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Court orders police to pay N15m families of 3 IMN members

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Killings

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, awarded the sum of N15 million against the Nigerian police over the alleged killings of three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgment, also ordered the National Hospital, Abuja, to immediately released the three corpses in its morgue.

Justice Taiwo while granting Reliefs A and C of the applicants, said each of the applicants must be paid a sum of N5 million as compensation for the killings.

The judge, however, did not grant the prayer that the Nigerian police should tender an apology in two national newspapers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the the Inspector General of Police is the 1st respondent while the medical directors of National Hospital, Abuja, and Asokoro District Hospital are both 2nd respondent in the four separate charges.

Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa, Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska and Askari Hassan were alleged to have been killed by agents of the first respondent on July 22, 2019 while on a peaceful protest to demand for the freedom of their Islamic Leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

While the bodies of Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa and Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska were alleged to have been deposited at National Hospital, Abuja, the body of Askari Hassan was alleged to have been kept in Asokoro District Hospital.

The  applicants, who are said to be brothers of the deceased in the suit, are Ibrahim Abdullahi, Ahmad Musa, Yusuf Faska and Said Haruna respectively.

However, throughout the duration of the court proceedings, the Nigerian police neither filed a counter affidavit nor send a lawyer for representation. 

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, awarded the sum of N15 million against the Nigerian police over the alleged killings of three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgment, also ordered the National Hospital, Abuja, to immediately released the three corpses in its morgue.

Justice Taiwo while granting Reliefs A and C of the applicants, said each of the applicants must be paid a sum of N5 million as compensation for the killings.

The judge, however, did not grant the prayer that the Nigerian police should tender an apology in two national newspapers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the the Inspector General of Police is the 1st respondent while the medical directors of National Hospital, Abuja, and Asokoro District Hospital are both 2nd respondent in the four separate charges.

Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa, Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska and Askari Hassan were alleged to have been killed by agents of the first respondent on July 22, 2019 while on a peaceful protest to demand for the freedom of their Islamic Leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

While the bodies of Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa and Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska were alleged to have been deposited at National Hospital, Abuja, the body of Askari Hassan was alleged to have been kept in Asokoro District Hospital.

The  applicants, who are said to be brothers of the deceased in the suit, are Ibrahim Abdullahi, Ahmad Musa, Yusuf Faska and Said Haruna respectively.

However, throughout the duration of the court proceedings, the Nigerian police neither filed a counter affidavit nor send a lawyer for representation. 

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

Details  later ……

Taiye Agbaje: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Judiciary

Lawyers back Supreme Court judgment on virtual court proceedings

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Some Lagos-based lawyers on Tuesday said the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of virtual court proceedings was influenced more by the exigencies of the moment.

They said that virtual court hearing have become a necessity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawyers made their views known in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria .

NAN reports that the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out a suit filed by the Attorneys-General of Lagos and Ekiti states challenging the legality of virtual court sittings.

In an unanimous decision, a seven-man panel led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour held that as at today, virtual court sittings are not unconstitutional.

NAN reports that Lagos State attorney-general had asked the Supreme Court to determine whether, having regard to Section 36(1), (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the use of technology by remote hearings of any kind, by the Lagos State High Court or any other courts in Nigeria in aid of hearing and determination of cases, is constitutional.

The Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) had given a directive to the heads of courts at the federal and state levels to adopt virtual court sittings.

A lawyer, Mr Osuala Nwagbara, told NAN that virtual court procedure was not unconstitutional because the Constitution provided for an aggrieved persons to ventilate their rights through the courts and for accused persons to be given facilities to defend themselves.

He, therefore, said virtual court hearing was a procedural way to ventilate such rights.

Nwagbara added that such a process did not rob any one of the right to be heard either in support of his claim, complaint or defence.

“Virtual court hearing has, in fact, become a necessity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On the contrary, not to devise a safe court proceedings now will amount to shutting people out of their rights to ventilate their grievances or defend themselves,” Nwagbara said.

He also said that the process did not make a complainant a judge in his own cause.

According to him, the process follows the age-long tradition that an unbiased and independent umpire, a judge, sits and resolves disputes or complaints.

“Whichever way one looks at the virtual Court hearing procedure, it is not unconstitutional,” he said.

