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Judiciary

Court remands 4 in prison custody for allegedly strangling woman to death

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An Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ Court, Ibadan, on Tuesday ordered that four men, accused of strangling a woman to death be remanded in Agodi Prison, pending legal advice.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Emmanuel Idowu, who did not take the pleas of Dotun Ogunlade, 24; Mutiu Ayorinde, 32; Samuel Ayorinde, 34; and Kehinde Imole, 27, ordered the police to return the case file to the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecutions ( DPP).

Idowu, thereafter, adjourned the case until July 23, for mention.

The Prosecutor, ASP Amos Adewale, told the court that the defendants allegedly conspired to commit the offence.

Adewale said, “On May 29, at 10 p.m., Ogunlade, Ayorinde and Imole allegedly caused the death of Mrs Bosede Oguntunde, 25, by strangling her to death.

“The deceased, a married woman from Ilorin, was alleged to have been a Facebook friend to Ogunlade, a prophet, who invited her to his Igboora residence over her marital problem.

“On her arrival at Ogunlade’s residence, he allegedly gave her an overdose of sleeping drugs and strangulated her to death; and later cut off her head, two hands and burnt them for money ritual,” said Adewale.

He said the first defendant and his cohorts allegedly buried her stump in a shallow grave.

Adewale said the offence was committed in Ogboja area, Igboora, Oyo State.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 316 and 324, and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Law of Oyo State 2000.

Judiciary

Father docked over alleged cruelty to his baby

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The police, on Wednesday, arraigned one Mr Livingstone Okpezi in a Karshi Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, over alleged cruelty to his child

The defendant, who resides at Angwan Sarki Orozo, Abuja, pleaded not guilty to one count of cruelty to a child. 

Earlier, the prosecutor, Mohammed Lawal, told the court that the complainant, Nwabeke Ginika , who lives in Orozo, Abuja, reported the matter at the Karshi Police Station on Oct. 21.

baby at a motherless babies home.

defendant threatened to cut the baby into two.

The prosecution counsel said the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 238 of the Penal Code.

The judge, Isa Anas, admitted the defendant to bail  in the sum of N200, 000  with one  surety in like sum.

Anas adjourned the case until Dec. 16, for hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Lagos State Judiciary Staff Union elects new exco

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The Lagos State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on Tuesday night elected new executives to run its affairs for the next four years.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the election which took the form of party politics had two teams-  Omoluabi Team and Pillars Team – vying for executive positions.

Judiciary staff from all over Lagos State thronged the premises of the Ikeja High Court at 3.00p.m. to cast their votes. Voting  ended at 7.45p.m. after which counting of votes began.

Mr Kehinde Shobowale of Pillars Team was declared the winner of the election after polling 388 votes to become the new Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of JUSUN.

He narrowly defeated Mr Taofeek Gbadebo of the Omoluabi Team, who got 382 votes.

Addressing the judiciary staff at the event, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Aloba, praised the peaceful conduct of the election.

The chief judge, who was represented by Mr Sanusi Kamar, Director of Finance and Human Resources of the Lagos State Judiciary, pledged support for staff of the Lagos State Judiciary.

He urged them to work hard and pursue excellence in their various fields, promising that their welfare would remain important to the judiciary.

In his acceptance speech, the new JUSUN Chairman, Shobowale, promised not to let down the judiciary.

Shobowale said that he would work hard to deliver all his electoral promises.

NAN reports that Mrs Adenike Ogunnaike was elected the union’s Vice-Chairman, while Mrs Olorunfunmilayo Oloyede emerged the Treasurer.

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa/Ijeoma Popoola

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Judiciary

Alleged P&ID scam: Court refuses to grant adjournment in trial of Briton

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, overruled the British national, James Nolan, on his application for adjournment over inability of his counsel to prepare for his defence.

Justice Abang, who overruled Nolan, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, to call his first witness.

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.

Earlier, the EFCC’s counsel had told Justice Abang that since the matter was slated for trial, the anti-graft agency was ready to commence the trial.

The lawyer told the court that he was in the court with two witnesses.

However, Nolan’s Counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, told the court that he had already briefed the prosecution about the difficulty he faced in preparing for the trial.

He said the Nolan was being held at Kuje Correctional Centre where they were allowed access to him twice a week.

According to him, and on each visit, we are allowed only 15 minutes.

The lawyer attributed this to the fact that there were lots of persons awaiting trial at the correctional center who all need to be visited by their counsel and families.

He said it was disheartening that all these persons received their visitors at once without any privacy, besides the time constraint.

“Again, the visitors are supervised by prison officers. So the time for proper communication is nit there,” Erokoro said.

He lamented that the development had made it difficult for him to prepare for the trial.

Erokoro also hinted that his application for bail variation for Nolan was before the court.

He urged Justice Abang to grant the request.

However, Justice Abang dismissed the prayer for adjournment and ordered the EFCC to present the first witness, one Mr Agunbiade Adewale Akinseye, an account officer with Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).

Details later…

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Judiciary

Bus purchase probe: Ambode’s suit incompetent, lawmakers tell court

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Lawmakers probing former Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos over purchase of 820 buses as part of the Bus Reform Project of the state, on Wednesday said the suit he filed against them was incompetent.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the lawmakers, represented by Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), also told an Ikeja High Court that it did  not have the jurisdiction to hear the suit.

