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Judiciary

Court upholds Dapo Abiodun as APC Guber candidate

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Candidate

An FCT High Court, Apo on Thursday upheld the candidacy of Adedapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Ogun State in the Saturday governorship election.

The court dismissed the suit filed by an APC member in the state, AbdulRafiu Baruwa, praying the court to disqualify the APC candidate on the ground that he supplied false information to INEC in his Form CF 001.

Baruwa in the suit had asked Justice Olukayode Adeniyi to disqualify Abiodun from the governorship race for alleged concealment and deliberate refusal to supply details of his educational qualifications to INEC as require by law so as to escape punishment for infringement on the law.

The plaintiff claimed that APC governorship candidate claimed in 2015 senatorial election form for Ogun East to have graduated from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowi University, but in the 2019 governorship form, the candidate was said to have claimed to possess only secondary school education.

Plaintiff asserted that Abiodun deliberately concealed his university education because of his alleged non participation in the mandatory national youth service scheme for Nigerians who are 30 years and below as at the time if graduation.

He also sought another order of the court to replace Abiodun with one Jimi Lawal who was said to have come second in the primary election conducted by APC  for nomination of governorship candidate for Ogun State.

Delivering judgment, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, held that Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution can not be invoked to disqualify the APC candidate because participation in the NYSC scheme is not a condition for qualification for governorship election.

He also held that the failure to include university education in the Form CF 001 submitted to INEC by Abiodun cannot be used to nullify his nomination because of the provision of the law that a minimum qualification of secondary school is required.

Justice Adeniyi said that there was no consequences for Abiodun with his refusal to give details of his university education, adding that the case of the plaintiff is an academic exercise which has no bearing with qualifications for governorship election under the constitution of the country.

The judge, therefore, held that the case of the plaintiff was unmeritorious and consequently dismissed it.

Among others, Justice Adeniyi held that the Abuja high Court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit because the fact that brought about the case all emanated in Abuja while the suit was not statute Bar as claimed by the defendants.
ATO/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Domestic violence: British Council trains magistrates, judges in Lagos

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In an effort to reduce domestic violence in Lagos State, the British Council has trained about 100 magistrates and judges on Protection Against Domestic Violence Law.

The British Council organised the training through its Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme,  funded by the European Union.

The Lead Consultant for the training, Prof. Ayo Atsuwa, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, said that the training focused on the safety of vulnerable persons such as domestic servants, spouse, physically challenged and persons.

She said that the law had been there but had little or no effects on victims, as its provisions had yet to be explored for the safety of victims.

Atsuwa said that the involvement of many non-governmental organisations, human rights groups and civil societies in creating awareness against domestic violence showed that the menace was in the increase.

The don urged judges and magistrates to raise awareness on the law and ensure  safety.

She said that many people were facing challenges at home in the hands of those they would not want to expose, adding that the law allowed another person to bring  applications before the court on behalf of such victims.

Atsuwa said that counsellors, health service providers,  police, social workers, organisations or teachers could bring such applications in court provided they had the consent of the complainant.

She said that an application for the protection of a minor, mentally challenged and unconscious, who might be  unable to consent, would not need their consent.

The Coordinator of RoLAC in Lagos State, Mrs Ajibola Ajimakiwa, said that the two-day training was to build the capacity of justice stakeholders in the state to apply the provisions of the law.

Ajimakiwa said that the training was to build capacity toward increased application and utilisation of the provisions of the law, to resolve criminal cases and apply the newly signed practice direction.

She said that in spite of laudable achievements in implementing some provisions of the law, more would still need to be done.

“The reasons are largely due to public ignorance of the existence of the law and its protective nature and limited knowledge on the provisions of the law.

