was appointed receiver/manager by First Bank of Nigeria Limited, pursuant to courts order made on July 1, 2016.

Ruling on an application by counsel to Zone 4, Mr. Lanre Ogunlesi (SAN), Justice Abudulazeez Anka held that the products should be evacuated with immediate effect.

Another judge of the court, Justice Saliu Saidu, had on July 1, empowered the bank’s receiver manager to take over the entire assets of Zone 4 Energy at the CFTZ, over an alleged debt owed the bank. But, Zone 4 Energy said it had a prior agreement with Chukelad Nigeria in a supporting affidavit, to use the tank farm to store its AGO and DPK, before Justice Saidu made the order.

Zone 4 Energy said Chukelad Nigeria also paid to use the tank farm, adding that the bank’s receiver manager took over the assets, while Chukelad Nigeria was loading its trucks at the depot.

“The situation is that Chukelad Nigeria limited is the owner of the property and not liable to any of the parties before the court. Rather, it sees same as his belongings, which unfortunately comes into the hands of a receiver manager, while performing his functions.

“I further implore the learned counsel for the plaintiff to take his pound of flesh without a drop of blood. The application is proper before the court…hence the application succeeds, the objection is accordingly over-ruled. The products lying in the tank farm, is accordingly ordered to be evacuated in presence of the registrar, monitoring same with immediate effect,” Justice Anka held.

The court also heard the motion to discharge the order granted by Justice Saidu, which was filed on behalf of Zone 4 by Ogunlesi, on the ground that condition precedent to confer jurisdiction to the court was not fulfilled.

Ogunlesi also argued that there were misrepresentation and suppression of material facts by the plaintiff, which formed the basis of the order granted. But Oyebanji vehemently opposed the application to vacate the order. Justice Anka adjourned till September 8, to rule on the application to set aside the order.

Zaria Clash: Court Declines To Grant El-Zakzaky Freedom

A Federal High Court, Abuja, has declined the application of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, seeking his immediate release from detention by the Department of State Service (DSS).
El-Zakzaky is the leader of Shi`a Movement in Nigeria.

Justice Okon Abang, the vacation judge, who declined the application, had in the past one week refused the applications of Rep. Abdulmumini Jubril’s house planned suspension.

The others were application from his kinsmen seeking stoppage of the appointment of the Managing Director and commissioner into NDDC board and a suit into Oron Federal constituency.

Abang said that Zakzaky ought to have obtained the leave of court for the matter to be heard during

He explained that the applicant failed to serve the DSS, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation joined as respondents.

He said, no matter the urgency of the matter, the applicant ought to have serve the respondents.

The judge said that the matter was initially assigned to Justice Gabriel Kolawole by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

Abang, therefore, said that the application was not competent and struck out the application.
Counsel to El-Zakzaky, Mr Abubakar Masha, instituted the suit seeking for enforcement of fundamental human rights on behalf of his client.

Police Intercepts PDP Convention

The Nigerian Police has cordoned off the venue of the planned National Convention of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The action by the security agent follows the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday barring the PDP from holding the convention.

Justice Okong Abang ruling in a motion filed by a factional chairman of the party, Ali-Modu Sheriff also restrained the Inspector General of Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from supervising or monitoring the planned convention pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Before the ruling by the Abuja court, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had given a clear call for the convention to go ahead.

Ruling on a motion filed by the convention planning committee, Justice Ibrahim Walifa stated that the party’s National Convention Planning Committee was duly constituted and that the convention stands valid.


Court Adjourns Forgery Case Against Saraki And Ekweremadu To June 1

The case instituted against Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, challenging their election as principal officers of the Senate has again being adjourned to June 1.

The Federal High Court hearing the case in Abuja was forced to adjourn the case following the absence of four out of the six defendants in the matter.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Justice Stephen Chukwu adjourned the case following information that the four defendants were not served with hearing notice by the court bailiff.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Mamman Osuman (SAN) told Chukwu that counsel to Ekweremadu, Mr
Patrick Ikweto, could not be located for the notice to be served on him.

Osuman further told the court that findings by his legal team and from the court bailiff indicated that Ikweto had relocated from his chambers in Wuse to an unknown destination.

He said that although the court required counsel relocating office to notify courts where he had cases, Ikweto had not done so.

Mamman, however, claimed that Ikweto might have been unable to inform the court due to an oversight.

He appealed to the judge for an adjournment to enable the defendants be served with fresh hearing notices.

