Mr Mike Onyeka, Counsel for Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP) in his petition challenging the election of Sen. Orji Kalu (APC) for Abia North Senatorial District, said the petitioner had so far called 39 witnesses in the case.
Onyeka said this while briefing newsmen in Umuahia at the end of Tuesday’s proceedings in Panel II of the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.
He said that the petitioner called eight witnesses on Tuesday and had 10 more left to close his case.
He confirmed that the alleged missing exhibits, which forced the tribunal to adjourn last Tuesday, had been found intact and had been used for the purpose they were intended.
On his part, Kalu’s lead counsel, Mr Kelvin Nwufo (SAN), said that they were happy with the pieces of evidence by two of the petitioner’s witnesses which, he said, were in favour of APC.
Also, Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Kadizua Okoroafor, expressed confidence that the tribunal will help to ensure that justice was done in the petition.
Okoroafor said that it was not true that exhibits in the custody of the panel got missing last week.
He said that on the contrary, the exhibits were kept in a file which was not readily available at the time the petitioners counsel called for them.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has adjourned to Monday, July 29 for the petitioner to continue with his witnesses.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
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‘ We received 805 election appeals across the country – Bulkachuwa
(NAN ) The President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, on Thursday said the court received 805 election petitions on the general elections.
Bulkachuwa made the fact known when she addressed the 2019 Annual Justices Conference in Abuja on Thursday.
She said many of the justices did not enjoy their annual vacation due to the general elections which culminated in the various elections petitions tribunals and the appeals.
We received 805 petitions from across the country, this can be attributed to the confidence which the citizens have in the judiciary as the hope for the common man.
No doubt this electioneering year was a hectic one, because after the annual sittings, 805 appeals were filed across the 16 divisions and the court was up to the task.
I say well done for our collective efforts in making Nigerian democracy stronger in spite of all odds,“ she said.
She said that, while the election petition tribunal were sitting, the justices were on the move on different panels with a view of bringing down the volume of cases in different divisions.
Bulkachuwa said effort further helped in de-congesting the court backlogs of appeals.
For the year ending, the court has disposed of 4,007 judgments and 7,911 motions.
We intend to create four new divisions of the court with a view to reducing the workload on the justices and also bring justice closer to the people,“ she said.
Bulkachuwa said the court established a Social Media Centre before the commencement of the tribunals sittings.
She said the social media hub was an interactive platform meant to give on the spot report of the happenings in the various tribunals.
She said that the mainstream media supported the Appeal Court especially during the formal inauguration of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
” Thank you for being there for the court and I wish to seize this opportunity to further appeal to you not to relent in giving us positive coverage.
” As I have always said, our doors are open if you need to seek further clarification where in doubt, ” she said.
In his remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed, said for judges to work as a panel, there must be peace, co- operation and intelligence.
He said that the justices were carefully drawn and there should not be a show of egotism but understanding among them.
Mohammed said all should strive to achieve the purpose of their being there.
The theme of this year’s conference was ” Professionalizing the Administration of Justice “(NAN )
Edited by: Shuaib Sadiq/Chukwudi Ekezie
Body of SANs demand judicial commission of inquiry into alleged DSS invasion of court
The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to probe into the alleged invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by operatives of Department of State Services (DSS).
Mr T. J. Onomigho Okpoko,( SAN), stated this in Abuja on Thursday, in a paper he presented on behalf of the group at the valedictory court session in honour of Justice Kumai Akaahs, who retired as a justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday.
The body said the event was troubling, particularly the audacity with which some of the actors entered the courtroom.
” They exposed our hallmark of indiscipline to the whole world in a matter of seconds
The way out is an independent commission of enquiry under the law. This can be achieved.
The Body of Senior Advocates hereby demands that Mr President considers without delay, the setting up of a judicial commission of enquiry to hear publicly and determine the perpetrators of the acts, their sponsors and their objectives” Okpoko said.
According to him, unless, this is done, Nigerians are unlikely to be convinced by any other explanations that the act was not the work of the DSS.
The group said it was the result of any such inquiry that would lead to the re-establishment of discipline in the society.
He added that the DSS and its officers were not above the laws of the land and the Constitution.
In Nigerian law and in the Common Law, the Superior Orders is no defence to a criminal conduct.
” It has never been and this administration must not allow it to be.
What took place in Nigeria was seen not only by Nigerians but by people all over the world” and we condemn that act in its entirety.
He insisted that a country that did not respect its judiciary could not qualify as a democratic country.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognises the judiciary as the third arm of government in the country to which the judicial powers of the nation is vested,” he said.
He insisted that no one suggested that judges were above the law or that they ought not to be arrested when there was justifiable cause to do so. .
Father sues son-in-law for abduction, marriage without consent
A middle-aged man, Abdulkareem Kashif, was on Thursday arraigned in an Ilorin Magistrates’ Court for allegedly abducting a 21 year-old lady and marrying her without her parents’ consent.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Mathew Ologbonsaye said Kashif was arrested following a petition by Basheer Adefaka against the defendant alleging that he abducted and married his daughter with radical ideology.
The Prosecutor said that investigation had revealed that the defendant furnished the Sharia Court of Appeal in Ilorin with false information about the marriage to fraudulently obtain a marriage certificate for the purported union.
He said that the defendant appeared in court on a three-count charge of abduction, fraudulent marriage and false information with intent to mislead the public.
He said the alleged offences contravened sections 272, 386 and 140 of the Penal Code.
Ologbonsaye said investigation was still continuing into the matter and left the bail request by the defendant to the discretion of the court.
Kashif, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
The Chief Magistrate, Kudirat Yahaya, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100, 000 and one surety in like sum.
Adefaka claimed that the defendant had brainwashed and instigated his daughter against him and all efforts to convince her to return home proved abortive.
According to him, he asked the defendant to bring his parents to formalise the union if he truly wants to marry his daughter, but he refused to do so.
The petitioner also claimed that Kashif, who belonged to a radical Islamic sect, had brought strangers to represent his parents when he went to introduce himself to the lady’s family, but that he refused to hand over his daughter to them.
“So later when my daughter went back to school at University of Ilorin, he abducted my daughter from her hostel and married her unlawfully without my consent,’’ Adefaka said.
Unit Abuja emerges winner FCT CJ’s MOOT court competition
Law students of the University of Abuja, on Thursday emerged as winners of the FCT High Court Chief Judge’s MOOT court session maiden edition competition.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the competition, organised by the FCT High Court had students from the Nile University, Abuja.
The MOOT court session competition was presided over by Justice Silvanus Oriji of FCT High Court, Apo.
Mr Victor Chapi, the project coordinator, said the competition was conceived in order to make law students conversant with the practical aspect of the profession as some lawyers who are called to the bar cannot perform simple task as writing briefs.
According to Chapi, the selection process that finally narrowed it down to the two finalists had different schools from three States.
While congratulating the winner, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello advised the students to be hardworking, confident, respectful and speak with decorum in and outside the court.
The competition which had various categories such as appearance, language, clarity, line of arguments and response to questions had the winner going away with N250,000 cash award and N150,000 to the runner up. NAN
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
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