Lagos State Judiciary would be able to effectively understand the law itself and the guiding principles when presiding over cases of domestic violence in court, thereby advancing the implementation of the law,” she said.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Court dismisses suit to stop relocation of council secretariat

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An Ekiti High Court on Wednesday dismissed an interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the state government from moving the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government Council from Iye Ekiti to Eda-Oniyo Ekiti.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Oba Jonathan Adeleye Oni, Oniye of Iye Ekiti and Mr Elijah Kupolati, had in representative capacity for the community, filed the suit to stop the planned relocation of the council headquarters to Eda-Oniyo Ekiti.

Joined as respondents in the suit are: the governor of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Attorney-General and Oba Julius Awotola, the Eleda of Eda-Oniyo Ekiti.

At the hearing of the originating summons on Wednesday, Justice Adesodun Abiodun dismissed the application for interlocutory injunction.

“I have hesitations in holding that there is no merit whatsoever in this originating summons same is hereby dismissed with a sum of N250,000 as cost in the favour of the defendants.

He described the action as trying to obtain court judgment through the back door and re-litigating a matter already resolved by the Supreme Court.

The claimants were represented by Mr Taiwo Kupolati, while the first and second respondents were represented by Mr Olawale Fapohunda, Ekiti State Attorney-General.

Mr E.K Adetifa was counsel to the third respondent.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that the Supreme Court had on Friday Dec. 14, 2018 ended the 19-year legal dispute over the right location of the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

A five-man bench of the apex court had unanimously ordered the Ekiti State Government to immediately restore the headquarters of the local government to Eda-Oniyo from where it was relocated to Iye-Ekiti shortly after the state was created on Oct. 1, 1996.

The case began in the Ekiti State High Court with the suit filed in 1999 by the Eda-Oniyo Monarch, Oba Julius Awolola, challenging the relocation of the headquarters from his town.

The Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour-led bench of the Supreme Court had held that the establishment of the headquarters of the local government in Eda-Oniyo was backed by statute and could not be relocated elsewhere without the promulgation of a new law.

Reading the judgment of the panel, Justice Paul Galinje held that the act of the Ekiti State Government, three months after its creation, relocating the headquarters of the local government from Eda-Oniyo to Iye Ekiti “has no legal basis’’.

Ganlinje upheld the 2001 judgment of the Ekiti State High Court which affirmed Eda-Oniyo as the council’s headquarters and set aside the 2016 judgment of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal which had ruled otherwise.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Driver in court for allegedly stealing Toyota Hilux belonging to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources

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A 35-year-old man, Stephen Ndukwe, on Wednesday appeared in a Wuse Zone 6 Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, for allegedly stealing a Toyota Hilux belonging to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

The police charged Ndukwe, who resides at No. 35, Road IA, Federal Housing Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, with theft.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, M.O. Odor, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Feb. 11, at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Old Secretariat, Garki, Abuja, where the vehicle was parked.

Odor alleged that the Toyota Hilux pick-up had registration number FG 501 A25.

He said that the defendant during investigation admitted taking the vehicle to his former resident without authorisation.

Odor added that the offence contravened  the provisions of Section 289 of the Penal Code.

The Defence Counsel, Constance Akbadolu, prayed the court to grant his client bail in most liberal terms.

The Chief Magistrate, Linda Chidama, admitted the defendant  to bail in the sum of N500,000 with a surety in like sum.

She adjourned the case until Jan. 20, 2020 for hearing.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Alleged N3m NIHORT bribe: Court orders ICPC to produce all 4 suspects on Jan. 23,2020

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A High Court in Oyo State on Wednesday ordered the ICPC to produce all four suspects named in the alleged N3 million National Horticulture Research Institute (NIHORT) Ibadan, bribe case on Jan. 23, 2020 for arraignment.

The ICPC filed criminal charges against Ademola Idowu, former Director, NIHORT, former accountant, Isiah  Ajisafe, David Ikyobo and Messrs Sterling Designs and Associates Limited .

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the arraignment of the suspects, was stalled due to the absence of Ikyobo and Messrs Sterling Designs and Associates Limited .

