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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BREAKING: Neymar loses final appeal, to stand trial for transfer fraud.

Neymar, Barcelona and Santos will stand trial on fraud and corruption charges over the transfer of the Brazilian forward after their appeals were turned down by Spain’s High Court today.

Neymar’s mother Nadine Goncalves and the family company N&N also had appeals rejected.

They cannot appeal against the Court’s decision.

The case stems from a complaint by Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned part of Neymar’s transfer rights and alleges that it received less money than it was entitled to when Neymar joined Barcelona from Santos in 2013.

Investigations were carried out in Spain and Brazil into whether any part of Neymar’s transfer fee had been concealed when he moved to Barcelona from Santos.

Neymar’s clubmates Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano were both convicted of tax fraud last year, while former Barca and current Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez admitted to fraud of almost €1m last month.

All three cases related to income from the players’ image rights.


Source: RTE

N2.1 billion DasukiGate: Dokpesi’s corruption trial stalled

The ongoing trial of former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, before the Federal High Court Abuja was stalled on Tuesday due to the absence of prosecution witness.

Mr. Dokpesi and his company were docked on charges bordering on receiving N2.1 billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, for former President Jonathan’s media campaign.

When the matter was called up, prosecuting counsel, O.A. Atolagbe, requested that the matter be stood down since the witness as well as the lead prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, were on their way.

However, when Mr. Jacobs eventually arrived, he told the court that the witness was very close to the court.

The defence counsel, Kanu Agabi, craved the indulgence of the court for an adjournment owing to the absence of the witness.

Mr. Agabi said that both the defence and the prosecution had agreed that the matter be adjourned.

The judge, John Tsoho, said that he had hoped the trial would commence since he was made to understand that the prosecution had prepared a witness.

The judge said he had hoped the witness would begin his testimony, but since he was yet to arrive the court, he adjourned the matter till March 29 and 30.


Source: Premium Times

Ndume’s trial: Court adjourns hearing till March 27.

The Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Thursday adjourned the trial of Sen. Mohammed Ndume, charged with  allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram activities, till March 27.

Justice Gabriel Kolawale adjourned the matter at the instance of the prosecution.

In his ruling, Justice Kolawale said: “The prosecution’s motion on notice dated Jan. 13 is adjourned till March 27 for hearing and adoption of address on no-case submission.”

The judge, however, said that hearing in the application would no longer be adjourned as “this is the second time the application is adjourned.”

At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Mrs G.N. Okafor, told the court that there was a pending motion filed and dated Jan. 13, before the court.

Okafor said that on the last adjourned date, the court asked the prosecution to pay a penalty for filling the motion out of time, “but the penalty is yet to be paid.”

She told the court that she went to the finance department, but discovered the money was not given in spite approval.

“There is a letter to confirm that we have made necessary arrangements in the court and I will be asking the court for an adjournment to enable us to pay,” Okafor said.

The defence counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), however opposed the application for adjournment sought by the prosecution on the ground that the prosecution did not have a time frame within which the payment would be finalised.

Tarfa urged the court to strike out the application filed by the prosecution in order to continue with the trial.

It will be recalled that Ndume was arraigned in 2011 on a four-count charge bordering on allegedly sponsoring the violent Boko Haram sect.

The offence contravenes Sections 3(b), 4(1) (a) and 7(1) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Act.


Source: NAN

Again, FG seeks protection of witnesses in Dasuki’s trial.

The Federal Government for the second time yesterday sought protection of witnesses that would be testifying against the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

Dasuki is facing trial for alleged unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering brought against him by the Department of State Security Service (DSS).

The fresh application dated January 23 and filed on January 24 by the prosecution counsel, Chief Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), is praying the Federal High Court, Abuja, to shield names and addresses of witnesses from public knowledge.

But in a strong opposition to the fresh request, Dasuki, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), asked the court to dismiss government’s application on the ground that it lacked merit and constituted a gross abuse of court process.

The Ex-NSA in a counter-affidavit filed by Raji, further argued that there was no justification for the Federal Government to have brought the motion for secret trial a second time, having lost in the first motion.

The defendant insisted that the Federal Government had on its own volition, placed the charges against Dasuki on the Internet, where the names, addresses and positions of the witnesses were conspicuously put at the disposal of the general public.

The defendant insisted that when the first application was argued by the then Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Mr. Mohamed Diri, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same court, in a landmark ruling, dismissed the request on the ground that the witnesses were already known by the public, having published their names on the Internet.

He said what the prosecution ought to do if not satisfied with the decision of Justice Ademola, was to have gone to the Court of Appeal to ventilate its anger.

The defendant, who attached a copy of the earlier court ruling to the application therefore urged the trial Judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, not to entertain the fresh motion for a secret trial because it would violate his right to fair trial and will run contrary to the principle of rule of law and natural justice.

When the motion came up yesterday, Opeseyi could not move the motion on the ground that the defence had just served him a voluminous counter-affidavit, objecting the motion.

Noting however that so many fundamental issues were raised in the counter-affidavit and that plethora of authorities were also cited in the counter affidavit, the prosecution counsel consequently applied for an adjournment to enable him study the counter-affidavit and respond to it appropriately.

The defence did not object to the request for the adjournment but clarified that the fresh motion for secret trial was served on the defendant last Thursday, hence, the counter-affidavit prepared over the weekend was served yesterday within the time allowed by law.

Justice Mohammed therefore fixed hearing of the motion for March 1.


Source: Guardian

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.

JUST IN: Femi Fani-Kayode’s corruption trial stalled due to health condition.

The trial of a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode was on Wednesday stalled due to the inability of the defendant to attend trial.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was charged on November 10 at an Abuja division of the Federal High Court for alleged diversion of N26 million. He was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Apart from the five-count charge at the Abuja Division, Mr. Fani-Kayode is also facing separate charges at another court in Lagos.

At the Lagos Court, Mr. Fani-Kayode is charged alongside a former minister of finance, Nenadi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf.

They were charged by the EFCC on 17 counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of over N4 billion.

That trial had been stalled in November following the detention of Mr. Fani-Kayode.

The trial in Abuja was billed to continue on Wednesday, but was also stalled following the defendant’s health situation.

Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Wale Balogun, informed the court that his client was ill and therefore could not attend the trial.

Mr. Balogun presented a medical report to the trial judge, John Tsoho, and asked for an adjournment to allow his client attend to his health, before proceeding with the trial.

The prosecution made no counter application, so the matter was adjourned till February 6, 2017.

Indonesia’s Christian governor goes on trial for ‘blasphemy’

The Christian governor of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, went on trial on Tuesday to face charges of blasphemy over remarks perceived as insulting to Muslims.

The trial of the governor, Basuki Purnama, followed a wave of protests by conservative Muslims demanding his prosecution.

According to the indictment read out by prosecutors, Mr. Purnama is accused of “publicly expressing hostility to, abusing and disparaging’’ a religion, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Security was tight for the trial at the North Jakarta district court and hundreds of conservative Muslims dressed in white gathered outside to demand Mr. Purnama be jailed.

Mr. Purnama said “I understand the charges but I don’t understand why I’m being accused of blasphemy,’’ after prosecutors read out the indictment.

Mr. Purnama said as a Christian politician running for office in a Muslim-majority country, he had been unfairly attacked by political opponents because of his faith.

Mr. Purnama said in tears “They abuse holy verses to achieve their political goals, because they can’t compete in terms of programmes and personal integrity’’.

Under Indonesian law, a defendant does not have to enter a plea at the start of a trial.

The blasphemy allegations stem from remarks made by Mr. Purnama in September, when he said his opponents had used a verse from the Koran to deceive voters.

At a gathering with residents, he said they did not have to vote for him in the upcoming February 15 gubernatorial election if they were afraid of going to hell because they “have been lied to using Surah Al-Maidah verse 51’’.

Some Muslims interpret the Koranic text in question as prohibiting them from electing non-Muslims as their leaders, although other Muslims disagree that Purnama’s remarks were blasphemous.

Mr. Purnama has repeatedly apologised, saying his comments meant that politicians misinterpreted the Koranic verse.

Tensions have risen in Jakarta after more than 100,000 Muslims rallied on November 4 demanding the prosecution of Mr. Purnama, who is a member of the ethnic Chinese minority.

A second anti-Purnama rally on December 2 was attended by more than 200,000.

Mr. Purnama became Jakarta’s first Christian governor in 50 years when he took over from Joko Widodo, now Indonesia’s president, in 2014.

Mr. Widodo, an ally of Mr. Purnama, has accused “political actors’’ of exploiting anger over Mr. Purnama’s remarks to undermine his government.

Mr. Purnama’s ascension to the top job in the city teeming with 10 million people had been hailed as an example of Indonesia’s embrace of democracy and diversity.

Hard line groups such as the Islamic Defenders’ Front have always been critical of Mr. Purnama, but their past protests against the governor failed to gain strong support, until his remarks on the Koran hit a nerve with many Muslims.

Mr. Purnama is known for his strong stance against corruption and being an effective administrator in a bureaucracy that has long been plagued by corruption and incompetence.

Before the blasphemy case, polls consistently showed him leading in the race for the governorship.

However, more recent polls showed his numbers had dropped significantly, putting him second in a three-way race.

Mr. Purnama has also made enemies along the way, including officials and members of the city council who he criticised publicly, suggesting that they are incompetent and corrupt.

As part of his urban renewal programmes, he forcefully evicted squatters and slum dwellers, and relocated them to apartments where they have to pay rent and are far from their livelihoods.

UPDATE: Justice Ademola, wife, in the dock over N248m corruption charge

The federal government on Tuesday arraigned Adeniyi Ademola, a serving judge, and his wife, Olubowale, before an Abuja high court.

Ademola and his wife, who is the Lagos state head of service, were brought before Jude Okeke on a 15-count charge of corruption to the tune of N248m.

Both accused persons were in the dock as proceedings started.

The Ademolas are also alleged to have received $520, 000 as gratification from some law firms between 2013 and 2016.

Ademola is one of the seven judges who were arrested on October 8 by the Department of State Services (DSS) on allegations of corruption.

Sylvester Ngwuta, a supreme court judge, who was also arrested, was arraigned before a federal high court in November.

The government has lined up at least four witnesses that will testify against the Ademolas?.

Justice Ademola on trial, tells photojournalists not to take his picture

Adeniyi Ademola, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja, who is facing corruption charges, on Tuesday sparred with photojournalists who wanted to take pictures of him and his wife.

Ademola, who was being arraigned by the federal government before Jude Okeke, a judge of an Abuja high court,? asked the photojournalists to get out of the court.

?”Get out, get out. Don’t take my pictures. Get out,” he ordered.

His wife, Olabo?wale,  also joined him in heckling journalists.

“Why are you harassing us? Why are? you harassing us?” she yelled.

However, the photojournalists did not give up as they struggled to get a shot of him.

Ademola and his wife then hide their faces from the cameras after the journalists refused to cave in.

His lawyers afterwards stampeded them out of the court.

The court was not sitting at the time.

The defendants are  facing 15-counts of corruption to the tune of N248m.

Man On Trial For Disappearing With 65 Goats

A 45-year-old man, Kazeem Fatai, who allegedly obtained 65 goats under false pretences, and also beat up the seller, was on Monday in Lagos granted bail in the sum of N200,000.

The accused, who resides at Ajegunle area of Apapa Lagos, is facing a three-count charge of stealing, assault and obtaining money under false pretences, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Granting the accused bail at an Apapa Magistrates’ Court, Magistrate M.A Etti, asked him to produce two sureties, among other conditions.

He said the sureties must be gainfully employed and should show evidence of two years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Olusegun Kokoye, told the court that the accused committed the offences sometime in the month of September 2015 at Alaba Rago Market, Lagos.

According to him, the accused collected 65 goats valued at N560,000 from one Murtala Haliu with a promise to pay within a period of two to three months, but failed to do so.

Kokoye said that the accused sold the goats and converted the money to his own personal use and started avoiding the complainant.

The prosecutor said that when the complainant did not get any feedback from the accused, he decided to call him on phone, but got no response.

Kokoye said that when the accused eventually picked his call, he threatened to deal with the complainant.

Read More: punchng

Alleged N4.7bn Fraud: Obanikoro To Begin Testimony Against Fayose Soon

A reliable source said, “Senator Obanikoro came to the EFCC office on Monday morning as part of investigations into the N4.7bn. Since he has confessed that he was the one who collected the N4.7bn and distributed it, he is in the best position to testify in court.


“The EFCC wants him to testify against Agbele which will also build a strong case against Fayose who currently enjoys immunity. Obanikoro has agreed and will be listed as one of the EFCC witnesses.


“If Agbele is convicted, it automatically means that Fayose will also be convicted once he is charged in 2018. So let Fayose continue to play games. Omisore and Obanikoro are cooperating and returning money. Their troubles will end soon while Fayose’s own will keep getting worse.”

Tribunal to commence pre-trial hearing of Edo election Thursday

The Election Petition Tribunal will commence pre-trial hearing in the case filed by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, against Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and two others in Benin on Thursday.


The PDP and Mr. Ize-Iyamu are challenging the declaration of Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner in the September 28 Edo governorship election by INEC.


The petitioners are asking the tribunal to nullify the result and instead declare Mr. Ize-Iyamu as the winner of the said election.


Photo credit: Punch Newspapers


But APC and Mr. Obaseki have urged the tribunal to discountenance PDP’s petition and uphold their application which challenged the areas where PDP claimed victory.


The tribunal had on October 11, ordered INEC to allow PDP have unhindered access to all electoral materials in the September 28 governorship election in Edo.


The order followed an ex-parte motion filed by PDP’s counsel, Kingsley Obamogie.


Mr. Obamogie had argued that the motion was in compliance with section 151 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended which he relied on. He prayed the court to grant them the order to inspect the INEC materials.


The three-member tribunal led by Justice A. Badamasi, on Tuesday, fixed Thursday, December 1 for the commencement of the pre-trial hearing in the petition.


The other two members of the tribunal are Justices E. A. Ade Sodun and Adamu Usman.

Witness lists more adverts beneficiaries in Metuh’s alleged fraud case

Richard Ihediwa, the fifth defence witness in the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, resumed his testimony yesterday.


He revealed before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how Metuh made cash payments to several media houses including major electronic and print outfits in the country, out of the N400 million transferred to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan.


The witness, who gave details of the account during cross-examination by counsel to the second defendant (Destra Investment Limited), Mr. Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), told the court that Metuh paid cash to some of them for advertorials made towards 2015 general elections.


He stated that the media campaign to launder the image of Jonathan became necessary following series of agitations from the North, South-South, South-West and South-East geo-political zones of the country.


“The issue of resource control, infrastructural development and the implementation of the recommendations from the National Conference was threatening in the South-South.

“In the North, there was the issue of insecurity. The agitation led to a lot of demands on the former president and he felt the best way to handle the agitations was through media publicity and public enlightenment rather than the use of the gun or force” he said.


Earlier, a motion filed by Dr. Olugbumi Usim-Wilson seeking the withdrawal of her suretyship for Metuh was heard.


Onwugbufor, who argued the motion on behalf of the second defendant, noted that even though the application was made in bad faith, they would not oppose it.


Describing the development as unfortunate, he told the court that no cogent reason was placed before the court on why she was withdrawing her suretyship and that the practice should not be allowed.


The counsel to the applicant told the court that his client stood as surety voluntarily and the court should allow her to withdraw since she acted in good faith.


He also prayed the court to hold that Metuh would not in any way harass or intimidate the applicant.

Dasuki’s corruption trial adjourned to December.

The trial of Sambo Dasuki and others was adjourned till December 7 for further hearing following a concession agreed upon by all the counsel concerned.

The trial which came up at an FCT High Court, Maitama, before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf could not go on.

However, all counsel had a chambers meeting with the judge and agreed on the date.

All the defendants were in court except Mr. Dasuki.

Mr. Dasuki’s father, the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki, died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday.

The younger Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned before Justice Baba-Yusuf by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a
19-count charge bordering on diversion of about N13.6 billion.

He is being tried alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security
Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director.

Also being tried were two firms, Acacia Holding Ltd. and Reliance Referral Hospital Ltd.

In a second case, Bashir Yuguda is the first defendant while Mr. Dasuki is the second.

Others are Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, Dalhatu Investment Ltd., Sagir Attahiru and Attahiru Bafaarawa, former governor of Sokoto State.

They were arraigned on a 22-count charge bordering on conspiracy, bribery, and abuse of office and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N28.315 million.

At the last sitting, the trial was streamlined by the court following the movement of the two case files to one.

The two cases were pending before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, and Justice Peter Affen.

At the previous sitting, Joseph Daudu, counsel to Mr. Dasuki, had prayed the court to consolidate the two cases against his client.

Mr. Daudu sought for an order directing the prosecution to amend charge No. FCT/HC/CR/43/ 2015 pending before Mr. Baba-Yusuf, to include the counts in suit No. FCT/HC/CR/43/2015, before Mr. Affen.

He said that his prayer was pursuant to sections 6(6)(a), 35(5) and (9) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and sections 1(1); 208; 396(3); 401and 492(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, also said that the movement was to facilitate the quick trial of the case if the files could be in one court.

At the last sitting, the two cases were brought to Mr. Baba-Yusuf’s court.

Absence at burial

Speaking to reporters at the end of the court session, Ahmed Raji, another counsel to Mr. Dasuki, said the federal government’s claim that it offered the former NSA an opportunity to attend his father’s burial was improper.

Media houses had reported the government’s offer and Mr. Dasuki’s refusal.

Mr. Raji said the purported offer was doubtful because none of his client’s lawyers was contacted on the issue.

