Supreme court has opened up its spendings, NASS must do same – BudgIT

BudgIT, a civic organisation for good governance, says the Supreme Court of Nigeria has opened up its budgetary spendings for 2015 and 2016, and the national assembly must do the same.

Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE) to the Supreme Court to disclose its financial details, the apex court provided details of its actual expenditure against the budgeted figures for the years 2015 and 2016.

“This is a welcome development towards achieving a proactive information disclosure culture. In a letter dated February 14, 2017, the Supreme Court acknowledged that it spent a capital vote of N2.265bn out of an appropriated sum of N2.3bn as at December 2016,” Seun Onigbinde, the BudgIT lead, said via a statement.

“The Supreme Court also acknowledged that N2.86bn was spent as overhead out of an appropriated sum of N2.88bn, representing 99.42%.”

Onigbinde said statutory allocation to public institutions between 2013 and 2016 have gulped a total of N1.523 trillion with little or no information about how the funds were utilised each year.

“N535bn was allocated for the National Assembly within this period and legislators have failed to open up their books to the public. Other agencies such as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Judicial Council (NJC), collecting the statutory allocations are identified with similar cases of opacity except the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which recently published its budget online.

“While the Supreme Court has responded to the call for transparency on actual spending, the National Assembly has refused access to such information despite multiple assurances from the leadership of the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly’s refusal to be transparent is particularly disturbing because members are elected by citizens and are to represent their interests. Furthermore, the National Assembly, as the legislative arm of government, is supposed to provide oversight function over the executive and this will be very difficult to do when it continues to refuse to be accountable.

“We expect the National Judiciary Council, Public Complaints Commission, and other agencies under the statutory allocation agencies to cultivate a transmittable, and functioning system of openness, accountability and public inclusion in their activities.”

BudgIT and EiE Nigeria have called for transparency in the national assembly since 2013 with little  or no  results.

“The National Assembly, a helm of law and order and the supposed symbol of governance, is yet to provide details of its annual budget in 2016,” the statement read.

“Advocacy to ensure the public knowledge of how the National Assembly spends tax payers funds will not cease. We believe that a functional society is one which takes into highest regard citizen engagement and participation in all areas.

“We also believe that information dissemination is paramount and crucial to sustainable development and democracy. We implore the citizens to also continually demand accountability from those in charge of their funds and keep them on their toes to ensure that governance works for all Nigerians, not a few.”


Source: The Cable

China’s ex-supreme court judge bags life sentence for corruption

A Chinese court on Thursday sentenced Xi Xiaoming, a former senior judge of supreme people’s court, to life imprisonment after being indicted for corruption.

A court in the northern city of Tianjin found him guilty of accepting 115 million Yuan ($16.78 million) in bribes between 1996 and 2015.

A member of the ruling Chinese Communist party for 40 years, Xiaoming was accused of breaching confidentiality rules and leaking secrets related to judicial work.

He was the number four official in the Supreme People’s court, where he specialised in economic law cases.

Xi is the latest official to fall foul of a sweeping crackdown on graft, following the downfall of Zhou Yongkang, the former domestic security chief whose brief included law enforcement and courts.

Yongkang was ousted by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign and jailed for life in 2015.

Xiaoming, a native of eastern Jiangsu province, admitted his guilt and has repented and so received a lighter sentence of life imprisonment instead of a possible death sentence.

According to his official biography, he rose from working as a policeman in the city of Shenyang in the 1970s to the highest rank of the judiciary, where he was also a member of the court’s leading party members’ group.

China’s leaders have pledged to continue combating graft, seen as crucial to the party’s survival, and have vowed to go after “tigers” in senior positions as well as lowly “flies”.

NBA shortlists Agbakoba, Kalu, 7 others for Supreme Court justices

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has forwarded the names of nine eligible applicants to the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, Judicial Service Commission, Walter Samuel Onnoghen, for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

This followed a rigorous process of shortlisting done by a select committee chaired by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmoud, with eight other eminent lawyers as members.

Applicants shortlisted by the NBA for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court are the following:

(1) Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN
Year of Call: 1978
State: Anambra

(2) Anthony Ikemefuna Idigbe, SAN
Year of Call: 1983
State: Delta

(3) Yunus Ustas Usman, SAN
Year of Call: 1983
State: Kogi

(4) Babatunde Fagbohunlu, SAN
Year of Call: 1988
State: Ondo

(5) Miannayaaja Essien, SAN
Year of Call: 1985
State: Rivers

(6) Awa Uma Kalu, SAN
Year of Call: 1978
State: Abia

(7) Professor Awalu Hamish Yadudu
Year of Call: 1979
State: Kano

(8) Tajudeen Oladoja
Year of Call: 1985
State: Kwara

(9) Ayuba Giwa
Year of Call: 1983
State: Edo

The above mentioned applicants were shortlisted from a total of 89 Expressions of Interest that were scrutinized.

It would be recalled that the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, had earlier forwarded a request to the President of NBA, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN “to nominate suitable candidate for consideration as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

Why Nigeria dropped charges against Supreme Court Registrar, others — Official

The Nigerian government says it withdrew the charge against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court based on information provided during a plea bargain between the prosecution and the defendants.

The Federal Government on Tuesday withdrew all charges brought against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Ahmed Saleh, and two others.

The officials, including Mr. Saleh, Muhammed Sharif, and Rilwanu Lawal, were accused of a N2.2 billion fraud.

The charges, filed on October 3 at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory by the Attorney General of the Federation, said the accused persons diverted N2.2 billion and received bribes amounting to tens of millions of naira.

Previous attempts to arraign the three defendants in the past were stalled.

The matter was slated for continuation on Tuesday, but the prosecution counsel, Hajara Yusuf, said she had received directives to withdraw the charges.

She prayed the court to discharge the matter at its convenience.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, Salihu Isah, the spokesperson for the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, said the decision to withdraw the matter, resulted from a plea bargain and information that had proven helpful for further investigation.

“You know that it is not out of place to withdraw a matter, even after it has been brought to court. The withdrawal is based on information provided during plea-bargain that has proven helpful for the investigation of other judges under examination,” said Mr. Salihu.

According to the nine-count charge, the defendants, Ahmed Saleh, Muhammed Sharif, and Rilwanu Lawal diverted N2. 2 billion belonging to the Supreme Court to their personal bank account at the United Bank for Africa, with account number: 2027642863.

The offence was in contravention of Section 10(a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same Section of the Act.

The defendants were also charged with contravening the provision of Section 96 of the Penal Code.

The charge also alleged that they obtained gratification totaling N80 million contrary to the ICPC Act.

The Federal Government also alleged that the defendants obtained N2.4million gratification from Welcon Nigeria Ltd, N16million from Dean Musa Nig. Ltd.

The defendants were also alleged to have collected N19million from Ababia Ventures Ltd as gratification.

The companies were private contractors that provided services to the apex court.

Abia State: Supreme Court grants Oti leave to appeal Ikpeazu’s victory

The Supreme Court on Friday granted leave to Alex Oti of APGA to be joined as an interested party to challenge the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of Abia.

Justice Clara Ogunbiyi led four other justices to arrive at the unanimous decision.

“The appellant applicant appeal challenging the August 5, 2016 judgment of the lower court has merit.

“The appeal is predicated on grounds of mixed law and facts and therefore, this court is compelled to grant it in the interest of justice.

“In the circumstance, the August 5, 2016 decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which refused to grant the applicant the permission to be joined in the pending Abia governorship suit is set aside.

“The prayer of the appellant urging this court consider his appeal against Gov. Ikpeazu Okezie is hereby deemed as filed before this court,’’ she said.

Ms. Ogubiyi also held that granting this leave for the applicant to appeal the decision of the lower court on the matter did not mean that the appeal could succeed.

“The law has established that once an application is challenging a matter on mixed law and facts, justice demands that he or she must be heard,” she said.

Justice Dati Yahaya, who presided over the case at the lower court, held that Mr. Oti failed to establish his interest in the internal affairs of the PDP.

Alex Otti
Alex Otti

The court held that the subject of litigation between Samson Ogah and Okezie Ikpeazu, who were all members of the PDP, was the primary election of the party conducted on December 8, 2014.

The applicant, the court held, being member of APGA had no locus standi to question the primary election of the PDP.

Mr. Yahaya also held that the applicant failed to give circumstantial reasons to sway the court to exercise its judicial discretion in his favour.

Among others, the court held that the applicant failed to transmit the proceedings of the trial court to the Court of Appeal, where his interest was supposed to be established.

According to the judge, Mr. Oti merely relied on affidavit depositions.

The appellate court further held that allowing the applicant to join the dispute would amount to attempt to change the nature of the suit from an intra-party to an inter party tussle.

Mr. Oti had called for his enthronement as governor of Abia, when Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court removed Ikpeazu from office.

Mr. Abang had in the October 29, 2016 judgment made a consequential order returning Mr. Ogah as the governor.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja upturned that decision by re-affirming Mr. Ikpeazu’s election.

Kanu Agabi

Kanu Agabi, counsel to the governor, who spoke with journalists after the session, said Mr. Oti had no chance in the ongoing appeals against his client.

He said the decision of the Court of Appeal that re-affirmed Mr. Ikpeazu as governor had foreclosed his chances of making anything out of the suit.

“This tussle is strictly an intra-party matter. Oti is not a member of the PDP, only Ogah is in contention. In any case, the apex court is prepared to hear him,” he said.

Fake lawyer who won cases at Supreme Court arrested

A man who never had legal training, Peter Adogun, has practiced law in Ilorin for 10 years and won cases in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The police in Kwara State arraigned Mr. Adogun before an Ilorin magistrate’s court for certificate and identity theft in the state capital.
According to the First Information Report, Mr. Adogun has been practising as in Ilorin and its environs since 2007 with the name “Barrister I. T. David.”
He was arrested, following a petition written to the police on behalf of the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association by its legal adviser, Oyetunji Ojuokaiye.
Apart from appearing in local courts, investigation revealed that he had also appeared in a number of cases in the Supreme Court.
Police prosecutor, Nasir Yusuf, said “The suspect jumped police administrative bail after being arrested while appearing before an Area Court in Ilorin. He was, however, rearrested on the roof top of his house on January 7.
“It was discovered that the accused had falsely taken the credentials of one Inufin David Taiwo, an Abuja-based lawyer, under the guise of helping him to secure job in an oil company, only to come to Ilorin and start practising as a lawyer with the photocopies.
“It was revealed that the suspect has practised as a legal practitioner and appeared in several matters at all levels of Nigerian courts, up to the Supreme Court, winning several cases in the process.
“Found in his possession at the point of arrest included complete legal practitioner’s robe, legal books, complimentary cards, copies of legal processes filed in several courts and other incriminating items relating to his fraudulent legal practice.
“The owner of the certificates, who claimed to know the suspect, said that Adogun was a client at the office where he observed the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps.”
In her ruling, Magistrate I.O Olawoyin, remanded the accused in Mandala Medium Prison and adjourned the case till February 1.