The judge subsequently adjourned the matter to June 1 and ordered that fresh hearing notices be served on all parties.

Justice Chukwu warned that whether the defendants were in court or not on the adjourned date, the hearing would definitely go on.

Sen. Abu Ibrahim, and four others had filed a suit claiming that the Senate standing orders used for the election of Saraki and Ekweremadu had been forged and so the election should be nullified.

They prayed the court for an order to stop them from parading themselves as leaders of the Senate and that senators should be barred from recognizing them as principal officers.

However, Saraki, in his defence said that he was returned unopposed as there was no election and no one contested the position with him.

He said that the five senators had no locus standi to come to court because there were 109 senators and the decision of only five could not override the decision of 104 others.

He added that they brought the case to court in their individual capacity and not on behalf of the Senate.

The defence added that they had not told the court what they had lost by that election since they never claimed in their suit that they had aspired to any of the positions.

The defence prayed the court to dismiss the case for lack of merit as well as non disclosure of cause of action.

FRSC Refutes Claims Of Federal High Court Nullifying Its Power

The Federal Road Safety Commission on Monday has  refuted social media reports  that a Federal High Court in Lagos has nullified its  power to issue fines, tickets and impound offender vehicles.
The commission’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, said in Abuja that the FRSC was aware of the post on social media questioning it’s powers  to punish traffic offenders.
Kazeem said, “The truth is that there is no recent judgment of the FHC Lagos on the Tope Alabi case as is being circulated.
“What happened was that one Barrister Tope Alabi challenged the powers of the FRSC to arrest him, impound his vehicle and make him pay fines for the offences alleged.
“The FHC presided over by Justice Tsoho held that FRSC had no such powers. This was in Sept, 2014.
“A similar judgment was delivered in the case of Emmanuel Ofoegbu v FRSC by same Justice Tsoho on the same day,” he added.
He said  Justice Tsoho held that FRSC had no powers to set deadlines for motorists to change over to new number plates.
Kazeem said the  decision was appealed and the Court of Appeal held, inter alia, in Oct, 2014 that;
“The FRSC had statutory powers conferred by its enabling laws made pursuant to the Nigerian Constitution to regulate the use of number plates, design and set deadlines for change to new ones.”
The September 2014 judgment of Justice Tsosho which has also been challenged on appeal is the one currently being circulated in the social media by mischief makers, he added.
The commission’s Public Relations Officer said in another case by the same Tope Alabi before same Justice Tsoho , the Federal High Court, taking a cue from the Court of Appeal’s decision in Emmanuel Ofoegbu’s case, held judgment in favour of the FRSC in June, 2015.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there are reported Court of Appeal decisions to the effect that the FRSC has powers to arrest, issue notice of offence to suspected violators, impound vehicles used to commit traffic offences and electing to pay the prescribed fines instead of challenging the notice of offence in court does not amount to usurpation of court powers.?
“It is the voluntary decision of whoever decides to pay fines instead of challenging the notice of offence in court.”
He listed the cases as Ediru vs FRSC (2016) 4 NWLR. Pt 1502, pp209-247 and Esekhaigbe v FRSC, (2015) 12NWLR, Pt 1474 @ 520-537.
He said the Court of Appeal’s decisions no doubt override whatever was decided in the Tope Alabi case, which is also being challenged in the Appeal Court

SA Rapper’s Girlfriend Gets 12 Years in Prison For His Murder

The ex-girlfriend of South African rapper Nkululeko Habedi, known as Flabba, has been sentenced to 12 years for his murder. Judge Solly Sithole ordered that Sindisiwe Manqele should not be granted parole until she had served at least two thirds of the sentence, which is eight years.

There was a collective gasp from the gallery when the sentence was announced in a High Court in Johannesburg.  Manqele, whose head was covered in a red scarf, looked on stony faced.

She is however appealing the sentence and is currently applying to extend her bail while pending the outcome of the appeal.

Flabba was a member of Skwatta Kamp, considered the pioneers of South African hip hop. He died a year ago after a heated row with Manqele.

Prosecutors say she was jealous of seeing him talking to an ex-lover and stabbed him through the chest. She said she acted in self-defence.

EFCC Arraigns Man Over N57.7m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, February 11, arraigned one Robert Daniel Onyeani before Justice E. N. Anyadike of the Federal High Court of Umuahia, Abia State on a four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N57, 704,000.00 (Fifty-Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Four Thousand Naira).