“As his counsel, we are not aware of that offer. Our client has not told us anything of that nature. We would have expected that if such a gesture was going to be made to him we as his counsel should have been involved so that we can advise him properly. As I am speaking to you, I am hearing of this for the first time.”

Mr. Raji said there was no basis for the continued detention of Dasuki by government having been granted bail by three different high courts in Abuja in the charges against him as well as the order of the ECOWAS court for his unconditional release in the case for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom of liberty.

He said “Dasuki has been granted three bails and one outright judgement for his release by the ECOWAS court which is binding in honour of Nigeria.”

Trial Of Ex-Naval Chief, Others Continue Today

Justice A. S. Umar of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja yesterday adjourned to tomorrow for further hearing on a corruption case involving a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and two others: Rear Admiral Bala Mshelia (rtd) and Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu (rtd).

Shortly after the counsels have entered their appearances, Jibrin’s counsel, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, drew the attention of the court to the fact that, the document used in the transaction of the property allegedly acquired by his client was not front-loaded in the proof of evidence by the prosecution.

He invited the court to order the prosecution to provide same as stipulated by law.

Maikyau, also prayed the court for the release of the international passport of his client to enable him travel abroad for medicals.

However, counsel to EFCC, Joseph O. Uzor, wanted the defence to indicate the time his client is embarking on the trip and how long his is staying, should the court is inclined to grant his application.

He also urged the court to enforce the return of the passport immediately the applicant returns from the trip.

In granting the application, Justice Umar ordered the defence counsel to indicate the time his client is staying and ensure the return of the passport to the court when he is back.

Jibrin and his co-accused are standing trial alongside Habour Bay International Limited, a company linked to the first defendant, on a 4-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The naval chiefs whilst in office allegedly bought a house worth N600million from the account of Naval Engineering Services without the said purchase contract being captured in the budget.

It was also alleged that, the documentation for transfer of ownership of the property was done such that a private company owned by the family of the first defendant (Jibrin) became the buyer.


Continued detention stalls Fani-Kayode’s trial.

The trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode for money laundering before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos was stalled on Monday following his continued Defence in June prison.

Fani-Kayode, who was the former director of media and publicity of the campaign committee of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is charged alongside a former minister of finance, Nenadi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 17-count bordering on money laundering.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, Fani-Kayode’s counsel, Wale Balogun, informed the court that his client was not in court due to his arrest at the last sitting on October 21 by operatives of EFCC.

He said EFCC had since then incarcerated him in Kuje prison.

“My lord, I recall that on October 21, I informed this court that the EFCC were planning an arrest of the second accused.

“And I remember that my lord advised that in view of his pending trial before the court, he should be invited here whenever the need arises.

“My lord, on the said day, after the court had risen, the second accused was arrested within the court’s premises.

“I requested for an arrest warrant from the leader who informed me that there was none to that effect but told me that the order was `from above’.

“The second accused was taken to the EFCC Lagos and kept till 5 p.m. when another order came from `above’ to move him to Abuja immediately.

“My lord, the second accused was kept in custody of the prosecution for 21 days without any word,’’ he told the court.

“He was finally arraigned on November 10 before your learned brother Justice John Tsoho in Abuja, on a five-count charge bordering on N26 million.

“He was subsequently remanded at the Kuje prisons and in view of this, we are helpless, as his bail conditions have not been perfected in spite of frantic efforts by family and friends.’’

In his response, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that he was aware of the arraignment of the second accused but added that his arraignment before the Abuja division of the court had nothing to do with the instant case.

He argued that the subsequent arrest of the accused was with a view to serving him with the charge and not to disrespect the court.

Mr. Oyedepo urged the court to grant an adjournment so as to allow the accused appear and stand trial.

Justice Muslim Hassan then ruled that “I will refrain from making any comment in relation to the arrest of the second accused in the court’s premises in spite of being granted bail.

“This case is adjourned at the instance of the prosecution to December 12, while the earlier date of November 15 is hereby vacated,’’ he ruled.

NBA and the trial of judges – Nwaozor

It’s indeed interesting to realize that after all the grandstanding made by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) alongside its allies, following the recent clampdown on some judges by the Department of State Service (DSS), it has thought it wise to present reality.

Speaking a few weeks ago during the valedictory court session in honour of Justice Sotonye Denton-West of the Akure Division of the Court of Appeal, the association’s President Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) noted that in safeguarding the sanctity of the judiciary, it has become necessary for the arrested judges to excuse themselves from further judicial functions.

He equally suggested that these judges could proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully established. The NBA boss went further to state that the bar has set up a task force after its meeting with the Attorney General of the Federation as well as past and serving leaders of the association, to review the recent developments and come up with specific recommendations on how best to clean up the nation’s judiciary and rebuild the confidence of the citizenry. He assured that the report would be available in two weeks time, having called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to suspend the judges if they fail to comply with the directive.

It’s noteworthy that four of the judges arrested between October 7 and 8, 2016 are still serving while the other three had been recommended for compulsory retirement and dismissal by the NJC prior to the clampdown. Suffice it to say that the NBA boss was actually referring to the four.

I was not surprised regarding the abrupt U-turn made by the NBA. I knew they would surely agree with the content of the constitution. The drama earlier was what is known as ‘self defence’. Self-defence is a legal measure required by one to save himself when his life is in danger, or when someone else is making physical attempt to claim it. If one commits murder while employing self-defence, the law is liable to forgive him for such crime committed if proven beyond doubts that his actions weren’t informed by any criminal intension.

So, the NBA, alongside the NJC were trying to safeguard the integrity of the judiciary that was ostensibly under ‘attack’ as was staged by the DSS. The Judges were taken unawares and they were of the view that their lives were in danger. As a result, they decided to employ self-defence tactics. Remember, the Judges hadn’t experienced such before. Hence, making such a U-turn was something I saw coming. I wasn’t taken unawares, that’s why I only smiled the moment I got the news on my desk. I am sure the NJC has also jettisoned its sword, even though the Chairman has disclosed that none of the indicted judges would be suspended.

Now, one is deeply perturbed. Some of the arrested justices, such as Justices John Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, have alleged that the serving ministers tried to bribe them over a few of the court cases they handled recently. They made the shocking allegations via separate epistles they sent to the NJC. Should we fold our arms and allow such striking accusations to be buried? Something must be done. Doing otherwise will perhaps be the biggest mistake to be made by the relevant law enforcement agencies. Thus, investigations in that regard ought to commence without much ado. This is when the Federal Government needs to practically prove to the people that it is not biased.

One is baffled at the way and manner most of these anti-graft agencies have handled cases in recent times. Sometimes, we would observe that investigation commences after an accused person had been arrested; this is absurd and totally unconstitutional. Arrest is meant to be preceded by investigation, and not otherwise. An arrest marks the end of any ongoing investigation in respect of the case in question. As soon as an allegation or petition is tendered, investigation commences, then followed by an arrest. An arrest is constitutionally succeeded by arraignment; meaning literally that the moment an indicted person is arrested, you are expected to file a suit against him/her in relevant court of competent jurisdiction.

My other concern is the duration of court proceedings in Nigeria. Some prosecutions linger for many years. The legislature really needs to address this lapse if we must get it right. Let’s amend the constitution and other relevant Acts by creating a stipulated duration a certain prosecution is supposed to last. Civil, criminal, and electoral cases ought to have a particular period of time they are meant to last in any court of law they are being entertained, irrespective of its jurisdiction.

However, now that some judges have been charged, and they are required to be tried by a law court soon, the question is: who is going to try them? It’s obvious that they would be prosecuted and perhaps be convicted, if found guilty, by their colleagues. So, what’s the guarantee that the proposed prosecution, would be done dispassionately by these judicial officers?

– Nwaozor writes from Owerri

Femi Fani-Kayode granted N50m bail, trial to commence December 14.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted spokesperson for the Goodluck Jonathan campaign organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode bail in the sum of N50m, The Cable reports.


Fani-Kayode was arraigned before Justice James Tsoho on Thursday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N26m.


While delivering his judgment, Tsoho granted the bail request of Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Afedayo Adedipe (SAN), stating that the offence was bailable.


The judge fixed December 14, for the commencement of trial.

8 years after, Ladoja’s corruption trial to finally commence in November 18.

Eight year after he was first charged for money laundering, the trial of former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja, can now properly take off.

Having lost his bid at the Appeal Court to have charges against him quashed, Mr. Ladoja will be re-arraigned for money laundering before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The court on Monday adjourned the till November 18 for the fresh arraignment of the Accord Party leader.

The Appeal Court, Lagos Division, had dismissed a bid by Mr. Ladoja to have the charges against him and his aide, Waheed Akanni, quashed.

The charges were filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Saheed Bagir, the judge who read the decision of the appeal court, upheld the powers of the EFCC to prosecute offenders under the money laundering act.

Mr. Bagir held that the provisions of Section 14 of the EFCC Act gave the commission the power to prosecute persons charged with the offence of money laundering.

The court also held that by Section 7(2) of the EFCC Act, the commission was also empowered to charge and prosecute the appellants in the suit.

