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Judiciary

Court remands driver for stabbing man with a knife

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A Karmo Grade I Area Court Abuja, on Monday ordered that a 24-year-old driver, Chinedu Agba, who confessed to stabbing a man with a knife, be remanded in prison, pending sentencing.

The Judge, Alhaji Inuwa Maiwada, adjourned the case until Sept. 9, for sentencing, after Agba pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Ijeoma Ukagha, told the court that the matter was reported on Aug. 20 at Utako Police Station, Abuja, by Chidera Chima of Jabi Park.

Ukagha said that Agba bought vehicle spareparts valued at N3, 000 from the complainant’s shop and refused to pay him.

She said that Agba stabbed Chima on his right arm during an argument over payment.

The prosecution counsel, said that Chima sustained grievous injury and was taken to the Gwarinpa General Hospital where he was treated.

She said that the complainant spent N45, 000 for his treatment.

The offence, she said,  contravened the provisions of Section 247 of the Penal Code.

Judiciary

Court sentences man, 21, to 8 months community service for assaulting IBEDC staff

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An Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday sentenced a 21-year-old man, Ashonila Victor, to eight months Community Service for assaulting a staff of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) who was discharging his duty.

 

Victor, who resides at Iporo Asalu Community Idi-Aba area in Abeokuta pleaded not guilty to the charge.

 

The Magistrate, Mr Olakunleyin Oke sentenced Victor after he was found guilty of a count charge of assault.

 

Oke held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubts that the convict was guilty of the offence.

 

He noted that the rate of assault on IBDC officials was becoming rampant, saying that he would have sentenced the defendant to the correctional centre as his punishment.

 

Oke said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the convict would not be sentenced to the correctional centre but be giving community service

 

He, however, sentenced the defendant to eight months to engage in community service and also to pay N30,000 as  compensation to the IBEDC staff assaulted.

 

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Olu-Balogun Lawrence, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Jan. 2, at Iporo Asalu Community of Abeokuta.

 

Lawrence said that the defendant punched one Craig Damilola on his face and mouth, causing him bodily injuries.

 

He said that the complainant who is an IBEDC staff, went to the house of the defendant to investigate allegations that the defendant by-passed his prepaid metre.

 

He said while the IBEDC staff was trying to disconnect the light, the defendant attacked  the complainant with blows to his face and mouth and also released dogs on them.

 

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 355 of the criminal code laws of Ogun 2006.


Edited By: Joseph Edeh and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Judiciary

Appeal Court reserves judgment in Oyo LG leadership tussle suit

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday reserved judgment in a suit filed by the Oyo government challenging a court order not to dissolve the 33 local government chairmen and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Oyo State Government appealed against the Judgment of the High Court delivered on May 6, 2019 by Justice Aderonke Aderemi ordering the state government not to dissolve the elected 33 chairmen  and 35 LCDA in Oyo State.

NAN reports that inspite of the judgment, Gov. Seyi Makinde dissolved the 33 LG chairmen and 35 LCDA in the state immediately after his inauguration on May 29,2019. and appealed against the judgment.

The three-member panel of appeal judges chaired by Justice Jimi Bada on Wednesday, reserved the judgment after hearing arguments of counsel in the suit.

Bada further said that judgment date would be communicated to the respective counsel.

Earlier in his argument, counsel to the Oyo State Government, Kunel Kalejaye, SAN, said the lower court has not jurisdiction to here the case because it was premature as at the time the case was filed.

Kalejaye said that the chairmen filed the suit at the lower court based on a rumour they heard that Makinde would dissolved them after his swearing-in on May 29,2019.

He said that the case was filed at the lower court  and judgment obtained by the respondents before they were disolved.

Kalejaye urged the court to dismiss the judgment of the lower court and uphold the appeal.

In his arguments, Counsel to the respondents, Yusuf Ali, SAN said that the action cannot be termed immature because the law allows a person to approach the court when such person noticed that his right would  been threatened.

Ali said that the law always protecting the right of any individual and only an irresponsible person would wait for his eye to be plugged after noticing that such thing was about to happen.

He urged the court dismissed the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower court to prevent such action from happening in future.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

4 men in court over alleged cultism, breach of peace in Ogun

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Four men on Wednesday appeared in a Magistrates’ Court in Ota, Ogun State over alleged cultism and breach of peace.

The police charged Akeem Ishola, 29, Afeez Lawal,31, Mutiu Tijani,20, and Oluwole Emmanuel,22 whose addresses were not provided with two counts of  conspiracy and membership of an unlawful society.

The prosecution counsel, Insp. Abdulkareem Mustapha, told the court that the defendants and others at large, committed the offence on May 12 at about 7.35 p.m. at the Oando Gasline, Ijoko in Ota.

Mustapha alleged that the defendants and their accomplices belonged to a secret cult called, “Eiye Confraternity”.

