Joseph Nwobike’s bribe to judges was for library upgrade – Witness

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Joseph Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on Tuesday told an Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court that the funds transferred by the lawyer into the bank account of a serving federal judge were meant for purposes which included a library upgrade.

Daniel Danladi, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said during cross examination that the money was not meant to pervert the course of justice.

Mr. Nwobike is facing trial before the court for allegedly offering gratification to judges.

The judges’ names include Mohammed Yinusa, H.A Ngajiwa, and Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court; and James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court.

“The N300,000 given to Justice Ngajiwa by the defendant was for the update of his library and I don’t know if the defendant had any matter before the justice,” Mr. Danladi said, while also noting that “there was no evidence of payment or transfer from Justice Ngajiwa to Justice Yunusa in the sum of N300,000 on the instance of the defendant.”

Mr. Danladi had earlier stated in his statement that one “Mrs. Helen Ogunleye, a registrar of Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, had admitted to the EFCC of receiving N250,000 from the defendant.” He also revealed that “the communication between the defendant and Helen was for her to prevail on Justice Kurya to pervert the course of justice. This was contained in the text sent from Mr. Nwobike to Helen which read ‘let Oga discharge that order.’”

Asked by the defence lawyer, Olawale Akoni, if he found out during the course of the Commission’s investigation the order that Justice Kurya was asked to discharge, the prosecution witness said, “No my lord, I did not find out the order that Justice Kurya was said to discharge.”

Mr. Danladi said the defendant confirmed to the EFCC that the N750,000 was for the treatment of Justice Yunusa’s mother and the Justice also confirmed same to the commission.”

During further examination, the witness revealed that the EFCC had “filed the charges against Mr. Nwobike before completion of their investigation.” He also revealed that “I was not present when Mr. Nwobike’s statement was taken by the Crimes Commission, hence my inability to know the questions asked the defendant.”

The witness also said a total of 14,000 text messages were recovered from Mr. Nwobike’s phone and that some of them, in which some judges’ names were mentioned, were related to the case.

Earlier, Mr. Danladi had revealed that the content of a brown envelope received by Justice Yunusa from Mr. Nwobike was $2,500 ad that the federal judge received the envelope on September 29, 2015, as contained in a text sent by Mr. Nwobike to a lady named Debby.

The text message which was read by the witness stated, “I have given him an envelope containing $2,500. My regards.”

The witness also told the court that “the defendant on the 19th day of March 2015 had his bank account debited of N750,000 in favour of honourable Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court.” He further said that “the defendant had cases pending before the judge prior to and even after the payment of this money. He was also at the time of this payment still serving as the honourable judge of the Federal High Court.”

The witness also stated that on September 28, 2015, “there was a deposit, a credit of N300,000 coming from the law firm of the defendant to the company Awaja Nigeria limited and Justice H. A. Ngajiwa was the beneficiary of the funds which he received while serving as a justice of the Federal High Court.”

Justice Raliatu Akinbiyi adjourned the matter to May 5 and 18, 2017 for continuation of trial.


Source: Premium Times

Judge disqualifies self from Adegboruwa’s trial

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday washed her hands off the criminal case filed against Lagos-based activist lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The judge, who announced her decision in the open court, said it was based on “personal reasons.”

She said she had decided to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for assignment to another judge.

Out of nine witnesses listed to testify, EFCC had already called two.

The EFCC, in the case, marked, FHC/L/181c/2016, accused Adegboruwa of dealing in a landed property in defiance of a court order.

It arraigned the lawyer on May 13, 2016 on one count alongside one Jonathan Udeagbala, said to be at large.

The anti-graft agency 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, had, after Adegboruwa’s arraignment, reportedly vacated the interim order of Justice C.A. Balogun, which the EFCC alleged that Adegboruwa defied.?

“I cannot proceed with this trial”, Olisa Metuh tells judge.

Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has told an Abuja Federal High Court that he will not proceed with his trial.

Metuh’s stance followed the ruling of Justice Okon Abang rejecting his application to compel the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki to testify in the case.

Justice Abang in his ruling accused Metuh of using different tactics, including all manner of adjournments beyond the five stipulated under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA,2015)  to   delay the trial.

He therefore dismissed the application for lack of merit and an after thought. He ordered Metuh to continue his defence.

But Meruh’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) expressed disappointment with the ruling of the court, and the comments by the court against Metuh.

“The court has in a very surprising manner accused the the first defendant of using all manner of delay tactics,” he said. There is absolutely no way the first defendant will trial any further in the court.”

Metuh had in December 2016 applied for a subpoena to compel Dasuki to appear and testify in the charges the N400 million transfered to him is a proceed of unlawful act.

UPDATE: Why Court relaxed bail conditions for allegedly corrupt Ajumogobia

The failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to challenge the applications for bail variation filed by Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla was a major reason a Lagos court relaxed their bail conditions, Judge Hakeem Oshodi said on Thursday.

Reading a ruling he prepared after adjourning the morning proceedings till 2 p.m., Mr. Oshodi noted that Section 123 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2011, empowers the court to vary bail conditions imposed on defendants at subsequent hearings.

“The prosecution did not oppose the submissions filed by the defendants,” said the judge.

“We must not forget that where facts and applications remain unchallenged or uncontroverted, the court is bound to accept those facts as the truth.”

The defendants, Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, a serving federal judge, and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, are facing a joint 30-count charge of fraud and money laundering brought by the EFCC.

Mr. Obla was a prosecutor for the EFCC.

The duo were jointly charged with a two-count charge of perverting the course of justice by the anti-graft agency.

Mr. Obla was charged with an additional two counts of offering gratification in the sum of N5 million to Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, a public official during her service as a judge.

Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia faces a 26-count charge of unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption by a public officer, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.

They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

On November 28, Mr. Oshodi granted the defendants bail on own recognisance, but added that they should deposit N20 million each and their passport to the chief registrar of the court pending conclusion of trial.

But on Thursday, the defendants brought an application for variation of the bail, saying that the conditions were “too extreme.”

Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia said the EFCC had placed a ‘post no-debit/freezing order’ on all her bank accounts and, in any case, N20 million was “excessive and unaffordable” for her.

She also said the EFCC had collected her travel passport during the course of their investigation of the charges filed against her.

“Bail granted on excessive conditions amounts to a denial of bail,” Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia said.

In his application, Mr. Obla noted that the cumulative monetary value of the offences charged against him was N5 million.

“N20 million is burdensome , the second defendant has made frantic efforts to comply with the conditions of the bail but had found it impossible,” he said.

In his ruling, Mr. Oshodi replaced the N20 million condition with a bail bond of the same sum to be perfected within seven days.

“As at the time of writing this ruling, the court has in its custody the international passports of the defendants,” the judge said.

He also ordered the defendants to depose an affidavit of means in support of the bail bond.

The case was adjourned till January 9, 2017, for continuation of trial.