The anti-graft agency had arraigned Messrs. Ladoja and Akanbi on a 10-count charge of laundering funds taken from government coffers.

The EFCC alleged that Mr. Ladoja used about N42 million to purchase an Armoured Land Cruiser Jeep and remitted about £600,000 to one Bimpe Ladoja in London.

The accused who were arraigned before Ramat Mohammed, a justice of the Federal High Court, Lagos pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

But Mr. Ladoja filed an appeal to through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun, asking the appellate court to quash the charges against him arguing that they were vague.

Mr Olanipekun, a senior lawyer, had argued that the proof of evidence tendered before the lower court by the prosecution, had no connection with the charge against his client.

He said the charges are baseless as they did not show on first impression any case against Mr Ladoja.
He said the EFCC had no power, jurisdiction or authority to prefer the charge against Mr Ladoja and asked the court to rule that the case was baseless.

Responding, counsel to the EFCC, Festus Keyamo, urged the court to uphold the validity of the charge, adding that such objection ought to have been raised before the plea of the accused was taken.

He said the respondents had failed to take necessary steps when they ought to have done so, adding that the objection of the respondent has no basis in law.

The proceedings at the high court were suspended to allow the appellate court rule on the challenge brought before it by the respondents.

Neymar to face trial after judge accepts corruption charges.

Neymar looks set to stand trial after a judge accepted charges of corruption against the Barcelona star.

It is the latest development in a case brought by Brazilian investment company DIS following Neymar’s move from Santos to Camp Nou in 2013, which has come under scrutiny.

National Court judge Jose de la Mata initially threw out the case in July over a lack of evidence, but that decision was overturned and the charges are now set to be processed.

DIS claims it is due a 40 per cent cut of the fee that Barca paid to sign Neymar from Santos in 2013 – something it says it has not received in full, given the secrecy over the full cost of the transfer.

The Brazil forward’s father and Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu are also implicated, along with predecessor Sandro Rosell.

The case is unrelated to a second legal proceeding against Barca and Neymar, which concerned allegations of tax fraud in relation to his transfer.

Barca made a payment of €14.8m to Spanish authorities in back taxes and fines, while they also reportedly made a voluntary payment of a further €13.5m to settle the complaint.

BREAKING: Bukola Saraki loses bid to halt CCT trial.

The appeal court on Thursday dismissed Senate President Bukola Saraki’s appeal challenging his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).


The panel led by Abdul Aboki, a justice, dismissed the appeal and held that the appellant’s submission was laced with sentiments.


Aboki further struck out a cross appeal by the appellant filed at court, saying that it was “smuggle?d in”.


Saraki is standing trial for alleged false declaration of assets.


More to follow…

BREAKING: Arrested judges to step aside pending trial.

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Thursday, asked all the judges being investigated over their alleged involvement in acts of corruption to excuse themselves from further judicial functions or proceed on compulsory leave, until their innocence is fully and completely established.

The legal body said such step was not only necessary in order to protect the sanctity and integrity of judicial processes that may involve the judges concerned, but to also safeguard the public image of the judiciary as an institution.

NBA, which made its position known at a valedictory court session that was held in honour of a retiring Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Sotonye Denton-West, further urged the National Judicial Council, NJC, to take very urgent steps to restore the sanctity of the courts.

It will be recalled that among Judges whose homes were raided by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, between October 8 and 9, included two Supreme Court Justices- Iyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta. Others included Justices Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja, Kabir Auta of the Kano High Court, Muazu Pindiga of Gombe High Court, Mohammed Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal in Ilorin, and the Chief Judge of Enugu State, I. A. Umezulike.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is equally probing some judges allegedly involved in fraudulent transactions.

Meanwhile, the National President of the NBA, Mr. A.B Mahmoud, SAN, in an address he presented at the special court session, said:

“My Lords, distinguished ladies and gentlemen permit me digress a little. I am sure that many here will be expecting me to make further statements on the ongoing events affecting the nation’s judiciary.

“I have in the course of the last two weeks or so made several statements and remarks on these developments. Our position is therefore well known. We have emphasized our commitment to safeguarding the independence of the nation’s judiciary.

“We have also spoken firmly on our commitment to rid the judiciary and indeed the bar of all corrupt elements. I will like to say we remain resolute on these. In the course of the last several days, the NBA has continued to hold high level consultations with all segments of the bar and other stakeholders and indeed the administration on how to address what has obviously become a major concern to all Nigerians within and outside the country. Ngwuta, Okoro and Ademola “That is corruption in the judiciary.

On Thursday 13th of October at the meeting of bar leaders comprising past NBA Presidents, Past General Secretaries and past Attorneys –General of the Federation, we reviewed very carefully the developments after listening to detailed briefings from both the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well the Secretary of the National Judicial Council.

“One of the resolutions we took was to set up a Task Force to urgently review the current developments and come up with clear specific recommendations on how best to clean up the nation’s judiciary and rebuild confidence of Nigerians in our law courts. I am expecting the report of that task force in two weeks.

“In the meantime we have continued with our consultations and engagements. We will be coming up with bold and clear recommendations which we will pass to the National Judicial Council and the Government.

“In the interim however, particularly having regards to what appears to an ongoing accusations and counter accusations between the some of the Judges and other personalities or agencies, it appears to the NBA that it is extremely important that the NJC takes very urgent steps to safeguard the public image and sanctity of the courts.

“We therefore strongly recommend that, without prejudice to the innocence or otherwise of the Judges involved in the ongoing investigations, they should be required to recuse themselves from further judicial functions or required to proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

“We believe this will be necessary in order to protect the sanctity and integrity of judicial processes that may involve the judges concerned and safeguard the public image of the institution”.

Similarly, Chairman of Akure branch of the NBA, Mr. Oso Adetunji, in his own address, said there was need to deal with corrupt judges without desecrating the sacredness of the judiciary as an institution.

“The task before us as a nation is not to debate whether there are corrupt judges in our judiciary, the task is how to remove or deal with the few corrupt ones on the Bench, without destroying the judiciary.

“A corrupt judge on the bench is a cancer to the system. It eats deep into the system and will eventually kill the system if not removed. But let us remove such cancerous judges with care and due processes so that in our attempt to kill the cancer, we don’t inadvertently kill the system too.

“Let us deal with the corrupt judges in the judiciary without desecrating the sacredness of the institution. In dealing with the corrupt judges in our midst, let us treat the system with decency and dignity, so as to preserve the awe with which the ordinary man holds the court.

“Let every corrupt judge first be subjected to the disciplinary procedure of the NJC, disciplined and removed before subjecting him to the ridicule and treatment of a common criminal. It is not for him. It is for the sake of the system. I would be happy to see a corrupt judge handcuffed, paraded and docked. But for the sake of the system, let such be arraigned and docked as dismissed judicial officers. After all, the Nigeria Police Force will not submit its officer, no matter how junior he is, for prosecution without first removing his uniform.

“We all know that the NJC does not have the statutory power to prosecute. It is only saddled with the power to by virtue of section 292(1), Paragraph 20 (b) (d) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, to discipline a judge.

“Let the NJC first discipline, by removing a judge from office, before handing him over for prosecution. To be able to this, the NJC must embark on a confidence building process by repositioning itself for this task.

“We suggest that petition against and judicial official be treated thoroughly and with dispatch. It must act without fear or favour. Spouses of any politically exposed person should not be elevated to the Bench. Where the spouse of any politically exposed person is serving before his or her spouse was elevated to the Bench, let such spouse step down from the Bench”, Adetunji added.

Meanwhile, Justice Denton-West who bowed out of the appellate court bench having clocked the 70 years mandatory retirement age, in her speech, said she was a victim of corruption in the judiciary.

Justice Denton-West, who was the first female judge in Rivers State, said: “I would be failing in my duties as a senior citizen of this country, if I fail to comment on the recent goings in the judiciary. Indeed I know and believe that there is corruption unfortunately even in the folds of the judiciary. I have personally been a victim of corrupt acts from the judiciary on some occasions”.

However, she called on the authorities to revisit the remuneration of justices.

“The workload is heavy. Something should be done to give comfort to both serving judges and those that have retired. We spend almost all our time to make the society liveable, so, giving us a liveable life should not be too much. The judiciary still remains the common hope of all. So please may everybody treat the judiciary with respect”, she added.

Among dignitaries at the event included Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

Joshua Dariye’s corruption trial continues despite defecting to APC.

The trial of a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, continued on Wednesday, October 12 before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu, Abuja, with a defence witness, Stephen Igmala, who is the acting General Manager, Plateau State Road Maintenance Agency, denying knowledge of how equipment used by the Agency were procured.

Mr. Igmala, while being examined by the defence counsel, G. S. Pwul, said: ‘‘I started working in the Agency as a Principal Technical Officer in May 2000. I have no idea about how, and when the equipment were procured. We received them from the Ministry of Works in 2000, and are still using them till date. We didn’t pay for the equipment; the state government did.’’