Justice Munta Abimbola, said it was not procedurally right to arraign only two suspects when four people were charged for the same offence.

Abimbola, therefore, adjourned the case until Jan.23, 2020 for arraignment.

The ICPC charged the suspects with eight counts bordering on conspiracy and receiving N3 million as bribe from the institute’s consultants.

The prosecution counsel, Miss Abisola Bisi-Balogun, alleged that Idowu  collected N1.8 million while Ajisafe collected N1.2 million as bribes  to appoint Sterling Designs and Associates Limited as the institutes’ consultant.

She alleged that Ikyobo, being the director of the consulting firm, allegedly gave N3 million.

The prosecutor alleged that Idowu also transferred N5 million from the personal Emolument fund of the institute to the Vegetable Development Company Account on Nov.11,2008.

She said that the offence contravened the provisions sections 26, 10 (a)(II)  of  the Corrupt Practices and other Related  Offences Act 2000.

Edited by Philip Dzeremo/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Commercial driver in court for causing pedestrian’s death in Dei-Dei

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The police on Wednesday arraigned a commercial driver, Ojo Olabode, who allegedly killed a pedestrian on Zuba to Dei-Dei- expressway in a Chief Magistrates’ Court.

Olabode is charged with causing death by dangerous driving, over speeding and driving without due care for other users.

The prosecution counsel, A.A. Otune, told the court that offence contravened the provisions of  sections 27, 29 and 45 of the Road Traffic Act.

The prosecution alleged that the defendant who resides in Zuba, FCT, drove his Golf III car on Nov. 5, along Zuba to Dei-Dei expressway and knocked down one Augustine Ineku.

He added that Ineku who resides in Tungan Wakili, Zuba, sustained injuries on his neck and was rushed to General Hospital Kubwa.

“On arrival, the victim was confirmed dead by a doctor at the hospital,’’ he said.

The defendant denied the allegations against him.

A mild drama, ensued in court when the deceased’s younger , Victor, told the court that the family of the deceased does not want tjhe matter to continue.

But in a swift response, Magistrate A.A. lllelah, told him that it was the duty of the government to protect lives and property of the citizens.

Illelah added that the brother to the deceased was not a party to the case and advised him to approach the court properly.

The defence counsel, V.O. Obeja, applied for the bail of the defendant pursuant to section 162 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act.

He added that the defendant will not jump bail, when granted bail and he will not prejudice police investigations on the matter.

In his ruling in the bail application, lllelah, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum one million naira with two sureties in the like sum.

He adjourned the matter until Jan. 13, 2020 for hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Driver in court for causing woman’s death, reckless driving

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The police, on Wednesday arraigned a driver, Abdulfasasi Alumoko,who allegedly drove a car recklessly and killed a woman, in a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Zuba, Abuja

The prosecution counsel, A.A. Otune, told the court the defendant, who resides in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT, drove his Toyota Sienna on the Lagos Park in Zuba and knocked-down a motorcyclist with his passenger.

He added that Mrs Shafaú Abdullahi, the passenger, sustained injuries as a result of accident and was rushed to Living Rock Hospital Zuba for medical attention.

The prosecution alleged that on Nov. 6, the victim of the accident (Abdullahi) died while receiving treatment as a result of the accident.

The prosecution said that the deceased has since been buried according to Islamic rights.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.

The defence counsel, V.O. Obeje, applied for his client’s bail, pursuant to Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and Section 36 sub section five of the 1999 constitution.

He added that the defendant was already on Police administrative bail and urged the court to exercise its discretion in favor of the defendant.

The prosecution counsel (Otune) did not object to the bail application.

In his ruling, the Magistrate A.A. Illelah, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of one million naira with two sureties in the like sum.

He ordered hat the sureties must have reasonable address within the jurisdiction of the court.

Illelah adjourned the matter until Jan. 13, 2020 for hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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