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Judiciary

Court sentences priest to 5 years in prison for defiling minor

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An Ado-Ekiti State High Court on Monday, sentenced A -53-year-old, priest, Gabriel Asateru, to five years in prison for defiling a minor.

The police charged Asateru with defilement.

The offence, contravened the provisions of Section 31 of the Child Rights Law Cap C7, Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria 2005.

Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde, held that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.

Abodunde also ordered the convict to pay N50,000 as fine as stipulated by the Child Rights Law, 2006.

The State Counsel, Mrs Ronke Odefola, told the the court the convict committed the offence on or about Dec. 23, 2016 at Ayebaju Street, Ifisin Ekiti.

She said that the convict, an Anglican Priest, defiled the  five -year-old when he visited her parents.

The accused was first arraigned in January 2018 and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

To prove the case, the prosecution called three witnesses from the office of the Department of Public Prosecution, exhibits tendered included a doctors report, defendants statements and other witnesses statements.

 

Judiciary

Man docked over alleged theft of lotto terminals worth N278,000

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A 43-year-old businessman, Obasi Ukpai, charged with allegedly stealing two lotto terminals valued at N278,000 was on Friday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

The defendant, who resides at Ikeja, was arraigned before a Magistrate, Mrs O.A.Aderibigbe, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

Ukpai, however, denied committing the offences and was admitted to a bail of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Aderibigbe said that the sureties should be gainfully employed and show evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government (LASG).

The Prosecutor, Insp. Mojirade Edeme, told the court that the defendant and one other person yet to be apprehended committed the offences in September.

She alleged that the defendant absconded with the terminals belonging to Golden Chance Lotto.

“The defendant obtained the terminals from the complainant and ran away with them to an unknown location without paying.

“Efforts made by the complainant to get the money or retrieve the terminals proved unsuccessful as the defendant refused to pick his calls.

“He was eventually arrested and handed over to the police,” the prosecutor said.

The alleged offences violate Sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Section 287 stipulates three years imprisonment for stealing, while Section 411 prescribes two years for conspiracy.

The case was adjourned until Dec. 13 for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Adeleye Ajayi
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Bus conductor in court over alleged damages, stealing of cell phones

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An 18-year-old bus conductor, Emmanuel Iwede, was on Friday brought before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing three mobile phones valued at N12,000.

The defendant, whose address was not stated, is being tried for damages, stealing and causing breach of peace.

The Prosecutor, ASP Clifford Ogu, told the court that the offences were committed on Nov. 21 at Ago-Owu area of Shogunle Oshodi in Lagos.

Ogu said that the defendant entered the compound of Mrs Esther Itabor at night, damaging a window net valued at N10, 000 and stole two Itel phones valued at N8,000.

The prosecutor also said that the defendant entered the apartment of Mr Francis Romanda and stole a Nokia phone valued at N4, 000.

Ogu said that the defendant was, however, caught while entering another apartment of Mr Sodiq Olaleye.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, contravened Sections 280, 308, 309 and 350 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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

The Chief Magistrate, Mr J. A. Adegun, admitted the defendant to a bail of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

Adegun, thereafter, adjourned the case until Dec. 27 for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

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Judiciary

House wife seeks divorce over unsettled differences

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A housewife, Amina Ahmad, on Friday in Kaduna dragged her husband, Uba Ibrahim, before a sharia court sitting in Magajin Gari, Kaduna State, seeking divorce over unsettled differences.

The petitioner, who lives at Marafa, Kaduna, through her counsel, Said Abdullahi, told the court that she could not continue living with Ibrahim because she did not want to disobey God.

Abdullahi also said that his client could no longer guarantee her respect for Ibrahim.

He told the court that his client was willing to pay back the N50,000 her husband paid as bride price about nine years ago.

The petitioner is seeking for the custody of their three children and N50,000 monthly for their upkeep.

The defendant, Ibrahim, a business man who lives at Mararaban Jos, Kaduna, prayed the court to adjourn the case for one week for him to resolve the problem with his estranged wife.

The Judge, Murtala Nasir, granted the defendant’s prayer and adjourned the case to Nov. 13 to report settlement.

Edited & Vetted By: Tajudeen Atitebi
(NAN)

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Judiciary

2 men charged with theft of wood worth N400,000

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Two farmers: Sunday Sobijor, 22,  and Peter Marcus, 35,  on Friday appeared before an Okitipupa Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ondo State over alleged forcibly entry into a farmland and stole logs of wood valued at N400,000.

 

The defendants whose addresses were not given are facing a three-count charge bordering on felony, trespassing and stealing.

 

The prosecutor, Insp. Ayodeji Omoyeigha, told the court that the defendants and others still at large committed the offences on July 7 at about 10:30a.m.

 

He said that the defendants on the date conspired to commit felony on a farmland along the Okitipupa-Irele Road in the Okitipupa Magisterial District.