Under cross-examination by the counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, Mr. Igmala, who told the court that he became the Agency’s acting general manager in June 2015, said he was not a member of the management of the agency, previously known as Plateau State Direct Labour Agency, when the equipment and vehicles listed in the Exhibit D 18 that was tendered and admitted by the court were procured.

Mr. Igmala, the fifth defence witness, DW5, in the ongoing trial, also told the court that he had not bought any other equipment since he assumed office as acting General Manager.

‘‘I have only been buying diesel, petrol and engine oil through direct purchase from the market,’’ he said.

However, the prosecuting counsel pointed out to the court that the equipment as well as the vehicles used by the agency were more than what was captured in the Exhibit D18 previously tendered and admitted by the court.

Answering further questions from Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Igmala admitted that he had exceeded his six-month acting period.

Justice Banjoko, thereafter, adjourned to October 13 for further hearing.

Mr. Dariye is being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly siphoning the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion.

The former Plateau Governor recently decamped to Nigeria’s ruling party, APC from the opposition PDP.

Suspect Defecates In Court To Evade Trial In Edo

There was pandemonium on Tuesday at the Magistrates’ Court complex in Benin, Edo State, when an 18-year-old man, Abudulahi Muhammed, defecated on his body and attempted to flee to evade trial.

It was learnt that Muhammed, who was brought to the court with other suspects, was about to have his case registered when some court workers observed that he had soiled himself with excreta.

He was brought to court to face trial for allegedly stealing four cartons of powdered milk.

An eyewitness said the 18-year-old suspect suddenly pulled off his trousers and took to his heels half-naked, causing confusion within the premises of the court complex.

He was, however, rearrested after the Investigative Police Officer, Aigbochie Iruonagbe, called for assistance.

Muhammed was later offered a bag of sachet water to wash himself before he was arraigned.

The police prosecutor, Thomas Ojo, told the court that the accused committed the offence on Mission Road, on October 8, 2016.

Ojo stated that the accused stole the items from one Favour Nwachukwu, saying the act was punishable under Section 390 (4) (a) of the criminal code.

The accused person pleaded guilty to the one-count charge on stealing.


BREAKING: Nigeria’s Attorney General stalls Saraki’s forgery trial

The trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for alleged forgery was stalled on Wednesday, because the prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar, said he had not prepared his response to a fresh motion by the defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

Mr. Umar is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami.

Mr. Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and his deputy, Benedict Efeturi, are facing trial for alleged forgery of the Senate standing rules used to elect them as leaders of the Senate in June last year.

The matter was adjourned in July till September 28 following the annual vacation of the judiciary.

At the opening of session on Wednesday, Mr. Umar informed the court that he had just received a motion from the defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court in respect of the charges against them and asking that the case be dismissed.

He added that since the matter has to do with the fundamental right of parties to fair hearing, he needs to properly prepare his response to the motion.

“Just now I became aware of a motion by the first defendant and served on us on September 26. The motion is fundamental because it is asking your lordship to decline jurisdiction and quash the charges. It is a short notice?,” he said.

“I have not filed anything?. It is fundamental to fair hearing. Under the circumstances, I will ask for an adjournment to enable me to respond to the motion.

“Honestly, I’m not ready for this motion. If it is only just two days, grant us the adjournment to respond to the motion,” he said.

Mr. Umar further said he had some internal issues he needed to attend to, before responding to the motion.
Malami’s fault.

?The counsel to the defendants objected the application for adjournment.

“T?he act of prosecution is serious business, especially in a criminal charge. The office of the Attorney-General which is the chief prosecuting counsel was served months ago. They had all the opportunities to respond to our applications,” said Mahmud Magaji, counsel to Mr. Efeturi.

“I urge your lordship not to allow us to descend to the internal working of the prosecution. In view of this, I’m objecting to the application for adjournment,”

Counsel to Mr. Saraki, Paul Erokoro, also asked the court to refuse application, describing it as lacking in merit.

“O?n behalf of the third defendant I submit that the application has no merit. If the Attorney-General has not deemed it fit to pass the entire case file to the counsel, then we should be allowed to move our motion. We are ready to proceed,” said Mr. Erokoro.

The trial judge, Yusuf Haliru, adjourned the matter till October 7.

BREAKING: Judge Withdraws From Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soyinka Seeks Trial Of Hate Preachers

Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday advocated the prosecution of hate preachers to stem religious violence.

Soyinka noted that religious violence would be encouraged if those who instigate killings in the name of blasphemy are allowed to walk freely without being made to face trial.

He spoke at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) while delivering a lecture titled: “Culture At Risk.”

Soyinka noted that prosecution of advocates of religious violence would deter others nursing the idea of inciting more violence.

He said the bombings and killings of innocent citizens across the country was a result of what they had been made to believe from the religious perspective.

Describing religion as the greatest threat to culture, Soyinka described the destruction of mosques, churches, shrines and ancient monuments as a product of religious intolerance.

He said Nigerians must learn to tolerate one another irrespective of cultural and religious difference.

“When you have people like that who I know that have instigated the killing of others walking freely on the street, without being made to pay restitution for incitement to murder under the banner of cultural relativism, it encourages others to continue in the act.

“My view is that, we can complain, we can proffer, we can condemn, as much as we want, until those who are guilty, even by curious liability when a murder is committed are brought to book and made to apologise to the whole nation,  and face penalty, such will not stop.

“In my view, it is that toxin injected into the social consciousness of the followers of that religion, which has resulted in the murder of its citizens. Is there something called vicarious guilt or not? The question I ask is: Was that deputy governor ever brought to trial? Was his boss, Ahmed Yerima?

“Should we be surprised and start shouting aloud and condemning some stupid young fellows who took the law into their own hands and killed, burnt eight people alive, who were not even part of the original scenario.

“I call them stupid and a disgrace to their school, Abdul Gusau Polytechnic. I say they are stupid and a disgrace to learning anywhere because even a child who leaves in a community must understand  that, if you want to create a serious fight between two people, just say that, ‘That individual whom you are targeting has abused your mother’. It is as elementary as that.

“It is this kind of mentality that created Boko Haram and all its seedling, the sense of intolerance, the failure to understand that you are just another member of society and you have no right over another human being.

“My view is that we can complain, we can protest, we can condemn as much as we want. Until those who are guilty even of vicarious liability when a murder is committed are brought to book and made to apologise to the whole nation and do penance.”

Read More:

Soyinka seeks trial of hate preachers

Scientists Plan First Human Gene- editing Trial Next Month

Scientists have achieved two major breakthroughs with the plan to conduct the first-ever human gene-editing trial next month to treat cancer and to stop asthma by turning off the gene controlling coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

According to a study published in the journal Nature but first reported in DailyMailUK Online, the world’s first clinical trial that will inject humans with genetically modified cells created with a ground-breaking Deoxy ribonucleic Acid (DNA)-editing technology is set to start next month.

Oncologists at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in Chengdu have been given approval to begin the tests with cells modified using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique.
It is hoped it might provide a new treatment against cancer for patients who have not responded to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.The researchers will extract immune cells known as T cells from the blood of the patients taking part in the trail and use CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out a gene in the cells.
This will disable a regulatory mechanism in the immune cells that prevents them from normally attacking other cells in the body.The researchers will extract T cells from the blood of patients taking part in the trail.

A gene coding for a protein called PD-9 will be knocked out in the cells using CRISPR-Cas9.The technique uses tags and an enzyme to cut DNA in a precise place, allowing small portions of a gene to be removed. This turns off the gene for PD-9, which will mean the T cells will loose some of the regulation that stops them from attacking cells belonging to the human body.

These edited cells will be multiplied before being injected back into the patient.Researchers hope they will then home in on the cancer and destroy it. However, there are concerns the cells could become overactive and mount an immune response against healthy tissue too.

The scientists hope that when these edited cells are reintroduced back into the patient’s bloodstream they will home in on the cancer and destroy it.Also, scientists have discovered a revolutionary approach which could lead to new ways of treating asthma.

Credit: Guardian

Certificate Forgery: Nine Ekiti Assembly Members To Face Trial

The Federal Government is planning to prosecute nine out of 26 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly for alleged forgery of their academic results.

A security said in Abuja on Sunday that  the decision to prosecute them was based on the outcome of “an intensive investigation carried out by the Department of State Services into the state lawmakers’ certificates.’’

The DSS, it was gathered, carried out the investigation into the credentials submitted by the politicians to the Independent National Electoral Commission during the last general elections.

It was gathered that the probe was sequel to a myriad of petitions sent to the agency and the Police by aggrieved members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress.

Investigation was said to have been carried out in schools allegedly claimed to have been attended by the lawmakers and their former places of work.

The source explained that the files of the affected lawmakers had been sent to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for prosecution.

The source added, “We have investigated the academic credentials of the lawmakers based on petitions sent to us by the politicians in the state.

“The petitions were based on alleged false declaration of academic qualifications and alleged age falsification in the papers presented to the INEC.

“We have been able to know that petitions against nine members of the State House of Assembly are genuine.

“We have already presented our report and we are expecting the office of the AGF to study it and prepare the charges against the suspects.”

Credit: Punch

Student On Trial For Stealing Fowls Worth N345, 000

A 20-year-old student, Jinung John, on Tuesday appeared before a Jos Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing 19 chickens valued at N345, 000 from a farm.

The accused was, however, granted a bail of N20, 000.

The prosecutor, Cpl. Karimu Bashiru told the court that the complainant, Mr Akoso Joseph, reported the case at Anglo Jos Police Station on June 20.

“The complainant said he was in his house and he heard an unusual noise of the layers in the poultry.

“He rushed to the farm where he sighted the accused and one Michael, now at large, in the pen and they have already stolen 11chickens.

“When the complainant challenged the accused, he quickly abandoned the chickens and ran away before he was caught,’’ he said.

“When the complainant counted the chickens, he discovered that 19 chickens which he spent N345, 000 to feed were missing.’’

The offences contravened Sections 97, 343, 387 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation.

The accused, however, denied the charges.

The Magistrate, Mr Tijani Zololo, who admitted the accused to bail, also granted him two sureties, one of who must be his parent.

He said the sureties should reside within the court’s jurisdiction as part of the bail condition.

No date was fixed for the hearing of the case.

Credit: NAN

Fresh Motion Stalls Kanu’s Trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: Guardian

Synagogue: Lagos Court Fixes Engineers’ Trial For June 3

An Ikeja High Court has fixed June 3 for the trial of the two engineers who constructed the collapsed seven-storey guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations at Ikotun, a Lagos suburb.


The defendants are Akinbela Fatiregun and Oladele Ogundeji.


Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo adjourned the case to give the Defence more time to study the proof of evidence filed by the Prosecution. “The trial will have to be adjourned to enable the Defence to study the proof of evidence. “This case is hereby adjourned to Friday, June 3, 2016 at 10.00 a.m.,” Lawal-Akapo ruled. Earlier, Mrs Idowu Alakija, the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), informed the court that she had just filed the proof of evidence and requested that the trial should continue. “My Lord, we have filed an additional proof of evidence, we were not able to file all that was contained in the list of exhibits. “I request a stand down to give the Defence the opportunity to look through the proof of evidence that we filed to enable us continue the trial immediately.”


Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), a defence counsel representing the trustees of Synagogue, however, objected to Alakija’s request for a stand down.

He said: “My Lord, I salute your ruling of May 23. It was only this morning that the additional proof of evidence was filed. “A stand down would not work because I need at least a day to study the proof of evidence and it involves us calling in experts to analyse it which will aid our cross-examination. “Please give us the opportunity like you have been giving us to exercise the right to fair hearing.”


Also the engineers alongside their companies — Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd and the trustees — are facing a 111-count charge of gross negligence and criminal manslaughter. The collapsed guest house led to the death of 116 persons on Sep. 12, 2014, 85 of who were South Africans. At the last hearing of the case on May 23, a witness, Mr Adebayo Olayinka, was prevented from giving evidence by the Defence because his statement was not frontloaded by the prosecution. Justice Lawal-Akapo had ruled that the prosecution should file all their proof of evidence before the next date of adjournment.


Credit: Vanguard

Asset Declaration: Witness’ Absence Stalls Saraki’s Trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: dailytrust

Hearing In Saraki’s Appeal Against CCT Stalls At Court Of Appeal

Hearing in an appeal by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, on the jurisdiction of Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him was stalled at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The matter could not proceed because of the inability of the justices of the court to form a quorum.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Moor Adumien, who led two pther justices, said it was impossible for the court to sit on the matter with only three justices.

“The court is unfortunately encumbered this morning on this appeal because we cannot form a quorum.

“We had earlier stood the matter down with the expectation that two of our other brother justices could join us but that did not happen.

“In the light of this, we seek the understanding of parties to adjourn the hearing of the appeal till June 2,’’ he said.

Saraki is challenging the jurisdiction of CCT to hear the charges of false and anticipatory asset declaration and Money Laundering brought against him.

Saraki had approached the appellate court challenging the March 24 ruling of the tribunal that it had jurisdiction to entertain the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Saraki’s earlier appeal aimed at ending his trial was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Feb. 5.

The apex court had in that decision ordered Saraki to submit himself for trial at the tribunal.



Saraki’s Trial: Appeal Court Fixes May 31 For Hearing

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Monday fixed May 31 for the hearing of an appeal by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him on charges, including false and anticipatory asset declaration.

The Senate President is by his appeal challenging a March 24, 2016 ruling of the Danladi Umar-led CCT dismissing his application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the charges against him.

The Federal Government which is the respondent in Saraki’s appeal also filed a cross-appeal against the March 24, 16 ruling of the CCT.

A five-man bench of the appeal court led by Justice Abdul Aboki, on Monday fixed May 31 for the hearing of both the appeal and the cross-appeal following a request by Saraki’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), for a 14-day adjournment.

Kanu said he needed the adjournment to enable him to study the response filed on behalf of the respondent, the Federal Government.

Agabi told the court that he was just served with the final reply by the Federal Government with respect to its (the Federal Government’s) cross-appeal and would require time to look at it.

The lawyer, Mr. Henry Ejiga, who represented the Federal Government, did not object to Agabi’s application for adjournment.

The appeal court then fixed May 31 for the hearing.

Saraki’s earlier appeal aimed at ending his trial was dismissed by the Supreme Court in its judgment delivered on February 5, 2016, ordering him to submit himself for trial.

Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), who represented the Federal Government, had cross-appealed the tribunal’s ruling, arguing that the CCT failed to make findings on its argument that Saraki’s motion, was an abuse of court process.

Jacob contended, among others, that the issue of jurisdiction, having been resolved by the Supreme Court in an earlier appeal by Saraki, ought not to be raised again.

He argued that the apex court, having held in a judgment of February 5, 2016 that the CCT had jurisdiction to try Saraki, it (CCT) ought not to entertain another motion filed by Saraki challenging its jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Saraki’s trial before the CCT resumes today (Tuesday) with his team of lawyers expected to resume their cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas.

On May 11, 2016, when proceedings were last held, Wetkas said his investigation team relied on information provided by the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Alienation of Federal Government Properties in reaching the conclusion that Saraki made anticipated asset declaration.

The Senate President is being prosecuted by the Federal Government in 16 counts including alleged breaches in the forms which the Senate President submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau when he was the governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.


Credit: Punch

My Trial Will Not Disturb Senate Proceedings– Saraki

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has said that his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal would not interrupt Senate proceedings, a statement said in Abuja on Monday.

The statement was issued by Mr. Saraki’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu.

It said the president of the Senate spoke following the announcement of the tribunal Chairman,  Danladi Umar, that proceedings at the trial would hold daily henceforth.

“It would be recalled that at the preliminary stage of the trial, senators had always accompanied the Senate president to the tribunal each time the case came up for hearing,” the statement said.

“But Saraki said now that the trial proper has commenced and the Senate is in session, he would not want the trial to affect legislative business.

“Saraki also said ‘I am the one on trial not the Senate. Even though I have been overwhelmed by the solidarity displayed by my colleagues, it is important that the work of the Senate is not unduly affected by this process.’’

It added that the legislative body would not be affected by the absence of any of the principal officers.

Credit: NAN

Rep Denies Complicity In Power Outage During Saraki’s Trial

There have been allegations of complicity against a member of the House of Representatives from Kwara State, Zakari Mohammed, over power outage during the trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, last Wednesday.

However, the lawmaker has denied any involvement in whatever form on the power outage, claiming that the report was stage-managed and politically motivated to hoodwink the public. Reacting to the report associating him with the light-out during Saraki’s trial, he said: “I have read a story in an online medium, which insinuated that I was behind power outage last Wednesday at the sitting of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, during the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

“The said publication was not only false but an outright balderdash, sheer rubbish and a deliberate attempt to use this medium to tarnish my hard-earned reputation.

“The so-called stage-managed and politically-motivated report was designed to hoodwink unsuspecting public to believe that I am a violent political office holder.

“To set the records straight, I had no hands in the outage at the CCT Tribunal. I have no relationship with any staff or technicians at the tribunal which would have made me to influence the outage.

“I also do not work with or own shares in Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to have wielded contacts to disrupt power supply to the tribunal. “I have never met with technicians in charge of the alternative source of power for the tribunal.”

Credit: vanguardngr

Saraki’s Corruption Trial: Lawmakers Speed Up Controversial Bill To Amend Anti-corruption Law

A bill for an amendment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and Bureau Act scaled second reading at the Nigerian Senate, Thursday, just 48 hours after it was first read.

In Nigeria’s lawmaking process, rarely do bills get such accelerated legislative action.

The bill, sponsored by Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta State), passed second reading and was subsequently referred to the committees on Judiciary and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

The committees is to report back in two weeks.