Supreme Court Gives Nod To Appeal Of Al-Mustapha’s Release

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has given the Lagos State Government a go ahead to file an appeal against the judgement of the Appeal Court which released Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In a ruling delivered by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onoghene, the apex court granted the request of the Lagos State Government following a motion argued on its behalf by Miss Oluwayemisi Osusanya, a Senior State Counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

Justice Onoghene says the time within which to appeal against the verdict of July 12, 2013, had been extended for Lagos State government till Thursday.

He, however, conceded to the motion and ordered the Lagos State government to file a notice of appeal within the next 30 days.

Earlier, Counsel to Major Al-Mustapha, Mr Joseph Daudu, withdrew his counter affidavit objecting to the request by the Lagos government to appeal the matter.

He had objected on the grounds that the time within which to do so had elapsed.

Major Al-Mustapha was released by the court on July 12, 2013, after many years of standing trial for the alleged murder of Kudirat Abiola in 1996.

Why FG Is Yet To Arraign Supreme Court Justice, Okoro, others— AGF

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has said that the Federal Government has not dropped the corruption charge it prepared against Supreme Court Justice, John Inyang Okoro and others, but was rather working to consolidate the charges against them.

According to Malami, the charges against Okoro and others yet to be arraigned in court were being strengthened based on new evidence, which needed to be consolidated in order to have a water-tight case against the suspects.

It will be recalled that no fewer than seven judges of the Supreme, federal and state high courts were taken into custody on the night of October 7, 2016 and later granted bail by security agents over allegations of corruption.

Some of them were later separately charged to different courts.

The minister hinted that the Federal Government was busy assembling its witnesses against the accused persons to ensure the speedy conclusion of the matter once charged to the court.

Malami said: “So far, we have not dropped any corruption case against any of the suspects. What has happened however, is that having stumbled on new evidence, we are consolidating the charges so as to present a water-tight case against the suspects and prove to the world that these people are not being witch hunted as being alleged by some persons.

“We are taking that step mindful of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which require that all our witnesses must be ready before the commencement of trial. We don’t want to give room for any delay once the cases commences.

“In fact, we want to ensure that our witnesses are ready so that once the judge has fixed a date we can proceed to prove our cases against the suspects,” the minister said.

I’ll continue my farming business, Nyako says after losing at Supreme Court

Murtala Nyako, former governor of Adamawa state, who lost the bid to return to office, on Friday said he would continue his farming business and also contribute his quota to humanity.


Addressing reporters after the verdict delivered on Friday, Nyako said his major reason for going to court was to seek redress over his “illegal” removal.


He accepted the outcome of Supreme Court judgment in good faith.


“I am relaxed and will remain so; I always believe that the future is better,” he said.


The former governor, who spoke in Hausa language, thanked his supporters and well wishers for their show of support and solidarity.


“Thank you, my people of Adamawa for the show of love,” he said.

BREAKING: Ex-Governor Nyako loses at Supreme Court

The move by former Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, to return to office was rejected by the Supreme Court on Friday.


Mr. Nyako asked to be reinstated after the Court of Appeal declared his impeachment by the Adamawa House of Assembly as illegal.


The Supreme Court held that the former Adamawa Governor had removed the plea for reinstatement from his claims at the Court of Appeal and thus could not ask for same at the Supreme Court.


Mr. Nyako was removed on July 15, 2014, after 17 of 25 members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly adopted a report of a panel set up to investigate him for alleged corruption.


The report found the governor guilty of all the 16 allegations of gross misconduct.


But in its ruling in February, the Court of Appeal ruled that the impeachment of Mr. Murtala Nyako as governor of Adamawa state was not done in accordance with the provision of the law.


Details later…

BREAKING: N2.2 billion corruption trial of Supreme Court Registrar stalled again

The trial of the chief registrar of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, Ahmed Saleh, earlier scheduled to begin on Thursday has again been adjourned till February 7, 2017.

Thursdays’ adjournment was due to the absence of the third defendant, Rilwanu lawal, in court.

Mr. Saleh was arraigned, alongside two others, Mohammed Sheriff and Mr. Lawal, on November 3 by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for alleged diversion of billions of naira.

According to the charge, the defendants are accused of diverting N2.2 billion belonging to the Supreme Court.

They were also accused of receiving gratification to the tune of N74.4 million from contractors working at the Supreme Court, between 2009 to 2016

Their arraignment was earlier scheduled to hold on November 17, but was postponed based on the inability of the second defendant, Mohammed Sheriff, to attend sitting on health grounds.

The trial judge, Abbah Mohammed, adjourned the matter till December 15, for the arraignment of the defendants.

On Thursday, however, a counsel to the third defendant, Illoh Sanusi, told the court that his client’s mother had been ill and he had gone to attend to her needs.

Mr. Sanusi said his client travelled to be with his ill mother in Gusau, Zamfara State, and prayed the court for an adjournment till February 7, 2016.

The prosecution counsel, Patrick Akuta, did not oppose the application for adjournment and as such, the matter was adjourned.

Supreme Court Strips Governors of Power to Sack Local Government Officials

A ruling by the Supreme Court has made it impossible for State Governors to ever sack or dissolve democratically-elected local government councils.


The Supreme Court on Friday stripped Governors of the power to sack local government chairmen. It described it as “executive recklessness” to rampantly dissolve democratically-elected local government councils in their states and replacing them with caretaker committees.


The apex court ruled that the provisions of the laws enacted by the states’ Houses of Assembly empowering governors to carry out such dissolution and replace them with caretaker committees was null and void.


This was the decision reached by a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour on Friday.


The appeal in which the Supreme Court made the pronouncements arose from the dissolution of 16 local government councils in Ekiti State by the then Governor Kayode Fayemi.


Fayemi, who is now the Minister of Mineral Resources, was said to have announced the dissolution of the councils in a radio announcement on October 29, 2010, when the chairmen still had up till December 19, 2011, to complete their three-year tenure.


But in the lead judgment delivered by Justice Chima Nweze, the apex court condemned the decision of the then governor.


The apex court adopted an earlier order made by the Court of Appeal on the case in its judgment delivered on January 23, 2013, directing the Ekiti State Government to compute and pay all the allowances and salaries accruable to members of the dissolved councils between October 29, 2010 and December 19, 2011, both dates inclusive.

Supreme court orders lower court to deliver judgement on Jegede’s appeal

The supreme court has restored the jurisdiction to the court of appeal, Abuja, to determine all appeals arising from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), leadership dispute in Ondo state.


Eyitayo Jegede had challenged the decision of the federal high court to substitute him with Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP governorship candidate.


The court of appeal on November 18 adjourned indefinitely following an application filed at the apex court for stay of proceedings.


Beluolisa Nwofor, counsel to Biyi Poroye, factional chairman of the PDP in Ondo state had challenged the Ibrahim Saulawa panel set up to hear the matter.


The Jummai Sankey panel of the court of appeal had returned the case file back to Zainab Bulkachuwa, president of the court of appeal, following a petition by Poroye accusing her and her colleagues of corruption.


However, Nwofor withdrew his application at the apex court on Tuesday.


This prompted the five-man panel of justices led by Walter Onnoghen, acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), to order the continuation of the matter at the court of appeal.

Mixed reaction as speculations of Ben Ayade defecting to APC rises.

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Prof. Ben Ayade  of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Cross River state.

Joe Agi, also of the PDP, had asked the court to sack Ayade over false declaration of age but the apex court justices held that Agi could not prove the allegation against the governor.

However, remember that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has met with bigwigs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) recently.

The meeting, which started during the thanksgiving ceremony organised by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, in Calabar, was believed to have focused on the governor’s political future.

A former senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, a former minister of defence and presidential aspirant, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who graced the occasion, were said to have convinced Ayade to leave the PDP for the APC.

Later, Ayade drove with them and other top military brass that also graced the event in large numbers to an undisclosed location where Okorocha and other APC leaders were said to have got his firm commitment.

Speculations have been rife over Ayade’s secret ambition to cross over to the APC, having hobnobbed with key national leaders of the party few months after he was sworn in.

He has also been showering encomiums on President Muhammadu Buhari whom he had criticised before his victory in the last presidential election.

But in a swift reaction, Ayade’s media aide dismissed the insinuation that the governor was planning to move from the PDP.

Christian Ita, chief press secretary to Ayade, said the governor was just playing the role of a good host to the array of political, military and business leaders that thronged Calabar to honour a prominent son of the state.

“It is not true that the discussion our governor had with the APC leaders had anything to do with leaving the PDP for the APC,” said Ita.

Okorocha, who had visited the state and met Ayade previously over same issue, had commended the governor for having the blessing of God with the appointment of his “sons” into key national positions.

Remarking, Usani commended those who honoured his invitation and described them as his close friends. He stated that hatred for one another was the key reason for underdevelopment of Cross River State.

BREAKING: Cross River gov, Ayade, wins at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed Prof. Ben Ayade  of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Cross River state.


Joe Agi, also of the PDP, had asked the court to sack Ayade over false declaration of age but the apex court justices held that Agi could not prove the allegation against the governor.

Details Later…

Justice Walter Onnoghen urges new Supreme Court justices to uphold integrity

The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has urged the newly elevated justices of the Supreme Court, Sidi Dauda Bage and Paul Adamu Galinje, to live up to expectation in the face of daunting challenges.


He spoke yesterday in Abuja when the new justices were sworn in.


Onnoghen urged them not to be intimidated, but work towards the independence of the judiciary at a time when the body was facing some challenges.

UK Supreme Court to hear historic Brexit case

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday seek to overturn a ruling that it must obtain parliamentary approval before triggering Brexit, in a highly-charged case in Britain’s highest court.

For the first time ever, all 11 Supreme Court judges will convene for the four-day hearing which threatens to upset May’s timetable for leaving the European Union.

The High Court ruled last month that the government did not have the executive power alone to invoke Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, formally starting the exit negotiation process.

The decision enraged Brexit supporters and some newspapers who accused judges of thwarting the will of the 52 percent who voted “Leave” in a June 23 referendum.

A parliamentary vote on Article 50 could open the door to pro-Europe lawmakers delaying or softening Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

May’s government will set out its case Monday in an appeal of the High Court decision, with a verdict expected in January.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright, the government’s chief legal advisor, will argue that the government has constitutional authority over foreign affairs, including the right to withdraw from treaties, under so-called “royal prerogative powers”.

– Referendum a ‘footnote’ –

In papers submitted to the Supreme Court ahead of the hearing, Wright said High Court judges were “wrong to relegate, almost to a footnote, the outcome of the referendum”.

Claimants in the case, led by investment fund manager Gina Miller, argue that triggering Article 50 would strip British citizens of certain rights established under European law — which they say only parliament has the power to do.

Britain’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, voiced confidence in the government’s case Sunday, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “There is no history in any EU negotiations or any EU treaty talks of the House of Commons doing anything to fetter the discretion of the government.”

However, legal expert Michael Zander, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), said the government had little chance of winning, describing the original ruling as “unanimous and very strong”.

“In my view, the government could be looking at losing 11-0,” he wrote in legal magazine Counsel.

