Judiciary

Delta guber: Appeal Court reserves judgment in Ogboru’ suit

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Monday reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate Great Ogboru against the election of Ifeanyi Okowa as Governor of Delta.

A five-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyanwu, reserved judgment to a date that would be communicated to parties shortly after all counsel adopted and argued their brief of argument in the appeal.

Respondents in the appeal are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ogboru and his party, APC are seeking to upturn the decision of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which returned Okowa for a second term as governor of Delta State.

INEC had declared Okowa and PDP winner of the March 9 governorship election in Delta State, haven garnered majority of the lawful votes cast in the election.

But the appellants in a 37 grounds of appeal filed by their counsel, Nicholson Ichekor, asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the entire judgment of the tribunal on the grounds that the tribunal erred in law when it dismissed their appeal for lacking in merit.

The three man panel of the governorship election panel led by Justice Suleiman Belgore, had in September dismissed Ogboru and APC’s petition against the return of Governor Okowa on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove the cases of irregularities and malpractices claimed in their petition.

However in the appeal against the the decision of the tribunal, Ogboru and APC argued that the lower court erred in law when it relied on the issue of over voting instead of allocation of votes as canvassed in their petition to dismiss their petition.

The appellants in urging the court to nullify okowa’s election claimed that in some polling units, the total number of votes cast at the election exceeded the total number of voters who were accredited to vote, adding that there was non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act in relation to accreditation of voters.

However, in response to the appeal, Okowa and the PDP urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss Ogboru and APC’s appeal for being incompetent and unmeritorious.

In their brief of argument by Mr Damien Dodo ,SAN and Mr Akinlolu Kehinde , SAN for Okowa and PDP respectively, the respondents submitted that the appellants failed to prove their allegations of over voting and non compliance with the Electoral Act.

The respondents claimed that they have led cogent, credible and reliable evidence to show that they won the governorship election held on March 9 in Delta.

They submitted that the appellants on the other hand failed to prove how their claims of over voting and non compliance substantially affected the results of the election.

In adopting his brief of arguments, PDP’s lawyer, Kehinde SAN, faulted the claim of the appellants which they said was based on the smart card reader report.

“Regardless of the fact that the total number of accredited voters recorded on the smart card reader report is less than the total number of votes cast on the election day, the appellants have failed to prove their allegations of over-voting.

“The reliance of the appellants on the smart card reader report is fatal to their case and this Honourable Court is humbly urged to so hold and resolve this issue in favour of the 2nd respondent” Kehinde submitted.

In addition, the senior lawyer argued that appellants’ case at the tribunal was one of over-voting and noncompliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act on accreditation.

PDP further claimed that appellants failed to prove their allegations of over-voting and noncompliance with the Electoral Act polling unit by polling unit.

“The appellants failed to prove that the allegations of over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act substantially affected the result of the election”.

In an attempt to prove their case, the appellants called a total of twenty (20) witnesses and tendered a total of 4, 523 documents in evidence during the trial.

In defence of the petition, the 1st respondent called seven witnesses and tendered 94 Exhibits, while the 2nd respondent called three witnesses and tendered six Exhibits.

The 3rd respondent did not call any witness, but tendered two Exhibits.

But the tribunal in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the petition for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

According to the panel, the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds upon which the petition was brought against Governor Okowa. (NAN )

NEO/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Judiciary

2 men in court for allegedly damaging house foundation

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Two men, Olatunjoye Adelure, 52 and Inumidun Adeye, 59, on Friday appeared before an Okitipupa Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ondo State for allegedly damaging the foundation laid for a house.

The defendants — a tailor and a bricklayer — of unknown addresses, were standing trial in the court on a four-count charge bordering on misdemeanour, breach of peace, forceful entry and malicious damage.

The prosecutor, Insp. Ayodeji Omoyeigha, told the court that the defendants and one other still at large, on Oct. 26, around 10:30 a.m. at Lugboro Street, off Ode-Erinje Road in Okitipupa magisterial district, conspired to commit misdemeanour.

Omoyeigha said that the defendants conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by forcibly entering into a plot of land belonging to one Olatunde Temoju and maliciously damaged the house foundation, which cost N500, 000.

He said that the defendants committed offences contrary to Sections 517, 81, 82 and 451, Criminal Code, Cap.37, Vol.1, Laws of Ondo State 2006.

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

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Dickson Ogunfuyi, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N500, 000 each and a surety each in like sum.

He said that the sureties must present evidence of tax paid to the state government for one year.

Ogunfuyi adjourned the case until Dec. 30 for further hearing.

Edited by: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle

(NAN)

 

 

 

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Judiciary

2 charged with attempting to buy hemp with fake naira notes

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Two men on Friday appeared before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State for allegedly possessing N26,500 fake naira notes and attempting to use same to buy hemp at the Tejuosho Market, Yaba.

