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A former Lagos CJ demanded N10m bribe from me, Bamaiyi tells court

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Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd), a former Chief of Army Staff, on Wednesday told an Ikeja High Court that a former Chief Judge of Lagos, Mr Augustine Ade-Alabi (2004-2009), demanded a bribe of N10 million to secure his bail from the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bamaiyi made the allegation while being cross-examined by Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the defence counsel to Fred Ajudua.

Ajudua, a former Lagos socialite and alleged serial conman, is on trial for allegedly defrauding Bamaiyi in 2006 at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons of $8.4million under the guise of providing the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola for the retired General’s defence.

Bamaiyi told the court that Ade-Alabi was the presiding judge during his trial for the alleged attempted murder of Mr Alex Ibru, the late publisher of the Guardian Newspaper.

He had purportedly demanded the bribe to grant Bamaiyi bail which was consistently denied by the court.

He alleged that one Mr Popoola Martins had been sent by Ade-Alabi to solicit for the bribe from him in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons where he had been incarcerated.

“Justice Ade-Alabi sent one Mr Martins to not only me but all the defendants to tell us to pay N10million.

“Martins informed us that the court will adjourn for two weeks and it was so. That is why I believed what Martins said, also Ade-Alabi was the judge handling my case,” he said.

Bamaiyi said that the National Judicial Council (NJC) had, based on the bribery allegations he had leveled against the former Lagos CJ, set up a panel to investigate the claims.

He, however, noted that Martins died under mysterious circumstances the evening before he could testify before the NJC.

“The NJC report said my claims were baseless and false but that is not true because our witnesses were not allowed to testify and the main witness, Mr Martins, was not allowed to make a statement.

“His (Martins) lawyer was with him in the night, by the time we were on our way to court, we were told that he had died,” Bamaiyi said.

He told the court that Ajudua, as part of a scheme to defraud him, had promised to approach Justices Ade-Alabi and Joseph Oyewole, who both presided over his court case and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) the then Attorney-General of Lagos to help secure his release from prison.

He alleged that Ajudua had also enlisted the help of his wife to defraud him.

Bamaiyi said: “The defendant told me that he will take my case up to the CJ, Justice Ade-Alabi.

“He told me that he will send his wife who is also a lawyer to see Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the then Attorney-General of Lagos State now the Vice-President of Nigeria, to the benefit of all of us in the case.

“The defendant said his wife gave him feedback that both Jusrice Ade-Alabi and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo suggested that I look for a senior counsel who must not be a northerner.

“At that time, there was no way I could have rejected the suggestion that Chief Afe Babalola should defend me. The defendant was the one who made the suggestion and I could not refuse the offer that the best counsel in the country should defend me.

“I agreed and I was cornered into paying money unjustly. I even spoke to a fictitious Justice Oyewole on the phone, it was someone who claimed to be Justice Oyewole,”

Bamaiyi said that while he was imprisoned, he was part of five inmates regarded as “Special Inmates” by prison authorities and that their guests had to write applications to pay a visit.

He said that following an oral protest to the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, the restrictions were lifted. He also alleged some individuals visited the prison without registering in the Visitors Book.

The retired general told the court that he kept records of all the funds he gave Ajudua as legal fees for Chief Afe Babalola’s services.

He said that though he never received a written acknowledgement of the receipt of the funds from the defendant, he always got an oral acknowledgement from Ajudua.

“The defendant was always confirming receipt on the phone or when he visited the prison. There was never a transaction that he never confirmed receipt, I did not need any written confirmation because he always gave me oral acknowledgement.

“The defendant would not have given me anything in writing because of what he did. When someone wants to defraud you, he would not do so in writing,” he said.

Bamaiyi also denied claims by the defence that the records of entries of the funds he allegedly gave Ajudua which he wrote in a diary are fabricated.

He noted that funds given by inmates to their lawyers were not recorded by prison officers due to the personal nature of the transaction.

“I have not fabricated anything. All will be revealed as time goes on. I was recording events in the prison with the intention of writing a book,”

Justice Josephine Oyefeso adjourned the case until May 14 for continuation of cross-examination.