– Timetable at risk –

If it does lose, the government is expected to introduce a short bill — reportedly comprising just three lines of text — which it will seek to push rapidly through parliament to authorise the triggering of Article 50.

May has insisted a parliamentary vote on the legislation would not disrupt her plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

However, the opposition Labour Party delivered a blow to the government Saturday when it announced it would seek to amend any bill, potentially delaying the process.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the amendment would ensure that Britain retains access to the European single market and protect workers’ and environmental rights.

“When the Article 50 debate comes up, we will put forward an amendment to it, which will be on the issues of market access and protections. We want those to be part of the negotiation,” Corbyn told Sky News.

He denied that the party was seeking to prevent the government invoking Article 50 altogether, adding: “We are respecting the result of the referendum. It might not be the one we wanted but it’s the one we’ve got.”

A spokesman for May’s Conservative Party accused Labour of attempting to “frustrate the will of the British people by slowing down the process… and trying to tie the government’s hands” in Brexit negotiations.

May faces a further potential complication at this week’s hearing from representatives of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who will argue that Article 50 also needs to be approved by the devolved parliaments.

Such a ruling could further derail the prime minister’s timetable and set up a stand-off between the nations.

Supreme Court Refers Sheriff, Makarfi Dispute Back To Appeal Court.

The Supreme Court on Thursday referred back to the Court of Appeal, Abuja, all pending cases relating to the dispute over the leadership tussle between the Ali Modu Sheriff an?d Ahmed Makarfi factions of the Peoples Democratic Party.


The appeals which the apex court referred back to the Court of Appeal have to do with questions bordering on which of the factions of the party ?has the authority to instruct lawyers to represent the party in a pending case before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.


The five-man panel of the ape?x court led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, also, in a separate unanimous ruling, struck out all pending appeals relating to the candidacy of the PDP for the Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State.


Justice Onnoghen, who read the lead ruling, held that the pending appeals before the apex court had become academic in view of the judgment of the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa-led panel of the Court of Appeal, Abuja delivered on Wednesday, reinstating Eyitayo Jegede as the PDP’s governorship candidate in the Ondo State election.


The Acting CJN informed parties to the appeals on Thursday that the apex court was not ready to hear the cases piecemeal.


He directed that the appellants should  raise the issues in their interlocutory  appea?ls in when they file substantive appeals which they wish to file against the  Court of Appeal’s judgment delivered on Thursday.


The appellants led by Biyi Poroye are the state executives of the Sheriff faction of the party in the various states in the South-West zone, are backing Jimoh Ibrahim, who was only removed and replaced with Jegede as the party’s governorship candidate in Ondo State by the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, Abuja on Wednesday.


The appellants’ lawyer, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), told the apex court on Thursday that he had not been able to file an appeal against the Wednesday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal because copies of the judgment had not been ready.


Governor Segun Mimiko addressing the press after the Court of Appeal handed his candidate victory


BREAKING: Jimoh Ibrahim loses in Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has struck out all the interlocutory appeals filed by the Ali Sheriff faction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.


Mr. Sheriff insists he is the authentic chairman of the PDP. However, a Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday declared Ahmed Makarfi the authentic PDP leader.


A PDP aspirant in Ondo, Jimoh Ibrahim, had hoped that the Supreme Court would grant the appeals which would have returned him as the candidate of the party for Saturday’s governorship election.


Mr. Ibrahim was chosen as PDP candidate by the Ali Sheriff faction.


Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi faction was declared authentic PDP candidate by the Appeal Court on Wednesday.


Details later…

Jimoh Ibrahim says ‘nothing to lose’ in Appeal Court ruling on Ondo.

The candidate of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, Jimoh Ibrahim, has reacted to Wednesday’s Appeal Court ruling sacking him as the party’s candidate in Saturday’s Ondo governorship election.

The Court of Appeal replaced Mr. Ibrahim with Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party.

But Mr. Ibrahim said he was certain of getting justice at the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ibrahim accused the incumbent governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, of paying for the judgment with the state treasury.

“I have read the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered today.

“We have nothing to lose as the Supreme Court sits on the same case tomorrow.

“We shall get justice at the Supreme Court and if PDP wins Saturday election we shall have our four years mandate to rule Ondo State,’’ Mr. Ibrahim said.

Meanwhile, the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction has commended the Court of Appeal for its judgment.

Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of the faction, said the judgment was proof that what transpired at the lower court was miscarriage of justice.

Mr. Adeyeye made the remark in a statement on Tuesday.

The Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa on Tuesday set aside the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court recognising Jimoh Ibrahim as PDP candidate in the Ondo state guber poll.

The Appeal Court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace Mr. Ibrahim’s name with Eyitayo Jegede.

Mr. Adeyeye said the party appreciated the Nigerian judiciary for “standing behind truth as it affects the attempt by enemies within working in consonance with some jittery and desperate opposition members.’’

He said the aim of the enemies of the party was to thwart PDP’s participation in the Ondo State governorship election.

Mr. Adeyeye said the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court and that of the Court of Appeal had rekindled the hope of the common man in the judiciary.

He said: “This shows that justice might be delayed, but will surely come provided the oppressed refuse to give up on his rights.

“The judgment delivered by the Justice Salauwa-led Appeal Court Panel which returned the validly elected candidate of our party, to his rightful place was expected.

“It was expected because we were sure that the travesty of justice carried out at the lower court will in any sane society, not stand the test of time.’’

Mr. Adeyeye added that it was gratifying to note that all the seven issues before the Appeal panel as relates to the illegal substitution of the factions’ candidate, were decided in favour of Mr. Jegede.

“This goes to prove that what transpired at the lower court was a miscarriage of justice.”

Mr. Adeyeye expressed hope that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would toe the line of the Court of Appeal by postponing the Saturday election by a minimum of two weeks.

He said the postponement would allow the faction’s candidate to inform the people of the state his programmes for them through campaigns.

Ondo: Appeal Court Delivers Judgment On Jegede Today.

The Court of Appeal Special Panel on the Ondo State governorship poll has fixed 12noon on Wednesday (today) to deliver ruling on the tussle over who the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the election will be The Eagle Online has reported.


The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Court of Appeal the go ahead to deliver the ruling.


The tussle is between Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede.


The Independent National Electoral Commission had recognised Ibrahim as the candidate based on the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja.


The ruling was delivered by Justice Okon Abang.

BREAKING: Supreme Court orders continuation of Appeal Court hearing on Ondo election

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court to continue its hearing in the ongoing legal battle for the Ondo State’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket.


The Appeal Court had on October 18 suspended hearings into the various applications pending the decision of the highest court.


The applications were brought to the Appeal Court by a factional candidate of the party, Eyitayo Jegede, who challenged the decision of the Federal High Court in Abuja to replace him with another contender for the ticket, Jimoh Ibrahim.


While both candidates belong to the PDP, Mr. Jegede was picked by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party, and Mr. Ibrahim represents the camp of former Borno governor, Ali Sheriff.


A three-member panel of the appeal court led by Ibrahim Salauwa set aside the matter to await the decision of the Apex Court.


Applications regarding the forthcoming elections were taken to the Supreme Court by a factional leader of the party in Ondo state, Biyi Poroye, who represents Mr. Sheriff’s faction.


On Tuesday, a five-man panel of justices led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, ordered the Appeal Court to proceed with the matter.

FG Hires Top International Criminal Court Prosecutor Against Indicted Supreme Court Chiefs- Report

Some of the indicted officials of the Supreme Court fingered to have collected money through fraudulent means are in serious trouble as the Federal Government hires a top international criminal prosecutor. The Federal Government has hired a former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Charles Adeogun-Philips, to lead its team of lawyers to prosecute the Supreme Court Registrar and others for alleged N2.2b fraud.
 The arraignment of the three senior officials of the apex court was stalled by Justice Abba Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja because one of the Supreme Court officials, Muhammed Sharif, was absent.
The Federal Government on November 3 filed a nine-count charge against Chief Registrar Ahmed Saleh, Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal (who are both officials of the court’s Account Department).
The officials were charged with conspiracy and criminal breach of trust for allegedly diverting N2.2billion belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers. The three officials are also accused of receiving N74.4m gratification from Willysdave Ltd., Welcon Nig. Ltd., Dean Musa Nig. Ltd., Ababia Ventures Ltd. and MBR Computers Ltd. between 2009 and 2016.
On November 8, Justice Mohammed granted a request by prosecution lawyer Hajara Yusuf for time to produce the three defendants in court for arraignment, following which the court adjourned till November 17 for arraignment.
Saleh and Lawal were in court. Sharif was absent. Garba Tetengi (SAN), who announced appearance for Sharif, said he was ill and was on admission at the hospital. He sought an adjournment, which other defence lawyers – Abdulhakeem Mustapha – SAN – (for Saleh) and I.K Sanusi – SAN (for Lawal) did not object.
The Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation (DPPF), Mohammed Umar, who led the prosecution team, later yielded proceedings to Adeogun-Philips, who spoke for the prosecution.
Umar said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had in exercising his powers under Section 174(1) of the Constitution, elected to engage an international lawyer to conduct prosecution in the case.
Adeogun-Philips said he was unhappy that Tetengi could not provide any document to show that Sharif was on admission in the hospital. Justice Mohammed rescheduled the arraignment for December 15.

More trouble for Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Ngwuta

The Federal Government has amended the charges it preferred against a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, raising fresh allegations of money laundering charges involving N505m against him.

The amended charges with case number FHC/ABJ/CR/232/2016, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, raised the number of counts from 10 to 14, alleging that the sum of N505m was part of the proceeds of Ngwuta’s “unlawful” activities.

The Justice of the Supreme Court was accused of transferring the total sum of N505m “denominated in naira and US dollars” to a building contractor between January and May 2016.

The Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation which filed the amended charges on Wednesday, alleged that the offences contained in the first four counts of the amended charges were contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 (as amended).

The offences were said to be punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

The prosecution alleged that the Justice of the Supreme Court transferred the total sum of N130m to Nwamba Linus Chukwuebuka, a building contractor, on January 4, 2016.

Ngwuta was also accused of transferring the sum of N165m to Chukwuebuka “on or about April 2016”.

He was further accused of transferring another sum of N100m to Chukwuebuka “on or about April 2016”.

He was also charged with transferring the sum of N110m to the same person “on or about May, 2016”.

As alleged in the old set of charges, Ngwuta was accused in the amended charges of retaining N35,358,000; $319,596 and £25,915 during the raid on his house by the operatives of the Department of State Services between October 7 and 8.

The various sums of money were also described as proceeds of “an unlawful activity”.

The offences were said to be contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

Apart from the money laundering charges, Ngwuta was accused of passport offences in counts eight to 14 of the amended charges.

He was accused of being in possession of two valid diplomatic passports and another two valid Nigerian passports when his house was raided by the DSS operatives on October 8, 2016.

The offences were said to be contrary to section 10 (1) (a) and (d) of the Immigration Act 2015 and punishable under section 10(1) of the Act.

The justice of the apex court was also accused of “knowingly making a false statement to the Passport Office concerning his date of birth for the purpose of procuring an additional diplomatic passport” for himself in violation of Section 10 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act.