Another lawyer, Mr Chibuikem Opara, said, “I think the Supreme Court’s judgment was influenced more by the exigencies of the moment than the constitution.

“In any event, it is better to apply the law liberally than to insist on rigid and sometimes harsh interpretations that will only result in hardship.

“These are unusual times and rigidity to the interpretation of extant provisions will only bring more hardship.

“I strongly believe that there is need to amend the constitution to expressly embody the judgment.”

Mr Chris Ayiyi, also a lawyer, said that the judgement was based on the condition at hand.

He, howeve, said that the face value of the judgement was correct but the cost effectiveness of the virtual Court sitting was not considered.

Ayiyi said that the apex court should have considered the cost of virtual proceedings on ordinary people.

“To this end, if you don’t have money, you cannot pursue your legal right, if it is infringed on.

“A review of the judgement will come when we, as a people, start experiencing lumpsided judgement,” he said.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Politics

Supreme Court judgment: Gov. Diri dedicates victory to God

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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has described Tuesday’s Supreme Court victory as God’s divine intervention in the affairs of his administration.

Diri said this at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa, at a brief thanksgiving service to celebrate the dismissal of a pre-election suit challenging his candidature in the Nov. 16, 2019, governorship poll.

Chief Timi Alaibe had in a suit challenged Diri’s emergence as governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the primaries held in September 2019.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that  top government officials and party supporters gathered at the service to thank God for the Supreme Court victory.

Diri, represented by the Deputy Governor,  Lawrence  Ewhrudjakpo,  dedicated the victory to God and called on Bayelsa people, including the opposition, to join hands with him in building the state.

He said that Bayelsa people could not afford divisive tendencies capable of jeopardising the efforts of the present administration to move the state forward.

Diri also expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court for its uprightness and incorruptibility in the dispensation of justice.

The judgment, according to him, has further rekindled the people’s confidence in the Judiciary.

“This victory again shows that power comes from God alone. We also want to thank God for giving us, mortal and sinful people, the opportunity to serve this state.

“As you are aware, there has been a lot of hype about this case. But we thank God, He has proved His supremacy over the affairs of men.

“You can see that even the elements are celebrating today. The showers of blessings are raining in Bayelsa.

“Right from the Federal High Court, Owerri, it has been the same song that Gov. Diri has no case to answer.

“The same song was repeated at the Appeal Court and now the final court in the land has also said he has no case.

“While we are basking in the euphoria of this victory, we want to use this opportunity to again call on all Bayelsans of all shades, colours, heights and dialects to join the prosperity administration to build our state.

“This is because together we can make progress than this division we are creating for ourselves,” he said.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the service, the governor’s wife, Mrs Gloria Diri, attributed the victory to God.

She noted that the victory would provide the much needed stability for her husband and his team to drive the properity agenda of his administration.

The governor’s wife assured the women of empowerment programmes and other dividends of democracy.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

 

 

 

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General news

Okowa congratulates Diri on Supreme Court victory

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated his Bayelsa counterpart, Gov. Douye Diri, on his victory at the Supreme Court.

Okowa, in a statement on Tuesday in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said that by the judgment, the Supreme Court had put to rest all contending issues on the governorship election in Bayelsa.

He said that the verdict of the apex court on the pre-election matter had concluded the legal battle on the governor’s candidacy on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform for the Nov. 19, 2019 governorship poll in Bayelsa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the AO ex court dismissed the appeal filed by a governorship aspirant on the party’s platform, Chief Timi Alaibe, challenging the emergence of Diri as the candidate in the election.

NAN also reports that the court declined to delve into the matter, citing lack of jurisdiction, as the issue was an internal affair of the party.

Okowa pointed out that the victory was for all parties, urging Alaibe, to sheathe his sword, as the future was still bright for him.

He urged the Bayelsa governor to reach out to all concerned, in order to have an all-inclusive government.

“Bayelsans, their friends and neighbours waited with bated breath for this judgment.

“My dear brother governor, your long walk to victory must not be taken for granted.

“You must reward the state with open, transparent and purposeful leadership because the people of Bayelsa can’t settle for less.