NNN reports that according to the prosecution, Ajudua, was incarcerated at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons over alleged fraud. He had, alongside some accomplices, allegedly approached Bamaiyi in 2004.

The defendant had allegedly convinced Bamaiyi that he could hire the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to help secure his freedom from Kirikiri with Ajudua allegedly fraudulently receiving $8.4million as legal fees.

When the alleged fraud came to light, the law chambers of Afe Babalola and Co issued a disclaimer disassociating itself from the case.

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Judiciary

Court fixes Jan. 27, 2020, for suit challenging levy in Ikeja Computer village

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, further adjourned until Jan. 27, 2020, for report of service in a suit challenging the imposition of levies in the Ikeja Computer Village.

The Fundamental Rights suit, marked FHC/L/CS/1568/19, is filed by one Prince Ochokwu Obieze through his lawyer, Mr Ikechukwu Chiaha.

Joined as first to fourth respondents are: Inspector- General of Police, Commissioner of Police Lagos Police Command, Area Commander Area F Command and one IPO, Jennifer.

Also joined as fifth to seventh respondent are: Mr Tony, Mrs Bisiola Azeez, (Iyaloja) and Mr Adeniyi Olasoji (Babaloja).

The applicant is seeking a declaration that the incessant molestation, threat to kill, harassment and his detention by the first to fourth respondent at the instance of the fifth to seventh respondent is illegal.

On Tuesday, Mr Ikechukwu Chiaha announced appearance for the applicant, while Mr P.A. Oyewo appeared for the fifth to seventh defendants.

Chiaha told the court that the case was coming up for the first time, adding that he had served the court processes on respective parties.

He said,for instance, that the court’s processes were served on the fifth to seventh respondent over a month ago.

He argued that if reliance was to be placed on the provisions of order 4 rule 1 of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, then the court ought to hear the applicant’s motion.

According to him, the bailiff of the court also informed him that processes had been served on the other defendants, but added that since the court is “dominus’, (lord), he would leave everything at its discretion.

He said that subject to the court’s convenience, he would be asking for a short date.

On his part, fifth to seventh defence counsel (Oyewo) said he was not opposed to a date.

The court consequently, adjourned the case until Jan .27, 2020, for report of service.

In the originating motion, applicant is seeking  declaration that the forceful invasion of his business premises at the Computer Village, Ikeja on Aug. 8, by thugs for refusal to pay “unjustifiable levies” made by the fifth to seventh respondents is unlawful and illegal.”

He also wants a declaration that his beating, harassment, and intimidation in the market place by the fifth to seventh respondents in company with their thugs, due to his refusal to accede to an illegal levy in the computer village is unlawful.

The applicant also seeks a declaration that the inhumane treatment meted on him during his detention by agents of the first to fourth respondent at the instance of the fifth to seventh respondent, is a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights.

He, therefore, seeks an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents from further infringing on or violating his rights.

The applicant also seeks an order, restraining the respondent from further “forcefully and exploitatively“ demanding payment of the said levies from him.

Applicant wants an order restraining the respondents from forcing and torturing him to denounce his membership of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria.

Besides, the applicant seeks payment of damages in the sum of N25 million against the respondents for the violation of his fundamental rights as well as aggravated and exemplary damages in the sum of N2 million.

He also wants a public apology from the respondents to be published in two national dailies.

Edited by Shittu Obassa/Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Court remands 46-year-old man for allegedly sodomising teenager

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Remand

Kaduna, Nov. 19, 2019 A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kaduna on Tuesday ordered that a 46-year-old man, Inuwa Shehu, who allegedly sodomised a 15-year-old boy be remanded in a correctional facility, pending legal advice.

The police charged Shehu, who lives at Kawo in Kaduna State, with unnatural offence.

The Magistrate, Hajara Dauda, who did not take Shehu’s plea, held that the court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.

Dauda ordered the police to return the case file to the Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.

She adjourned the case until Nov. 29 for mention and

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Sunday Baba, told the court that the complainant, Adamu Hassan of the same address, reported the case at the Gabasawa Police Division on Nov. 1.

He told the court that at about 7 p.m., Shehu allegedly lured the 15-year-old boy into an uncompleted building at Kawo Kaduna and sodomised him.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened the provisions of Section 259 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Laws, 2017.