Onyeani, Chief Executive of Imagine Roco Limited, sometime in November, 2013, allegedly presented himself to the complainant as a member of a seven-man Presidential Committee on Import
Duties Concession and Waiver of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and investment, Abuja.
The 53-year-old accused person also allegedly demanded the sum of N178, 000,000 (one hundred and seventy-eight million naira) from the complainant, promising that he could procure import duties waiver/concession certificate for importation of stock fish.

However, the accused person, after collecting the sum of N57,704,000.000 (fifty-seven million, seven hundred and four thousand naira) from the complainant, became elusive.
When the petitioner requested for refund, the accused person was said to have issued some cheques, which were not honoured due to insufficient fund in his account.

One of the counts reads:

‘‘That you, Robert Daniel Onyeani, CEO of Imagine Roco Ltd, on or about the 26th day of November, 2013 at Aba within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria obtained the sum of N20,000,000.00 (twenty million naira) from one Chinemeya Iheaku of G.N. Iheaku & Co. Ltd under the false pretence that you can procure a certificate of concession/waiver on the importation of stockfish/fish head, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.’’

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him. In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Joshua Saidu, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the accused person in prison custody. The defence counsel, O. Emole, however, moved an application for bail on behalf of his client.

Consequently, Justice Anyadike adjourned the matter to February 16 for hearing  on the bail application and ordered the accused person to be remanded in prison custody.

MTN Hires Ex-US Attorney General To Challenge $3.9b Fine

MTN Group has hired a former United States Attorney –General, Eric Holder, to help challenge a $3.9 billion fine imposed by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect unregistered users.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Holder pleaded with Nigerian officials last month on behalf of MTN.

Africa’s largest mobile phone company was handed a $5.2 billion penalty in October, prompting weeks of lobbying that led to a 25 percent reduction to $3.9 billion, Reuters reported.

MTN, however, was still not prepared to pay the fine and launched a court challenge in December, saying the NCC had no legal grounds to order the penalty.

A judge in Lagos had last month gave MTN until March 18 to reach a settlement on the fine, which equates to more than twice MTN’s annual average capital spending over the past five years.

MTN spokesman, Chris Maroleng, was not immediately available to comment on latest development, Reuters added.

Ehi Akpata: The Trials Of Olisa Metuh

It was recently reported that the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Bello, had ordered Magistrates in the FCT to stop granting remand orders to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This order may be connected to the policy of EFCC of securing warrants from magistrates to detain suspects beyond the 48 hours allowed by law. This was the move adopted by the EFCC to enable it detain the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh in its custody pending the conclusion of its investigation or his proper arraignment. The EFCC claims to have obtained a valid court order to detain Olisa Metuh for 14 days. Many Nigerians have expressed their views on this development and as usual most views on the issue are split along sentimental lines. You might have pitched your tent with one side or the other but let’s see what the law actually says.

The purpose of this article is to address the issue of the validity or otherwise of the order of the Abuja Chief Judge to magistrates in line with the extant laws on such issues. Section 293 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which provides that, “A suspect arrested for an offence which a magistrate Court has no jurisdiction to try shall within a reasonable time of arrest be brought before a Magistrate Court for remand.” Such a remand order once granted shall be for a period not exceeding 14 days in the first instance, and the case shall be returnable within the same period. A suspect affected by such a remand order is entitled to apply for bail before the Magistrate Court or proceed to the High Court to apply for the enforcement of his fundamental right to personal liberty.

The validity of this practice has been upheld by the Nigerian Supreme Court (the highest court of the land) in the case of Mrs. E. A. Lufadeju v. Evang. Johnson (2007) 8 NWLR (PT 1037) P. 535. The law in Nigeria appears to be quite clear as it affects the powers of Magistrate Courts to grant remand orders. I humbly submit that these provisions of the law as well as the decision of the Supreme Court in Lufadeju’s case cited above makes the directive of the Learned Chief Judge to Magistrates to be of no effect in law. The only lawful way to strip Magistrates of this power would have to be by Legislative amendment of the existing laws. It is therefore safe to conclude that if the EFCC obtained a remand order to detain Olisah Metuh then his detention by the EFCC was lawful and not a violation of his rights under s. 35 of the Constitution.

P.S. as at the time of writing this article, Chief Olisa Metuh has been charged to court by the EFCC and has been remanded in custody at Kuje Prison pending his bail application hearing.