“Let me also appeal to my good friend, Chief Timi Alaibe and all other contenders, to join hands with the governor to develop Bayelsa to truly be ‘the glory of all lands’.

“It is only when leaders work together with same goal in mind that the state can accelerate its development.

“This judgment brings to an end all contests for the office of Governor of Bayelsa and governance can’t be pigeon-holed if it has to address the good of the people,” he said.

The Delta governor said that the judgement of the apex court on the matter was a victory for the nation’s democracy and a reaffirmation of the supremacy of the party in handling its internal issues.

He commended the judges at the apex court for refusing to delve into the matter.

“The ruling of the Supreme Court will go a long way in restoring the hope and confidence of Nigerian people on the sanctity of the judiciary,” Okowa said. .

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Foreign

German court says Tesla may not use term ‘autopilot’ in advertising

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Tesla went a step too far in using the term “autopilot” in advertising for its cars in Germany, according to a Munich court, which, on Tuesday, banned the United States e-car manufacturer from using that word.

The court also took issue with a number of other advertising statements used in connection with autonomous driving, coming down on the side of the German Agency to Combat Unfair Competition, which had issued a complaint against Tesla.

The organisation had complained that Tesla had given the impression, among other things, that its cars featuring driver assistance “could and should be able to drive autonomously by the end of 2019’’.

The cars neither had the technology needed to drive autonomously nor are they legally allowed to do so in Germany, leading the plaintiffs to claim the advertising was misleading.

The ruling is not yet final.

The agency is yet to decide whether to nonetheless make the ban immediately enforceable, which it could do by paying security of 100,000 euros ($114,000).

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Judiciary

Supreme Court: Gov. Diri, wife, deputy, others dedicate victory to God, again seek opponents’ partnership 

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The Bayelsa State Government House Chapel, ‘King of Glory’, was agog with praise to God on Tuesday over the Supreme Court’s judgment that re-affirmed Gov. Douse Diri’s election.

Mr Doubara Atasi, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.

NAN reports that the worship followed dismissal of the case filed by Chief Timi Alaibe challenging the candidacy of Gov. Douye Diri in the November 2019  Bayelsa Governorship election.

Diri, represented by his deputy, Mr Lawrence  Ewhrudjakpo, led members of the three arms of government in the state to dedicate the victory to God.

Diri, who described the victory as God’s divine intervention in the affairs of the ‘Prosperity Government’, called on all Bayelsa people,  including the opposition, to join hands with him in building the state.

He said that as a state in a hurry to develop, Bayelsa people could not afford divisive tendencies capable of jeopardising the efforts of the administration to move the state forward.

The governor also expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court for its uprightness and incorruptibility in the dispensation of justice, noting that the judgment had further rekindled the people’s confidence in the Judiciary.

His words: “We want to give all the glory, adoration, thanks and praises to God for what He has done for us again.

“This victory again shows that power comes from God alone. We also want to thank God for giving us, mortal and sinful people, the opportunity to serve this state.

“As you are aware, there has been a lot of hype about this case. But we thank God, He has proved His supremacy over the affairs of men.

“You can see that even the elements are celebrating today. The showers of blessings are raining in Bayelsa.

“Let me on behalf of the Miracle Gov. Douye Diri appreciate the uprightness of the Supreme Court and the determination and incorruptibility of the Judiciary.

“This is because right from the Federal High Court, Owerri, it has been the same song that he has no case.

“The same song was repeated at the Apoeal Court and now the final court in the land has also said he has no case.

“While we are basking in the euphoria of this victory, we want to use this opportunity to again call on all Bayelsa people of all shade, colours, heights and dialects to join the ‘Prosperity Administration’ to build our state.

“Because together we can make progress than this division we are creating for ourselves,” he said.

Wife of the Governor, Mrs Gloria Diri, read the only Bible lesson at the Thanksgiving service, tagged, “Spontaneous Praise for the Supreme Court Victory”.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the service, Mrs Diri attributed the victory to God, noting that it would provide the much needed stability for her husband and his team to drive the properity agenda of the present administration.

She assured the women of empowerment programmes and other dividends of democracy.

Earlier in his testimony, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Yenagoa, Chief Benson Agadaga, also lent his voice in appreciating God for revalidating His earlier miracle on Feb.13.