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The defendants – Sunday Uche, 24, and Patrick Chidiebere, 25-  are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and possession of forged bank notes.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, Sgt. Godwin Oriabure, told the court that the defendants committed the offences on Dec. 3.

According to him, the defendants tried to use fake 16 pieces of  N1,000 note and 11 pieces of fake N500 note, a total of N26, 500 counterfeited notes – to buy hemp from Tejuosho Market.

He said that when the hemp seller realised that the notes were fake, he drew the attention of a police officer patrolling the area.

“My lord, the Indian hemp seller was also arrested for possessing an illegal substance,” Oriabure said.

The alleged offences contravene Sections 411 and 372 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Section 411 stipulates two years’ imprisonment for conspiracy, while possession of forged bank notes attracts seven years’ jail term in line with the provisions of Section 372.

The defendants were, however, granted bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with two sureties in like sum.

The Magistrate, Mrs E.N. Ojuromi ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

She adjourned the case until Jan. 14, 2020, for mention.

Edited by: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ijeoma Popoola

(NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands man, 26, for stealing goods worth N1,710

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An Ota Magistrates’ Court in Ogun, on Friday, remanded a 26-year-old man, Afeez Alabede, in Abeokuta Correctional Centre for stealing goods valued at N1,710.

Alabede, who is of no fixed address, was arraigned on a charge of stealing, to which he, however, pleaded guilty.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Busarat Sulimon, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Dec. 12, at about 7.30 am., at No. 4, Salvation Street, Ota, Ogun.

She said that the defendant unlawfully entered the shop of the complainant, Oketunji Olajumoke, and stole three tins of crown milk, three tins of sardine, four sachets of Holandia milk, all valued at N1,580 and a cash of N130.

“The accused was caught by the neighbours and handed over to the police,” the prosecutor said.

According to her, the offence contravenes Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Law of Ogun, 2006.

The Magistrate, Mrs O. M. Awosanya, said that the defendant should be remanded in the Abeokuta Correctional Centre and adjourned the case till Jan. 8, for facts and sentencing.

Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni and

(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

 

 

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Judiciary

Police arraign man for allegedly stealing provisions worth N170,000

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The police, on Friday in Abuja, arraigned Rapheal Charles, in a Dutse Grade 1 Area Court for allegedly stealing provisions worth N170, 000.

The defendant, a resident of Sunape village in Bwari, was charged with criminal trespass and theft.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Prosecutor, Mrs Idowu Ojo, told the court that the matter was reported by Fidelis Eze at the Bwari police station on Nov. 1.

She explained that on Oct. 30, the complainant, who owned a provision store in Sunape village, closed his shop at about 8.30 pm. and went home.

Ojo said that Eze forgot something and returned to the shop only to meet the defendant inside his shop.

She further explained that during police investigation, it was discovered that the defendant had the shop key, which had got missing from the store sometime in May.

Ojo further said that the defendant had allegedly used the key to steal provisions, including cartons of noodles worth N170,000 from the shop.

According to her, the offences contravene Sections 348 and 287 of the Penal Code.

The Presiding Officer, Mr Suleiman Mohammed, however, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N100,000, with a surety in like sum.

Mohammed said that the surety must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

He, thereafter, adjourned the case till Dec. 16, for mention.

Edited by: Chinyere Bassey and

(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Judiciary

Job applicant remanded for allegedly robbing with toy gun

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An Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday remanded a 27-year-old job applicant, Jacob Odili, in the Kirikiri Correctional Centre, for allegedly robbing a man of  N70,000 cell phone, with a toy gun.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs O.A. Aderibigbe, who gave the order, did not take the plea of the defendant.

She said that Odili should be remanded  pending advice from the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Aderibigbe ordered the police to duplicate  the case file and send to the DPP for advice.

Odili, who resides at Igando, Lagos, was charged with  robbery and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Mojirade Edeme, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on Nov. 17, at Igando.

She said the defendant used a toy gun to rob the complainant,  Mr Adefehinti Adeyanju, of a cell phone.

He said that the defendant accosted the complainant, pointed the gun at him, demanded for his cell phone and threatened to shoot him if he would refuse to comply.

“For fear of not being killed, the complainant quickly surrendered his phone.

“But unknown to the defendant, the complainant knew him where he was living before; so, he went there to report to the community leaders.

“The defendant was eventually arrested but had sold the phone,” Edeme said.

The alleged offences violate Sections 287 and 296 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Section 287 provides for three years’ jail term for stealing while Section 296 prescribes 21 years’ imprisonment  for robbery.

The case was adjourned until Jan. 17, for mention.

Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/Ijeoma Popoola

(NAN)

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