The bill seeks to amend Section 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act “to give every public officer appearing before the Bureau fair hearing as provided for under Section 36 (2)(a) of the CFRN 1999 which provides:

“For an opportunity for the person whose rights and obligations may be affected to make representations to the administering authority before that authority makes the decision affecting that person.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Dasuki Refused To Be Brought To Court – EFCC’s Lawyer

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told Justice Baba Yusuf of a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday that the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), refused to be brought to court for his trial.


The EFCC is prosecuting Dasuki and his co-accused ? a former Director of Finance and Administration in the NSA office, Shuaibu Salisu? and a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Babakusa ? on 19 counts of diversion of? N32bn meant for arms procurement.


Two companies – Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – belonging to Babakusa are also being accused.

Justice Yusuf had on February 8 fixed Wednesday for trial to begin after dismissing the application by Dasuki, seeking an order prohibiting the EFCC from further prosecuting him on account of his continued detention.


However, on Wednesday, Dasuki, who ?had remained in the custody of the Department of State Services since December 29, 2015, was not produced in court.


His two lead counsel, Messrs Joseph Daudu (SAN) and Ahmed Raji (SAN), were also absent from court.

But lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, informed the judge that Dasuki refused to be brought to court because the senior lawyers defending him would not be present in court on Wednesday.

“The first defendant said he would not be in court unless he is abducted because his lead counsel, J.B Daudu and Ahmed Raji, were not going to be in court,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said Daudu had informed him of an application for stay of the proceedings of the trial which was filed before the Court of Appeal on behalf of the former NSA.

He maintained that the law never stopped an accused person in detention from facing trial.

He also alleged that Dasuki’s lawyers had deliberately refused to visit their client in the DSS’ custody so that they could continue to use the excuse of lack of access to hom (Dasuki) as an excuse to frustrate the case.

Jacobs said, “When a defendant is in custody, the counsel should be allowed access to the defendant.

“I asked the DSS whether the lawyers ever made attempt to see him, they said they never did. It is a deliberate plant to frustrate the trial.”

Counsel who represented Dasuki in court on Wednesday, Mr. Wale Balogun, however debunked the allegation that his client refused to be brought to court.

He said, “Concerning the allegation, the defence lawyer is not aware of it. The defendant is not in court. He has not been produced. It is the requirment of the law that he should be here. The proecution has not applied for the accused to be excused form court.

“The DSS official should have deposed to an affidavit? to that effect.”

The other defence lawyers, including Mr. Solomon Umoh (SAN), said the matter could not proceed due to Dasuki’s absence.

Justice Yusuf adjourned the case till April 6.

Another ?judge of the FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja, Justice Peter Affen, before whom, Dasuki and others are being prosecuted for alleged diversion of N19bn arms fund had fixed ?April 20 and 22 for trial.

Justice Affend had fixed the date for trial after dismissing another application by Dasuki to stop his trial on account of his continued detention.

Dasuki’s co-accused with respect to the case includes a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.

The other co-accused are, a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.

Meanwhile Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja had also fixed April 4 for ruling on similar application filed by Dasuki to stop his trial on four counts of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.


Credit : Punch

Court Adjourns Trial Of Ex NIMASA DG, Others Till April 18

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday fixed April 18 for continuation of the trial of former NIMASA boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others, charged with N2.6 billion theft.
Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the case which was earlier fixed for trial, to April 18.
The adjournment was at the instance of the court.
The judge said it was saddled with much work load and so fixed the continuation of trial on the next adjourned date.
Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Amaechi Juan and two companies, Blockz and Stonez Ltd and Al-Kenzo Logistics Ltd, on a 22-count charge bordering on the offence.
The accused are charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Buba had granted them bail in the sum of N50 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.
In the charge, the accused were said to have committed the alleged offences between December 2013 and March 2014.
The prosecution alleged that in February 2014 in Lagos, the accused persons conspired to convert about N437 million belonging to NIMASA.
They were said to have on January 9, 2014 converted to their private use, about N66 million and between April and August 2014, converted the sums of N21 million and N53 million respectively, to their use.
The total sums of money allegedly converted by the accused is said to have amounted to about N2.6 billion.
The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Sections, 15 (1), 15 (3) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012.



Dauski’s Absence Stalls Trial

The absence of retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), on Wednesday stalled his trial at an FCT High Court, Abuja.
Dasuki, Shuaibu Salisu, a former NSA Director of Finance, and ?Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former Executive Director, NNPC were arraigned for diversion of N13.6 billion meant for purchase arms.
The other defendants were Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court that Dauski refused to come to the court because his lead counsel would be absent.
Jacobs said that he persuaded him to come but he said, “unless you abduct me, I am not coming’’.
Citing Sections 267(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, he said that it was a deliberate effort made by the first defendant and his counsel not to appear in court.
However, Mr Wale Balogun, holding brief for Mr Joseph Dauda (SAN), told the court that it was the duty of the prosecution to produce the first defendant in the court.
He said that the prosecuting counsel did not produce affidavits evidence before the court as for why he could not produce the first defendant.
Olakayode Dada, Mr Solomon Umoh (SAN), Dr Abiodun Layoun (SAN) and Mr Olajide Ayodele counsel for 2nd to fifth defendants, respectively aligned themselves with Balogun’s submission.
Justice Husseni Baba-Yusuf adjourned the till April 6 for continuation.



Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu Wants Trial Halted

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has filed an application for his trial to be halted at the Federal High Court, while he contests a ruling allowing secret witnesses to testify against him.

Mr. Kanu and two others, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, are facing charges of treason.

His counsel, Chucks Muoma, had on Monday indicated his decision to contest Justice John Tsoho’s ruling allowing the presentation of secret witnesses at Mr. Kanu’s trial.

The trial judge had ruled that the witnesses would only be known by both counsel and would be made to testify behind protective screens to prevent them from being identified by the public.

Mr. Muoma said the ruling was strange and would be contested by his client.

Also addressing the press after the sittings, Mr. Kanu’s other counsel, Efeanyi Ejiofor, reiterated the point made in court by his client, adding that an application would be sought in a higher court to determine the status of Mr. Tsoho’s ruling.

At the court on Wednesday, Mr. Muoma prayed the court to stay proceedings pending the determination of his application at the Appeal Court.

The matter was adjourned till April 7, for ruling on the application.

Also addressing journalists after Wednesday’s hearing, Kanu’s other counsel, Mr. Ejiofor told journalists that his client would demand a change of trial judge as they were not convinced that Mr. Tsoho would give them a fair trial.

Credit: PremiumTimes

$2.1Billion Arms Deal: Former PDP Chairman’s Trial Begins

The trial of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Haliru Mohammed, has opened before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

At the commencement of the trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), presented it’s first witness, Rouqayya Ibrahim, an analyst in the Forensic Unit of the Agency.

The witness told the court that during their investigation in 2015, the Agency ?discovered documents from the office of the Accountant General – a letter written by the Ministry of Finance to the Central Bank of Nigeria, requesting for the sum of 100 billion Naira with 30 billion Naira specifically earmarked for security issues.

Mrs Ibrahim further said that 300 million Naira, out of the 30 billion Naira, was paid into the account of the office of the National Security Agency and transferred into an account with Sterling Bank, named Bank Project and Property Limited.

She added that the payment of 300 million Naira, was paid in two tranches into the same account on the February 27, 2015.

The witness further revealed that there was a transfer of 50 million Naira, in five tranches of 10 million Naira each to the Abuja Geographical Information Systems for the purpose of mass housing development.

Mrs Ibrahim, however, said that the owner of Bank Project and Properties Limited was arrested and after thorough investigation, he said that the payments were made on behalf of his father, who is the accused.

The trial has been adjourned till February 23.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Lassa Fever Vaccine Trial In Nigeria Right – Expert

Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor, a member of the National Committee on the Control of Lassa fever, says the trials of newly developed Lassa virus vaccine in the country was a welcome idea.
Agbonlahor said this while presenting a paper titled “Combating Lassa fever: A National Health Challenge”, organised by the University of Benin on Friday in Benin.
He said that the vaccine developed by a combined team from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and the Public Health Agencies of Canada was a promising vaccine for controlling Lassa fever.
According to him, “this live and harmless vaccine, which is wrapped in a strain of vaccinia virus, contains a protein produced by the Lassa virus.
“Once injected into the body, the presence of the Lassa protein stimulates a protective response from the immune system. The humans that will take it as a vaccine will be protected and antibodies will be developed that will protect the persons against future effect of Lassa virus if infected.”
He also commended the Federal Government for creating more awareness about the disease calling for sustenance of the awareness initiative.
He added that the virus had killed more than 100,000 Nigerians since the discovery of the virus in the country, calling for more funding and political will to combat the scourge.
Meanwhile, the Director of Disease Control in the state Ministry of Health, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, said that the State Government had not relented on its effort to make the state a Lassa virus-free state.
He said that a lot of structures had been put in place to combat the virus across the 18 local government areas of the state.
“We have improved our surveillance mechanism and contact tracking to follow up suspected cases. To this end, no new case has been reported in the state for the past days,” he said.



