Boko Haram Stalls Prisoner Swap With Abducted Chibok Girls

Fresh facts have emerged on why President Muhammadu Buhari has remained steadfast on his position that the federal government would only negotiate for the release of the abducted Chibok girls with those who are directly holding them.

It has emerged that two recent attempts in recent weeks by the Federal Government for prisoners swap with the so called representative of the terror group may have reached a dead end as each time security officials arrive at designated locations with Boko Haram prisoners for the swap, Boko Haram representatives fail to show up as they are required to produce at least 50 verifiable Chibok girls for the first wave of the swap, security officials say.

Two hundred and seventy six girls were kidnapped from their school dormitory on April 14, 2014, and although 59 were able to escape, one recently, 217 have remained in captivity, sparking global outrage over their abduction.

It was gathered that the federal government had through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), in conjunction with the Directorate of the State Service (DSS), have in the last two weeks reached back channels agreements with some on the leadership of the sect on the venue, date and other logistics necessary to facilitate the swap of identified Boko Haram prisoners from specific prisons for the Chibok girls.

The source familiar with the back channel deal said at the appointed time and date, when all was set and the identified prisoners were moved to the location slated for the swap, neither the Boko Haram representatives, its commanders nor the Chibok girls were anywhere near the vicinity, prompting the federal government to return the Boko Haram prisoners to their prison cells.

Boko Haram’s inability to deliver the girls, the security source revealed is frustrating the federal government’s efforts to recover the girls.

Given its propensity for reneging on its promise, the source said that the development informed the president’s insistence that, going forward, although the federal government remains open to negotiations with the sect for the release of the Chibok girls, his administration would only contemplate further negotiations with any group within the sect’s bona fide leadership who are in possession of the girls as that would have to provide proof of life, as well as verifiable guarantees through credible 3rd parties, including the Red Cross, that they know the whereabouts of the girls.

It is the same reason, the source added, that Buhari two days ago asked the sect to nominate an internationally recognised non-governmental organisation (NGO) that would negotiate on its behalf for the release of the girls.

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Fresh Motion Stalls Kanu’s Trial

Trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, was stalled Monday following a motion that the court should disqualify itself from the proceedings.

Kanu is facing a six-count charge bordering on Treason alongside Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
At the resumed hearing, Mr Amobi Nzelu, who appeared for Madubugwu, said he filed a motion asking the court to disqualify itself from the trial.

Nzelu, in his motion, said that there was a case of manifest bias in the case, adding that the court`s impartiality in the case would be reasonably questioned. He therefore, asked the court to adjourn the case to enable him study the case file.

However, Counsel to Kanu, Mr Chuks Momah (SAN), who had been appearing for Madubugwu, said he was not aware that the second defendant hired another lawyer.

Momah, said that Madubugwu ought to have informed him that he was engaging a new lawyer in the matter.

However, when the Judge asked the second defendant to clarify the issues, Madubugwu said, “My Lord, I want to make it known to the whole world that Chief Amobi Nzelu is my lawyer’’.

On that note, Nzelu applied for time to get copies of the processes in the matter and study them so as to effectively represent his client.

The prosecuting counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, Principal State Counsel, accused the defence of attempting to frustrate the trial.

“We were served this morning with a strongly worded motion.

“And from the face of the motion, there is a clear indication that the defendants are again out to truncate the proceedings,’’ Labaran said.
The judge, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned hearing of the motion till Sept. 26.

Credit: Guardian

Asset Declaration: Witness’ Absence Stalls Saraki’s Trial

The trial of the Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged false and anticipatory assets declaration was today stalled due to the absence of prosecution witness, Michael Wetkast.

The trial could not continue today because the witness was testifying before Justice Ademola Adeniyi of an Abuja Federal High Court, in a matter brought against former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido, and his two sons by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This is contrary to reports in circulation that the witness’ absence was because he needed rest or because of the Senate President’s appeal at the appellate court.

Confirming the situation through an SMS, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said: “Our witness is busy before Hon. Justice Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja in respect of Sule Lamido case”.

As at the time of filing this report, no new date has been announced yet.

It will be recalled that an appeal by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to try him over alleged false and anticipatory assets declaration was yesterday stalled at the Court of Appeal, Abuja as the panel could not form a quorum.

One of the three-man panel of Judges who appeared for the matter, Justice Moo Adumie, had told the court that hearing on the application could not  be held because the court cannot sit if a quorum is not formed.

While he did not give any reason why the two other judges were absent, Justice Adumie adjourned the matter to June 2, 2016 to enable the court form a quorum.

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N3.9bn NAF Loot: EFCC’s Fresh Proof Of Evidence Stalls Badeh’s Trial

The trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, was on Monday stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja, following the inclusion of additional proof-of-evidence by the prosecution.

Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the prosecutor, had filed additional proof to beef up evidence against Badeh.

Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), who replaced Mr Samuel Zibiri (SAN), as the defence counsel, however, filed an application seeking an adjournment to study the case file.

Olujimi also said the defence team needed time to study the additional evidence filed by the prosecution.

But the prosecuting counsel opposed the application, leaving the Judge, Justice Okon Abang with no option than to rule on it.

Delivering the ruling, Abang held that the right of defence was a personal right of the applicant that could not be denied.

He said the applicant had the option of defending himself personally or to enlist a private counsel to act on his behalf.

“The applicant has since March 7 when he was arraigned been represented by a counsel, so he cannot in the attempt to hire another counsel halt the trial.

“Today is reserved for commencement of trial and the court will not allow any flimsy motion to stop that.

“However, on the issue of late service of the addition proof of evidence filed by the prosecution, the applicant may have a point there and so the application has succeeded in parts,’’ Abang.

The judge then held that “in the circumstance, the application succeeds in parts to enable counsel to the applicant study the new proof of evidence before the commencement of trial.’’

“The matter is hereby adjourned till March 16 for day-to-day trial,’’ Abang said.

Badeh is standing trial for alleged misappropriation of N3.9 billion belonging to the Nigerian Air Force while serving as the Chief of Air Staff.

Credit: NAN

Justice Minister’s Absence Stalls Dasuki’s Suit Hearing Again

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has failed to appear before a court over the right enforcement suit filed by the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).

Mr Malami again refused to show up at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to explain why the order of the court granting Mr Dasuki permission to travel for medical treatment was being flouted.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday, the Federal Government opposed the application for the enforcement of fundamental human rights filed by Dasukion the ground that he needed to be present in court to seek any relief.

The prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Diri, informed the court that he had filed an application seeking to revoke the bail granted the former NSA.

Relying on section 266 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, lawyer to Colonel Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu, disagreed with the prosecutor.

Mr Daudu said that his client was not on trial and as such, it was not mandatory for him to be physically present in court.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola subsequently adjourned the suit till November 26 for ruling, just as the trial was expected to commence on the same day.

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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.

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Court Stalls Saraki’s Trial

Reprieve came for Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki via a court injunction which stopped his arraignment before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for perjury.

On Wednesday, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in a September 11 charge number ABT/01/15 and filed before the CCT, accused the Senate President of false declaration of assets.

The CCB specifically said Saraki engaged in anticipatory declaration of assets when he was governor of Kwara State between 2003-2011. The CCB was set to arraign him, after serving him with the papers, when a Federal High Court in Abuja stepped in.

Unimpressed, the High Court summoned the CCB to appear before it on September 21, 2015 to show cause why it should not be restrained from arraigning the Senate President over the allegations.

Saraki had earlier approached the court via an exparte motion asking the Federal Ministry of Justice, the CCB, CCT and Barrister M. S Hassan from taking any further step to arraign or prefer any charge against him, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit he filed before the court.

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