He was also accused of submitting multiple application forms to one or more passport offices “with the intention of obtaining multiple diplomatic passports” for himself in violation of Section 10 (1) (d) of the Immigration Act 2015 and punishable under Section 10 (1) of the same Act.

The Justice of the Supreme Court was also accused of knowingly making a false statement to “passport office concerning the loss” of his diplomatic passport with number D50000087 on April 5, 2016.

In another count, he was accused of committing a similar offence concerning the loss of his Nigerian passport with number A04389985 on the same date of April 5, 2016.

According to the proof of evidence accompanying the charges, the prosecution has lined up five witnesses against the Justice of the Supreme Court.

They are Aminu N. Ibrahim, Ngo Awoikiega, Tanko Nuhu Kutana, Ogudu Nwadire and Nwamba Chukwuebuka.

Ibrahim is “to testify on the search conducted on the defendant’s residence on or about 7/8 October 2016”.

Awoikiega is “to testify on the investigation/interrogation of the defendant”.

Kutana, an immigration officer, “is to testify on the multiple diplomatic and Nigerian Passports obtained by the defendant”.

Nwadire is “to testify on how as an architect to the defendant between 2014 and 2016, he handled several projects for which he received cash payments totalling $100,000”.

Chukwuebuka is “to testify on how as a building contractor to the defendant between 2014 and 2016, he handled several projects for which he received cash payments from the defendant totalling $1,000,000”.

Justice Ngwuta was among the judges, whose houses were raided by the operatives of the Department of State Services between October 7 and 8.

The DSS alleged that it discovered large sums of money in foreign and local currencies from the raid.

Our correspondent confirmed on Tuesday that charges had not been filed against the other judges even as the AGF had said that there was prima facie evidence against them.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has proposed three witnesses to testify against Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja, and his wife, Olabowale, who is the Head of Service of Lagos State.

The Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation had on Monday filed 15 counts of gratification against the couple before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

In the suit with number FCT/CR/21/2016, Justice Ademola and his wife were accused of “corruptly” receiving a total sum of N248,101,300 and $520,000 as gratification from some law firms and others in the discharge of Ademola’s judicial duties between 2013 an 2016.

The proof of evidence accompanying the charges sighted by our correspondent on Wednesday showed that the prosecution had listed as prosecution witnesses, Babatunde Adepoju, George Inyang, and an unnamed employee of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

Ademola and his wife allegedly received the gratification through the judge’s GTB account.

According to the proof of evidence, Adepoju will testify on “the defendants’ voluntary statement”, Inyang is to testify on “video CDs of the defendants’ interview”, while the bank employee is “to testify on Link Chart Analysis of monies received and transferred by the defendants.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer in Justice Ademola’s defence team, Mr. Jeph Njikonye, had said on Tuesday that the charges were bogus and trumped-up.

Njikonye, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja, said that the judge was eager to defend himself in court.

He added that the prosecutors went so “low” to impute that that the judge received gratification from his uncle’s law firm, G.T.J Ademola & Co., mentioned in the charges.

The lawyer said the Federal Government only filed the charges to play to the gallery and to justify the “unconstitutional” raid of the houses of the judges arrested by the Department of State Services.

Justice Ademola was among the judges, including two justices of the Supreme Court – Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro – arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services between October 7 and 8 on allegations of corruption.

The Federal Government had on November 8, 2016 charged Justice Ngwuta before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for money laundering and passport infraction relating to age falsification and obtaining multiple passports.

Justice Okoro has, however, not been charged.

N2.2bn fraud: Court grants FG’s request for S’Court registrar’s arraignment

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has granted a request by the Federal government for the arraignment of the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Ahmed Saleh, and two other officials of the court on a nine-counts bordering on gratification and diversion of N2.2 billion belonging to the apex court.


The FG, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), had on November 3, charged Saleh alongside Muhammed Abdulrahman Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal with the offences of receiving gratifications totalling N74.4m from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.

Although, the arraignment of the defendants was scheduled for Wednesday before Justice A.B Mohammed, neither the accused persons nor their lawyers were present in court.


It was learnt that the defendants was yet to be served with the charges as of Wednesday morning.


The development forced the prosecuting counsel, Mrs. Hajara Yusuf, to ask for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to produce them in court.


She said: “We were made to understand that the matter was assigned to this court just yesterday morning.


“We will be asking for an adjournment to enable us to produce the defendants in court.”


The judge in granting Yusuf’s request then fixed November 17 for the arraignment of the accused.

BREAKING: Supreme Court confirms Seriake Dickson as Bayelsa Governor

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared that Seriake Dickson was validly elected as Bayelsa Governor.


The seven-member panel of judges gave the ruling following an appeal by Timipre Sylva, candidate of the Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the elections.


Mr. Dickson’s election as governor had earlier been ratified by the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal.


Details later…

FG Charges Supreme Court Registrar, Others with Diversion of N2.2bn

The Federal Government on Thursday charged the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Ahmed Saleh, and two other employees of the apex court with nine counts, including diversion of N2.2bn belonging to the court.

Saleh is among those shortlisted for final consideration by the National Judicial Council to succeed the outgoing Secretary of the council, Mr. Danladi Halilu.

Saleh, alongside Muhammed Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal, are also accused of receiving gratifications totalling N74.4m from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.

When the date of their arraignment is fixed, the accused persons will be facing nine counts of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by allegedly diverting N2.2bn belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation filed the charges marked FCT/HC/CR/13/2016 before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama on Thursday.

The allegations leading to the filing of the charges on Thursday is believed to have been unearthed by the recent raid by the operatives of the Department of State Services on the homes of some judges, including two of them belonging to the Supreme Court bench, and some offices at the apex court complex.

Our correspondent also learnt that following the Thursday’s development, the Federal Government will soon approach the court to file charges against some of the arrested judges.

The Supreme Court employees allegedly diverted the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the apex court and received the N74.4m gratification between 2009 and 2016.

The contractors from whom they allegedly received the gratification are Willysdave Ltd., Welcon Nig. Ltd., Dean Musa Nig. Ltd., Ababia Ventures Ltd. and MBR Computers Ltd.

The three Supreme Court employees named in the first charge are accused of conspiracy criminal breach of trust contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code Act and punishable under the same section, by diverting the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme Court.

The accused persons allegedly deposited same into personal account 2027642863 domiciled in United Bank for Africa Plc.

They allegedly conspired among themselves contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act 2004 and punishable under Section 97 of the same Act to commit the illegal act of diverting the N2.2bn belonging to the apex court.

The prosecution alleged in counts three to nine that the accused, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification of N10m from Willysdave Ltd., N8m (in two tranches of N6m and N2.4m) from Welcon Nig. Ltd., N2.4m; N16m from Dean Musa Nig. Ltd.; N19m from Ababia Ventures Ltd. and N21m from MBR Computers.

The offences of taking gratification by public officers are said to be contrary to Section 10 (a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission Act 2000.

They are said to be punishable under the same section of the Act.

FG files charges against Supreme Court Registrar, two others over N2.2bn fraud

The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has filed criminal charges against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Saleh Gambo, before an Abuja High Court.

Gambo was charged alongside the Assistant Director of Finance at the apex court, Rilwanu Lawal, and the Deputy Director of Finance, Sharif Abdulrahman.

The trio will be answering to a nine-count charge marked CR/13/16 and dated November 3, which the AGF filed pursuant to sections l04 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The defendants were specifically alleged to have diverted N2.2 billion belonging to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, into personal bank accounts domiciled at United Bank For Africa Plc with account number 2027642863.

They were further alleged to have, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification in the sum of N10 million from Willysdave Ltd, a private contractor to the Supreme Court of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10(a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same Act.

Presidency Insists Judges Must Step Down for Trial

The Presidency is insisting that two Supreme Court Justices and four others must step aside ahead of their trial for alleged corruption, it was learnt last night.

It also faulted Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed’s claim that the Judiciary had issues with the Department of State Services (DSS), not the Federal Government.

It was also learnt that the DSS refused to release the evidence against the judges under probe to the National Judicial Council (NJC) in order not to prejudice their trial.

Those under investigation by the DSS are two Supreme Court Justices -Justice Sylvester Ngwuta and Justice 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; Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe State High Court); Justice Bashir Sukola and Justice Ladan Manir, from the Kaduna State High Court.

Of the nine judges, the NJC has recommended sanctions for Justice Tsamiya; Justice. Umezulike and Justice Kabiru Auta.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) is investigating six judges of the Federal High Court. They are: Justices Mohammed Nasir Yunusa; Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa; Musa Haruna Kurya; Agbadu James Fishim; Uwani Abba Aji; and Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

But the NJC has refused to suspend six of the judges because, according to the Judicial agency, the DSS is yet to submit petitions and evidence against them.

The government however said the judges must step aside to clear their names instead of facing trial while on the bench.

A top government source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The government has made its position known to the CJN. On why the judges should step aside ahead of their trial. The government will not yield ground on this.

“If we go ahead to arraign them in court, the same CJN and NJC will accuse the government of desecrating the Judiciary. The right step now is to allow the judges to face trial and clear the allegations against them.

“It is unfortunate that what the CJN told the government on how to handle the case of the judges was different from the statement he issued.

“We are suspecting that the CJN might be under pressure from his colleagues or he wants to leave the fate of the judges to his successor.

“He cannot rationalise by making a distinction between the Federal Government and the DSS. The government was in support of the sting operations of the security agency. So, the DSS did not act unilaterally.

“We will not take up issues with the CJN because the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), some former Supreme Court Justices and the Body of Benchers have supported the position of the government that the judges should step aside.”

The source added: “Some of the judges in their letters to the CJN admitted having huge cash at home as if their houses are banks. In some jurisdictions, no judge can have up to $5,000 dollars at hand.

“We have a case of a judge who had never withdrawn a kobo from his salary account. How does he feed? Yet, the CJN was put into confidence on some of these issues at a meeting with some government officials. In what other way can the government respect the Judiciary?

It was learnt at the weekend that the NJC might meet this week or before the November 10 exit date of the CJN on the petitions against some judges.

It was gathered that the NJC session scheduled for Saturday was suddenly shifted following pressure from some quarters.

A member of the NJC said: “Yes, our meeting was postponed at the last minute because of certain circumstances. We are hopeful that we may meet this week, depending on the disposition of the CJN.

“What is however clear is that we will hold a meeting before the exit date of the CJN. We have to take a decision on some petitions against some judges before the council. One of the petitions is a high profile one.

“It is also statutory that we meet to bid the CJN a farewell and ratify some recommendations on some judges.”

It was gathered that the DSS refused to release evidence against the embattled judges to the NJC in order not to lay all the cards on the table before their trial.

The DSS suspects that there is no way the judges will not be privy to the evidence against them and they may begin to frustrate their trial with preliminary objection.

The agency prefers encounters with the judges in court instead of the NJC, which is a disciplinary body.

A security source said: “With the suspicious manner the NJC threw away some cases/ petitions against some judges, the DSS cannot take such a risk to make all its evidence available to the body.

