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Judiciary

Court dismisses forgery case against Gov. Bindow for lack of jurisdiction

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Forgery


An FCT High Court Apo, on Monday dismissed  a suit alleging that Gov. Mohammed Bindow of Adamawa, submitted forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) for lack of territorial jurisdiction.

Delievring judgment, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, held the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case on the ground that the suit originated from Adamawa state and ought to have being filed in the state and not FCT.

A non-governmental organisation, under the aegis of Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, tendered documents before the court to substantiate its claim that the defendant who is a flag-bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC), falsely declared his educational qualification and date of birth.

The plaintiff alleged that the governor supplied false information in the Form CF 001 he tendered to INEC, by purporting to have sat for the West African Examination Council, WAEC, in June, 1983.

The group, told the court that contrary to the defendant’s false claim that he attended Government Secondary School, Miango, Plateau State, “incontrovertible evidence shows that Governor Bindow never attended the said school nor sat for the WAEC examination to warrant the issuance of the Testimonial or any other certificate.”

The claimant is also seeking the disqualification of  Bindow from participating in the 2019 governorship election.

Bindow in his own statement of defence, denied presenting forged documents to INEC.

The governor, through his lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, told the court that he won the 2018 primary election of the APC held on Oct. 9, in Yola. (NNN)

ATO/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Alleged P&ID scam: Briton applies for bail variation

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A Briton, James Nolan, on Wednesday applied for variation of his bail at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that EFCC had, on Oct. 21, arraigned Nolan and Adam Quinn (at large), both British nationals, over their alleged complicity in the 9.6 billion dollars judgment against Nigeria.

Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), an Irish engineering company, had secured the award against Nigeria following the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) the company had with the federal government.

The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.

The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Justice Okon Abang had, on Nov. 7, admitted Nolan to a bail in the sum of N500 million.

Justice Abang, who granted the bail in an application filed by Nolan, ordered that the applicant must produce “a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Counsel to the defendant, Paul Erokoro, SAN, prayed the court to favourably grant their application for bail variation.

The lawyer also told the court that he was not prepare for the commencement of trial due to inability to have adequate access to his client.

The EFCC, through his lawyer, had informed the court that he was ready to commence the trial earlier slated for today.

Details later….

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Judiciary

Teenager in court for allegedly kidnapping minor

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A teenager, Yusuf Obaka, who allegedly kidnapped a 17-year-old girl, on Wednesday appeared in a Grade I Area Court in Mpape, Abuja.

The police charged Obaka, 18, who lives in Mpape area, Abuja, with criminal conspiracy, and abduction.

The Prosecutor, Mr Stanley Nwaforaku, told the court that one Joseph Ogbeche father of the victim reported the matter on Nov 17 at the Mpape Police Station.

He alleged that the defendant criminally conspired with one Shedrack, now at large and unlawfully abducted the victim for one month and one week.

The prosecution alleged that the defendant confessed  to the crime during Police investigation.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of  sections 97 and 272 of the Penal Code.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Judge, Mr Salihu Ibrahim, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N200,000 with one surety in like sum.

He,thereafter, adjourned the case until Nov. 25 for hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Appeal Court sacks 2 Kaduna Assembly members

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna, on Tuesday sacked two Kaduna State House of Assembly members.

The appelate court ordered that a rerun be conducted by INEC to determine who will represent Kagarko and Sanga constituencies in the state assembly.

In Kagarko, the appellate court ordered for a rerun in 22 polling units located in two wards of the constituency.

In the judgement read by Justice Daniel Kaliop, the appellate court affirmed the earlier ruling of the state assembly election Tribunal in respect of Kagarko constituency.

Nigeria News Agency recalled that Mr. Nuhu Shadalafiya of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the victory of Mr Morondia Tanko of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 9 election at the Tribunal.

The Tribunal had ordered for fresh election in the 22 polling units, but Tanko of the PDP run to the Appeal Court,  asking it to set aside the tribunal judgement and affirm his election as declared by INEC.

The Appeal Court in a unanimous decision dismissed the case for lacking in merit and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh election in the 22 polling units.

Counsel to Shadalafiya, Mr Ussy Edikhiola said they were happy with the appeal court’s judgement, describing it as the triumph of the rule of law.

Similarly, the Appeal Court has ordered for re run in Sanga constituency after it upturned the earlier ruling of the Tribunal, which affirmed the election of Mrs Confort Amwe of the PDP.

Amwe is the only female lawmaker in the state assembly.

Alhaji Gambo Danga of APC had challenged the tribunal decision at the appeal court.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Judiciary

Ikpeazu swears in 3 new judges

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Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday swore in three new High Court Judges with a charge to contribute to the building of a strong and reliable judicial system in the state.

Speaking at the ceremony at the Executive Chambers of the Government House, Umuahia, Ikpeazu said that a strong and progressive judicial system would help to promote good governance and socio-economic growth in Abia.

He said that his administration was at the threshold of breaking new vistas through its numerous intervention programmes but required the support of the judiciary.

He ascribed the achievements of his administration in various sectors of the economy to the support of the judiciary.

He said that the judiciary had a significant role to play in building a better society for future generations.

The governor further said that a strong and reliable judicial system would protect the rights of citizens and promote economic growth.

He said that he was confident that the new judges understood the weight and burden of the responsibility which had been placed on their shoulders.

Ikpeazu said, “I will be counting on you to support the state government to be among states that make between N3 billion and N5 billion of internally generated revenue monthly.”

Responding on behalf of others judges, Justice Benson Anya thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve the people and protect their fundamental human rights.

Anya said: “We are going to work hard on every area of governance that requires support from the judiciary.

“We will ensure that the people receive justice and will discharge our duties in line with the oath we have sworn.”

Nigeria News Agency reports that the other judges included Justices Enyinnaya Okezie and Ogbonna Adiele.

NAN recalls that Anya served as the Chief Registrar of the state High Court, while Okezie served as former state Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice.

Also, Adiele served as a Magistrate of the Aba North Magistrates’ Court.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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Judiciary

Appeal court affirms election of Ihedioha as Imo governor

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Tueday affirmed the victory of Emeka Ihedioha in the March 9 governorship election in Imo.

The appeals were filed against the judgment of the Imo Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the election of Ihedioha.

It includes that of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and his governorship candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume; Action Alliance (AA) and his governorship candidate, Uche Nwosu and that of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodinma.

The appellants are asking the appellate court to void the election of Ihedioha on grounds that he did not obtain the constitutional one quarter of the votes in at least two-thirds of the 27 local government areas of the state, in line with Section 179 of the Constitution.

In their various submissions by their counsel, the appellants are asking the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal and declare them winner of the March 9 governorship election.

Also in the alternative order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election into the office of Governor of Imo State.

In a unanimous judgment, the five -man panel presided by Justice Oyebisi Omoyele dismissed the appeal by Action Alliance and it’s candidate, Uche Nwosu for lack of merit and upheld the judgment of the lower tribunal.

In addition, a cost of N500, O00 was awarded against the appellants.

The panel upheld the judgment of the lower tribunal adding that the assessment of the tribunal was thorough and resolved the appeal against the appellants.

In Sen. Hope Uzodinma’s appeal, there was a dissenting judgment of ratio 4:1

Four members agreed that the appeal lacks merit in addition awarded a cost of N500, 000 against the appellants while a member saw merit in the appeal and said that the judgment of the lower court be set aside awarded a cost of N1million against PDP and Ihedioha.

In Ifeanyi Ararume’s appeal, the appeal was also dismissed for inability of the appellants prove their allegations against the respondents.

The panel affirmed the judgment of the lower tribunal and awarded a cost of N500, 000 against the appellants.

The three-member panel of the tribunal had in a unanimous decison delivered on Sept. 21, held that Ihedioha was lawfully declared winner of the governorship election by INEC.

The panel chaired by Justice Malami Dongondaji, had in the judgment dismissed Ararume, Nwosu and Uzodinma’s petitions for lacking in merit on the grounds that they failed to prove allegations made in their petitions.

They claimed that Ihedioha did not obtain the constitutional one quarter of the votes in at least two-thirds of the 27 local government areas of the state, in line with the provisions of the law.

The petitioners also alleged substantially of non compliance with the Electoral Act and Guidelines, including other irregularities.

The tribunal in its judgment held that the case of the petitioners was unmeritorious because they failed to call relevant witnesses and that evidence of witnesses called were based on hearsay.

The tribunal in addition rejected documents tendered by the petitioners in support of their claims on the grounds that those who led evidence in the documents were not the makers of the documents.

In his appeal, Ararume urged the appellate court to upturn the decision of the tribunal on the grounds that the lower court erred in law when it arrived at the decision that his case and that of his party lacked merit and accordingly dismissed it.

The appeal which was predicated on 22 grounds was argued by his lead lawyer, Mr Awa Kalu, SAN, while that of Nwosu and AA, was argued by Mr Niyi Akintola SAN, and that of Uzodinma and APC, was argued by Mr Damian Dodo ,SAN.

They all urged the panel to allow the appeal and grant all the reliefs sought by the appellants.

However, lead counsel to Emeka Ihedioha and Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu , SAN, and Mr K.O. Njemanze ,SAN, respectively urged the court to dismiss the appeals for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

The respondents submitted that the appeal of the AA and Nwosu in particular constitute a waste of the precious time.

They argued that the Supreme Court in a judgment delivered on October 22, had already struck out the name of Uche Nwosu as candidate of the AA in the March 9 governorship election in Imo State.

The respondents also claimed that the appeal of Nwosu lacked merit going by a recent judgment of the Court of Appeal which nullified the candidacy of Nwosu in the governorship election. (NAN )

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Aliyu VS Tambuwal: Appeal Court reserves judgement

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto on Tuesday reserved judgement in the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate in the state Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu.

Aliyu is challenging the Governorship Election Tribunal judgement that affirmed the election of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 9 governorship election in the state.

The election was declared inconclusive following cancellation of 75, 403 votes which were higher than the 3, 413 votes margin between the leading candidates.

A re-run was held on March 23, which led to the victory of Tambuwal who won with a slim margin of 342 votes.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the tribunal on Oct. 2, in Abuja affirmed the election of Tambuwal.

The three man tribunal led by Justice Abbas Bawale dismissed the petition of the APC and its governorship candidate, Aliyu, for lacking in merit.

Unsatisfied with the judgement Aliyu, on Oct. 16, filed a notice of Appeal challenging the judgement of the lower court, seeking the court to set aside the tribunal judgement and declared him as the winner of the election.

The four man panel of Justice led by Justice Hussein Mukhtar, reserved judgement in the appeal.

The Presiding Justice said that, the judgment will be ready in a short frame of time and the court will communicate when it is ready.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

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