Court Dismisses Saraki’s Appeal Against CCT

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has again affirmed the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on charges bordering on assets declaration breaches before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Delivering judgment in the appeal filed by Saraki, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the appeal court on Thursday affirmed the CCT’s jurisdiction after dismissing the appeal filed by Saraki challenging his trial before the tribunal.

All the four other members of the panel unanimously agreed with the lead judgment delivered by Justice Aboki? who resolved all the eight issues formulated for determination against Saraki.

In affirming the earlier ruling of the Danladi Umar-led CCT that affirmed the tribunal’s jurisdiction, Justice Aboki held among others that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the Attorney-General of the Federation had the power to institute charges against him before the CCT.

The appeal court also held that under the Constitution, the Code of Conduct wa?s not under any obligation to invite the appellant to enable him to make written admission of breaches in his asset declaration forms before charges could be initiated against him.

It held that the tribunal had rightly departed from its earlier decision exonerating a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu? on account that he was not invited by the CCB to confront him with the allegations levelled against him.

The court also held that the fact that the charges were initiated 13? years after the offences were allegedly committed was immaterial.

Justice Aboki described the contention as sentimental which the court had been enjoined not to delve into.

This was the second time the appeal court would be delivering judgment on the same subject matter of jurisdiction of the CCT to try the Senate President.

The Court of Appeal had last year ruled against Saraki on the jurisdiction of the CCT and asked him to proceed to face the 16 counts preferred against him.

The judgment of the appeal court was validated by the Supreme Court in February.


Customs dismisses 29 senior officers for bribery, forgery.

Less than a week after the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) sacked 17 junior officers for bribery, drug addiction, use of fake certificates and absence from duty, the Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali, has approved the dismissal of 29 senior officers for various acts of gross misconduct.

The public relations officer of the service, Wale Adeniyi, said the affected officers are among 44 senior officers who were punished for actions capable of compromising national economy and security.

He stated that 10 other officers were retired from service, while the appointment of one officer was terminated.

He further stated that four officers were given written warnings to be of better conduct while another four officers who were investigated and tried for some offences were exonerated.

“Four of the officers who got the hammer were of the rank of deputy-comptroller of Customs, while five were Assistant-comptroller. Others were seven Chief Superintendents of Customs and four Superintendents, among others.

“comptroller-general of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (retd) had made it clear upon his assumption of duties that the Service will not compromise on corruption and indiscipline among the officers corps.

In line with this, the structure and process for investigation of offences was strengthened to handle cases reported promptly and professionally.

“We will give all officers fair hearing in line with the principle of natural justice. We will however insist that sanctions be punitive, not only to match the offence committed, but to serve as deterrent to others”, the CGC remarked at Management meeting convened to consider the report of the Disciplinary Committee that investigated the cases.

Adeniyi disclosed in the statement that the process of dismissing the officers were based on the civil service rules.

“The process leading to the actions taken on the officers was painstaking in line with the Public Service Rules (PSR). All the officers were served with Queries indicating offences committed, before they made appearances before the Special Investigation Committee.

“The Committee’s recommendation was discussed and approved by the Customs Management. The recommendation was thereafter referred to the Presidency for ratification, in the absence of a substantive Board for the Nigeria Customs Service. All the officers affected in the exercise have been communicated accordingly.

“The Comptroller-General warned officers that punitive sanctions will continue to be used to discipline officers who refuse to embrace change.

“Officers affected in this exercise were investigated for involvement in improper examination and release of containers without proper documentation and payment of duties, illegal release of goods in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items, release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure auctioned goods.”

NCAA Dismisses Airlines Fold Up Claims

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Thursday dismissed claims that some airlines were winding down their operations in the country.

The authority dismissed the claims in a statement signed by the NCAA Director-General, Captain Muhtar Usman, in Lagos.

Usman said on the contrary, the airlines were merely suspending their operations temporarily to enable them undertake certain operational overhaul and strengthen their overall operational outlay.

“One of the airlines, Aero Contractors Ltd., at present has only one serviceable aircraft.

“This is in contradiction to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARS) which stipulates that no airlines operator shall carry out schedule commercial operation with only one aircraft.

“The minimum acceptable number is three aircraft.