“Take the case of a judge who was implicated in a N500million bribery, the Petition Review Committee of the NJC cleared him. This is a judge who admitted on tape to have collected bribe.

“It took some persistence by a petitioner before the NJC could accept to sanction the Chief Judge of Enugu State. He was retired after about four petitions against him.

“Another judge accused of demanding N200million was retired by the NJC when the law is explicit on what should be done.

“To give evidence to NJC will amount to prejudging the judges. The DSS conducted sting operations in some judges’ quarters; it believes the law should take its course through trial.

“Once the evidence are made available to the NJC, the trial of the judges will suffer a setback from the outset because they will know what the government has against them.”

FG Okays Trial of Justices Okoro, Ademola, Others

The Federal Government, yesterday, shunned the National Judiciary Council, NJC, and pressed ahead with its decision to bring the seven suspected corrupt judges to justice.

The seven are among the 15 already identified by the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, but the other eight are yet to be named and invited for questioning.

The NJC, which claimed to have omnibus powers over both criminal and administrative matters relating to judges in Nigeria, last week, disregarded the Presidency’s directive to suspend the suspected corrupt judicial officers from duty, pending the trial and disposal of the criminal allegations leveled against them.

Rather than comply with Presidency’s order, the NJC slammed the DSS for daring to search the homes of the judges in the night and making away with huge cash in local and foreign currencies.

Although none of the suspects denied keeping the huge cash in their homes, the NJC was silent on the propriety of the discovery of the money in the homes of the judges but disparaged the DSS for the raid, which it claimed was intended to cow the judges from doing their jobs.

In a brazen move to get at both the NJC and the suspects, who have tried to blame key ministers in Buhari’s administration for their ordeal, the Federal Government, last night, formally approved the prosecution of the suspects with immediate effect.

A top Presidency official confirmed to newsmen that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, had approved the immediate prosecution of the suspects so as not to give the erroneous impression that government was promoting corruption. The top source said the trial of the suspects would be carried out in phases and handled by the National Prosecution Council, which was recently inaugurated.

The source said the refusal of the NJC to suspend the suspected judges was interpreted as a ‘slap’ on the Presidency and that no country would allow a few people to constitute themselves into a cabal that is ‘above the law’.

Asked to disclose the nature of the charges to be preferred against the judges, the official said:  “The charges are generally for corruption, with an isolated case of illegal possession of firearms to be pressed against one of the judges.”

‘The firearms were recovered from the home of one of the suspects by the DSS during the nocturnal raid on October 7, a development that had sparked national outrage.’

Giving further insight into the trial, the source hinted:  “I can tell you that the National Prosecution Council will lead the prosecution of the suspects, while the Director of Public Prosecution in the Federal Ministry of Justice will coordinate the team.

“The charges were cleared from the OHAGF only yesterday and the suspects are certainly going to be charged to court any moment from now. The Federal Government is not deterred by the refusal of the NJC to suspend the suspects from office.”

Efforts to speak with the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, proved abortive, as he was said to be outside Nigeria. None of his officials claimed knowledge of the approval of the charges against the suspected judges.

It will be recalled that the DSS had launched a sting operation in the homes of the judges on the night of October 7, 2016, recovering local and foreign currencies worth N360 million. Two of the judges are from the Supreme Court, while the rest sit in Federal and State High Courts.

While Justice John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court claimed on Tuesday that $38,000 found in his home was his estacode, he did not say how the over N3 million cash was left in his home and not the bank.

On the other hand, Justices Ademola Adeniyi and Nnamdi Dimgba have blamed their ordeal in the hands of the DSS on the AGF over certain court verdicts they claimed they gave against him in the past.

Nonetheless, the allegations against Malami were not mentioned to anyone until the raids on their homes by the DSS.

BREAKING: Senate confirms Buhari’s nominees as supreme court justices.

The senate on Tuesday confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees as justices of the supreme court.

The president’s nominees as justices of the supreme court are Ejembi Eko (Benue) and Amina Augie (Kebbi).

In a letter dated September 22, Buhari had sent the names to the senate for confirmation, which was referred to the judiciary, human rights and legal matters committee.

While speaking on the floor of the senate, David Umoru, senate chairman committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters, said his committee found the justices worthy to be judges in the supreme court after “careful scrutiny”.

He added that the committee did not receive any petition against them.

The senate approved of the nominees after it was put to electronic voting, with the candidates scoring 38 to 0 and 39 to 1, respectively.

Also, the senate has received President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Population Commission (NPC).

The nominees for INEC commissioners are Okechukwu Ibeanu (Anambra), May Agbamuche (Delta), Ahmed Mu’azu (Gombe), Mohammed Haruna (Niger), Adekunle Ogunmola (Oyo) and Abubakar Nahuche.

The nominees for NPC commissioners are Benedict Ukpong (Akwa Ibom), Gloria Izonfuo (Bayelsa), Kupchi Iyanya (Benue), Haliru Bala (Kebbi) and Eyitayo Oyetunji (Oyo).

The confirmation of nominees sought by Buhari is in accordance with Sections 153 and 154 of the 1999 constitution as amended.

BREAKING: Amid raid on judges, Buhari appoints new Supreme Court Justices.

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the Senate to consider and confirm the nominations of two judges as Justices of the Supreme Court.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, read the letter conveying the request after the Senate returned from closed-door session on Tuesday.

The nominated judges are Sidi Bage, Nasarawa State, North Central; and Paul Jauro, Taraba State, North East.

In the letter read by Mr. Saraki, Mr. Buhari said his request followed Section 231(2) of the Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.

The President sought expeditious attention of the Senate, Mr. Saraki read.

Mr. Jauro, who was born on June 26, 1954, became judge of the High Court in 1998. Ten years afterwards, he was appointed Justice of the Court Appeal.

Mr. Bage, born on June 22, 1956, became Federal High Court Judge in 1992 before his appointment as Justice of the Court of Appeal in 2000.

The two Judges had been recommended for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court by the National Judicial Council.

Drama as PDP asks Supreme Court to sack Gov Ayade over false age declaration

A drama played out at the Supreme Court, yesterday, as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, asked the apex court to remove Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River State from office over allegation that he falsified his age.
The party, through its lawyer, Mr. N. Ibegbulam, told the apex court headed by Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour that it was in support of an appeal by Mr. Joe Agi, SAN, against Ayade. Agi who is also a chieftain of the PDP in Cross River State had in his appeal, insisted that Governor Ayade lied about his age.
The appellant who came second in the governorship primary election of the PDP, held in the state on December 8, 2014, adduced exhibits before the court showing that Governor Ayade had in three different affidavits that were deposed to on oath, supplied conflicting dates as his year of birth.
Specifically, the evidence before the court showed that the 3rd respondent (Ayade) had in the Nomination Form, Code PD 003/G, which he used to contest the Cross River State election, stated on oath that he was born on March 2, 1969. However, the age declaration he attached to the form, which his brother Frank Ayade swore to before a Cross River State High Court sitting at Oleh on February 1, 2007, indicated that the defendant was born in 1968.
Moreover, the plaintiff tendered in evidence, a document that showed that the governor, while applying for admission into the University of Ibadan, gave an age declaration stating that he was born on March 2, 1966. The bio-data was allegedly issued by the University itself.
Meanwhile, when the matter came up for hearing yesterday, the, PDP, told the apex court that it was satisfied that Ayade violated its Electoral Guidelines by furnishing it with wrong data about his age. Ibegbulam said, “My Lords, after due consideration, we apply to concede to this appeal and consequently apply to withdraw the 1st respondent’s brief of argument dated May 17.
“We urge your lordships to find merit in the appeal and apply Article 14(b) and 15(2) of the PDP Electoral Guidelines which disqualifies any candidate that gives false age declaration.”After listening to the parties, the apex court reserved its judgment till December 9.

Breaking: Bello Wins As The Supreme Court Upholds Election

The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

The court in a unanimous judgement dismissed the appeal filed by Hon. James Faleke, the deputy to Late Abubakar Audu, candidate of the APC aand Captain Idris Wada of the PGP.

The court said it will give reasons for its judgement on September 30, 2016

The election petition tribunal of the state and the court of appeal dismissed their petitions against the governor for lacking in merit.

The apex court is expected to hear the appeal today and determine it one way or the other.

The Court of Appeal in dismissed the appeal filed by Faleke, who and Captain Wada’against Yahaya Bello’s election by four-to-one split decision.

The All Progressives Congress substituted Bello as its governorship candidate and retained Faleke as its deputy governorship candidate after Audu died at the conclusion of the first round of the election held on November 21.

Supreme Court Affirms Kidnapper’s Death Sentence

The Supreme Court has re-affirmed the death sentence passed upon a notorious kidnapper- Ayiere Godsgift ( Alias Alex) who kidnapped a teenager from school and murdered him.
In a unanimous decision, Friday, a five-man panel of the apex court headed by Justice Suleiman Galadima held that the appeal against the death sentence filed by Alex lacked merit.

Other members of the panel are Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, Musa Dattijo Muhammed and John Inyang Okoro, all Justices of the Supreme Court.
Alex was convicted and sentenced to death March 17, 2010 by the Cross Rivers State High Court, Calabar judicial division.
He appealed unsuccessfully to the Court of Appeal, Calabar before appealing further to the Supreme Court in Abuja.
In a related development,  the Supreme Court also Friday  unanimously re-affirmed the five-year jail term or an option of fine slammed on one Afor Lucky who was convicted for rape by the High Court of Delta State, Oleh Division.
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Rev. King To Die By Hanging – Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has okayed the convicted General-Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Rev. King to die by hanging.


In a unanimous judgment Friday afternoon, a seven-man panel of Justices ?of the apex court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, upheld the death sentence that was earlier handed to Ezeugo by the Lagos State High Court.


Consequently, the court in its lead verdict that was delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, dismissed the appeal the convicted clergy lodged before it. General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Reverend King Justice Ngwuta who noted that “the ?facts of the case could have been lifted from horror film”, resolved all the 12 issues Ezeugo raised in his appeal.” “This appeal has no merit.


The judgement of the court of appeal is hereby affirmed. The prison sentence that was earlier handed to the appellant is no longer relevant in view of the death sentence passed on him”, Justice Ngwuta held. It will be recalled that Ezeugo was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging on January 11, 2007, for the alleged murder of his church member, Ann Uzoh.


He was arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder. The charge against him was at the instance of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions.


During the trial, the prosecution had argued that the convict poured petrol on the diseased, Uzor and five others. Uzoh died on August 2, 2006, exactly 11 days after the incident.


In her judgment, trial Justice Joseph Oyewole who is now a Justice of the Court of Appeal at Calabar, said there was sufficient evidence linking the accused person to the commission of the crime.


Consequently, Justice Oyewole convicted and sentenced Ezeugo to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder and death by hanging for the offence of murder. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Ezeugo took the case before the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.


The condemned clergy, in his notice of appeal dated January 16, 2007, prayed the appellate court to set aside the judgment. Aside 16 grounds of appeal he raised through his lawyer, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, he was subsequently granted leave to argue additional 16 grounds based an amended notice of appeal he filed on June 15, 2008. Ojo argued that his client did not commit the crime and was not at the scene of the incident.


