Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, on Wednesday, filed a suit, seeking the Federal High Court Abuja to vacate its interim forfeiture order on his assets, including funds in four banks, granted to the Federal Government.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) had, on July 14, taken temporary possession of several property allegedly owned by Mr Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North Senatorial District, including accounts in Zenith, Access, UBA and Sterling Banks.
This followed an interim forfeiture order by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on July 5, giving the lawmaker or anyone who might have owned the seized assets 30 days to convince the court why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Nigerian government.
In a motion on notice by Counsel to the senator, Mr Robbert Clarke, SAN, filed on July 11 and brought to the court’s attention on Wednesday, Nwaoboshi urged the court to set aside the ruling.
He also challenged the court’s jurisdiction yo further grant audience to the SPIP in relation to his assets.
The lawmaker contended that the SPIP made false claim in obtaining the orders.
”The suit said to have been filed in the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and purportedly by the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the ex-parte interim forfeiture and restraining orders sought and obtained therein, was so filed and obtained by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) in the absence of any lawful authority.
”The institution of this suit and the filing of the said motion ex-parte for interim forfeiture and restraining orders constitute a grievous abuse of the judicial process,” he said.
However, Counsel to SPIP, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, on Wednesday, told Justice Taiwo that his client was yet yo be served with Nwaoboshi’s motion on notice.
Another lawyer, Sylvanus Maliki, who said he represents an interested part, Mrs. Ngozi Veronica Aniezu, said he has also filed a motion.
Based on Ojaomo’s observation that he was also not served with the motion by Maliki, Justice Taiwo directed that the motions by Nwaoboshi and Maliki be served on the SPIP’s lawyer in court.
Clarke had argued that his client’s motion was earlier served on the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
Ojaomo thereafter accepted service of the documents in the court according to the judge’s directive.
Justice Taiwo, who adjourned the matter till Aug. 19, said the decision was to give all parties the room to file all the necessary processes in the interest of justice.
The judge directed Ojaomo to ensure that he responds to all the motions served on him, particularly by Nwaoboshi, challenging the court’s jurisdiction.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Man, 32, docked for impregnating 16-year-old student
The Police in Ado-Ekiti, on Friday, arraigned a 32-year-old man, Ojo Owoeye, before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court for sexually abusing and impregnating a 16-year-old secondary school student.
The defendant, whose house address was not given, is facing a charge of alleged sexual abuse.
The Police Prosecutor, Insp. Johnson Okunade, told the court that the defendant committed the offence sometime in May, in Ado-Ekiti.
He alleged that the defendant, in the said month, sexually abused and impregnated the secondary school student.
Okunade told the court that the offence contravened Section 4 of the Ekiti State Gender-based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2011.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defence counsel, Mr Ojo Abioye, told the court that his client would take responsibility for the pregnancy and prayed the court to grant him bail.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Aderopo Adegboye, acquiesced to Abioye’s plea and granted the defendant bail in the sum of N20,000 and two sureties in like sum.
He adjourned the cast until Sept. 18 for further hearing.
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Oyo governorship: Makinde, Adelabu, INEC adopt final written addresses at tribunal
The Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has admitted the final written addresses filed by Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adebayo Adelabu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC in a petition challenging Makinde’s victory in the March 9 election.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Adelabu and his party, APC, are challenging the declaration of Makinde by INEC as the winner of the election.
NAN also reports that Makinde, the candidate of the PDP, polled a total of 515,621 votes to defeat his closest rival, Adelabu, who had 357,982 votes.
Other respondents in the petition are the PDP and INEC.
Adopting his final written address, the counsel to INEC, Akinolu Kehinde (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being grossly unmeritorious and lacking in substance.
Kehinde said that the petitioners erroneously put the burden of proof on INEC whereas the responsibility of proof lies on the petitioners.
He said that the petitioners complained of irregularities in 1,334 polling units and only called 38 polling unit agents out of which majority of them confirmed that the election conducted by INEC complied strictly with the Electoral Act.
Kehinde said that it was the responsibility of the petitioners to bring at least one witness from the 1,334 polling units complained of and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.
Makinde’s counsel, Dr Omyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were faulty and evidences of the other witnesses not called amount to hearsay and urged the court to dismiss the petition.
Adopting his final written address, counsel to PDP, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the ground of inadequacy of evidence and lacking in merit.
But the counsel to Adelabu and APC, Yusuf Alli (SAN) , urged the court to hold that the petition was meritorious and that other witnesses not called have their statement properly laid before the tribunal.