Judge Earns N24m Annually, Spent N500m in 10 Months –AGF

The Federal Government on Wednesday said investigations had shown that a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, spent over N500m between January and October 2016 despite his total annual legitimate earnings, including his allowances being N24m.

This was disclosed in a document prepared by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, summarising the case of the prosecution against the Justice of the Supreme Court, who was on November 21, 2016, arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
 During his arraignment, Ngwuta pleaded not guilty to 16 counts, including money laundering and others relating to fraudulent obtainment of multiple passports.
The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned till January 16, 2017, for the prosecution to start calling its witnesses.
The document, prepared in anticipation that the prosecution would be allowed to open its case on Wednesday, stated that the case brought against the judge, “chronicles corrupt enrichment, violations of the money laundering laws of our land, passport fraud, and an attempt to obstruct justice by a judicial officer”.
The prosecution alleged that from the N500m, the apex court justice transferred dollar equivalent of N313m cash in $100 bills to a building contractor within the period of nine months between January and September, 2016, to “develop several landed properties” for him.
It explained that earlier in 2015, the defendant, within a period of one month, made various cash payments totalling $180,000 to the building contractor.
It also alleged that during the raid on the defendant’s Abuja house by the operatives of the Department of State Services on October 7, 2016, total sums of N38.358m, $319,596 and £25,915 were found in his possession.
According to the prosecution, the Justice of the apex court gave no satisfactory explanation for the huge sums of money found in his possession.
Prosecutor’s document
The document partly read, “Another witness will testify before this court that the defendant’s total annual income, including allowances in 2016 amounted to approximately N24,000,000.
“It beggars belief how a serving public servant could have under his direct control, in a 10-month period spanning between January and October alone, cash sums in excess of N500,000,000.”
Adeogun-Philips said proposed prosecution witnesses would also appear in court to testify over the huge funds found in possession of the defendant, among other allegations.
The document stated, “In the course of this trial, the Federal Republic of Nigeria will adduce evidence from a building contractor engaged by the defendant, as to how in a period of nine months, spanning between January and September 2016, he received the total sum of N313,000,000 from the defendant in cash, which was paid to him mostly in $100 bills to develop landed properties for the defendant.
“This court will also hear from another witness, how in his capacity as an architect engaged by the defendant in 2015, he received from the defendant within a period of one month, various cash payments totalling $180,000.
“Investigators will further tell this honourable court how during a search at his residence on October 7, 2016, cash totalling: (1) N35,358,000 (2) $319,956 and £25,915 were found in the defendant’s possession.”
The prosecution alleged that the defendant had betrayed “the judicial oath of allegiance to discharge his duties as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, faithfully, with honesty, and to the best of his abilities”, which he swore to on June 23, 2011 when he was promoted to the Supreme Court bench.
The prosecuting lawyer also stated that he would lead evidence on how the defendant, on October 9, 2016, a day after being granted administrative bail by the DSS in Abuja, prevailed on a potential prosecution witness on the telephone to help him to move some bags containing title documents of landed assets and N27m cash away from his house in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Adeogun-Philips stated, “The court will, in the course of this trial, hear how the defendant, having been confronted with the maze of evidence against him, following the search of his official residence in Abuja and his subsequent arrest on October 7, 2016, and oblivious of being under DSS surveillance, prevailed on a potential prosecution witness following his release on administrative bail on October 9, 2016, to remove from his bathroom at his private residence in Ebonyi State several bags containing several land title documents and the sum of N27m cash.
“The evidence will also reveal how the defendant ordered the same witness to remove three luxury vehicles from his residence following which the said vehicles were subsequently concealed at various locations in Ebonyi State in an attempt to obstruct ongoing investigations in this case.”
He also said the evidence to be led by the prosecution would reveal “how the defendant, deliberately misled the Nigeria Immigration Service into issuing him four valid passports – two diplomatic and two standard Nigerian passports – having previously declared to the said service on oath that he had lost two of these passports”.
“The defendant was later found with all four passports during a search at his residence on October 7, 2016,” the prosecution stated.
Adeogun-Philips added, “It is for these reasons that the defendant is standing trial before this honourable court today. By the end of this trial, I am confident that the prosecution would have established beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is indeed guilty of the offences charged.”
The prosecution was scheduled to call its first set of witnesses against Justice Ngwuta on Wednesday, but the defendant, through his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), begged the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, to further adjourn the case to afford him (Ngwuta) more time to prepare for his defence.
He said his client was eager to defend himself, “But unfortunately we still have a lot to do to be sufficiently ready.”
He cited section 36(6) of the constitution which he said entitled any person accused of criminal offences to be given the “time and facilities” to defend himself.
He said, “There are some documents we still need to access from the prosecution. Under our constitution the defendant should be given enough time.
“I urge your lordship to direct the prosecution to avail us of all the documents they intend to use so that we can be fully prepared.”
Prosecutor opposes adjournment
But Adeogun-Philips, who said a lot of resources had been expended to bring three of the prosecution witnesses to court on Wednesday, opposed the application for adjournment.
He opposed the application on the grounds that both parties had on November 21, after the arraignment of the defendant, consented to the commencement of the trial on Wednesday.
 Insisting that all the documents the prosecution would use had been front-loaded and served on the defendant along with the charges, he added that the  application for adjournment also violated section 396(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, “which provides for day-to-day trial upon arraignment until the conclusion of trial.”
 He also said the adjournment would also violate the provisions of the court’s Practice Direction 2013.
 He suggested that if the court was willing to grant the adjournment, the prosecution should be allowed to call its witness and give the defence another date to cross-examine the witness.
Defence lawyer seeks adjournment
Responding on point of law, Agabi said day-to-day trial was impracticable and that under section 396(4) of ACJA, the defendant was entitled to seek adjournment five times throughout the period of the trial in the event of the impracticability of day-to-day trial.
But ruling, Justice Tsoho agreed with the defence lawyer on the grounds that the provision of the constitution overrides the provision of the ACJA.
He said that the time and facilities which the provision of Section 36(6) of the constitution provides must be afforded the accused person which could extend to “emotional and psychological” readiness.

Nigerian govt fails to arraign senior judge accused of corruption.

The Federal Government on Monday failed to arraign a judge of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Adeniyi Ademola.


The office of the Attorney General had planned to arraign Mr. Ademola at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on Monday, but failed to do so because the judge was yet to be served with the originating summons for his trial.


Mr. Ademola, alongside his wife, Olubowale, is facing a 15-count charge of alleged fraud and abuse of office.


He is among the seven judges whose homes were raided by operatives of the State Security Service on October 7.


Counsel to the Federal Government, Segun Jegede, told the trial judge, Jude Okeke, that the summons for the trial had not been served to the defendants.


He applied for leave of court to pass the originating summons to the defendants through their lawyer.


The application was granted and the case was adjourned till December 13.

Don’t Demonise Shiites, Judge Warns Nigerian Government

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday warned Nigeria’s government against demonising Shiites and their Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN.