 

He said that the defendants forcibly entered into a farmland where they stole some logs of wood worth N400,000 belonging to one Pere Arenibaro.

 

The counsel said that the offences contravened Sections 517, 81 and 390(9), Criminal Code, Cap.37, Vol.1, Laws of Ondo State 2006.

 

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.

 

The chief magistrate, Mr Dickson Ogunfuyi, admitted the defendants to a bail of N200,000 each and a surety each in like sums.

 

He said that each of the sureties must produce evidence of a year tax clearance paid to the state government.

 

He adjourned the case until Dec.23 for further hearing.

Edited & Vetted By: Peter Dada
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Drama as armed DSS operatives move to rearrest Sowore in court

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There was a mild drama at the court 7, Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, as armed operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) moved to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, Convener, #RevolutionNow protest, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, at the court premises.

The drama stared shortly after Justice Ijoema Ojukwu adjourned the trial continuation till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 for definite hearing.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Justice Ojukwu had, on Thursday, ordered the DSS to release Sowore and Bakare within 24 hours.

Ojukwu, who gave the order, also awarded a N100, 000 fine against the DSS over its delay to serve the defence counsel with the additional proof of evidence in the ongoing trial despite the court’s order to the effect.

The DSS had, on Thursday, complied with the court order by releasing the defendants and also paid the fine.

At the Friday’s sitting, the DSS Lawyer, Hassan Listen, SAN, told the court that the security agency had already complied with the order of the court.

He also hinted that based on the agreement between the parties, the matter adjourned till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 to enable the parties respond to applications filed.

Also, speaking, Counsel to the defendants, Femi Falana, SAN, confirmed that his clients were released to him on Thursday evening.

“My Lord, at about 5 o clock yesterday, I received a call from my respected colleague to send our lawyers to receive our clients.

“I am happy to tell you that our clients were released and the N100, 000 cost was also paid.

“On account of this, on behalf of our defendants, we wish to express our profound appreciation for your leadership and for standing up for integrity and for standing for the rule of law in Nigeria.

“I also thank my colleague for impressing it on their client to obey the court order.

“I hope my learned friend will allow the defendants to get their freedom notwithstanding the charges,” he told the court.

Justice Ojukwu, who commended the DSS for obeying the Court order, said everyone must be ready to allow the law to take its course irrespective of position one held.

“It is obvious that the DSS has demonstrated their commitment to rule of law.

“No one is above the law,” adding that those at realms of power must respect the rule of law.

“The DSS has earned the respect of Nigerians for this,” the judge said.

She then adjourned till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 for definite hearing.

The court registrar then called the next case for hearing and as everyone began to move out of the court premises, some officers of the DSS, numbering about 15, who had laid ambush for the defendants, started making their way towards Sowore and Bakare.

There was a stampede as the officers cocked their guns scaring people away.

Sowore and Bakare, however resisted being rearrested.

They ran back into the court premises as the action resulted in a commotion.

Justice Ojukwu quickly retired into her chamber.

Sowore, while speaking with the newsmen, said the ploy of the security agency was to kill him.

He said their action had shown that they had no respect for the law, the court and the citizens.

And as at the time of filing thus report, Sowore, Bakare and the DSS operatives are still at Court 7 as the action has stopped court proceeding for the day.

Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Sowore: We have not violated court order–DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS), on Thursday, said it did not violate the court order on the release of Omoyele Sowore, Convener, #RevolutionNow Protest, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.

Counsel to the DSS, Hassan Liman, SAN, made the remark in an interview with newsmen shortly after the Federal High Court sitting in the ongoing trial in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Sowore, alongside Bakare, is being charged by the DSS with treasonable felony, money laundering, among others.

NAN recalls that Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had, on Nov. 6, signed the release warrant of the defendants and ordered the DSS to make available all the necessary documents that would help to facilitate in the defence of the duo’s trial.

But on Thursday, Justice Ojukwu had condemned the security outfit’s attitude to court order, directing it to release Sowore and Bakare within 24 hours.

The judge then adjourned till Dec. 6 for trial continuation.

“I want to say once again that the DSS has not at any time refused or failed to comply with the court order.

“What we have done today is to go a step further to say that the DSS no longer want Mr. Sowore in their custody.

“That is what we are saying,” he said.

Liman explained that “when somebody is granted bail, he is expected to be released to the main person that has served as his surety.”

According to him, nobody, I repeat, has gone to the DSS to take Mr. Sowore and co. on bail.

“The court has made an order to release them forthwith.

“But the DSS has not refused, at anytime, to comply with court order

“And that is why the DSS filed an application today that they no longer want them in their custody,” he added.

Liman, however, assured that Sowore and Bakare would be released based on the order of the case and as soon as they meet the terms of bail condition.

“When you come tomorrow, you will know if that has been complied with or not,” he told the journalists.

Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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