“In other words, any airlines with one aircraft is in contravention of the NCAA regulations, therefore cannot be adjudged to be capable of providing safe operation.

“The only option available for such airlines is to suspend its operations temporarily while other aircraft arrive in due course,” he said.

Usman, however, said that NCAAs Regulations provided a window for such operator to embark on non-schedule operations in the interim.

He explained further that the First Nation Airlines on its part was in the middle of an Engine Replacement Programme for one of its aircraft.

“Another aircraft is due for mandatory maintenance as is allowable by NCAA.

“In these circumstances, these airlines clearly cannot continue to undertake schedule operations, hence the inevitable recourse to self-regulatory suspension.”

The director general said NCAA wished to reiterate that on no account would it compromise safety and security of airlines operations in the airspace.

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Court Dismisses Omisore’s Bail Application

An FCT High Court on Friday dismissed, Sen. Iyiola Omisore, a former deputy governor of Osun, bail application, describing it as premature and incompetent.

Omisore is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N60 billion fraud.

In his ruling, the judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi , held that the counsel to the applicant failed to show what powers the court had to reverse the order of a court with concurrent jurisdiction.I am not aware of any order to make in the instant applications, which have the tendency and implications of upturning the existing order of my learned brother Justice Jude Okeke.

I must, therefore, agree with the submissions of the respondent’s counsel that in the present situation this court hasn’t made an order for the remand of the applicant for the period of 14 days.

And now turn around to make another order undermining the same order for remand for the release of the applicant on bail.

In other words, the issue of bail cannot arise from this court that validly made an order for his remand during the lifespan of that order.

In my view, the cause open for the applicant in this circumstance is to wait for the expiration of the order of July 8, and thereafter exercise his rights under Section 296 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to renew his application for bail,’’ he said.

The judge said that in totality and with no further ado, his decision was that the application was premature in the circumstance and was thereby incompetent and inappropriate.

Even though I have not considered its substance, the application is hereby dismissed,’’ Adeniyi said.

Credit: Guardian

Supreme Court Dismisses Aisha Al-Hassan’s Appeal

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Aisha Al-Hassan.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the Apex Court held that the appeal lacked merit and substance.

The Apex Court upheld the Appellate Court’s verdict which had earlier dismissed the petition on the grounds that the APC and its governorship candidate cannot question the nomination of Governor Darius Ishaku as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Al-Hassan had filed the appeal questioning the nomination of Darius Ishaku as the candidate of the PDP.

According to her, the PDP did not conduct primary elections to nominate its candidate as required by the law.

The Supreme Court says it will give reasons for the judgment on February 22, 2016.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Saraki’s Appeal Against CCT

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, against the judgment of the Appeal Court on his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on charges of false asset declaration.

A seven-man bench, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, gave the judgment that the CCT was properly constituted to exercise jurisdiction over Saraki’s trial and has jurisdiction to try criminal matters.

The apex court had adjourned till February 5, 2016 to determine the appeal seeking to quash charges against the Senate President, after it entertained arguments from both Dr. Saraki and the Federal Government in December 2015.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on October 30, 2015, affirmed the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him and the competence of the charges of false asset declaration preferred against him by the Federal Government.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Filed Against Delta, Yobe, Oyo Governors

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has dismissed appeal filed against the election of the Governors of Delta, Yobe and Oyo States.

Giving the ruling on Tuesday, the Court held that the appeal filed by Emerhor Otega of the All Progressives Congress and great Ogboru of the Labour Party against Governor Okowa of Delta State lacked merit.

Similarly the Court dismissed appeal filed by Rashidi Ladoja of the Accord Party against Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as abuse of court process.

All the judgments were unanimous and the court has fixed February 15 to give reasons for the judgement.

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Okonjo-Iweala Dismisses Allegations On Abacha Loot

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has dismissed allegations that she illegally authorized the diversion of recently recovered Abacha loot during the administration of former president, Goodluck Jonathan.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala described the allegation as “part of a campaign of falsehood” to “tarnish her image” in a statement on Wednesday by her media adviser, Paul Nwabuikwu.

The former minister noted that the contents of a memo dated January 20, 2015 in which she responded to a request by the former National Security Adviser, Col Ibrahim Dasuki (retired) for funds to prosecute the war against Boko Haram, was “distorted”.