Delivering judgement in a bail application sought by the IMN leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the trial judge, Gabriel Kolawole, said Nigeria’s government must allow its citizens enjoy the fundamental right to freedom.

“I am of the view that the applicant need not be demonised, but that they should be allowed to practice the faith they choose,” said Mr. Kolawole.

The judge said Nigeria’s law allows a person or group to practice whatever religion they choose and in whatever manner that they deem fit.

He said although it is a known fact that most Nigerian Muslims are Sunnis, the constitution allows freedom of thought and worship.

Mr. Kolawole described the Shiite’s relationship with the Nigerian government as “delicate and slippery”.

He said his court was set to give its judgement since October 5 but decided to allow parties settle out of court, considering the sensitive nature of religious issues.

“They are much more delicate and judicially speaking, slippery in nature,” Mr. Kolawole said.

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Be professional in your actions, Judge blasts EFCC.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the manner in which it carried out its probe of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

Delivering judgement in a N50 million fundamental rights suit filed by Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia against the EFCC, the trial judge, Muslim Hassan, urged the EFCC to be professional in the discharge of its duties.

It will be recalled that Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, in the fundamental rights enforcement suit, is seeking among other things, an order of the court declaring her continued detention by the EFCC as illegal.

While noting that the EFCC was vested with powers to arrest and detain any citizen suspected to have committed an offence, Mr. Hassan said that such powers must be exercised with caution.

The judge questioned the rationale behind the revocation of the administrative bail granted to Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia by the EFCC on October 22, when she did not pose a flight risk.

He said: “The respondent should have exercised restraints in revoking the bail earlier granted the applicant; there was no evidence that the applicant is a flight risk.

“The respondent is hereby counselled to be professional and to always exercise caution and restraints in the exercise of its powers.”

Mr. Hassan, however, disagreed with Ofili-Ajumogobia that the remand order obtained by the EFCC from a magistrates’ court on November 10 was unlawful, illegal and a violation of her fundamental human rights.

According to Mr. Hassan, the remand order was issued by the Magistrates’ Court pursuant to Section 264(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The judge also refused to make any order as to the applicant’s request for bail from the EFCC’s custody, following her arraignment on November 28 before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court.

“The issue of the applicant’s bail from EFCC’s custody has already been overtaken by the event of her arraignment at the Lagos High Court and her subsequent release on bail by the court.

“The applicant’s lawyer is also at liberty to challenge the continued detention of the applicant by the respondent after the expiration of the magistrate court’s remand order.

“However, in the light of the recent event in this matter, this suit is hereby struck out,’’ the judge held.

The EFCC had on November 28 arraigned Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Godwin Obla, on a 30-count corruption charges before an Ikeja High Court.

They had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and had since been granted bail on self recognition by the court.

Judge orders fellow judge Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, senior lawyer into the dock.

A judge at the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court has ordered a federal judge, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, into the dock for arraignment on money laundering, the Punch newspaper is reporting.


The arraignment of Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia and a senior lawyer, Godwin Obla, is currently underway before Justice T. Oshodi.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had filed a 30-count charge of corruption and money laundering against both defendants.


The EFCC accused the judge of accepting almost $800,000 (N368 million) between 2012 and 2015 which she allegedly used to buy a house in London.


Before her arraignment on Monday, Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia had repeatedly shunned invitations to report to the anti-graft commission, before finally appearing before the agency on October 20.


Details later….

Accused of N2.4 billion forgery, Innoson motors wants judge to hands off case

Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday fixed January 26, 2017, to hear an application to `recuse’ himself from a N2.4 billion suit against Innosson Nig. Ltd.


Innosson Nig. Ltd, Innocent Chukwuma , Charles Chukwuma Maximian Chukwuma, Mitsui Osk Lines `C’ and Anajekwu Sunny are facing trial before the court on charges bordering on falsification of shipping document.


At the resumed hearing of the case, the prosecutor, Mr J.I Ajakaiye, sought to withdraw a counter affidavit and written address he had filed, on the ground that he had fresh applications.


This prayer was not opposed by the defence team.


However, Nnabueze Mbadugha, one of the counsel, reminded the court that there was a pending application for the judge to disqualify himself from the matter.


He argued that “once there is such application, no further action is required to be taken by the judge, who is only expected to step aside.’’


According to him, once the neutrality of a court has been questioned, it offends the sensibilities of fairness and justice for the court to continue to entertain further proceedings.


Quoting the Latin maxim, “Nemo judex in causa sua,” Mr. Mbadugha submitted that it was a serious error for the judge to seek to entertain applications in respect of the same case.


According to him, the said Latin maxim simply postulates that one cannot be a judge in his own case.


He, therefore, urged the court to recuse itself from taking further steps in the case.


In a short ruling, Mr. Saidu held that the defence counsel had not moved any application before him urging him to disqualify himself from the case.


The judge said that he would not “chicken out’’ of the suit simply because a party says so, but would rather wait for an application to be moved in that respect.


He held, “It is the duty of the court to rule on an application after it has been heard and not to chicken out because a party does not want it to preside over it.


“Judges are not to submit to intimidation of parties; I am yet to hear any such application before me and so, I will not recuse myself now, until I hear the application,” the Judge said.


The court then fixed January 26 for hearing.


In the charge, the accused were alleged to have conspired to commit the offence on October 10, 2013 at Apapa Wharf.


The prosecution alleged that the accused falsified shipping documents, which they deposited with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc as collateral for the sum of N2.4 billion.


The loan facility was granted Innosson Nig. Ltd but the shipping documents were discovered to have been falsely presented as genuine with intent to defraud in order to clear the N2.4 billion goods.


According to the charge, the offence contravened the provisions of sections 1(2) (c), and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation 2004.

Buhari using DSS to intimidate new judge handling Nnamdi Kanu’s trial – IPOB

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of allegedly using the Department of State Services, DSS, to intimidate and harass Justice Binta Nyako, handing the ongoing case of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Following the withdrawal of Justice John Tsoho from Kanu’s trial, the matter was re-assigned to Nyako.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the separatist group claimed that Buhari was using the DSS to pressurize Nyako to fake illness and not attend the re-opening of the trial tomorrow.

The statement reads, “IPOB has received information confirmed by our intelligence team that Buhari through his secret police the DSS has succeeded in putting pressure on Justice Binta Nyako to fake illness and not attend the hearing tomorrow in the case involving the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

“This was the same delay tactics used to pressure judges in the past to deliver illegal rulings in favour of the unconstitutional DSS. Despite the fact that the focus of the world is on the Nigerian Judicial System, Buhari, egged on by Daura of DSS, is bent on perverting the course of justice again.

“The world is hereby put on notice that Justice Binta Nyako is in danger of being blackmailed by Buhari who has threatened to reopen corruption charges against her husband, former Governor of Adamawa State Murtala Nyako if she appears in court tomorrow.

“This tactics of intimidating judges handling this case and subversion of justice must be resisted by all men and women of good conscience.