Ehi Akpata, a lawyer, writes from Benin City. He tweets from @mcspella

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Tompolo Explains Why He Has Refused To Honor All Court Invitations

Former Niger Delta militancy leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo has explained why he has refused to honor court invitations over the corruption cases leveled against him by the EFCC. In an open letter to President Buhari which he sent out through his media aide, Paul Bebenimbo, yesterday January 18th, Tompolo said;

“The truth of the matter is that I do not know anything about the N34 billion Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is talking about. First, it was N13 billion issue, now it is N34 billion. I am not a signatory to any of the companies mentioned in the said N34 billion case, so I do not know where this one is coming from. I know that God in His infinite mercy will see me through in this critical moment.”?the letter read

He accused former governor of Bayelsa ?state, Timipre Sylva, of working against him.

“I wish to inform you that it has come to my knowledge that the leader of your party and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa and a few young men from Warri South West council of Delta State, who joined the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the 2015 presidential election, are bent on linking me to the renewed vandalism of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, whereas they are the ones carrying out the act to smear my name. They are doing this in connivance with the EFCC lawyer. The leader of your party in Bayelsa State approached me shortly after my meeting with you in Abuja that I should accompany him to meet you and plead for him to be appointed special adviser (SA) and chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which I refused to do because of his antecedents, as an unreliable and trustworthy person. It was thereafter he forced his way into the governorship election of the state, which almost tore the state apart with violence, beginning with the party primary in which he demonstrated a high level of desperation as was recounted by the Chairman of the committee and Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As for members of the party from my local government area, Warri South-West, they have been involved in illegal bunkering and oil theft activities over the years, which I have been fighting against because of my love for country. They know me as a no-nonsense person. There is this one from Gbaramatu kingdom with me that has sworn to kill me because I refused to manipulate the ascension to our traditional stool in his favour when he was not even qualified for it. And so, he looks for any opportunity to deal with me.’’the letter read.

Beggar Tells Court He Earns More From Street Begging Than Working A Real Job

The court heard that begging was a major problem in Nottingham and a police operation was set up to combat it. Craig Atkinson, 36, was arrested and pleaded guilty to begging but said the cash went on his two children.
The beggar told a court his income would drop if he took “a regular job.”

He said:

“If I got a proper regular job, I would get less money than I am doing this. “People give me money. There are no victims. “Other people sustain a £200 drug habit but mine goes to my two teenage children.”

He told Nottingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday that he is homeless but went on:

“I have got a few roofs. The problem in my life is I will not be in one place.”

He was given a six-month conditional discharge with a £15 government surcharge.
He said: “I can pay that for you now.”
But when magistrates also ordered £85 prosecution costs he replied:

“Please send me to prison. I have no intention of paying it.”

Margaret Martin, prosecuting, said: “He said he makes more with this than with a job.”

Popular Jeweler Slaps T.I. With $700K Lawsuit

T.I. may have to start mining for some gold of his own because at least one jewelry store is done with him, claiming he walked off with a ton of their bling and never paid up.

Aydin & Co in Georgia says in a new lawsuit it delivered an 18.5 karat white gold bracelet, a ring and yellow gold rosary to the rapper in 2014 and T.I paid $20k. Problem is … he still owes $44k.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to the lawsuit, during the decade T.I. was one of its shoppers, he stiffed them out of more than $400k.

Altogether, Aydin’s gunning for T.I. to the tune of $700k. T.I. has however said the lawsuit is BS.

Corruption Charges: ‘Nightmare Has Finally Ended’ – Fani-Kayode

A former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, says the dismissal of a case filed against him on money laundering charges was the “doing of the lord” and an end to a nightmare.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday morning dismissed the case against Mr Fani-Kayode, saying the prosecution’s case was “feeble” and failed to provide “copious evidence” linking Mr Fani-Kayode to money laundering.

In a statement issued after the judgement was delivered, the former Aviation Minister said that he had, in the last seven years, been subjected to the “most malicious, vicious, sinister, well-orchestrated, insidious and devastating form of political persecution and wickedness”.

“The whole process almost destroyed my life, my family, my reputation, my health and my career.

“I thank God for His goodness, His mercy and for the fact that today, the whole nightmare has finally come to an end,” he said.

“Marvellous In Our Sight”

Recounting the entire processes, he said: “Initially, I was accused of stealing 19.5 billion Naira of the public funds when I was Minister of Aviation. It was thrown out by the courts. Then I was accused of stealing 6.5 billion Naira. It was thrown out by the courts. Then I was accused of laundering 200 million Naira, it was thrown out by the courts.