To set the records straight, the statement maintained that “the central responsibility of the Minister of Finance is to find sources of funding for the financing of approved national priorities such as security, job creation and infrastructure”.

The statement also “recalled that throughout 2014, there were public complaints by the military hierarchy to President Goodluck Jonathan about the inadequacy of funds to fight the anti-terror war in the North East, resulting in Boko Haram making gains and even taking territories. A lot of the criticism was directed at the Federal Ministry of Finance under Dr Okonjo-Iweala which was accused of not doing enough to find funds for the operations.

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Court Dismisses Corruption Charges Against Timipre Sylva

A Federal High Court, Abuja,on Thursday dismissed a 50-count charge bordering on alleged corruption against former Bayelsa governor, Timipre Sylva and six others.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in a ruling, held that the charges as filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission constituted an abuse of court process and the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

He further held that the charges were “frivolous and lacking in merit’’.

Specifically, Justice Ademola held that the same charges had been determined by two other justices of the federal high court, Justices Evoh Chukwu and Ahmed Mohammed.

He said Justices Chukwu and Mohammed had struck out the charges on June 1 and June 10 respectively.

“It is the view of the court that the case constitutes an abuse of court process.

“The charges and witnesses in this case are all the same with the cases earlier struck out by the two courts.

“The court has inherent power to prevent the abuse of its process,’’ he said.

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Presidency Dismisses Metuh’s Lopsided Anti- Graft War Allegations

The Presidency has reacted swiftly to the allegation made by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

On the allegation of witch-hunting its members, the President’s Adviser on Media, Mr Femi Adesina, said that ordinarily he would not want to comment on such because they were comments coming from a political party and response are better from the APC leadership.

He, however, said that concerning the President, it was untrue for Mr Olisa Metuh to claim that the President’s anti-corruption war was one-sided.

According to him, “Mr Olisa Metuh is sounding like a broken record. It’s the same thing that he says all the time. But let me assure Nigerians that the President has always maintained that even when it affects APC members, the person concerned must go and defend himself.”

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, had said at a news conference in Abuja, that unfolding events have confirmed the party’s position that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is only using the anti-corruption posture as a tool to witch-hunt PDP members and perceived political opponents of the APC government.

He stated that no member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite the public petitions of corruption and squandering of state funds, has been invited, questioned or arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But Mr Adesina wondered why the issue was not whether the people facing the EFCC actually committed the crime but Mr Metuh is saying that it is one-sided.

“I think what is of interest to Nigerians is ‘did this people commit the crime?’ not whether it is one-sided,” he said.

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Army General Dismissed, Jailed For Losing Equipment To Boko Haram

The Nigerian military on Thursday convicted a Brigadier General, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, blamed for the loss of Baga in Borno State to Boko Haram insurgents in January.

Mr. Ransome-Kuti, son of Beko Ransome-Kuti, a foremost Nigerian pro-democracy activist who died on February 10, 2006, was arraigned before a military court, sitting in Mogadishu Barracks, Abuja, in May.

He was accused of cowardly behaviour, loss of weapons to Boko Haram, and negligent performance of military duty under section 62b of the Armed Forces Act.

In its judgment Thursday, the court dismissed the charge bordering on cowardly behaviour, following a no-case submission by the defendant.

The court said the officer was right in withdrawing his troops in the face of superior firepower from Boko Haram terrorists.

He was however sentenced to six-month imprisonment for loss of equipment to the extremist sect.

He was also found guilty for negligently performing his duties and was therefore dismissed from service.

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Tribunal Upholds Adeyemi’s Victory, Dismisses Labour Party’s Petition

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Ibadan on Wednesday upheld the election of Rep. Akeem Adeyemi representing Oyo East, Oyo West, Atiba and Afijio Federal Constituency.

Kamil Akinlabi of Labour Party had challenged the declaration of Adeyemi of APC as the winner of the March 28 election.
Also joined in the petition were the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The petitioner had informed the tribunal through his counsel, Mr R. Akinloye, that Adeyemi was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast, adding that the election was marred by irregularities and malpractices.

Akinloye also said that Adeyemi did not have National Youth Service Corps certificate and prayed the court to declare his client as the winner of the election or order re-run in the affected local governments.

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