“Judges who cannot be compromised and at various times ruled against Buhari’s interest are facing corruption charges while those mired in corrupt practices whilst presiding over cases for Buhari, like the epitome of corruption and disgrace to the legal profession, Justice John Tsoho are still allowed to preside over cases while fearless judges have been barred from handling courts cases.

“Justice Binta Nyako was sighted on Friday the 4th of November 2016 in good health. If she fails to turn up to preside over the hearing tomorrow the 8th of November 2016, the world should know that Buhari has succeeded through his DSS to intimidate this woman the way they intimidated and compromised John Tsoho the previous judge.”

Judge Confronts Sambo Dasuki In Court Openly

Judge: Did you send any money to me; to any member of my family or through any counsel?
Dasuki: No, my Lord, except if the DSS agents, who are reporting the allegation did.

In a bid to make people believe that he never took a bribe from anyone, one of the judges arrested last week by the Department of State Services (DSS), Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal Hiigh Court withdrew yesterday from the trial of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Dasuki was arraigned before the court on September 1, 2015, accused of unlawful possession of arms and money laundering.

After some delay caused by the defence, the trial opened on May 18, with the prosecution calling its first witness, Samuel Ogbu, a senior DSS operative.

Ogbu told the court how the team he worked with interviewed Dasuki and obtained a statement from him in the comfort of his home on July 17, 2015. He gave details of how the team searched the ex-NSA’s private home in Asokoro, Abuja, recovered five Tavor rifles, one Lugar rifle, one micro Uzi rifle, various categories of ammunition and cash in both local and foreign currencies.

The trial was later stalled when the prosecution applied to have its other witnesses shielded from public glare to protect them from possible harm, an application the defence rejected, following which Justice Ademola scheduled ruling on the application for October 18.

Parties had expected the judge to deliver the ruling when proceedings opened yesterday, but Justice Ademola announces his withdrawal from the case, citing his trouble in the hands of the DSS.

Before withdrawing from the case, Justice Ademola said:

“I’m sure the prosecution and defence counsel are conversant with what is going on in the last seven days in this country. One of the allegations being made against me by the Department of State Security is that I received certain sums of unspecified money from the defendant.

“Of course, I have responded to that allegation of receiving unspecified sums of money from the defendant. But, it will be wise for him to answer some questions.”

Justice Ademola engaged Dasuki in a conversation:
Judge: “Do you know me at all or have come in contact with me?”
Defendant: “I don’t know you, my Lord.”
Judge: “Did you, at any time, give me money in respect of the ongoing trial?”
Defendant: “No, my Lord. I didn’t give you any money.”
Judge: “Did you send any money to me; to any member of my family or through any counsel?”
Defendant: “No, my Lord, except if the DSS agents, who are reporting the allegation did.”
Judge: “I am happy you have answered these questions. In the interest of fair hearing, I am minded to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for further action.”

Lead prosecution lawyer Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN) said: “We are guided by your Lordship’s decision, even though we had come for a ruling and continuation of trial.”

Judge Stuffs Dollars In Shoes, Walks Bare Footed To His Car

A judge is under probe for allegedly collecting from a senator N30million bribe.

He stuffed some of the cash, which was in United States dollars, in his shoes and walked barefooted to his car.

The senator complained to the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) being led Prof. Itse Sagay.

Also yesterday, it was learnt that most of the nine arrested judges had petitions against them with the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, is said to have the list of judges to be investigated in the last five months.

Although the list was shown to some legal authorities by the CJN, no action was taken by the NJC, a source claimed.

PACAC has about 50 petitions sent to it against some judges by some aggrieved Nigerians,

One of the said complaints came from a senator who alleged that a judge demanded about N50million from him to influence a case but he paid N30million.

The money was delivered to the Court of Appeal Justice in dollars.

But following the senator’s inability to pay the balance of N20million, the judge gave judgment against the senator, it was alleged.

A source said: “The senator told us that the judge asked for N50million but he could only pay N30million and lost the case for not meeting up with the balance.

“He said when the judge came at night to collect the bribe, he stuffed every available space and went to a ridiculous extent of stuffing some of the money in his shoes. The judge then decided to walk barefooted to his car.

“We have the complaint against the judge and the senator is ready to testify because the judge did not refund the N30million to date. The government is going to see to the logical conclusion of this case against the judge.”

Asked to name the judge, the source added: “The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), disclosed the name of the justice at a session with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to underscore why the bench must be rid of bad eggs. The NBA has been briefed, let them also talk.

“This is to show that the government is transparent about the whole process. It is not a witch-hunt at all.”

The highly-placed source gave insight into the arrest of nine judges and how the operation was conducted.

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‘Judge stuffs cash in shoes’

Accused of corruption, Justice Ademola resumes sitting at Federal High Court

Two judges of the Federal High Court, Abuja, whose homes were raided by operatives of the State Security Service for alleged corruption have resumed sitting days after the National Judicial Council, NJC, described the raid as illegal.

The judges, Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba, presided over court sessions for cases slated to continue on Monday by their various courts.

While Mr. Ademola and six other judges were arrested after the raids, Mr. Dimgba was not.

The SSS said it arrested the seven judges across the nation after petitions bothering on allegations of fraud were made against them and neglected by the NJC. The agency said it had enough evidence to prosecute the judges for corruption.

The security service also alleged that it recovered tens of thousands of dollars and millions of naira from Mr. Ademola’s residence.

Mr. Ademola’s arrest was the most dramatic as he locked himself in a room and told his aides to lie he was not at home, multiple sources including those close to the judge told PREMIUM TIMES.

Knowing the claim was false, the SSS broke down Mr. Ademola’s doors to arrest him.


in his reaction to the allegations, Mr. Ademola said he was forced to attest to the alleged discoveries at gun point.

He alleged that the search conducted at his residence and his subsequent arrest were meant to punish him for rulings he had given in favour of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, against the wish of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Mr. Ademola also mentioned an old score he said he had with Mr. Malami as a reason for his arrest.

The NJC had also denied reports by the SSS that petitions written against the seven judges were neglected.

In its reaction to the matter, the NJC detailed its findings on the activities of the SSS relating to the judges. The council said only two separate complaints had come from the SSS regarding two of the judges.

The judges whose homes were raided include, Messrs. Dimgba and Ademola, both of the Federal High Court Abuja; Justices John Okoro and Sylvester Nguta of the Supreme Court; Muazu Pindiga of Gombe; Kabiru Auta of Kano High Court; Innocent Okoro, outgoing Enugu State Chief Judge; as well as Mohammed Tsamiya, an appeal court judge in Ilorin.

Responding to issues arising from the raid, Mr. Malami said the SSS was merely discharging its constitutional function of investigation. He said corruption is a threat to the security of any nation.
Over one week after the raids and arrests, the SSS is yet to file charges against the affected judges.

DSS Finds Rolls Royce In Judge’s 15 Cars Fleet

Detectives found a Rolls Royce in the fleet of about 15 cars of one of the seven judges under investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS), The Nation learnt yesterday.