“Then I was accused of laundering 99 million Naira. It was thrown out by the courts. Finally, I was accused of laundering one million Naira and 1.1 million Naira respectively and today, both of these charges have also been thrown out by the courts”.

Mr Fani-Kayode further said that the verdict “is the doing of the lord and it is marvellous in our sight”, stressing that it was a prove of God’s faithfulness and honour for His word.

Breaking News!!! Court Acquits Femi Fani-Kayode Of Money Laundering Charges

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court on Wednesday July 1, 2015, acquitted former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, of money laundering charges.

Fani-Kayode, who was spokesperson for the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Committee, has been facing trial for alleged criminal acts committed during his time as minister.

The judge described the case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “feeble” and duly discharged Fani-Kayode in the absence of “copious evidence.”

According to the judge, he EFCC’s case against Fani Kayode was unproven and ambiguous.

Details later…

Gen. Buhari To Set Up Special Courts For Corruption

Special courts to prosecute sundry tax evasion cases and official graft are to be set up by President- elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), it was gathered yesterday. The courts, which will be in the Federal Capital Territory, would deal strictly with corruption and tax evasion offences by companies, individuals and government officials.

The courts are expected to lift the burden of acute delay in trials of offenders by regular courts so that the next government can get fast results in its avowed war against corruption. Senator Aloysius Etok, Chairman of the Anti- Money Laundering and Cyber Security Coalition at the National Assembly, yesterday, revealed that the coalition of senators and members of the House of Representatives had already got the nod of the President-elect to set up the courts.

Etok expressed optimism that the courts, when established, will take off the burden of such cases from the regular courts and give them accelerated hearing.

“We are confident that these courts will give accelerated hearing to tax evasion cases and other cases bothering on corruption,” he said. Senator Etok disclosed that the National Assembly is probing about 115 tax offenders.

Besides, the lawmaker also revealed that senators in the course of investigations found that about 50 contracting firms working with the Federal Ministry of Works operate with forged tax certificates.

Court Fixes March 30 For D’banj’s Debt Allegation

Nigerian music star D’banj popularly known as KOKOMASTER is still in celebration mood with parties and concerts around the world celebrating his 10th year commemoration as an entertainer; however his alleged debt allegation crisis that seems to have died down has reared its ugly head up again….

In the last quarter of 2014, multiple media reports alleged that D’banj might be dragged to court by a top oil and gas industry player, Henry Ojogho, Vice Chairman of Broron Group. Ojogho, who is also the Vice Chairman of MindHub Technologies, an integrated Rice farming and milling production company, who alleged that D’banj, through his company, DKM Media Limited, obtained a loan of over N60m from him in January 2013 and has not paid back the said sum despite signing an
undertaking to do so.

Following this allegation, the write of summons and other relevant documents in the suit was posted on D’Banj’s residence on Osaro Isokpan Street in Lekki Phase 1.

The pasting was done by the court bailiff on December 17, 2014 at about 1:35p.m, pursuant to order of court made on November 12, 2014 having been satisfied that the defendant was evading being served the notice.

Subsequently, the court case between the DB Records boss and Mindhub Technologies bearing suit number: LD/ADR/445/14 was scheduled to commence hearing on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Multi-door Courthouse in Obalende, Lagos, but it was indefinitely postponed as a result of strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) which paralysed activities and court rooms remain closed.

The strike was recently called off by the judicial workers, and immediately a new date was set for the court case. Speaking exclusive with NET, a source in the camp of the claimant’s camp said, ‘Yes, we are back to court, and we are aware that D’banj has secured the services of a lawyer as well who wants to file in some documents in his defense, but we are yet to receive the papers.

Meanwhile the case has been adjourned to March 30, 2015 at the Multi-door Courthouse in Obalende, Lagos. In January 2015, D’banj kicked off his 10th year anniversary celebrations in Lagos when he successfully brought in American twerk queen Amber Rose to host the kick-off party in Lagos.

In February he moved the party to South Africa where he was hosted at ‘Harlem’ and ‘Kong’ night clubs with a lot of celebrities in attendance. And just last week Thursday, February 27, 2015, D’banj headlined the Industry Night celebrations in Dubai as part of his 10th anniversary celebrations where he performed alongside Kenya’s Sauti Sol, Dubai’s G Mac and others….