In a brief exhortation, the Chaplain, King of Glory Chapel, Bishop Doutimi Egbegi, enjoined everyone to acknowledge and trust God in all their dealings.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands man in State CID’s custody over alleged rape

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun on Tuesday remanded one Adeleke Abraham, 19, in the State Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) custody over alleged rape.

Ayeni ordered the remand of the defendant pending the consideration of his bail and adjourned the case until Aug.11, for mention.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, ASP Joseph Adebayo, had told the court that the defendant was facing a two-count charge of rape and indecent assault.

Adebayo said that the defendant committed the offences on June 29, around 9:30 a.m., at No. 2, Stadium Road, Ile-Ife.

The prosecutor said that the defendant unlawfully had carnal knowledge of a 14-year-old girl (names withheld).

He added that the defendant unlawfully and indecently assaulted a 14-year-old girl (names withheld).

According to him, the offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 31(1)(2) of the Child Rights Law of Osun State, 2007 and 360 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges of rape and indecent assault.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Babawale Omodogbe, applied for bail for the defendant in the most liberal terms and promised that his client would not jump bail, but would produce reliable sureties.

Magistrate A.A. Ayeni directed the prosecutor to duplicate the case file for submission at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs)in the Ministry of Justice for legal advice.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

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Judiciary

Alleged N700m EFCC fraud: APC guber candidate appears in court, case adjourned

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The Federal High Court sitting in Benin on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Sept. 19 Edo Governorship Election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and four others until Oct 15,

Justice Mohammed Umar adjourned the case to enable the counsels to file reply to the pending motions challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try the case.

The other defendants in the case include Chief Dan Orbih, estwhile State chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the state Chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony.

The defendants are being tried on charges bordering on alleged N700 million money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Although Justice Umar had,  on Thursday, June 18, validated the corruption charges against the defendants whose case had suffered setback on July 7 following the inability of  Ize-Iyamu to appear in court because of his ill health.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Ize-Iyamu arrived the court as early as 8:30 am., while his lawyer, Mr Charles Edosomwan (SAN), objected to the EFCC’s  Counsel, Mr Ahmed Imoovba’s request to continue with the case when the pending motions before the court were yet to be heard.

Edosomwan prayed the court to grant the defendants seven day’s extension of time to react to the EFCC’s motion on point of law in line with the rules of the court.

Imoovba and counsels to the other defendants did not oppose Edosomwan’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.

Similarly, Imoovba, in his own separate motion, sought for extension of time to file his reply to Edosomwan’s objection.

Justice Umar, after listening  to the submissions of both counsels, ruled that he had given all the parties seven days within which to file all relevant documents to court before commencement of its vacation on July 27.

Justice Umar adjourned the case until Oct. 15 for further hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the EFCC, in Suit No. 21C/ 2016, had filed an eight-count charge against the defendants over alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.

The EFCC further accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract awarded.

IMEL/ Á

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands man, 55, for allegedly raping 7-year-old

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A Kano Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday ordered the remand of a 55-year-old man, Abdullahi Haladu, at Goron Dutse Correctional Centre for allegedly raping 7-year-old girl.

The defendant, who lives at Unguwar Mahauta Gani Village, Kano, is facing a one-count charge of rape, contrary to Section 283 of the penal code.

The Prosecutor, ASP Badamasi Gawuna, told the court that Isa Uba of the same address reported the case at Sumaila Police Division, Kano, on June 29.

He alleged that on the same date at about 8p.m, the defendant deceived and lured the child into his room situated at Unguwar Mahauta and raped her.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against him.

Chief Magistrate Muhammad Idris adjourned the case until Aug. 31, for mention.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Judiciary

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court dismisses Timi Alaibe’s suit against Gov Diri’s candidacy

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The Supreme Court has dismissed Timi Alaibe’s appeal challenging the validity of the candidacy of Gov. Duoye Diri in the November 2019 election in Bayelsa.

Alaibe claimed he was the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

A five-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.

Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Alaibe that his case could not be categorised as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.

Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election but about an internal affair of the party.

 

Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

 

Diri was sworn in on Feb. 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

 

Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

 

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

 

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