The judge was said to have hired a notable construction firm to build his palatial home and imported furniture from Brazil, Argentina and Spain.

The judge, said a source close to the investigation, once conducted his “poor colleagues” around his mansion.

Another judge told the DSS that he did not know how N18million was paid into his account and he did not get alert to enable him complain to his bankers.

One of the judges also said the money found in his account was his accumulated medical allowances.

Another judge was found to have submitted three assets declaration forms to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

The asset forms of the seven judges, who were arrested last weekend in a controversial sting operation, were being analysed by the DSS yesterday.

The Federal Government has foreclosed the return of all the seven judges to the bench.

The government believes the judges cannot be in the dock and be adjudicating at the same time.

Those arrested are: Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro – the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, who was picked up in Sokoto; Justice Adeniyi Ademola (Federal High Court); the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court; and Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe State High Court).

Of the seven Justices, Tsamiya, Umezulike and Auta have been recommended for sanctions by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Detectives have uncovered more corrupt practices traced to some of the judges undergoing probe, the source said, pleading not to be named because he is not permitted to talk to the media.

The source said: “Operatives have discovered that one of the judges owns a mansion which was contracted to a construction firm at a huge cost. In fact, the judge imported furniture from Brazil, Argentina and Spain.

“At a stage, he conducted his ‘poor colleagues’ round the mansion in an open display of affluence. The judge has about 15 cars, including a Rolls Royce. This Rolls Royce was imported.

”During interrogation, another judge told DSS team that he did not know how and when N18million was lodged in his account because he was not getting alert from his bank. But we have evidence of withdrawals from the account.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “We have retrieved the assets declaration forms of these judges. It was shocking that one of them has three asset declaration forms with different dates of birth.”

He said instead, the government had asked the NJC to suspend them, pending the conclusion of their trial.

Those who may not be allowed back to the bench are Justice Ngwuta, Justice Okoro, Justice Ademola and Justice Pindiga.

The source said the judges could be retired.

He said however that the judges will still go through trial to enable Nigerians know that “they were actually caught in the act”.

“The position of the government is that none of these judges will be allowed back to the bench in the interest of the nation’s Judiciary. They cannot be arraigned in the dock and at the same time be adjudicating or attending to cases.

“It is left to the NJC to allow the affected judges to keep off the bench until their fate is determined. But certainly, they will face trial and the outcome will determine whether or not they will be retired or dismissed.

“We are expecting the NJC to do the needful by suspending the judges.”

It was gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed had actually met on the arrest of seven judges.

A source said: “The CJN sought for audience and met with the President on Saturday on the arrest of the judges. I think they compared notes but no one can give you the details.

“I think the President must have briefed the CJN on the security reports at his disposal.”

No Regrets Writing Petition Against Aregbesola – Osun Judge

A former judge of the Osun State High Court, who was recently retired by the National Judicial Council, Justice Olamide Oloyede, has said she has no regrets writing the petition against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori.

The retired judge said this while featuring on a radio programme, Frank Talk, aired by Rave FM and monitored by our correspondent in Osogbo on Monday.

Oloyede, however, apologised to the governor and the deputy for using certain words which she ought not to have used in the petition but stressed that she was convinced beyond doubt that she did no wrong by writing the petition where she asked the members of the House of Assembly to impeach Aregbesola and Laoye-Tomori.

She explained that she had no animosity against the governor, adding that she did not violate any section of the constitution for talking about the issues affecting the people of the state.

Oloyede said, ” I have no regrets writingthat petition, but I think in retrospect I have come to realise that perhaps, I didemploy some words or language in respect of Mr. Governor and his deputy, which I ought not to have and so, today I am tendering an unreserved apology, public apology for the choice of certain words which I would not repeat.

“However, as far as the substance of that petition is concerned, I remain resolute and I am convinced that my actions were done in fidelity to my office and to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian , which I swore to uphold and out of love for my country.

“As we say in law, the fact speaks for itself and as I said earlier, the petition speaks for itself. I would rather not go over the content of the petition, which I believe is in the public’s possession. My reason for writing is clearly stated there. I am a person known for my own conviction and the only regret I have, I have said it, every other thing I said I meant it word for word.

”She stated that some believed that the judiciary should only be seen and not heard even if the country was collapsing, but Oloyode said she did not belong to this class of people.

“Judge begged us over N500m Bribe” – DSS

A judge begged Department of State Service (DSS) boss Mr. Lawan Daura when confronted with evidence that he got more than N500million bribe, The Nation learnt yesterday.

The judge refused to unlock the safe in his house for DSS operatives to have access to its contents, a source said.

The DSS, which plans to take possession of the safe to uncover its contents, is said to have been questioning bank directors over links with some of the judges.

Another judge was said to have obtained a loan from a bank to execute a contract in Bauchi State and when he defaulted, the bank filed a suit against him at the Federal High Court in Bauchi.

Also, it was learnt that most of the judges against whom the DSS launched sting operations at the weekend had been under “painstaking investigation” in the last one year.

As at press time, the DSS had started questioning some bank chiefs and directors implicated in money laundering and huge bribery scandal.

But, amid more revelations on the corruption in the Judiciary, the DSS yesterday intensified the grilling of seven detained judges.

Those detained are two Supreme Court Justices ­– Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro; – the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, who was picked up in Sokoto; Justice Adeniyi Ademola (Federal High Court); the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court; and Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe State High Court).

The source said: “Corruption in the Judiciary was based on our intelligence gathering and alerts from informants and petitions. It is not based on the perception of Nigerians. We have been on the trail of some of these judges in the last few months.

“For instance, we started probing one of the seven judges in detention since the Ramadan period of 2015. When we got sufficient intelligence on him, bordering on over N500million bribe, we invited him.

“The judge was given a copy of our report on him. By the time he read it halfway, he prostrated, held the legs of the security chief and begged for forgiveness. We captured the way he was reeling on the floor.

“We later sent a security brief on him to the National Judicial Council (NJC) with enough evidence. But he was cleared by the NJC as having committed no wrong. Since the NJC could not do the needful, we have decided to subject him to a judicial process.

“We also have a case of one of the judges who refused to unlock a safe in his house when our operatives went to his house. We may actually secure the leave of the court to relocate the safe to Abuja.

“Another detained judge got a contract from Bauchi State Government and obtained a loan from a bank. But when he defaulted in paying back the facility, the bank filed an action against him before the Federal High Court in Bauchi. What is the business of a judge with contract?”

Another source gave insights into the ongoing operation against 15 judges by the Service.

“We are digging more and getting fresh revelations from these judges. For instance, a Federal High Court judge in detention actually spread the N54million and $171,779 recovered from his residence in different rooms. He kept them in different parts of the rooms like a thief.”

Apparently referring to the criticisms against the sting operations, the source said:

“Some individuals have been bigger than Nigeria. If you are looking for one or two, go to the Judiciary.

The DSS mandate is to look into anything that is detrimental to Nigeria’s national security interest and to prevent it.