He alleged that the defendants conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by creating fear in the minds of the public.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 63 and 516, of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun, 2006.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Senior Magistrate S.O. Banwo admitted the defendants t bail in the sum of N150, 000 beach with two sureties each in like sum.

Banwo ordered that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and should be gainfully employed with evidence of tax payment to Ogun government.

The magistrate adjourned the case until June 22 for trial.


Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Foreign

French court to rule on extradition of Rwanda genocide suspect Kabuga

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A key suspect in the 1994 Rwandan genocide was on Wednesday due to hear whether he is to be handed over to an international court.

Felicien Kabuga, born in 1933 or 1935, was tracked down to an apartment in a Paris suburb last month after more than 20 years on the run.

A United Nations court wants to try him on charges including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors allege that he chaired a radio station that orchestrated killings and that he was involved in setting up a genocidal militia in the capital, Kigali.

More than 800,000 Rwandans, members of the Tutsi ethnic group and moderate Hutus, who tried to protect them, were killed in the genocide.

Kabuga appeared before the Instruction Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal in a wheelchair last week for a procedural hearing.

He denounced the accusations against him as “lies” and pleaded to be released on bail as he was “very sick’’.

If the Paris court approves his extradition to the custody of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, he can appeal to France’s top court, the Court of Cassation.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

 
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Foreign

S. African court declares lockdown regulations “unconstitutional”

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A South African court ruled on Tuesday that the COVID-19 lockdown regulations in the country are “unconstitutional” and “invalid.”

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

The court gave the government 14 days to amend and republish the regulations to avoid infringing on people’s rights.

The court decision followed an application by the Liberty Fighters Network, which asked the court to declare the national state of disaster, established under the Disaster Management Act, “unconstitutional and unlawful.”

South Africa imposed the lockdown on March 27 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was lowered from level five to level four on May 1, and again eased to level three on June 1.

Critics said some of the lockdown regulations such as the ban on alcohol and tobacco products, the shutdown of business and strict restrictions on people’s movement “violate the rights of almost every citizen in the country.”

In response to the ruling, the government said in a statement it will study the judgement.

“Cabinet will make a further statement once it has fully studied the judgement,” the statement said.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Port Harcourt DisCo decries N2.5bn revenue loss over meter bypass

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The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) says it is losing about N2.5 billion monthly due to meter bypass and vandals in four states.

The states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers.

PHED Managing Director, Dr Henry Ajagbawa, disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, while making clarifications on the alleged sack of 120 workers in the company.

According to Ajagbawa, the revenue loss affects the company’s efforts to expand its facilities in the four states it operates.

“We urge customers to be fair to us and stop tampering with our meters as it is called energy theft.

PHED is losing about N2.5 billion out of N4.5 billion monthly projection to meter bypass and activities of vandals. These challenges are affecting our operations.

“The only way we can survive and improve on our services is when customers pay their bills and stop bypassing their meter,” he said.

The managing director said the company would soon commence mass disconnection and arrest of residents to recover the lost revenue.

He urged the National Assembly to propose and pass a bill that would criminalise and punish offenders caught in the act.

Ajagbawa said that in spite of massive metering of homes in the four states, the company’s revenue portfolio had yet to improve.

“So, we need legislation to criminalise energy theft and vandalism of electricity facilities. People should learn to pay for energy consumed.

“If the government criminalises this practice and makes the consequences severe, definitely, we will have it better in the country.

“To this end, we have disciplined our staff, who were involved in these corrupt acts. We are taking drastic steps to stop corruption among the staff and customers,” he added.

Ajagbawa said the company needed about N40 billion to meter customers in the four states it covered.

He, however, insisted that PHED did not retrench 120 workers, an allegation made by the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC).

He further said that PHED management had at no time signed any sack letter, saying the company paid staff salaries up to May.

“Also, I want to use this medium to say that I am in good working relationship with the Rivers Government in spite of my arrest (by state government task force during the COVID-19 lockdown).

PHED commends the Rivers Government for its construction of some electricity distribution centres aimed at boosting electricity supply in the state,” Ajagbawa said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged falsehood: Court strikes out suit, discharges Dino Melaye

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Justice   Olasumbo Goodluck of an FCT High Court, Maitama on Tuesday discharged Sen. Dino Melaye who was accused of providing false information to the police.

The  Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) charged Melaye with two counts of giving false information to the police.

Delivering a ruling in a no-case -submission filed Melaye, Justice  Goodluck held that on count one, there is no evidence that the defendant gave false information to any person in public service.

She also described the evidence given by PW1 (Onoja) as “vague”.

The judge said:” neither of the two witnesses elicited evidence on the status of Mohammed Abubaker Audu.”