Edited by Ejike Obeta/Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Court remands 52-year-old businessman for allegedly sodomising teenager

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An Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered that a 52-year-old businessman, Jude Duru, who allegedly sodomised a 14-year-old boy, be remanded in a Correctional Facility, pending legal advice.

The police charged Duru, who resides at No. 15 Bakare Opeche St., Dopemu in Lagos, is charged with sexual assault.

Chief Magistrate B.O. Osunsanmi,  who did not take the plea of Duru, ordered that he be remanded in a Nigerian Correctional Service facility in Kirikiri, Lagos .

Osunsanmi ordered the police to duplicate the case file to the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions.

She adjourned the case until Jan. 14.

Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, ASP Ezekiel Ayorinde, told the court that the defendant sexually assaulted his 14-year-old apprentice (name withheld) in his house.

Ayorinde told the court that the defendant committed the offence between June and September,

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 261 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015, (Revised) and stipulates life imprisonment if found convicted.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Dismissed cop arraigned, remanded at Ikoyi Prison for murder of Kolade Johnson

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A dismissed police inspector, Ogunyemi Olalekan, was on Tuesday at an Ikeja High Court remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons after his arraignment for the alleged murder of Kolade Johnson, a 35-year-old man at a viewing center in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Olalekan, 45, during his arraignment pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.

Following his plea, Mr Yhaqub Oshoala, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, requested that Olalekan who has been incarcerated at the Ikoyi Prison since his arrest, continue to be remanded at the facility.

“We ask that the defendant continue to be detained in prison custody before the trial date. Our witnesses are available and we are ready to commence,” Oshoala told the court.

Before adjourning the case, the presiding judge, Justice A. J Coker told Mr Ike Ezekwen, the defence counsel to explain to Olalekan the option of a bargain agreement before the trial commences.

“This case is adjourned to Jan. 15, 2020 for trial. The defendant is further remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Facility.

“The prosecution team is enjoined to bring their witnesses to court,” Justice Coker said.

According to the prosecution, Olalekan, a dismissed police inspector working with Special Anti-Cultism Squad, committed the offence at 5.10pm on Mar. 31 at Onipetesi Estate, Mangoro area of Lagos.

“The former police inspector unlawfully killed Johnson by shooting him with a AK47 rifle in the lower abdomen.

“The offence contravenes Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015,” Oshoala said.

NAN reports that Section 223 prescribes death sentence for anyone convicted of the offence of murder.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Judiciary

Court sentences 2 artisans to 10 strokes of cane for stealing

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Sentence

Kaduna, Nov. 19, 2019 An Upper Sharia Court in Kaduna on Tuesday sentenced two artisans, Saminu Ahmed, 25 and Mohammed Isah, 23, to 10 strokes of the cane each for stealing two  Television sets and two laptops.

The Judge, Mustapher Umar, sentenced them after they pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, house breaking and theft and begged for lenienc.

Umar also gave the convicts an option to a fine of N5, 000 each.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Shehu Abubakar, told the court that on Nov. 2, the complainant, Alhaji Musa Mai-Shanu, who lives in Malali, Kaduna reported the matter at the Gabasawa Police Station.

The prosecutor said the convicts broke into the complainant’s house and stole two tv sets and two laptops.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 59, 289 and 270 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Laws, 2017.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Man, 46, arraigned for allegedly stealing goats

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A 46-year-old man, Sabiu Salisu, was on Tuesday arraigned before an Ado Ekiti Magistrates’ court for allegedly stealing goats valued at N45,000.

Salisu and others now at large committed the offence on Nov. 2, 2019, at Ayegunle Ekiti in Ekiti.

The accused whose address was not provided at the court was facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Oriyomi Akinwale, told the court that the accused and others now at large, stole three goats, each valued at N15,000 and a total value of N45,000.

He said the offences were punishable under Sections 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap C16 Vol.1 Laws of Ekiti State 2012.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Olufunmike Aloma, granted the accused bail in the sum of N5,000 with one surety in like sum.

The case was adjourned until Dec. 17 for mention.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Adeleye Ajayi

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