“There is no immunity conferred on judges, we are only duty bound to protect the court because it is a sacred place, a temple of justice. Once you have issues, you go to court but immediately a judge is outside the court, he or she is like you and me.

“There is nothing unusual about the arrest of judges other than it has not been the practice. But it is normal. Once a petition is lodged, it is normal that you just have to look into it as a security agency.”

There were indications yesterday that the DSS had started grilling some bank chiefs and directors on allegations of money laundering and involvement in huge bribery scandals.

The source said: “We have started looking into allegations against some banks; we have torn all banks apart. Some bank chiefs have been coming to the DSS office in Abuja for clarifications on some transactions we are investigating.

“Every week, not less than three bank officials come here. We will let you know the outcome soon.”

BREAKING: Judge Withdraws From Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

John Tsoho, the judge handling Nnamdi Kanu’s trial, has returned the case file to Ibrahim Auta, chief justice of federal high court, for reassignment.

This was sequel to an application by the legal team of Kanu led by Chuks Muoma, claiming that the court was biased in its handling of the matter.

“We are only asking the court to hands off; my client has lost confidence in this court,” he said.
He claimed that the court was acting in line with the suggestion of President Muhammadu Buhari that Kanu was not going to be released under any circumstance.

The counsel said that if they did not get the relief they sought, they would proceed to the International Court of Justice.

Muoma said any proceedings in the case, following the claim that a petition was written to the National Judicial Council (NJC) to protest against the court, would “stifle it”.

“I understand that there is a letter to NJC, though I haven’t seen it and the CJ has replied saying that the matter will be investigated,” he said.
“I would urge you that you transfer the matter; I would suggest that it be sent back to the CJ.”

Responding, the judge said: “I have no interest in trying your matter and I will return it to the CJ, but I will condemn the attitude of that counsel. I do not care if you take your case to another planet.”

He said that making a ruling on the said application was an attempt to “pre-empt” the outcome of the petition sent by Kanu’s lawyers to the CJ.

However, in a ruling, the judge who prevented the prosecuting counsel from speaking, said: “This case is hereby transferred to the CJ.”

BIAFRA: Nnamdi Kanu Wants Judge Investigated

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has demanded the investigation of Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged judicial misconduct.

Mr. Kanu, who is facing trial following allegations of treasonable felony, maintaining an unlawful society and possession of illegal items, accused his trial judge, Mr. Tsoho, of negating judicial principles and upturning a decision of the court without prior permission by a higher court.

In a petition addressed to the National Judicial Council and made available to journalists on Sunday, Mr. Kanu said the conduct of Mr. Tsoho amounts to judicial rascality.

According the petition, Mr. Tshoho changed his court’s decision to hear the testimonies of witnesses secretly after he had initially ruled that witnesses testifying in the matter would not be allowed to were masks or give statements in secret.

“On the 9th day of February, 2016, the defense was ambushed with an application filed on that day by the prosecution, seeking the court’s endorsement for secret trial of the defendants.

“The defense led by chief Chuks Muoma, SAN, promptly notified the court of our intention to oppose the application, pursuant to which it was thereafter adjourned to the 19th day of February, 2016, for the hearing of the application,” the petition said.

Recounting the past records of the case, Mr. Kanu’s lawyer and junior counsel to Mr. Muoma, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the court presided over by Justice Tsoho gave a ruling on the next adjourned date in favour of the defence; but ordered a parallel decision when the prosecution insisted on having its witnesses protected.

He added that the court gave its second decision regarding the protection of witnesses, after a verbal request was made by the witness; an act which Mr. Ejiofor claims is in negation of laid down rules.

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Police Arraign 55-year-old Man for Allegedly Abducting and Raping a Teenager for 4 Days

The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned a 55-year-old security guard,Yekini Ogunjobi, before an Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court, for allegedly abducting, hypnotising, and raping a 14-year-old girl in his apartment for four days, PUNCH reports.

According to the Police, the victim was rescued from Ogunjobi’s apartment on Esuola Street, Oko-Oba, in the Agege area of Lagos.

The family had declared her missing after she went on an errand on Esuola Street and never came back.

However, on July 28, one of the victim’s relatives was said to be passing by the street when she sighted her and raised the alarm. The relative reported to the police, who rescued the girl and arrested Ogunjobi.

According to a Police source, “The man had told his neighbours that the girl was his relative and had come to live with him. Probably, he charmed the girl so that she would not resist the abduction. He had sex with her against her consent for four days. She was sent on an errand on the day he abducted her”.

The police prosecutor, Sergeant Rafael Donny, charged the suspect with abduction and rape. The charge read:

That you, Yekini Ogunjobi, between July 25 and 28, 2016, on Esuola Street, Oko-Oba, Agege, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did commit felony to wit: abduction.

That you, on the same date time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did unlawfully detain a 14-year-old girl and have sexual intercourse with her against her consent, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 259 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Ogunjobi pleaded not guilty to the charge and elected summary trial.

The presiding Chief Magistrate, Tajudeen Elias, then granted him bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned the to October 6, 2016 for mention.

It’s Too Early To Judge Buhari– Tunde Bakare

The General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said yesterday that it is too early to judge the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing State House correspondents after meeting behind closed-doors with the president in the Presidential Villa, Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 general elections, said the president meant well for Nigeria.

“It is too early and too soon to begin to judge. If there is anything I know about Mr. President, it is that he has a good heart. He loves this country and he wants the country to run well. But it takes time. I know we are all impatient and in a hurry, but I trust we will come out of the woods,” he said.
On the change mantra of the All Progressives Congress, he said: “When you’re driving in a wrong direction; for example, you’re going to Ibadan and you face Badagry and you get to Cotonou and you realise you’ve gone in the wrong direction for too long a time; then you turn back and make a u-turn. There’ll be some suffering you’ve to go through,” Bakare said.
“Pain is part of gain. No pain, no gain. The years of wastage and all we’ve done wrong has finally caught up with us. All we’re praying for is wisdom for this government to do the right things so that gradually, we can begin to come out of the woods,” he added and appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience, as good change takes time.
Asked if he felt Buhari needs to reshuffle his cabinet, he responded: “That’s your opinion, not mine. He can do what he likes when he likes it. He knows what he has given them. I’ve not given any appointment to anyone, so I can’t judge their performance. But if there are yardsticks and standards given to them and if they’ve performed below bar, definitely, the president would not mind, at the right time, doing those things.”
On why he was at the Villa, he said: “I came to see the president, and he is doing very well health-wise. That’s all I came to do.”

Credit: dailytrust

EFCC Alleges Another SAN Gave Judge N750,000

Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr Joseph Nwobike, paid N750,000 into the account of Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged yesterday.

The allegation is contained in a counter-affidavit filed in opposition to a further and better affidavit filed by Rickey Tarfa (SAN).

Justice Mohammed Idris yesterday ruled that Tarfa could adduce new evidence through the further affidavit deposed to by a lawyer, Mohammed Awwal Yunusa.

In the further and better affidavit, the lawyer said the bank account, which EFCC said Tarfa used to bribe Justice Yunusa, belongs to him, and not to Justice Yunusa as EFCC alleged in its counter-affidavit to Tarfa’s suit.

The lawyer said Tarfa gave him N225,000 on January 7, 2014 to help finance his masters in Law degree.

But EFCC has alleged that Tarfa was not the only SAN to pay money to Justice Yunusa’s account.

An EFCC operative, Moses Awolusi, said there were new revelations about judges being allegedly induced through “a network of senior lawyers”.

“Investigation has also shown that as part of this chain of fraud, Mr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) also transferred the sum of N300,000 to Hon. Justice H.A Nganjiwa.

“Investigations further revealed that Hon Justice M.N Yunusa as part of this scheme of fraud also received the sum of N750,000 from Mr. Joseph Nwobike SAN and Co,” the EFCC investigator said.

Credit: Nation

Justice Mahmud Mohammed Denies Being At War With Buhari, EFCC Over Court Orders

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, yesterday, said that contrary to claims that he had fallen out with pres. Buhari over his refusal to obey court orders granting bail to some suspects implicated in the loot of $2.1b meant for arms procurement, he was not at war with the president or any agency of the government.
A top official said that though there were concerns among judges that some of their judgement in granting bail to suspects by some government agencies, there was also annoyance in the judiciary that many judges had aided and abetted top government officials to loot the treasury through frivolous orders and injunctions which were against the interest of the country and its people.
The senior official close to the CJN said:

“I don’t think that the CJN has issued any statement on any court order relating to the investigation of the arms cash, individuals or groups since he believes that the courts are well able to discharge their duties as enshrined in the laws of Nigeria.

“Again, the thinking in the judiciary seems to be that some judges misused their offices to encourage some corrupt key government functionaries to slip away to foreign land with huge public funds under the guise of seeking avant-garde medicare.

“If the question may be asked, was it the CJN that ordered those judges to work against the interest of Nigeria by granting frivolous orders that enabled corrupt Nigerian public officers to make away with public funds?

“Let it be known that the CJN does not and will never encourage any form of misdeed having taken the oath of office to remain incorruptible, just and firm in the discharge of his duties to Nigeria and its people.

“I can tell you that the CJN is aware of the frivolous orders being issued by some judges and he cannot, therefore, sympathise with people who threw their integrity to the winds when they should have done the right thing at the right time.”


Nigerian Man Shoots US Female Judge

A Nigerian man named  Chimene Onyeri, 28, has been arrested in connection with the shooting of a Texas state judge, Julie Kocurek. He was a defendant the judge was prosecuting at the time of the shooting. Chimene was in the process of being prosecuted by Kocurek in a fraud case from 2012, when she was shot in the driveway of her Austin home on Friday night. She didn’t die, but had a ‘serious injury’ from the Gun shot…

He will now be questioned about the shooting as he is indicted for a theft in Louisiana. Kocurek had been receiving threats after presiding over controversial cases.
She was taken to hospital in a serious condition on Friday and has since been upgraded to a stable condition. Police said her injuries are not believed to be life threatening and refused to comment further on the arrest.

Source: Daily Mail

Kashamu’s Drug Case: Judge Vows Not To ‘Hands Off’

A judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Ibrahim Buba, has refused to disqualify himself from adjudicating on a suit filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Senator Kashamu wants the court to restrain the Federal Government from seizing his properties over drug trafficking allegations.


He sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Attorney-General of the Federation from taking possession of his properties


‘Hands Off’

Justice Buba had earlier restrained the NDLEA from arresting or extraditing Kashamu to the United States of America, where he is allegedly wanted.


But the NDLEA asked the judge to ‘hands off’ the trial.? It said since Justice Buba, on June 23, reaffirmed a May 27 order by Justice Okon Abang of the same court stopping Kashamu’s arrest, he might not be fair in the case.


The Agency claimed the injunction amounted to preventing federal agencies from discharging their constitutional duties.


The NDLEA also asked the judge to withdraw from the case on the basis that he might not reach a different conclusion in the fresh case having ruled in Kashamu’s favour once.


It requested that the case file be returned to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for reassignment to another judge.


Refusing the application, Justice Buba said he would not shy away from deciding a case merely because of an unsubstantiated accusation of bias.? He dismissed the application, saying it lacked merit.


Meanwhile, Senator Kashamu has alleged that there was a move by the NDLEA and AGF to seize his property, including a 24-flat housing estate at Egbe and several hectares of land on Lekki Peninsula, Lagos.


According to him, he acquired the property, which he said was worth 20 billion Naira, by dint of hard work and through his legitimate business.


He said contrary to the NDLEA’s claims, the property were not proceeds of drug trafficking.


Mr Kashamu’s application would be heard by the court on Wednesday.


Credit : ChannelsTV

Suswam’s Arraignment Fails Due To Lack Of Judge

The arraignment of the former governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam failed on Wednesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, as no judge was assigned to the case.

The former governor was billed for arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday over allegations bordering on money laundering, to the tune of  N3 billion.

The anti-graft agency on Wednesday disclosed that it is set to arraign Mr Suswam after it filed a nine-count charge against the former governor last month at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Judge Pulls Out Of Saraki’s Trial, Wants Case Reassigned

A High Court judge who granted an order that appeared to halt the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over alleged corruption, has stood down from the case.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court excused himself from the case on Wednesday, and transferred the matter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, for reassigning, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

He said he took the decision due to “negative reports”, NAN reported.

Mr. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of alleged corruption and false declaration of assets before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

He denies wrongdoing and says the case was instigated by those angry he became the Senate president.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Judge Handling Saraki’s Case Bows Out Over Negative Reports

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who heard Senate President Bukola Saraki’s ex parte application to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), has withdrawn from the case.

Justice Mohammed who on Wednesday, remitted Saraki’s case to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, for reassigning to another judge, cited “negative reports” on the case as informing his decision

Recall that Saraki late on September 17 had approached Mohammed to give an order halting his trial by the CCT for alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.

?The judge ordered the parties to the case – the CCT, and the ministry of justice – to appear before him on September 21. Saraki’s lawyers interpreted the order to mean the suspension of their client’s trial at the CCT.
The trial nevertheless went on September 21.

Mohammed said: “While it is not my intention to join issues with the authors of the said publication, I strongly feel that the records should be set straight.

“In the first instance, I have never made any restraining order against any of the defendants and in particular, the code of conduct tribunal vide a motion ex parte or any motion at all.

“Those who are conversant with the workings of this court know it is not in the habit of granting restraining orders to stop public institutions from carrying out their statutory duties?.”

Fresh Kashamu Suit, NDLEA Rejects Judge

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has asked Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos to withdraw himself from a fresh suit filed by Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Kashamu, in the new suit, is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the NDLEA and the Attorney General of the Federation from seizing his property.

The new suit came after the failed effort by the NDLEA to extradite Kashamu to the United States of America, where he is said to be wanted for alleged drug-trafficking offences.