He insisted that the deceased, Uzoh, had in two statements she made after the incident and before her death, stated that she got burnt in a generator accident and that the cleric was not responsible for her injuries. Ojo said the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, had tendered statements which stated that Ezeugo was not responsible for the burns that led to Uzoh’s death. He alleged that the trial Judge refused to admit in evidence, the statements he said exonerated Ezeugo of the crime.


The lawyer further contended had those “vital exhibits” been admitted rather than expunged by the trial judge, they would have operated to cast serious doubt on the case of the prosecution. He maintained that Justice Oyewole’s refusal to admit the exhibits in evidence “occasioned a great miscarriage of justice” against his client. Meanwhile, after due consideration of the case, a three-man panel of justices of the appellate court, in a lead judgment that was delivered by Justice Fatimo Akinbami, dismissed Ezeugo’s appeal and upheld the high court verdict.


The other members of the appellate court panel that equally concurred with the lower court’s verdict were Justices Amina Augie and Ibrahim Saulawa. Determined to save his life, Rev Ezeugo lodged an appeal before the Supreme Court.


His appeal was challenged by the Lagos state government which through its Attorney General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem and Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Idowu Alakija, urged the apex court to dismiss it and uphold the concurrent verdicts of the two lower courts.


Credit : Vanguard

Supreme Court’s Judgment Is Victory For Democracy – Oduah

Senator Stella Oduah representing Anambra North Senatorial District on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described her victory at the Supreme Court on Wednesday as victory for democracy.


In a statement, the legislator thanked her constituents and the entire nation for standing by her all through the legal tussle.


According to her, “I want to express my profound gratitude to God, Nigerians and my supporters all over the country following my victory in the Supreme Court today.
“I’m delighted that the Supreme Court has clearly stated that the issue of primaries was not included in the appeal that came before the verdict which was in our favor.

“I want to thank Nigerians and everyone who has expressed support, for I must say that this is a victory for democracy and Nigerians at large, the Judiciary without fear or favor or prejudice has allowed justice to be served.

“In the spirit of service I will continue to serve the good people of Anambra North, the entire Anambra people and the nation at large by making deliberations that will move our nation forward.”

Taraba Guber Election: Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Upholding PDP’s Victory

The Supreme Court on Monday said the All Progressive Congress and its governorship candidate in Taraba State, Aisha Alhassan, had no locus standi to challenge the nomination of Governor Darius Ishiaku by his party.

The court made the declaration while giving reasons for dismissing the appeal of APC and Ms. Alhassan in its judgement on February 11.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read details of the judgement, said the appeals and cross appeals had no redeemable substance.

The court held that the governor was duly sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party to contest in the election, adding that evidence brought before it had confirmed Mr. Ishiaku’s membership of the party.

“The matter is very simple, the apex court has ruled on matters of this nature at different occasions.

“There is no way a candidate of another political party who did not participate in the primaries of another political party could suddenly rise to challenge the conduct of such an exercise.

“It is therefore, clear that the appeals and all the cross appeals against the election of Governor Darius Ishiaku of Taraba have no redeemable substance,” Mr. Rhodes-Vivour said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

A’Ibom APC Urges Buhari To Probe S’Court To Save Judiciary

All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Amadu Attai, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Supreme Court over its verdict which upheld the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

In a statement in Abuja, Dr. Attai said that a probe of the apex court over that judgment was the only way to restore the dignity of Nigeria’s highest court.
According to him, “We believe the leadership of the country and indeed all Nigerians should not sit and watch the judiciary collapse under the watch of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria. We, hereby, call on the President to arrest the drift in the third arm of government by probing the rot in the Supreme Court.”

Dr. Attai claimed that the spate of attacks on the Supreme Court following its decisions in some of the governorship election petitions, including that of his state, were indicative of the lack of confidence in the court, by many members of the Nigerian public.

This, he contended, portends grave dangers for the nation as it could lead those who felt they had been denied justice to resort to self-help.



Credit : Today

Supreme Court Adduces Reasons For Wike, Ibikunle’s Return As Governors

The Supreme Court on Friday gave reasons while Nyesom Wike was affirmed as the validly elected governor of Rivers.


Justice Mohammad Mahmud, who presided, held that the Governorship Electoral Petition Tribunal that handled the case swayed INEC guideline on the use of card readers for the election.


The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) also held that the tribunal also denied Wike fair hearing.


The Justice said: “While the court commends the introduction of card readers, the innovation, however, cannot supersede the voters register.

“The extant laws of the Federation provides for the use of voters register but the card reader irrespective of its importance does not have a place in any extant law of the land.

“Hence it said that the tribunal was wrong to base it judgment on non-compliance with the use of card readers,’’ Mahmud held.



On the issue of allegation of violence and irregularities during the election, Mahmud held that Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the APC in that election, failed to prove the allegations.


“The APC and its candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside, were not able to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt because they failed to bring witnesses from all the polling units to substantiate the claims.

“For Peterside to prove non-accreditation, he ought to have tendered the voters register and then demonstrate it before the open court.

“We have aligned ourselves with the provision of the law that recognizes the voters register as key element to conduct any elections,’’ he said.


Mahmud, therefore, said the voter register could not be jettisoned for the card reader because it had a place in law while the card reader did not.


According to him, the tribunal and the lower court were unduly swayed by INEC’s directive on card reader usage during the election.



While noting that INEC had empower to make subsidiary regulations regarding conduct of election, Mahmud held that the regulations must not go contrary to constitutional provisions.


On the evidence of INEC staff who described the election as a sham and a mockery of democracy, the court held that his evidence could not take the place of testimonies of voters.


“We however discovered that under cross examination witness did not state whether he personally witnessed any violence at any polling unit, thereby making his evidence hearsay.


“The laws do not give room for arbitrary nullification of an election. A petitioner has to prove that there was substantial non-compliance in all polling units, this we did not see,’’ he said.


Mahmud further said that APC and Peterside failed to bring the issue within this parameter.


The CJN, however, commended the introduction of the card reader but urged the electoral body to approach the National Assembly to give its usage the status of law.


On that of Ogun state, the Court held that Amusu Ibikunle’s return as governor hinged on similar reasons adduced in the Rivers appeal.


Ibikunle contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Mahmud held that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Gbeyeoga Isiaka, failed to prove allegations of violence, irregularities and other related malpractices during the election.




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.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Supreme Court Affirms Ishaku As Taraba Governor

The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed that Mr Diarus Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship election in Taraba.


The Justice Bode-Rhodes Vivor-led six justices of the Supreme Court held that the appeal lacked merit.


“We have studied and reviewed the submissions of all the counsel to parties in this appeal and found that there is no merit in the appeal. The decision of the Court of Appeal on this matter is hereby upheld.


The reasons for the decision would be adduced on Feb.22 and parties are to bear their costs,’’ he held.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Aisha Alhassan, candidate of the All Progressives Congress had her victory in the election upturned by the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

Aisha approached the apex court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal.


While adopting his address, Mr Abiodu Owonikoko (SAN), Counsel to Alhassan, argued that Ishiaku’s nomination and sponsorship fell below Section 177(c) of the Constitution.


NAN reports that that Section of the Constitution set out the requisite elements to meet before an aspirant could become a candidate.


Owonikoko submitted that PDP failed to conduct the governorship primaries, adding that Ishiaku’s nomination was a “kangaro arrangement’’.


Meanwhile, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), Mr Solo AKuma (SAN), and Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN), Counsel to Ishiaku, PDP and INEC, respectively, urged the court to discountenance Owonikoko’s submission.


They contended that the conduct and qualification of a candidate to contest elective position were sole right of the political parties.
They said the qualification of Ishiaku was not in dispute within the party, adding that APC and Alhassan lacked the “locus standi’’ to raise objection on how Ishiaku emerged.

Daudu said: “My Lords the commission has on many platforms held that the primaries that selected Ishiaku as the party’s candidate was properly conducted in Wadata House Abuja’’.


They, therefore, jointly prayed the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.



I Am Disappointed In Supreme Court’s Ruling- Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, which dismissed his appeal to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), over alleged false assets declaration, while the Governor of Kwara State.

Following the lead judgment taken by Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, which held that the CCT was properly constituted to exercise jurisdiction over Saraki’s trial, Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu said after listening to the ruling of the Supreme Court in the appeal he filed to challenge the process of arraigning him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki hereby states as follows: “that he expresses disappointment over the Judgment of the apex court in the country on the six grounds of his appeal…”

Credit: Vanguard

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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Alleged False Declaration Of Assets: Supreme Court Decides Saraki’s Fate Today

The Supreme Court will today, deliver judgment on the appeal seeking to quash the 13-count charge the Federal Government filed against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Bureau.



The judgment will be delivered by a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed. The government had, in the charge it filed before the CCT, alleged that Saraki tampered with the assets declaration form he filled prior to his emergence as the Senate President. He was said to have deliberately manipulated the assets declaration form by making anticipatory declarations.



Aside the allegation that he operated a foreign bank account while in office as a public servant, Saraki was also accused of acquiring wealth beyond his legitimate earnings. All the offences contained in the charge were said to have been committed while Saraki held sway as the governor of Kwara State. Nevertheless, Saraki, through his team of lawyers led by Chief J. B. Daudu, SAN, went before the apex court to challenge the competence of the charge which he said ought to be quashed for want of merit.



Relying on the provision of Paragraph 15(1) to the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, Saraki maintained that the Justice Danladi Umar-led panel of the CCT was not legally and properly composed to try him. He argued that a two-member panel of the CCT that has been presiding over the case against him fell short of the constitutional requirement.



Moreover, Saraki contended that the CCT, not being a court that is constitutionally equipped with criminal jurisdiction, lacked the powers to dock him on the basis of the 13-count charge. Besides, it was his argument that the fact that there was no substantive Attorney-General of the Federation as at the time the charge was filed, rendered it incompetent.



FG, through its lawyer Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, however, urged the apex court to dismiss Saraki’s appeal for want of merit, insisting that it has established a prima-facie criminal case to warrant the prosecution of the Senate President before the CCT. Urging the apex court to direct the appellant to go and clear his name before the tribunal, FG relied on the provision of section 4(2)(b) of the interpretation Act, to contend that Saraki was properly charged before the CCT.



It will be recalled that a previous panel of the apex court headed by Justice John Fabiyi, who is now retired, had in a ruling on November 12, 2015 suspended further hearing on the case pending against Saraki before the CCT. The Justice Fabiyi panel which was disbanded by the CJN, specifically directed the CCT panel to “tarry awhile”, to enable the apex court to hear Saraki’s appeal.



Saraki had in his six grounds of appeal, prayed the Supreme Court to set-aside the majority verdict of the appellate court panel delivered by Justices Moore Adumein and Mohammed Mustapha on September 30, 2015. Alternatively, he wants the court to uphold the dissenting verdict of the third member of the appellate court panel, Justice Joseph Ekanem, who not only voided the 13-count criminal charge before the CCT, but also discharged him. He is praying the apex court to evaluate the split judgment of the appellate court with a view to determining whether or not the charge pending before the CCT ought not to be qaushed.



Credit : Vanguard

Supreme Court Upholds Akwa Ibom, Abia Governors’ Election

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Udom Emmanuel, as the Governor of Akwa Ibom and that of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.

In judgments on Wednesday that lasted less than 30 minutes, the court said Governor Emmanuel and his Abia counterpart, Ikpeazu, having won the lawfully cast votes, are duly elected as governors of their states.

The Supreme Court by the judgment, set aside the judgments of the two lower courts, saying that its reasons for the verdicts would be given on February 15 and 26.


Party supporters, who came to witness the decisions in the appeals filed by the Governors and the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Taraba State, waited with anxiety as counsels to their candidates battled it out inside the court. Presenting their evidences, they tried to persuade the court to either uphold their appeals or cross appeals.

The Supreme Court, however, reached verdicts only in the appeals and cross appeals filed in the petition challenging the elections of Governors Emmanuel and Ikpeazu.

Hearing in the various appeals lasted over 12 hours, with intermittent breaks.

After hearing all the appeals the panel of justices led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria retired to their chambers, returning with a verdict after about an hour.

In less than 15 minutes they upheld the appeals filed by Governor Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and Governor Ikpeazu of Abia State, declaring them duly elected.

The panel of justices also upheld the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, asking for reversal of the lower court’s cancellation of elections in all 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom State.

All the parties in the suits praised the apex court for doing justice to the case and improving on the country’s jurisprudence.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Ladoja Congratulates Ajimobi Over Supreme Court Judgment

The candidate of the Accord Party in the 2015 governorship election in Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has congratulated Governor Abiola Ajimobi, over his (Ajimobi’s) victory at the Supreme Court.



Affirming the victory on Tuesday, the apex court ruled that the April 11, 2015 election that produced Ajimobi as governor was valid.



The ruling by the court was the climax of a 10-month legal tussle instituted by Ladoja against the governor shortly after the governorship election.



The former governor had headed to the Oyo State Election Petitions Tribunal where he challenged the victory of Ajimobi on the grounds that the election was marred by electoral malpractices.



After the tribunal ruled in favour of Ajimobi, Ladoja headed to the Appeal Court, which upheld the ruling of the tribunal.



He, subsequently, dragged the governor to the Supreme Court.



In a statement by his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, Ladoja said that with the judgment of the Supreme Court, ‘the electoral process has come to an end’.



He, therefore, enjoined Oyo State AP members to support the Ajimobi-led administration.



“This is the time to join hands with the governor to move the state forward as the ruling of the Supreme Court has put a finality to the election process,” Ladoja said.



He called on the people of Oyo to pray for the governor and work for the betterment of the state.



Credit : Punch

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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Uba, Oduah Approach Supreme Court For Clarification Of Judgment

Indications emerged at the weekend that the nine federal lawmakers repre­senting Anambra State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the National Assembly, in­cluding Senators Andy Uba and Stella Oduah may return to the Supreme Court this week for clarification regard­ing their status with respect to its judgment on the leader­ship crisis rocking the party in the state.

Interestingly, Chief Chris Ubah, John Emeka, Annie Okonkwo and others on the list of Ejike Oguebego-led national executive of the party, who got judgment of the Supreme Court, have approached the Independent National Electoral Commis­sion (INEC) to issue them Certificates of Return as elected senators and House of Representatives members for Anambra State.

Already, Uba and Oduah have written to INEC insist­ing that the judgment did not affect their seats in the Na­tional Assembly.

Sources said that the motion seeking clarification of the judgment became nec­essary in view of the insinua­tions that the lawmakers may have lost their seats by the judgment of the apex court.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman of INEC by their lawyer, Chief Arthur Oka­for (SAN), the politicians insisted that the Supreme Court judgment delivered last Friday has not in any way rendered their seats va­cant in both chambers of the National Assembly.

The January 29 letter stated that the lawmakers urged the INEC chairman to “resist the machinations of those who are ill-motivated and bent on causing confu­sion in the system. If you find that the national ex­ecutive of PDP, which, in the case, nominated our cli­ents, then in the absence of a court order, there will be no compulsion or justifica­tion on your part to interfere with the mandate vested in our clients by the PDP and the electorate.”

They insisted that the primary election which pro­duced them as candidates for the 2015 general elec­tions was conducted by the national secretariat of the PDP as required by law and not the Anambra chapter of the PDP as being insinuated.

Credit: Sun

Supreme Court Sacking Report Entirely False- Stella Oduah

Anambra Senator and Former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, has debunked reports that the Supreme Court has nullified her election into the Senate.

There had been reports earlier on Friday that the Supreme Court had sacked two Senators from Anambra State, Stella Oduah and Andy Uba, nearly two months after a third Senator from the state, Uche Ekwunife, was sacked.

This was following the Supreme Court ruling which re-affirmed the chairmanship of Ejike Oguebego as the authentic State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State.

The Supreme Court also declared the list of candidates submitted by the Ken Emekayi-faction illegal.

But in an interview with Channels Television to clarify the implication of the judgement on her election into the Senate, Oduah said, “In all its entirety, it is false.

“I have gone through the court judgment and the judge clearly did not give any judgement to that effect.

“Indeed, what the judgment and the case is all about is state exco and as we all know, state exco do not do election, neither do they submit list.

“So the issue of emergence of candidate, and the issue of candidates that won election was not the issue of this particular case.”

She added that there is a “sister case” for which the Supreme Court has given a similar judgment but they were not related.

“The Judge was very clear on its judgment and it clearly says its not about who emerges or the election but about the legality of the excos,” she said.

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Read How Wike’s Lawyers Argued, Won At Supreme Court

The Supreme Court judgement which returned Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, as the duly elected governor of the state, came after a legal battle which highlighted several electoral matters.

The ruling resulted from three appeals by Mr. Wike, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

They all challenged the decision of the Rivers State tribunal to nullify Mr. Wike’s election, and the decision of the Court of Appeal, to uphold the tribunal’s judgement.

Although the seven-member panel of judges said it would give reasons for the ruling on February 12, respective lawyers vigorously laid out their cases.

Mr. Wike’s counsel, Emanuel Okala, told the court at the beginning of the session on Wednesday that the Rivers State tribunal erred in its judgement, by failing to take full cognizance of all electoral details presented by his team.

He said voters’ registers tendered during the tribunal’s hearings were for 11 out of 23 Local Government Areas, and that none of them was examined at the tribunal.

The PDP’s Counsel, Wole Olanikpekun, also submitted that the statement of the 40th witness at the tribunal, who was an INEC staff, lacked merit, as the person was not at the venue of the voting.

He said the tribunal erred by striking out more than 100 pages of processes presented before it.

Mr. Olanikpekun said of 4, 442 polling units in the state, only 12 representatives of polling units were called to the tribunal.

The counsel to INEC, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, also said the testimony of the 40th witness, at the tribunal were at best, “documentary hearsays” and could not suffice as proof of the allegation of disruption of election.

He said the only proof that should have been considered were those of the agents at the polling centres not that of the said witness, adding that the 40th witness did not identify any polling center where an alleged refraction occurred.

He prayed the court not to consider the statement of the 40th Prosecution Witness.

But the counsel to Dakuku Peterside, the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Akin Olujimi, said the INEC’s monitoring officer, listed as the 40th Prosecution Witness, had stated during the tribunal sitting that there was no election.

He said INEC did not distance itself from the result of the election monitoring, which was done by a staff, under its official capacity as an employee of the commission.

He added that electoral malfeasance was evident, and that section 57 of the Electoral Act made it mandatory for INEC to rely on the card readers for the conduct of the election.

Mr. Olujimi also said the incident forms also contributed to the problems, as over 20, 000 incident forms were brought to the tribunal, with no explanation from any one.

Mr. Olujimi said details presented by witnesses proved that there were no proper accreditations, implying that there were no elections.

Before presenting their judgments, the panel of judges expressed concern about the cancellation of over 100 pages pf processes by the tribunal.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Tomori Kekere-Ekun upheld the decision of INEC which returned Mr. Wike as the elected governor of the state.

Mr. Kekere-Ekun set aside the decision of the tribunal, and upheld the three appeals by Mr. Wike, the PDP, and INEC, describing them as meritorious.

The panel however said its reasons for the ruling will be given on February 12

Credit: PremiumTimes

News Alert: Supreme Court Affirms Wike As Governor Of Rivers

News reaching us says Supreme Court has affirmed Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers State.

Our source who just left the Supreme Court not long ago, reports that the final verdict was read after an intensed court session in the court auditorium.

Our source adds that there was jubilation everywhere after the final verdict was read, affirming Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State.

Supreme Court Decides Rev King’s Death Sentence Feb 26

The judgement on the appeal filed by the General Overseer, Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Reverend King, challenging the judgement of a Lagos High Court sentencing him to death by hanging, was on Thursday, fixed for February 26, 2016, by the Supreme Court sitting in Abuja.

The apex court presided over by Justice Walter Onoghen adjourned for judgment after entertaining arguments from counsel to prosecution and defence in the matter.

Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, who appeared before the Supreme Court alongside the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija and other Senior Counsel in the State, urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower courts.

Ezeugo was arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder.

He pleaded not guilty to the allegation but was sentenced to death by the then Justice Joseph Oyewole of Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on January 11, 2007 for the murder of one of his church members, Ann Uzoh.

Justice Oyewole is now a judge of the Appeal Court sitting in the Calabar division.

The Lagos State Government had said that the convict poured petrol on the deceased and five other persons and that Uzoh died on August 2, 2006; 11 days after the act was perpetrated on her.


Specifically, Ezeugo was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder and death by hanging for the offence of murder.

Dissatisfied, Ezeugo challenged the verdict before the Court of Appeal in Lagos, but the appeal was thrown out.

“I hereby rule that the prosecution effectively discharged the burden of proof on it. This appeal is devoid of any basis and accordingly fails.

“The judgment of the High Court is hereby affirmed, and the conviction imposed on the appellant, (which is death by hanging) is also affirmed,” Justice Fatimo Akinbami who read the judgement held.

The two other members of the panel of Justices, Amina Augie and Ibrahim Saulawa concurred with the lead judgement.

Again, Ezeugo not being satisfied with the verdict, approached the Supreme Court, and urged that the judgment be upturned.

The apex court has now reserved judgment till February 26, 2016.

Supreme Court To Rule On Saraki’s Case On Feb 5th 2016

The supreme court has set aside February 5th 2016 as the date to rule on the appeal Senate President Bukola Saraki filed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which affirmed the jurisdiction of Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT ) to try him on 13 count charge of false assets declaration while he was governor of Kwara state.

At the hearing of the case this morning, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, after hearing the brief of the counsels to Saraki and the CCT, ruled that the apex court will deliver judgement next year.

Conduct Tribunal Suspends Saraki’s Trial As Ordered By Supreme Court

The trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, has been suspended, following an order of the Supreme Court suspending trial pending the determination of his appeal.