Alli said that under the law the number of witnesses called cannot override what had been properly laid before the tribunal.
According to him, cases are not won on the quantum of witnesses called but on the quality of testimony of the witnesses called, adding that the testimony of petitioners’ witness number 62 (PW62) speaks volume.
Alli said that there were massive electoral infractions in 28 out of the 33 local governments called and a document spoke for itself after being adopted.
He said that a certified true copy of a document could be tendered by anybody and not only the maker, urging the tribunal to find merit in it.
The three-man panel of the tribunal led by Justice Sirajo Muhammed commended the counsel for their cooperation throughout the proceedings, adding that a judgment date would be communicated to them.
In an interview with newsmen, Adelabu, who was present at the tribunal, called on his supporters to be calm and law abiding, saying victory would come their way.
(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)
Dissolution: I am fed up with her catankerous nature, husband tells court
A businessman, Olalekan Akingbade on Friday urged a Customary Court in Badagry, near Lagos, to dissolve his marriage because he was fed up with his wife’s cantankerous nature.
Akingbade, 46, who lives at 47 Agunmajayi Eyenkole St., Oko-Afo in Badagry, said his wife had picked fights with him for no just reasons more than 15 times in three years.
“My lord, my wife was selling beer when I met her in 2015. We married same year, but no dowry was paid; though I have met her father and mother.
“The marriage is blessed with a three-year-old daughter, Bolanle.
“But since I married Aminat my lord, I have not had rest of mind. We have gone to my father-in-law on several occasions to settle misunderstandings.
“Each time we went to meet him, he always warned my wife that if he happened to be her husband, he would not take the nonsence from her.
“I have tried all I could to make her change, but she hasn’t my lord.
“When she told me that she wanted to change her business, I gave her N500,000 and rented a shop for her, still she was not contented,” he said.
Akingbade urged the court to dissolve the marriage on the grounds of frequent fighting, threat to life, no rest of mind and no more love.
He pleaded with the court to give him custody of the only child.
Responding, Aminat, 33, a business woman, however, appealed to the court not to dissolve the marriage, adding that she was still in love with Akingbade.
She attributed her frequent fights with her husband to his infidelity; stressing “my husband is a womanizer who always goes around with different ladies and that is our bone of contention.
“I will not fight him again, my lord,” the respondent said.
The President of the court, Mr Shakirudeen Adekola, adjourned the case until Sept.3 for judgement.
Edited by Bayo Sekoni
Man, 26, docked over alleged N42.4m forex scam
A 26-year-old man, Babajide Fasasi, who allegedly obtained N42.4 million under the pretext of buying foreign currencies, on Friday appeared before a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
Fasasi whose address was not given, however, pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretences, breach of public peace and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Anthonia Osayande, told the court that Fasasi and others still at large committed the offences in or before January at No 25, Ikare St., Surulere, Lagos.
Osayande alleged that Fasasi and the others posed as dealers in foreign exchange and fraudulently obtained N42.4 million from Messrs Egieya Musa and Aderewaju Okupe.
She said that Fasasi and the others conspired to open a fake website linked to their personal accounts to carry out the act.
She submitted that Musa and Okupe realised they had been duped when Fasasi stopped giving them feedback from the trade since January.
Osayande said that the offences contravened Sections 168 (d) 287, 314 (1) (2) (3) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Oluyemisi Adelaja, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2 million with responsible sureties.
She ordered that one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the defendant and the other, a landlord.
Adelaja adjourned the case until Sept. 4 for trial.
Edited by Ijeoma Popoola
Kano court remands 2 over alleged murder
A Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Kano on Friday ordered the remand of two men, Ja’afaru Ahmadu, 27, and Ubali Ahmadu, 26, in prison for allegedly causing the death of one Mr Ali Bello, by hitting him with sticks on his head.
The defendants, who live at Kwalele Village in Albasu Local Government Area of Kano State, were charged with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Pogu Lale, told the court that the defendants and one Ayuba Ahmadu, now at large, on Aug.1 attacked the deceased in his house at Kwalele Village.
Lale alleged that the defendants used cutlass and sticks to inflict injuries on the victim’s head and other parts of his body.
“The victim was rushed to Takai General Hospital, where he was confirmed dead.”
The defendants, however, denied committing the offence.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Sections 97 and 221 of the Penal Code.
The Presiding Chief Magistrate, Muhammad Jibril, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison pending the advice from the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions.