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Court dismisses suit against ex-Ibadan Polytechnic ASUP Chairman, 3 others  







Ibadan, March 13, 2019  The National Industrial Court, in Ibadan on Wednesday dismissed a suit against Mr Kelani Ajani, former chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Ibadan, and three others for lacking merit. 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other defendants in the matter are the ASUP: Mr Najeemdeen Odunola and Mr Kazeem Oladepo, former Secretary and Financial Secretary of the institution respectively. 

The claimants, Isiaka Salami, Oyefemi Oyetunji, Mojeed Lawal and Babatunde Dosumu, all members of ASUP, Polytechnic Ibadan branch, had sued the defendants over allegations of misconduct during the union’s elections. 

Through their counsel, Niyi Ajewole, they alleged that Ajani was not eligible to contest any office in the chapter over allegation of financial irregularities.

“Not until the allegation of misappropriation of the chapter’s fund against the defendants has been was resolved,” he said.

Ajewole prayed for an order of the court to restrain ASUP and Zone C ASUP Coordinator from conducting any election into the chapter’s executive council.

He also prayed the court to direct the defendants to refund the sum of N12,143,360 being the chapter’s fund, which they alleged was yet to be accounted for. 

In his argument, counsel to the defendants, Mr Femi Aborisade, told the court that the constitution of ASUP stipulated procedures to be taken internally before dragging any member to court.

Aborisade said that the claimants failed to follow due process, thus making the case premature.

He described it as one, which the court could not entertain because it lacked jurisdiction. 

He cited paragraph 5 (a) of the Code of Conduct of ASUP Constitution, as highlighting steps required before a member could be dragged to court.

Aborisade told the court to uphold his preliminary objection and dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court process. 

In his ruling, Justice John Peters, said there was nothing to show that the claimants followed the steps stipulated by ASUP Constitution before coming to the court.

The judge said that “The matter was premature, lacked merit and the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it.’’

He, therefore, dismissed the suit on the grounds of being an abuse of court process.





Court reaffirms INEC’s power to deregister political parties



The Federal High Court Abuja on Friday  reaffirmed the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, delivering judgment in a suit filed by Hope Democratic Party (HDP) against INEC, reaffirmed that the commission was empowered by the 1999 Constitution to deregister political parties that failed to meet provisions of Section 225(a) of the constitution.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that HDP had approached the court challenging the powers of INEC to deregister it as a political party.

The party also prayed the court to declare that INEC had no powers to deregister it as a political party except in accordance with the law.

The party further asked the court for an order for INEC to relist it as a political party in Nigeria.

In his judgment, Justice Taiwo held that HDP fell short of Section 225(a) and also had nothing to show to the court that the action of INEC to deregister it as a political party was unconstitutional.

According to the judge, he who asserts must prove but the plaintiff (HDP) fails to prove to the court that INEC acted unlawfully by deregistering it as a political party.

The court held that “the case of the plaintiff is weak and cannot be granted the reliefs sought. The law is that the plaintiff succeeds on the merit of his case and not that the defence is weak.

“The plaintiff has the onus to prove its case but has failed to show to the court that it met the requirements of Section 225(a).

“The plaintiff ought to give particulars of malice when it alleged that it was deregistered out of malice. The court is not a father Christmas to grant reliefs that have not been sought.

“I find that the deregistering of HDP as a political party was lawfully done and it has terminated the legal existence of HDP as a political party.” the judge said.

HDP has however vowed to appeal the judgment.

NAN also recalls that on May 28, Justice Taiwo had in another judgment delivered in the suit filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) against INEC, affirmed the electoral umpire’s powers to deregister political parties.

NUP was one of the 74 parties deregistered by the INEC in February.

The court affirmed that the constitutional powers of the commission and the reasons given by the commission for deregistering political parties were valid, in conformity with the law and sacrosanct.

The court further held that INEC’s powers could not be affected by the fact of anticipated local government elections by some states which dates were not fixed, certain or even ascertainable.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Gov Oyetola presents 13 Jeeps to High Court Judges



Gov. Adeboyega Oyetola of Osun on Friday presented 13 Toyota Jeeps to the State High Court Judges as part of efforts to enhance the welfare of judicial officers in the state.

The governor, while inaugurating the vehicles at Government House, Osogbo, promised to ensure vibrant and smooth judicial activities in the State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the keys of the Toyota Jeeps were handed over to the judges.

Oyetola said: “The state government would continue to play its roles with the judiciary in ensuring that their activities are carried out smoothly.

“We will go round the courts to rehabilitate and rebuild some of the dilapidated buildings.

The 13 brand new Toyota Jeeps are for our judges purposely for the progress of judicial activities in Osun.”

In his remarks, the Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo, commended the governor for fulfilling his promises to the judiciary with the believe that such gesture would continue.

She, therefore, said that the vehicles would be used for judicial activities in the State.

Justice A.B. Abdulkareem, who delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries, commended the governor for fulfilling his promises. (NAN)

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Man in court for allegedly swindling businesswoman of N5m



The police on Friday arraigned a 31-year-old man, Stephen Samson, in an Area court in Mpape, Abuja for allegedly cheating a businesswoman of N5 million.

The police charged Samson, 31, with criminal conspiracy and cheating.

The Prosecution Counsel, Mr G.J. Ayanna told the court that the defendant was arrested and taken to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in the Office of the Inspector-General of Police.

He alleged that sometime in 2019, the defendant pretended to be the Managing director of Iconic Rime international Ltd where he approached Mrs Esosa Aroki of B25, Lokogoma Globe Estate, Abuja on a business proposal.

Ayanna said the defendant asked her to invest N5 million and promised her N8 million in 40 days.

He said after the defendant collected the money, he absconded and when the complainant tried to call, he refused to take his calls.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 97 and 322 of the Penal Code.

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

The Judge, Abdullahi Ogedengbe , admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N1.5 million with one reasonable surety in like sum.GL14 officer in the Civil Service.

He adjourned the case until July 3 for hearing.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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2nd LD Writethru: Burundi court upholds Ndayishimiye’s victory in presidential election




Burundi’s Constitutional Court on Thursday upheld the May 20 presidential poll results which showed Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling party as the winner.

Charles Ndagijimana, president of the Constitutional Court, dismissed the election irregularities reported by Burundi Catholic bishops and Agathon Rwasa, presidential candidate of the opposition National Council for Liberty party.

Ndagijimana said the reports were unfounded, adding that no reported irregularity can taint the results of the elections.

Ndayishimiye of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy won 68.72 percent of votes and Rwasa got 24.19 percent in the results announced by the country’s electoral commission on May 25.

Rwasa, who filed the case in the court on May 27, said he would appeal to the regional East African Community Court if the domestic court rejects his appeal.

The Burundian National Independent Human Rights Commission earlier said the elections were held in a “good and fair” manner.

The Constitutional Court ruling now paves way for Ndayishimiye to succeed current president Pierre Nkurunziza who has been in power since 2005.

Under the country’s new constitution promulgated in June 2018, the presidential term was extended from five to seven years and the president is allowed to serve two consecutive terms.

Ndayishimiye, born in 1968, was minister of home affairs and public security.


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General news

Oyo gets new Customary Court of Appeal President



Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde on Thursday swore in Justice Aderonke Aderemi as the President of the Customary Court of Appeal with a charge on people in positions of authority to always act with humility and “a sense of tomorrow”.

“Whatever position anyone occupies is only temporary. We must always know that tomorrow will come when you will be out and have to give an account,” Makinde said at the ceremony.

Makinde urged Aderemi to use the new position to ensure that justice was served and in a timely manner.

While congratulating the new officer, Makinde said that his appointment was a clear demonstration of the fact that the state government was committed to doing what was right “without any political or religious coloration or gender bias”.

“If you look at all the Justices here, they are women. If you also look at the first five officials of the government, two are women. That is how I really feel we should operate, because whatever position we are occupying is just temporary.

“I will leave my position as the governor of the state and your tenure will end one day, but I pray you will end well.

“I want to use you as a point of contact to officials and leaders occupying positions of authority. We must have that sense of humility and do what is right all the times.

“I don’t have any doubt that in your current position, not only will justice be served, it will be served in a timely manner. I wish you a successful tenure,” Makinde stated.

Speaking with newsmen, Justice Aderemi promised to put in her best to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

“I will put in my best as I have always done and continue to do my duty very well. I promise that cases will be attended to on time.

“My colleagues are working very hard and should continue to put in their best. We have a backlog of cases and shall deal with them on time.

To the Customary Court of Appeal, the issue of COVID-19 is a challenge because we have to find a way by which we are going to be sitting without feeling that we are not safe.

“Now, we are going to be scheming; we will be having a case at a time. We won’t be having too many lawyers or litigants in the court room, so that we will be able to observe social distancing very well.

“On rape cases, we will first of all have to get to increase the jurisdiction of the Customary Court of Appeal before we can deal them.

“As women judges, we have gone round the whole country, sensitising the people on what it means and the need to train our children.

“When you talk about rape, it could be the man or woman being raped. So, we take care of everybody. That is what I am going to do when we get there.” She said.

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S. African gov’t to appeal court ruling invalidating some lockdown regulations




The South African government announced on Thursday that it has decided to appeal a court ruling which declares some of its COVID-19 lockdown regulations invalid and unconstitutional.

The government will ask that its appeal be heard on an urgent basis so that it can obtain certainty on the regulations, spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement after a virtual cabinet meeting in Pretoria.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be joined in this appeal by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, according to Williams.

The cabinet wishes to assure the nation that all interventions introduced since the declaration of a state of national disaster in March 2020 by Ramaphosa have been directed primarily at saving lives, Williams said.

In implementing these interventions, the government has consistently consulted all sectors of society, as the fight against COVID-19 is a national effort that requires unity in action between the government and all South Africans, said Williams.

On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court ruled against the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in the country.

“Some of the regulations promulgated by the government simply did not meet the rationality test in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” the court said in its ruling.

The court suspended the declaration of invalidity for a period of 14 days, meaning that the current Alert Level Three regulations remain in operation for now so as to allow Dlamini-Zuma, in consultation with relevant ministers, to review, amend and republish the regulations with “due consideration to the limitation each regulation has on the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.”

Williams said that after obtaining legal advice and listening to numerous comments made by members of the legal fraternity in reaction to the judgement, “we are of the view that another court might come to a different conclusion on the matter.”

“While government appeals the court judgment, current regulations remain in force and we appeal and urge all our people to observe all the health protocols that have been put in place including washing of hands, social distancing, wearing of masks in public as well as screening and referral for testing where necessary,” Williams said.

She said the cabinet has approved the extension of the National State of Disaster by another month from June 15 to July 15.

The law allows for the National State of Disaster to last for 90 days which necessitates the extension, Williams said.


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Urgent: Burundian court confirms Evariste Ndayishimiye’s victory in presidential election




Burundian constitutional court on Thursday said it approved the results of last month’s presidential election, declaring ruling party’s presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye as the president-elect.

The court also rejected the first runner-up’s complaints filed to the court, which challenged the provisional results announced on May 25.

The provisional results released by the National Independent Electoral Commission showed Ndayishimiye from the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy won 68.72 percent of votes in the presidential election, followed by National Council for Liberty’s Agathon Rwasa who got 24.19 percent of votes.


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Edo: Court fixes June 17 for hearing of suit to bar Ize-Iyamu from APC screening 



A Benin High Court has fixed June 17, to hear the suit seeking to disqualify a governorship aspirant, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from participating in the All Progressives Congress (APC) screening of aspirants for its primary election.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ruling party has scheduled the primaries for the governorship ticket in Edo for June 22.

The presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Ahamioje, announced the date on Thursday, while adjourning the case instituted by Mr Benjamin Oghumu, the Chairman of APC in Ohrionmwon Local Government Area of Edo.

Oghumu is praying the court to stop the screening of Ize-Iyamu on the grounds that he was not a registered member of APC in the local government.

NAN recalls that the suit was initially lodged at the Abudu High Court but later transferred to the state High Court in Benin.

The case was transferred sequel to a petition that Justice Vestie Eboreime of the Abudu High Court had been induced to secretly issue an ex-parte order, restraining APC from screening Ize-Iyamu.

NAN reports that there was heavy presence of security personnel around the High Court premises following the tension generated by the case.

The security operatives, together with the state Traffic Management Agency, barricaded the major roads and restricted both human and vehicular movements in the area.

Some journalists, who arrived late for coverage, were barred from going into the court, until the intervention of the Court Registrar, Mr Idemudia Aziegbemhin.

Edited By: Sam Oditah/Donald Ugwu (NAN)






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Court sentences 2 drug traffickers to 6 months imprisonment each



Justice Dorcas Agishi of Federal High Court on Thursday sentenced two drug traffickers to six months imprisonment each.

Justice Agishi sentenced Mansir Usman, 34 and Nuhu Samuel, 27 after they pleaded guilty to being in possession of 106gm of cannabis sativa, 0.9gm of Dizapham and 1.4gm of Tramadol.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Counsel, Mr Uche Chukwu, said the offence is punishable under the provisions of Section 19 of NDLEA Act CAP N30 Law of FRN 2004 as amended.

Delivering judgment, Justice Agishi, warned the convicts against indulging in criminal acts, which she said would only destroy their destinies and put their family members in agony and pain.

“You should know that the offence you committed can earn you 25 years in jail but because you are first time offenders and you pleaded for Mercy, l sentence both of you to only six months with an option of fine of N50,000 each.

“If any of you is caught and brought before me again, you shall not enjoy this sort of mercy again but will face stiffer penalty. So look for better things to do to help your families order than hard drugs, ” she warned.

Earlier, the judge, expressed gratitude to God for keeping her alive alongside the staff and Lawyers in her court room from the deadly Coronavirus pandemic

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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