Justice Buba had on June 23, 2015 reaffirmed a May 27, 2015 order of Justice Okon Abang of the same court restraining the NDLEA and others from extraditing Kashamu.

Read More: punchng

Yobe Election Tribunal Judge Dies

ustice Audu Bako, a member of the panel hearing petition seeking to annul the election victory of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State, is dead.

Vanguard learned that Justice Bako died around 2p.m. yesterday at Primus Hospital, Karu, a suburb in Abuja, after a brief illness.

He was buried in his home town, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State, according to Islamic rites.

Bako was a member of the three-member panel of Yobe State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal that had, on August 12, heard how Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, traced the origin of N15 million that was lodged into the bank accounts of a Resident Electoral Commissioner.

EFCC Invites Judge Who Accused Aregbesola Of Fraud To Shed More Light On Accusation

There were indications in Osogbo on Sunday that Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, who recently accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of graft, had been invited to the Abuja headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

A source close to the judge told journalists in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, on Sunday that the judge was contacted by an official of the EFCC, who asked her to come to the Abuja office of the commission to assist them in the investigation into the allegations.

Oloyede, a serving judge in the Osun State judiciary had recently petitioned the state House of Assembly, asking that impeachment proceedings be commenced against Aregbesola, who she also accused of being corrupt.

The source said the judge had expressed her readiness to assist the anti-graft agency if they come to Osogbo to investigate the petition but that she could not afford to travel to Abuja at the moment.

The judge had in her petition written on June 19 to the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salam, accused Aregbesola of financial recklessness.

She had also sent a copy of the petition to the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, among others.

The governor had told the House of Assembly during the inauguration of the lawmakers in June that his administration had received N20bn from federal allocations and internally generated revenue since inception till the end of 2014.

But the judge said the state got N538bn and alleged that the governor falsified the figure in order to hide the balance of the receipts.

Her petition read in part, “Mr. Governor is deemed to have received on behalf of the state and local governments, revenues well in excess of N538bn within the period under reference, therefore, the figures being currently touted by Mr. Governor are cooked, manipulated, fallacious and fraudulent. They are undeniable evidence of corruption!

“But in spite of all those huge earnings, and for no justifiable reasons, at least not justifiable before rationally thinking minds, coupled with the accumulation of foreign and local debts, Mr. Governor could still not provide the much touted infrastructures and to make matters worse, he couldn’t even discharge the simplest and least complicated of functions in governance, which is to maintain the civil service, pay pensions, run public schools and hospitals, and the maintenance of existing ‘Trunk B’ Roads.”

The state House of assembly had set up a panel to investigate the judge’s petition but she had disagreed with the panel.

The judge, who did not show up in person before the panel, had sent her counsel, Mr. Lanre Ogunlesi (SAN) to represent her and she complained that the panel ought to make a copy of Aregbesola’s reply to her petition available to her for further action.

But the panel headed by Mr. Adegboye Akintunde, who is also the deputy speaker of the House, disagreed with the judge’s request, saying the panel was not obligated to make the response of the defendant available to the petitioner.

The two week given the panel to investigate the petition had expired last Friday.

Source: Punch

APC Requests Resignation Of Judge Who Called For Aregbesola’s Sack

The Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on Justice Olamide Oloyede to toe the honourable path by first, resigning her position as a High Court Judge in the state’s judiciary before, “ganging up with the opposition to attempt to destroy the state government” of which she is an integral part.

The ruling party made this call on Sunday in response to a petition the judge forwarded to the State House of Assembly, demanding the impeachment of the governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and his deputy, Iya Afin Titi Laoye Tomori, over the backlog of salaries of the state workers and pensions.

Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Kunle Oyatomi said: “It is a gross abuse of the privileges of her office for the judge to use the platform of the state’s judiciary to mount open and destructive challenge against the state’s Chief Executive who is her boss in government.

“The ethics? of her status in this government prohibits such frontal challenge’, the APC argued but conceded that ‘if the judge is determined to bring down the Aregbesola government, as her petition so clearly indicates, it will be dishonorable of her to remain in government. She is therefore advised to resign immediately so that she will be free to pursue her delight outside the platform of government,” he noted.


EFCC Kicks Against Dismissal Of Sylva’s N19.2bn Fraud Case, Says Judge Erred In Law

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday condemned the decision by a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss the case of alleged N19.2 billion fraud levelled against a former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva.

The EFCC in a statement by the head, media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the trial judge, A. R. Mohammed erred in law as the accused persons had not taken any plea.

Uwujaren said no proof of evidence was placed before the court and trial had also not commenced, adding that “the dismissal of the charge by Justice Mohammed, following the application of the Commission to consolidate the charges against the former governor and his accomplices, does not amount to a discharge or an acquittal, and it does not preclude the power of the agency to bring fresh charges against the defendants.”

The Court had dismissed the case Wednesday, accusing the EFCC of abusing the court process. The court’s decision came more than a week after the anti-graft agency withdrew part of the charges – a N2 billion fraud case – against the former governor.

The EFCC said it withdrew a six-count charge of fraud against Sylva as a prelude to the consolidation of all the charges against him. The commission had two cases against the former governor pending before two Federal High Courts in Abuja, and needed to consolidate them, the EFCC had said. Sylva was arraigned along three others – Francis Okokwo, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku – by the EFCC.

They were accused of using three companies – Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.


N25Bn Scam: Judge Convicts Igbinedion, Others

Justice J. Liman of the Federal High Court, Benin, on Wednesday convicted Charles Eboigbodin and Michael Igbinedion, younger brother to Lucky Igbinedion, former Edo State governor.

The duo alongside their companies: Gava Corporation Limited; Romrig Nigeria Limited; PML Securities Company Limited and PML Nigeria Limited, were prosecuted on an 81-count charge of money laundering, misappropriation of funds and abuse of office brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The convicts pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned, setting the stage for a full trial. In the course of trial, the prosecution called several witnesses to prove its case.

One of them, Ajoyo Sowale, an Accounts Officer with the Guaranty Trust Bank, identified various account statements and account opening documents of the convicts and confirmed to the court that several lodgements were made into the accounts, and that he printed the account statements and got them certified by the appropriate authority.

The parties adopted their written addressed in November 14, 2014, while judgment was fixed for December 1, 2014. But a series of adjournments delayed the delivery of the ruling till April 29.

When justice Liman finally delivered his ruling today, he found the two accused persons guilty on some of the counts. The judge convicted Mr. Eboigbodin for money laundering on counts 50-59, while Mr. Igbinedion was pronounced guilty as charged on counts 79-81. The judge however deferred the sentencing of the convicts till tomorrow April 30, 2015.

Some lawyers in court said they were shocked that while the suspects committed the same offence and faced the same charges, the judge found Mr. Igbinedion guilty of a lesser offence. “As it is now, Igbinedion may get away with a slap on the wrist while Eboigbodin may face a more severe punishment.”