They are also opposing the injunction Ambode seeks to restrain them from probing him.

“We have filed a notice of preliminary objection, highlighting the incompetence of this suit.

“We are as well challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

“We also filed a counter-affidavit and a written address for the claimant’s motion for an interlocutory injunction,’’ Pedro said.

He noted that Mr Tayo Oyetibo, counsel to Ambode, filed a written reply on points of law to the lawmakers’ motion, challenging the injunction, as well as a written address in opposition to the preliminary objection.

Responding, Oyetibo confirmed receiving all the processes served on the claimant by the respondents.

He said that Ambode had also responded to the processes.

“We have, however, not been served with any defence my lord, as there is nothing to defend,’’ Oyetibo said.

Following the submission, Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the suit for hearing.

“This suit is adjourned to Jan. 16, 2020, for hearing,’’ the judge said.

NAN reports that Ambode had instituted the civil suit against the state House of Assembly, its Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, and the House Clerk, Mr A.A. Sanni.

Other respondents to the suit are Mr Fatai Mojeed, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee set up by the House to probe the procurement of the buses, and eight members of the committee.

The members of the Ad-hoc committee are Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, Mr A.A. Yusuf, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, Mrs Mojisola Meranda, Mr M.L. Makinde, Mr Kehinde Joseph, Mr Temitope Adewale and Mr Olanrewaju Afinni.

Ambode seeks an injunction restraining the lawmakers from compelling him to appear before them pursuant to a resolution passed by House of Assembly on Aug. 27 as well as any other resolution passed in respect of the probe.

The former governor seeks a second injunction restraining the respondents from representing or continuing to represent to the public that he procured 820 buses in breach of budgetary approval.

The claimant wants a court declaration that the powers of the National Assembly under Sections 103, 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, does not include the power to indict him as contemplated by Sections 66(1)(h), 137(1)i and 182(1)i of the Constitution.

Ambode also seeks a court declaration that the provisions of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 of the Appropriation Law of Lagos State, 2018, requiring the approval of the House of Assembly before certain expenditure of money is incurred by the executive arm of the state government is not in accordance with constitutional provisions.

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/Ijeoma Popoola

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Printer in court for allegedly stealing 9 laptops worth N1.5m

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A printer, Hakeem Okeowo, on Wednesday appeared in a Grade I Area Court in Mpape, Abuja for allegedly stealing nine laptops, worth N1, 5 million.

The police charged Okeowo, 41, who lives in Piwoyi Area of Abuja with criminal trespass and theft.

The Prosecutor, Mr Stanley Nwaforaku, told the court that the defendant criminally trespassed into  Royal Family Academic school, located in the premises of Family worship Church, Wuye district Abuja on different occasions and stole nine laptops valued at N1.5 million.

He alleged that the defendant was caught in the act in a CCTV  footage.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of  sections 348 and 288 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 N1, 000, 000 million with one reasonable surety in like sum.

He adjourned the case until Nov. 27 for hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Alleged destruction of evidence : Court adjourns until Jan. 27,2020 for Metuh’s defence

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An FCT High Court, Maitama, on Wednesday fixed Jan. 27, 2020 for  Olisa Metuh, a former PDP spokesman,  charged with criminal destruction of evidence to open his defence.

Metuh was arraigned alongside his company, Desita by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) in January 2015 on two-count charge bordering on alleged destruction of evidence.

The case slated for commencement of defence on Wednesday was further adjourned at the instance of the court.

The counsel on the matter were all present, the defendant, Metuh was also present but the court did not sit and date was agreed on by all the parties.

The judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, on Oct. 17 , in his ruling on the no- case- submission filed by Metuh , ordered him to enter defence .

He said a prima facie case was established against him by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Sylvanus Tahir.

Bello said that the “view of this court” after reviewing arguments by parties, “is that the application for a no-case -submission is lacking in merit. It is hereby dismissed.”

He thereby ordered Metuh to enter his defence and adjourned the trial until Nov 20 for the defendant to open his defence.

Metuh’s counsel, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had on Oct. 10, 2017, told the court that they would enter a no-case submission at the close of the prosecution’s case.

Arguing in the no-case submission, Ikpeazu had told the court that the prosecution had not established any case to warrant the defendant to be called to enter his defence.

He said that the application was in pursuant to the provisions of Sections 302 and 357 of ACJA.

The counsel added that the defendant had a constitutional liberty and could not be prosecuted where he either refused to make a statement or withdraw any part of his writing in the course of making a statement.

Ikpeazu said that the defendant also had a right to cancel any part of his statement voluntarily.

He reminded the court that the charge by EFCC was that Metuh destroyed his statement and obstructed EFCC officials by willfully tearing his statement.

Ikpeazu argued that a piece of paper not signed did not qualify as a statement by the defendant, and urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendant.

However, the prosecuting counsel Mr Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to establish whether or not a prima facie case had been made against the defendant

Tahir added that cancellation was different from tearing which was obstruction, and prayed the court to call upon the defendant to enter his defence. (NAN )

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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