$620,000 Bribe: Trial Of Farouk Lawan Continues

Hearing commences Tuesday in the trial of the former Chairman, House of Representative Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan, for allegedly obtaining $620,000 bribe money from Femi Otedola, chairman of Forte Oil.

A reliable close to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission said Mr Lawan and Boniface Emenalo would stand trial before Justice Angela Otaluka of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Lugbe, on a seven-count criminal charge bordering on obtaining $620,000 from Mr. Otedola, in order to doctor a report by his then committee in favour of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd.

The duo were first arraigned before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi on February 2, 2013, before the judge was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

The case was then reassigned to Justice Adebukola Banjoko, and later to Justice Otaluka.

The duo were alleged to have conspired in April 2012 to demand $3million gratification from Mr. Otedola to remove his firm from the list of oil companies indicted for the fuel subsidy scam.

The prosecution team, led by Adegboyega Awomolo, had argued before the court, that the offence contravened provisions of Section 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under Section 8 (1) of the same act.

Mr. Emenalo was separately arraigned on a seven-count charge of receiving $120,000 as gratification from Mr. Otedola for the same purpose, an offence which violates Section 10 (a)(ii) of ICPC Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 10 of the same Act.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Dariye’s Trial Commences Over Diversion Of N1.2 Billion Ecological Fund

The trial of Senator Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau State, before Justice Banjoko sitting at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Gudu, in Abuja resumed today after it was stalled for almost a decade.

Dariye’s trial started since 2007 following a petition received by the then Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) in May, 2004.

The accused Senator was in court as early as 8:30am and waited patiently until the first case was called in which the judge spent almost two hours reading a judgment.

The star witness in the case Detective Musa painted a vivid picture of how Dariye instructed the All States Trust Bank to lodge the N1.2 billion ecological fund for Plateau State into accounts that does not belong to the Plateau State government.

Credit: dailytrust

Saraki Shuts Senate As Trial Resumes Today At CCT

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has again shutdown the sitting of the Senate as his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) comes up today.

At the end of yesterday’s sitting, Saraki said the sitting has been adjourned to November 10.

In an interview, Senator Dino Melaye said the sitting was adjourned to enable adhoc committees work on their reports.

“The sitting was adjourned to Tuesday to enable four adhoc committees complete their reports and submit next week,” he said.

Saraki was alleged to have operated foreign accounts while being the Governor of Kwara State and transferred the sum of $73, 223.28 from his GTB domiciliary account to an American Express account.

Credit: DailyTrust

Suswam’s Arraignment Fails Due To Lack Of Judge

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

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

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

Credit: ChannelsTV

NNPC Looters To Face Trial Soon- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sent a notice to corrupt Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officials  – get set for trial.

Buhari, who spoke in the United States; stressed the need to sanitise the oil industry and free it from shady deals.

He said those responsible for the corruption in the oil giant firm will soon be prosecuted.

The President spoke in New York during a meeting with President Xi Jinping of China on the sidelines of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN).

He said the first step in this direction had already been taken, with the appointment of a new management for the NNPC and its subsequent reorganization.

Read More: thenationonlineng

Court Stalls Saraki’s Trial

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

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

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

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

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

Read More: sunnewsonline

Dasuki’s Trial Begins Tuesday

The Federal Government will on Tuesday arraign former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), before a Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly being in possession of firearms without license.

The Department of State Security Service, DSS, had, in a statement by one of its officials, Tony Opuiyo, on August 24, 2015, said that it had charged Dasuki with the alleged offence.
Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, had on Friday assigned the case to Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who is the court’s vacation judge.

The DSS said it had charged Dasuki with possession of firearms without licence, an offence punishable under section 27(I)(a)(I) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, based on evidence so far obtained.
The Federal Ministry of Justice had since taken over the case.
It was learnt that the trial which ought to have started last week was postponed due to the directive of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmmud Mohammed, to various heads of court not to sit throughout the week to enable lawyers and interested judges to participate in the just-concluded one week-long Annual Bar Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.
The DSS had searched Dssuki’s home and claimed that it searched it “based on credible intelligence linking the immediate past NSA with alleged plans to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.”
The statement partly read:

“You may recall that on July 16, 2015, the Department of State Services carried out search operations on properties belonging to the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd.), in Abuja and Sokoto.

“This action was necessitated by credible intelligence, which linked him to acts capable of undermining national security. The search operations led to the recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition among other things and for which further investigation was conducted.

“Consequently, on Monday, August 24, 2015, he was charged to court based on evidence so far obtained, but which relates to possession of firearms without licence punishable under section 27(i)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.”

The secret service said Dasuki’s arraignment was in line with democratic practice and “our avowed commitment to the rule of law, in which nobody is deemed to be above the law, no matter how highly placed in the society.”

350 Boko Haram Suspects To Face Trial- Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army has said that 350 suspected Boko Haram terrorists have been recommended for trial at a Federal Court for terrorist activities in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

Speaking at a press briefing Friday, the Nigerian Army Chief of Administration, Adamu Abubakar, said the 350 suspects are a fraction of 504 persons in detention.

He said two Joint Investigation Teams, set up by the defence headquarters to investigate, screen and categorize suspected insurgents in detention established prima facie cases against 350 out 504 suspects in detention.

The file cases on the suspects, Mr. Abubakar, a major general, said were forwarded to the office of the attorney general and the ministry of justice.

Speaking on the recent allegations against the military in a report by human rights organisation, Amnesty International, Mr. Abubakar said the report is unnecessary as no new facts have been unearthed by the group to warrant a repeat of its allegations.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubts, the Amnesty International allegations of human rights abuse and extra judicial killing of civilians are a rehash of the same allegations made in 2011”.

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Bank Worker On Trial For Aiding N241m Fraud

A Federal High Court in Lagos, last week Thursday, ordered the prison remand of a female member of staff of Diamond Bank Plc, Eniola Morondiya, who allegedly aided some fraudsters to process N241m said to be proceeds of a criminal act.

Morondiya, a teller on contract employment with Diamond Bank, was remanded along with the four alleged fraudsters, Suleiman Mohammed, Ibrahim Danazumi, Roland Aroko and Francis Akpabio, all males.

The remand of the five accused persons followed their arraignment on four counts of conspiracy and money laundering before Justice Okon Abang.

The prosecution, in the charge marked FHC/L/170c/15, alleged that the plot to move the N241m proceeds of criminal act, using Morondiya, was hatched during a meeting of the accused persons with some persons still at large on February 1, 2015.

Read More: punchng

I’m Not Afraid Of Trial For Alleged Drug Offences In America- Kashamu

The controversial Peoples Democratic Party Senator-elect in Ogun State, Buruji Kashamu, on Wednesday, said he is not evading trial for drug related offences in the United States of America. Mr. Kashamu, an American fugitive, said the American authorities only needed to follow due process and not abuse his human rights if a trial were to hold.

The senator- elect insisted that a court in the United Kingdom had cleared him of the drug charges. “On the U.S case, I wish to state for the umpteenth time that the United States as the bastion of democracy and the Rule of Law would not lend itself to any form of abuse of the fundamental human rights of an innocent soul, especially one that has been arrested, tried and freed by its most trusted ally – the United Kingdom.

“I am not running from any trial. All I have asked is for the relevant parties to follow due process – if they believe that I yet have a case to answer. I stand with the almighty Allah Subhana Wa Tala. He is the protector of all men. He is my refuge and shield. Let no one play God!’

“I believe in the supremacy of the almighty Allah who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish. He is the ultimate decider of the fate of all mortals. When He says yes, no man can say no and when He says no, no man can say yes!,” Mr. Kashamu said.


Generals, Others Face Trial Over Boko Haram

A military court martial convened by the authorities of the Nigerian Army to try no fewer than 22 officers of the force over their involvement in the dismal outing of the force in the fight against insurgents started yesterday in Lagos.

The trial, Daily Sun learnt was convened in closed door and amid tight security, but a top military source said the trial was routine in the force.

Although the source failed to disclose the categories of officers involved, it was gathered that highest ranking officers among those being put on trial is a Brigadier General.

However, when journalists contacted one of the counsel  for the trial, Mr. Femi Falana, he said the army should take the honourable way out of the matter and free those being court-martialled.

The 22 officers are being prosecuted for alleged offences committed during the on-going war against Boko Haram insurgents in the North East of the country.

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Oscar Pistorius’ Trial Judge Expected to Deliver Verdict

 Oscar-Pistorius-Trial_0_0  Pistorius-Steenkamp

South African Judge Thokosile Masipa will begin delivering her verdict on Thursday morning on the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

The South African track star is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013. Mr Pistorius says he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder. The stop-start trial has lasted more than six months and included many moments of drama.

Pistorius os

These are some of the key moments in the case against Oscar Pistorius, which was led by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

The athlete has admitted firing the shots which killed her, but exactly what happened in his home that night lies at the centre of his murder trial.