Mr. Saraki was billed to appear at the tribunal today for the continuation of hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Public Relations Officer of the tribunal, Ibraheem Alhassan, made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Alhassan said the decision to suspend hearing was to show due respect to the apex court’s directive for stay of proceedings.

“The case was slated for hearing on Nov. 23, but as a mark of respect for the apex court, the tribunal decided to tarry a while pending the determination of Saraki’s appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him,” he said.

Credit: NAN

Saraki vs CCT: Details Of Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court today in Abuja halted the trial of the Senate President Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on charges of false assets declaration.
The trial initiated by the Federal Government against Saraki was put on hold by the Apex Court pending the time the court will determine the appeal file by Saraki in which he is challenging the legality of his trial at the CCT.

At the hearing of Saraki’s application for stay of proceedings at the CCT, prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs ( SAN) who had earlier objected to granting of stay of proceedings made a dramatic u-turn, with an undertaken that the prosecution will not go ahead any longer with the trial of Saraki once the Supreme Court can grant accelerated hearing in the pending substantive appeal.

Jacobs told the panel of five justices presided over by Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi that nothing on the side of the prosecution will be done to prejudice the apex court on the pending issue of Saraki before the court.
To ensure speedy hearing of the substantive appeal, Jacobs informed the court that he will file his brief of argument against substantive appeal of Saraki by next week Monday.
He then urged the court to compel the appellant (Saraki) to also file his own brief of arguments within two days so that an earlier date could be fixed for hearing of the substantive matter of the case.

The u-turn made by the Federal Government suddenly overtook the earlier objection to Saraki’s application seeking a stay of the trial by CCT.
In his argument against the application of Saraki for stay of further proceeding at the tribunal, Jacobs submitted that no court of law in the country has power to grant stay of proceedings in any criminal matter in view of the introduction of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

He specifically said section 306 of the Act has removed the discretional and inherent powers of any court, including the Supreme Court to grant a stay of hearing in a criminal matter.

According to him, the motive of the legislature in enacting the ACJA was to put to an end the usual delay suffered in the prosecution of criminal matters, which had led to inability of the authority to curb corruption.


Earlier, counsel to Saraki, Joseph Daudu (SAN), who led seven other Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to argue Saraki’s case had urged the apex court to stop the proceedings at the CCT pending the hearing of the substantive appeal.
Daudu told the court that the appellant is challenging the jurisdiction of tribunal and the legality of his trial at the tribunal.

Among others, Saraki claimed that the tribunal was not properly constituted with two members instead of three as required by law. He submitted that the apex court should put the trial at the CCT on hold pending the final determination of the main appeal.

Justice Fabiyi while ordering the proceedings at the CCT stopped, gave seven days each to both parties to file and exchange briefs of their arguments on the substantive appeal.

In line with the undertaken of Jacobs, the court ordered nothing should be done at the CCT level on the pending trial of the Senate President.
Justice Fabiyi announced that a date for hearing of substantive appeal will be communicated to parties as soon as the date is fixed.

Speaking with journalists after the brief ruling, Saraki’s lead counsel Mr. Joseph Daudu SAN said that the decision of the court and that of Jacobs had vindicated the decision of the lawyers who last week left the tribunal abruptly after obtaining the leave of the tribunal to withdraw from the trial.

With the decision of the Supreme Court, the Senate President will no longer appear at the CCT on November 19 as earlier fixed by the tribunal Chairman Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar for the trial.


Credit : Vanguard

CCT Trial: Saraki Files Appeal At Supreme Court

The Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which on October 30 affirmed the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him on 13 counts of false assets declaration.

Senator Saraki also filed an application for stay of proceedings urging the Supreme Court to halt the proceedings of the Code of conduct Tribunal to try him for the alleged offences pending when his appeal would be determined.

The Senate President raised seven grounds of appeal in his notice of appeal filed on Tuesday and attached to the application for stay of proceedings.

Dr Saraki urged the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the entire proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the charges preferred against him before the Tribunal.

He claimed that the Appeal Court erred in law when it affirmed the competence of the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which sat on the appellant’s case with only two members as against the three provided for in the provisions of Paragraph 15 (1) of the Fifth Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution.

The Senate President also faulted the majority decision of the Appeal Court where it held that there was lacuna regarding the quorum of the Tribunal.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Supreme Court Upholds Election Of Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Rochas Okorocha as the Imo State governor. At a ruling this morning, the apex court dismissed the appeal filed by the PDP candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, challenging the election of Okorocha during the April 14th election. The court said the appeal lacked merit and consequently threw it away.

Wike: Supreme Court Decides On Tribunal’s Jurisdiction Today

The Supreme Court would today deliver judgment in the appeal filed by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike challenging the jurisdiction of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to hear the petition against his election in Abuja.

Wike’s counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) had argued that the relocation of the tribunal from Port Harcourt to Abuja is a breach of section 285 (2) of the 1999 Constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.

The tribunal chairman, Justice Suleiman Ambursa, who led a three-man panel in his judgment on Saturday, cancelled the election of Wike.


Constitution Amendment: Supreme Court Can’t Stop NASS- Senate

Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Aba­ribe said at the weekend that the Supreme Court cannot stop the National Assembly from performing its legislative duties as far as the process of amending the 1999 Con­stitution is concerned.

Abaribe was reacting to an order of the apex court issued last week, which directed the National Assembly to maintain the status quo in its bid to amend the Constitution. The order followed a suit by the Federal Government. He said the lawmakers have a duty to perform under the Constitution.

The Federal Government dragged the National Assembly to the apex court following the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to veto the Fourth Alteration Bill to the 1999 Constitution, which was presented to him. The President raised a number of issues including the failure of the lawmakers to produce evidence that it secured the mandatory four-fifth majority in amending Section 9 of the Constitution.

But the lawmakers had planned to overturn the President’s veto after a review by the Constitution Amendment Committees of the two chambers.

Abaribe said yesterday that the Supreme Court was wrong to stop the lawmakers in the performance of their legislative duties.

“The Supreme Court is wrong. The law does not allow one arm of the government to stop another arm from performing its duties. The Supreme Court cannot stop us from legislating and if they say that the Supreme Court is stopping us from making laws, it is misleading and it amounts to misreading the powers of the Supreme Court,” Abaribe said.


Supreme Court Delivers Judgment On Osun Governorship Election On May 27

The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed May 27 for judgment on the appeal filed by Senator Iyiola Omisore, challenging the Court of Appeal’s judgment, affirming Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s election in Osun.

Omisore, the Osun governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the August 9, 2014 election, had challenged Aregbesola’s victory at the Election Petition Tribunal, where he lost.

The apex court panel of justices led by Justice John Fabiyi reserved the judgment following the adoption of the briefs of arguments and written addresses by counsels in the suit.

Omisore’s counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), in his submission, urged the court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division and the Governorship Election Tribunal in Osun.

Izinyon also urged the court to nullify the outcome of the governorship election, arguing that the election was fraught with irregularities. “The tribunal identified the irregularities which marred the election but failed to pronounce on it in its decision.

“The Tribunal also did not make any finding as it ought to do in respect of the alleged irregularities,” Izinyon argued.

Also, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), Counsel to Aregbesola, while adopting his brief of arguments and written address, urged the court to dismiss the appeal and allow his cross-appeal.

Olujinmi also urged the court to dismiss the main appeal, arguing thus: “Out of the 43 witnesses who testified at the tribunal only seven witnesses were party agents.

“The rest who claimed to be supervisors gave ‘hear say’ evidences and agreed at the tribunal that the entering they made in the result sheets were false,” Olujinmi said.

Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Adegboyinga Awomolo (SAN), Counsel to APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) respectively, also urged the court to dismiss the appeal and allow the cross-appeal.

Credit: NAN

Supreme Court Stops Constitution Amendment

The Supreme Court has stopped the National Assembly from taking further steps towards amending the ?1999 constitution.

In a ruling this morning,? a seven-man panel of justices of the apex court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, ?Justice Mahmud Mohammed, ordered the National Assembly to maintain status quo on the matter until June 18.

The apex court further directed the issuance of hearing notice on the NASS for it to appear on that date to respond to the suit that was lodged against the proposed alterations to the constitution, by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Details Onvanguardngr

Governor Fayose Reacts To Supreme Court Victory, Begs APC

Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose has released a statement to celebrate his victory after the Supreme Court final judgement turned out in his favour.

The Governor in the statement appreciated the support he got from his people, saying that the final judgment today shows that the people are ‘unequivocal about their choices’.

DAILY POST recalls that a Supreme Court on Tuesday morning in a unanimous decision upheld the election of Mr. Ayodele Fayose as the Ekiti State Governor.

?In the ruling by the seven-man panel led by Justice John Fabiyi, the Supreme Court upheld the earlier decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal, which had both
ruled that the petition challenging Fayose’s victory lacked merit.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, the apex court dismissed all the grounds of appeal filed by the petitioner – the All Progressives Congress – and resolved all four issues arising from the appeal against Fayose’s victory.

The governor in the statement also said that from the judgment, necessary lessons must have been learnt as ”it is obvious that Nigeria is evolving democratically.”

Below is the statement:

I want to sincerely appreciate Ekiti people for their resilience and love for me. I am formally dedicating this victory to God and to them. Having voted for me ten months ago, and confirming the victory by the subsequent elections in the last few weeks, they have shown that they are unequivocal about their choice and their determination to protect and defend that mandate.

I cannot but appreciate the Apex Court for protecting democracy and also for living to the expectation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who had assured that under his leadership, the judiciary would not subscribe to any plot to change the outcome of elections through the instrumentality of the Court.

I think the necessary lessons must have been learnt and it is obvious that Nigeria is evolving democratically. To my opponents, I plead with you to sheath your sword and join me in the development of Ekiti State. If truly our struggle is about service to our dear State, it is time to come together and channel all our resources towards the development of the State.

I am irrevocably committed to the protection of all, including the opposition in the State. Nobody is infallible, and I am not a perfect being. The only one that is perfect is God, but He, in His infinite mercies has made me the Governor of Ekiti State today. I have a term and tenure; there will be another opportunity for Ekiti people to decide who governs them.

Rather than trouble the peace of the State, our friends in the opposition parties should accept the will of God concerning our dear State and wait till 2018. I thank all stakeholders and I am assuring them that I will leave Ekiti State better than I met it. My special appreciation also goes to the security agencies for being alive to their responsibilities.

May the Almighty God continue to bless Ekiti State.
Ayodele Fayose
Governor, Ekiti State

Supreme Court Affirms Fayose As Duly Elected Governor Of Ekiti

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ayodele Fayose as the duly elected governor of Ekiti State in the June 21, 2014 election. The apex court upheld the earlier decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal, which had both earlier ruled that the petition challenging Fayose’s victory lacked merit.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, the apex court dismissed all the grounds of appeal filed by the petitioner – the All Progressives Congress – and resolved all four issues arising from the appeal against the party.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared that Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 203 090 votes to defeat the then incumbent governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, of the All Progressives Congress who polled 120 433 votes? in the election.

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