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Judiciary

Court dismisses alleged birth certificate forgery suit against Wike

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Gov. Nyesom Wike  of Rivers

Wike

Abuja, March 8, 2029 The Federal High Court, Abuja  on Friday dismissed the suit filed by one Elvis Chinda seeking to disqualify Rivers governor, Mr Nyesom Wike  from contesting the March 9 governorship election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the suit while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Chinda asking the court to disqualify Wike.

Chinda had in the suit,  asked the court to disqualify Wike from contesting the election on the grounds that the birth certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) was forged.

Justice Ekwo in his judgment noted that Wike did not have immunity from  being sued on an election related matter as has been argued by his counsel, Mr Ferdinand Orbih, (SAN).

The judge held that the suit was purely a pre- election matter as the reliefs sought by the plaintiff was   to disqualify Wike from contesting an election.

Justice Ekwo maintained that being a pre-election matter, the suit was status barred  because it was not commenced within the 14 days stipulated by law.

The judge opined that the plaintiff’s position that the cause of action arose on Nov.13 2018 when he obtained a Certified True Copy of the INEC document containing the forged birth certificate, was strange to him.

According to the judge,  the cause of action arose when the plaintiff had reasonable grounds to believe  that Wike submitted a forged birth certificate to INEC.

” As at March 7, 2018 when he applied to INEC for the document he had reasonable grounds to believe that the document was forged. “

The judge further described the suit as an abuse of court process noting that an appeal on a similar subject matter was pending before the Court of Appeal.

He also noted that in that appeal, the plaintiff’s counsel was the plaintiff and condemned such practice and described it as a professional misconduct on the part of the lawyer.

The judge said that the plaintiff had failed to prove the allegation that Wike forged his birth certificate beyond reasonable doubt.

He added that the burden of proof was with the plaintiff and not with defendants.

Chinda had in the originating summons filed by his lawyer, Mr Achinike William-Wobodo urged the court to determine whether:

He further told the court that Wike had maintained consistency of the forged document by presenting same to INEC since 1989 .

 William- Wobodo, however, told newsmen  that his client would appeal the judgment, Orbih expressed satisfaction with the judgment saying it had vindicated their position.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Judiciary

Court bars Edo Govt, Gov. Obaseki from prosecuting Oshiomhole 

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has restrained  the Edo Government and Gov Godwin Obaseki from arresting and prosecuting the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

NAN reports that a panel of inquiry set up by the state government headed by Justice J.U Oyomire, had in a white paper indicted Oshiomhole and recommended that criminal proceedings be commenced against him.

Oshiomhole, in an Ex parte motion, through his counsel, Mr Ehiogie West- Idahosa, asked the court to stop his arrest and prosecution on account of the report.

The Edo government, however through its counsel Mr Alex Ejeiseme, SAN, went to the court with a preliminary objection to stop the ex parte order from being heard.

Ejeiseme argued that since he was challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter, the court must determine the issue of jurisdiction before entertaining any other application.

He agreed that he had not been served the applicant’s processes, but that he responded based on an online version he had printed.

Following listening to arguments by parties, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered respondents in the matter not to take any decision on the matter pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction.

”An interim order is hereby made restraining the prosecution of the applicant pursuant to the report submitted to the 1st to 3rd respondents or any white paper, pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction raised in the 1st to 4th respondents’ notice of preliminary objection, the judge said.

The court also directed Oshiomhole’s counsel to serve all the respondents his processes within 48 hours.

Also named as respondents in the suit are the Attorney- General and Commissioner of Justice for Edo, Justice J.U Oyomire, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services.

Justice Mohammed later adjourned the matter until June 17.

Edited to Abiodun Esan/Sadiya Hamza

 

 

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Judiciary

Man in court for alleged criminal trespass, theft

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A Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, arraigned a 23-year-old man, Ibrahim Abdul, for alleged criminal trespass and stealing of mobile phone worth N40,000.
Abdul, of Gudu District, Apo, Abuja, is standing trial on a four-count charge of criminal trespass, theft, mischief and causing hurt.
The Prosecutor, Stanley Nwafoaku, told the court that on May 18, one Inspector Michael Benjamin, attached to Apo divisional police headquarters, reported the matter at Apo police station.
Nwafoaku alleged that on the said date, at about 7.00 pm, while the complainant was on a stop-and-search duty at Gudu junction, the defendant criminally trespassed where the complainant parked his car.
He alleged that the defendant forcefully opened the door of the Nissan Almera car and stole the complainant’s mobile phone, valued at N40,000.
The prosecutor said that the complainant and his colleagues on duty immediately noticed the crime and swiftly ran to arrest the defendant.
He further alleged that the defendant, who struggled to escape and resist arrest, smashed the phone on the ground and mischievously bit the complainant’s hand, causing him severe injury.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Sections 348, 288, 327 and 246 of the Penal Code.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The Chief Magistrate, Idayat Akanni, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50,000 and one surety in like sum.
Akanni said that the surety must have a means of livelihood, a valid identity card, fixed address and live within the jurisdiction of the court.
She, thereafter, adjourned the matter till June 24, for hearing.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Judiciary

Group asks court to compel DSS, IGP to investigate Omo-Agege

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The Incorporated Trustees of Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiative on Monday, asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the Director- General,  Department of  State Services, (DSS) and the Inspector- General of Police to investigate  the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

The group wants the security agencies to investigate Omo-Agege over his alleged conviction in the United States in November 1995.

A  motion ex parte filed by the group further  prayed the court to order Omo-Agege to step down from office as deputy senate president pending the completion of the investigation.

Counsel to the group, Mr Edward Omaga said his client asked the deputy senate president to step down to allow for transparent and fair investigation and to also prevent him from interfering with the investigation.

The group also prayed the court to declare that refusal of the DSS  and the IGP to investigate Omo-Agege would be deemed unjustifiable, wrongful and tantamount to dereliction of duties under the relevant laws that established them.

According to Omaga,  in the affidavit attached to the motion exparte,  until the DSS and the IGP are compelled by an order of the court, they will continue to refuse to investigate Omo-Agege.

The plaintiff said in the suit that it was convinced that any action or inaction of persons occupying elective and appointive position would have a direct impact on the overwhelming unemployed youths in the country.

No date has, however been fixed for hearing in the suit.


Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands security man for alleged defilement of a 9-year-old girl

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An Upper Area Court in Gwagwalada, FCT, on Monday ordered that a security man, Gideon Sunday who allegedly defiled a nine-year-old girl be remanded in police custody.

The police charged Sunday with one count charge of procuration of a minor.

The Judge, Sani Umar granted the application made by the prosecuting counsel, Akaso Sunday not to grant bail to the defendant.

Umar ordered that the defendant be remanded under police custody for one week.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Sunday told the court that on May 12, 2020 one Grace Abitayo reported the case at the police station.

He said that the defendant on May 6 2020 took the girl to his room and have carnal knowledge of her.

He added that during police investigation the defendant confessed to have committed the offence.

He prayed the court not to grant bail to the defendant, saying that the offence was not bailable.

He said that if granted bail the defendant would jump bail and would also jeopardise ongoing investigation, adding that the court should refuse him bail.

The offence, he said, contravened the provision of sections 275 of the Penal Code.

The defendant however pleaded not guilty.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

3 men appear in court for alleged impersonation

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Three men, on Monday, appeared before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court for alleged impersonation.

The defendants, Iyiola Sunday, 19, Akintayo Oke, 38, and Oluwaniyi Gbenga, 35, are facing a charge of impersonation.

The prosecutor, Insp Caleb Leranmo, told the court that the defendants and others at large, committed the offence on May 26 at about 4 p.m. in Aramoko Ekiti.

He alleged that the defendants and others at large, impersonated themselves to be Amotekun security agents.

Leranmo said the offence contravened Section 108 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

The prosecutor asked the court for adjournment to enable him study the case file and present his witnesses.

The defendants pleaded not guilty and their counsel, Mr Busuyi Ayorinde, urged the court to grant the defendants bail, promising not to jump bail.

The chief magistrate, Mr Abdulhamid Lawal, in his ruling, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties each in like sum.

He adjourned the case until June 29 for mention.


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged cheating: Court grants businessman N800,000 bail

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An Upper Area Court in Gwagwalada, FCT, on Monday, admitted a businessman, Awwal Nasir, to bail in the sum of N800,000 bail for criminal breach of trust, pending report of settlement.

The Judge, Sani Umar, admitted Nasir after he pleaded guilty to the two counts of  breach of trust and cheating preferred against him.

Umar ordered the defendant to produce one reasonable and reliable surety in like sum.

Umar ordered that if the defendant failed to meet the bail conditions, he would  be remanded in police custody.

He adjourned the matter until  July 1, for hearing and report of settlement.

 

Earlier, Nasir said:” I know am owing him and I promise to pay him. I collected the power bike but was not able to pay at the agreed time because I had an accident and was hospitalised for months.

Mr I.A. Aliyu, the Prosecution Counsel, Sadiq Yuguda , told the court that sometime in November 2019,the complainant  sold a Suzuki power bike at the agreed sum of N750,000 to the defendant.

He said that based on the understanding between the two parties the defendant was allowed to test-drive the motorcycle to confirm if it was in good condition at the time of sale.

Aliyu said that the defendant informed the complainant that he had no money to pay but would go home and source for money and come back to pay that same day.

He added that upon the intervention of a mutual friend of both parties, the defendant was allowed to go with the motorcycle without paying the agreed amount.

The prosecution counsel said that the defendant failed to pay the complainant.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code.


Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged incest: Court remands man pending bail application

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A Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court on Monday ordered that a 46-year-old man, Obed Jika, who allegedly defiled his 16-year-old sister in-law be remanded in police custody.

Chief Magistrate Idayat Akanni, ordered that he be remanded in police custody, pending bail application.

Akanni adjourned the matter until June 3.

The police charged Jika, who resides in Apo, Abuja,with two counts of incest and criminal intimidation.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Stanley Nwafoaku told the court that Mr Dodo Bitrus of NSCDC, Kagarko Division, Kaduna State, reported the matter at the Apo police station, Abuja on May 21.

Nwafoaku allege that Jika defiled the teenager who is an orphan.

He alleged that the defendant who had accommodated and cared for the victim in the last six years has been sexually harassing her.

Nwafoaku further alleged that the defendant also threatened to kill the teenager, if she exposes their affair, but she however spoke up when she had an opportunity to visit her family.

The Prosecutor said the offence contravenes sections 390 and 397 of the Penal Code Law.

The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr Richard Adedoyin, counsel to the defendant prayed the court to grant bail to his client citing sections 35(4) and 36(5) of the  1999 Cconstitution and sections 158 and 165(2) of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The defence counsel also said the defendant will not jump bail nor intimidate the witnesses in or any further investigation in the case, if granted bail.

The prosecutor, however, objected the bail application made by the defence counsel and prayed the court to look at the nature of the offence which involves threat to the life of the victim.

“The defendant had threatened the life of the teenager if she exposes him; I thereby pray that the court remand the defendant as he could jeopardise further investigation.

Adedoyin counsel to the defendant, in reply to the prosecutor, opposed his prayers and urged the court to use its discretion to grant bail in favour of the defendant.

According to him, “the defendant is a family man, breadwinner of his family and has been on police administrative bail.

“I also urge the court to consider the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of the defendant, as an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, ’the counsel stated.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court fixes June 15 for definite hearing in Melaye’s suit against Infections Disease Bill

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The Federal High Court Abuja on Monday, fixed June 15 for definite hearing of the suit filed by Sen. Dino Melaye challenging the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020.

The bill which is sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other lawmakers; Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu., seeks to empower the Federal Government  to convert any property in the country, including private properties, to isolation centres.

The bill also seeks to empower the government to, upon mere suspicion that a person is infected with an infectious disease, arrest and detain the person for as long as necessary among other things.

The presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the matter until June 15 and advised parties not to take any action that will jeopardise the action since it was already in court.

When the matter was called, counsel to Melaye, Mr Nkem Okoro told the court that the matter was for hearing, however, some respondents had served

“The 5th respondent’s coun

On Friday, the 4th respondent equally served on us a notice of preliminary objection and a counter affidavit and the 3rd respondent on Thursday, via WhatsApp, also sent us his notice of preliminary objection.

“In view of this development, I will be applying for a short adjournment to enable us respond to all these processes served on us,” Okoro said.

He further prayed the court to ask all the respondents not to take any decision on the matter pending its hearing and determination by the court. Counsel to Gbajabiamila, Mr Kayode Ajulo, urged the court to discountenance the request by Okoro saying he should have filed it properly if he was not “playing to the gallery”.

Melaye, had dragged Gbajabiamila; the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to court over the controversial “Control of Infectious Disease Bill 2020”.

Melaye also joined the clerks of the senate and house of representatives as respondents.

Melaye approached the court under the fundamental rights enforcement to the dignity of his person, personal liberty, right to private and family life, right to freedom of movement and right to own immovable property in Nigeria.”

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

Port Harcourt DisCo denies plans to sack 120 workers

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The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) had denied rumour that  it plans to sack over 120 workers from its workforce.
PHED Manager, Corporate Communications,Mr John Onyi said this in a statement on Sunday in Port Harcourt.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) had alleged that PHED was planning to retrench over 120 staff on June 1.
The union, however, appealed to governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states to urgently intervene and restrain the company from retrenching workers.
Onyi, however, said rather than retrench workers, PHED management was seeking ways to promote workers’ welfare in spite of the current macroeconomic environment in the country.
“We find this claim by SSAEAC surprising as PHED management is not aware of any such move to sack over 120 staff.
PHED management has repeatedly offered a hand of friendship as well as operates open-door-policy of dialogue with the union on promotion of staff welfare.
“We expect that SSAEAC ought to have taken advantage of our open-door policy to verify the unfounded reports credited to them,” he said.
Onyi said that the management had recently reviewed the organisational structure of the company to align workers for improved service delivery.
According to him, the reorganisation is intended to streamline the workforce to optimise value in its services.
“So, there is no iota of truth on the downsizing of staff.
“We expect the cooperation of SSAEAC in the formal activation of service conditions, just as management is focused on welfare of its staff.
“We will also like to state that there are no plans to witch-haunt state governments especially Rivers that has created enabling environment for PHED to thrive.
Currently, PHED is partnering with the Ministry of Power in Rivers to improve electricity supply to the state. So, there is no rancour between PHED and Rivers government,” he said.
Onyi  said that the company was committed to maintaining industrial harmony with SSAEAC.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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