“Hence, there is lack of evidence on the nature of the status of employment or if at all he is employed not to talk of him being engaged in public service,” she said.

“I am also inclined to allude to the submissions of the defence counsel that there is no statement before the court allegedly made by the defendant to one who is in the public service.

“This being the case, the first ingredients of the offence upon which count one is predicated has not been proved to the court.

“Similarly, the second element of the count has not been proven by the prosecution”.

Goodluck held that the prosecution failed to present the audio recording of the conversation between the former Maleye and Audu, nor was an audio expert engaged to the ascertain the identities of the persons in phone conversation.

She further held that no staff of Sahara reporters, the online medium which allegedly released the audio conversation, was called to testify.

The judge also held that no investigative police officer was called to prove that indeed a report was lodged against the defendant.

“It is no longer uncertain that a court does not rely on speculations and suspicions from any material evidence.

“No audio recording of the telephone conversation between the defendant and Mohammed Abubakar was presented at trial.

“All we are left with is the hearsay evidence of the existence of the statement as recounted by the witnesses.

“Besides, the prosecution failed to call in evidence, the Sahara reporter to establish through his staff that the Sahara Reporters recorded a telephone conversation involving the defendant and another.

“In effect, there is no credible and cogent evidence of any Sahara Report’s recording before this court.

“In the light of the fore going consequences, I am of the view and will so hold that the defendant ought to be discharged as there is no reason to convict him in the circumstances.

“He is accordingly discharged on account of the fact that the no-case-submission succeeds” Goodluck held

NAN reports that Melaye’s Counsel Mr Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN, filed a no-case-submission when the prosecution closed their case.

Melaye was alleged to have in April, 2017, deliberately given false information to police to incriminate David Onoja, then Chief of Staff to Kogi State governor, as masterminding an assassination attempt on him.

He was also alleged to have given false statement of facts in a phone conversation with Mr Mohammed Abubakar, son of former governor of the state, Abubakar Audu, with the intention of harming the reputation of Onoja.

He, however, denied committing the offence punishable under Sections 140 and 393 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963. (NAN)


Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

 


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Judiciary

Court orders release of Orji Kalu from prison

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A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, granted a motion by a former Governor of Abia,  Orji Uzor Kalu, seeking his release from the Kuje Prison custody.

Justice Mohammed Liman before who the applicant’s motion was pending, granted the prayer of applicant, and ordered the release of Kalu, from prison.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kalu was sentenced to 12 years for N7.2billion fraud belonging to Abia.

The verdict was handed down by Justice Mohammed Idris on Dec. 5, 2019, while his co- defendant, Jonnes Udeogo had bagged a 10 years jail term.

NAN reports that Justice Idris who delivered the verdict , had been ceased of the case from the time of Kalu’s arraignment, but he was subsequently, elevated to the court of appeal.

However, following a fiat authorising him to continue with the case, Idris conducted and concluded the trial of Kalu and his co-accused.

He, had consequently, delivered his verdict on Dec. 5, 2019 handing down a jail term of 12 years and 10 years, on Kalu and Udeogo respectively.

Following an appeal by Udeogo, the Supreme Court had on May 8, held that the fiat issued to Justice Idris to conclude the trial of the defendants after he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal was “a nullity”.

The apex Court had set aside Idris’ verdict “as it relates to the appellant (Udeogu)”, and had ordered Udeogu’s freedom and the re-trial of his case

In reaction to the decision of the apex court, Kalu consequently, hired a 12 man team of lawyers, including six Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, to prosecute his freedom bid.

In his motion, Kalu contended that no legal basis existed for his continued incarceration following the Supreme Court’s judgment which declared his trial a nullity and freed Udeogu

He had filed the motion on May 12 asking the court to nullify his conviction, while the court reserved the case for June 2 (today)

In his ruling, on Tuesday, Justice Liman held that the motion was meritorious and that he was bound by the judgment  of the Supreme Court.

He, consequently, ordered the immediate release of Kalu from the Kuje Correctional Centre where he is currently being detained.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Osun court remands man over alleged threat to life

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun on Tuesday remanded one Joseph Patrick, 30, in police custody over alleged threat to life.

The Prosecutor, Insp Sunday Osanyintuyi, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on May 25 at about 12:45 pm on Aladanla Street, Ile-Ife.

Osanyintuyi alleged that the defendant and others now at large threatened to kill one Joseph Orji with a cutlass.

According to him, the offences contravened Sections 86 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of conspiracy and threat to life.

The Defence Counsel, Mrs Fausat Lawal, applied for bail for  his client in the most liberal terms, pledging to provide reliable sureties.

Magistrate Joseph Owolawi, however, declined to grant bail and ordered the defendant’s remand at ‘A’ Division Police Station in Moore, Ile-Ife.

Owolawi adjourned the case till Thursday for ruling on bail.

(
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)
)

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

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