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Man, 44, docked for allegedly flogging IKEDC official

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A 44-year-old man, Jimmy George, who allegedly flogged an Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) official with a stick, on Friday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court.

The defendant, who resides at Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Lagos, is facing a charge of assault.

George, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge brought against him.

The Prosecutor, ASP Peter Nwangwu, told the court that George committed the offence on May 27, at his residence.

He alleged that the defendant unlawfully assaulted the IKEDC official, Mr Omoregbe Lamwenma, while discharging his lawful duty.

“The complainant said that the defendant had refused to pay his electricity bills and when he tried to cut off their power supply, the defendant started flogging him with a stick.

” Lamwenma reported the case to the police and George was arrested for questioning, “Nwangwu said.

The Prosecutor noted that the offence contravened the provision of Section 173 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Sections 173 prescribes three years imprisonment for assault occasioning harm.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Y.O Aje-Afunwa, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum.

Further hearing in the case was fixed for Aug. 8.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

Judiciary

Abe condoles NJC, family over death of Justice Karibi-Whyte

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Sen. Magnus Abe has condoled Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) and the family of Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte over the death of the legal icon.

Abe, who represented Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the 6th National Assembly, gave the condolence on Saturday in a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr Parry Benson, in Port Harcourt.

The senator described the late justice, who died on Friday at the age of 88, as one of Africa’s foremost international jurist and legal luminary during his time in service.

Abe stated that the death of Karibi-Whyte is a great loss of wisdom, wealth of experience and calm fatherly disposition which would have been invaluable to judiciary and the country at this time.

He also described the late legal icon as an accomplished lawyer, teacher, a man of character and proven integrity whose immense contribution to the development of the judiciary in Nigeria cn never be forgotten.

“Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte meant different things to different people, to me, he was a father, a friend and a counselor. I was mesmerized by his passion and commitment to justice.

“Although, the final chapter in the life and times of this great jurist is now closed, but there are many  gifts and life changing lessons that his life of service has bequeathed to humanity.

“We join his family and admirers across Nigeria to mourn the passing of a great man.

“We pray that God in His infinite mercy will give strength to his wife and family to bear this tragic loss,”Abe said. NAN

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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NBA mourns late Justice Karibi-Whyte

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The President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro, has expressed condolence to the family of late retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, who died on Friday.

He was aged 88 years.

In a statement signed by NBA Spokesman, Mr Kunle Edun, the association described the late justice as a quintessential jurist whose impact in the Nigerian legal system could not be forgotten in a hurry.

“The NBA hereby expresses its deep condolences to my Lords, Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the entire Nigerian judiciary, government and people of Rivers State, families and friends of our departed noble Lord.

“Justice Karibi-Whyte left behind sterling legacies and delivered landmark judgments that continue to define the Nigerian legal jurisprudence,” it said.

The NBA described the late Supreme Court jurist “a judicial colossus and one of the greatest jurists that Nigeria ever had.

“Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte was a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and an erudite Professor of Law.

“He served in other capacities as Chairman of several high-powered Commissions of Inquiry and Tribunals.

“Justice Karibi-Whyte also served as a Judge and Vice President, International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (sitting at the Hague) on November 7, 1993, and Chairman Nigerian Constitutional Conference between 1994 to 1995.

“He authored thirteen books and 55 academic publications in reputable local and international journals, and was highly sought after speaker on legal issues,” the NBA said.

Karibi-Whyte was conferred with the National Honours of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) (1998), and Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) (2008).

The NBA said Karibi-Whyte was a gentleman of indisputable stellar accomplishments and prayed God to bless his soul and grant him a peaceful rest.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Tribunal upholds Yahaya Bello’s election

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The Kogi  Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition of Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wada was challenging the election of Bello in the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi.

Wada, in his petition, alleged that the election was marred with violence and other irregularities including corrupt practices.

Delivering the majority judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, dismissed Wada’s petition on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.

The tribunal held that the evidence of some of the witnesses was contradictory and amounted to documentary hearsay.

The tribunal further awarded a cost of N500,000 to be paid by each petitioner to each of the respondents.

However, a member of the tribunal, Justice  Ohimai Ovbiagele, disagreed with the judgement.

In his dissenting judgement, Ovbiagele held that Bello was not the duly elected governor of Kogi.

“I hereby nullify the election of the Bello and make an order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections within three months from today.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Stakeholders hail President Buhari’s financial autonomy order for states legislature, judiciary

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Some stakeholders in Kaduna State have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Executive Order for the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

The stakeholders, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday, described the development as a “milestone” in the efforts to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions.

Mr Yusuf Goje of Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace and Development (CALPED), noted that democracy was practically not working at the state level.

Goje, who is the organisation’s Head, Leadership, Governance and Advocacy, explained that the legislative arm at the state level were incapacitated by financial dependence on the executive arm.

“Their budgetary allocations are released at the beg and call of the state governors, who uses the financial dependence as a key to manipulate the House of Assemblies.

“As such, the governors, in the long run, determine what the House Members do and what they should not do, at the detriment of the people they represent,” he said.

He said that the financial autonomy, if well implemented, would enable the states legislature to stand on their ground and play their legislative role without fear of financial deprivation.

He added that most times when the executive arm sent budget, all they do was ‘rubber stamp’ and pass it for assent.

“But with this development, the state legislative arms are now empowered to adequately scrutinise the state budget and boldly engage the executive arm where there are disagreements.

“The autonomy will equally empower the legislative arm to carry out their oversight functions and ask the right questions as independent institution of governance.

“I am confident that we will be seeing more checks and balance from the representative of the people by holding the executive arm accountable,” Goje said.

Similarly, Mr Panan Philemon, a legal practitioner with Elisha Y. Kurah and Co. Chambers, Kaduna, said that the development would position the state judiciary to function independent of the executive arm.

“With the financial autonomy, the state judiciary would have the needed confidence to discharge their legal duties without influence from any arm of the government.

“They will equally carry out renovations, construction of new courts and improving the general facilities and infrastructure in the judiciary,” Philemon said.

On his part, Dr Elisha Auta of Economics Department, Kaduna State University, described the development as “victory for Nigeria”.

According to him, the implementation of the order will free the states legislature and judiciary from the chains of manipulation by state governors.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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NBA mourns Justice Karibi-Whyte

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The Ikorodu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has mourned former judge of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, who passed away on May 22 at the age of 88.

Expressing sadness over the passing of the famed jurist, Mr Bayo Akinlade, the Chairman of the Ikorodu branch of the NBA, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the country had lost an eminent jurist who was a “rare breed.”

“Another legal icon is gone and it just goes to show that there is a need for persons in the legal community to be unafraid to do what is right.

“We need more individuals like the late Karibi-Whyte who will analyse issues properly and do what is fair for all,” he said.

The NBA Ikorodu Branch Chairman, who described the late jurist as very knowledgeable and bold, said the Nigerian legal community was running out of icons that younger generations of lawyers could look up to.

“The nation has lost a brilliant mind, may his soul rest in peace,” he said.

NAN reports that late Karibi-Whyte was a professor of law who hailed from Abonnema in Rivers.

He was judge of the Federal High Court from 1976 to 1980, judge of the Court of Appeal from 1980 to 1984, and justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from 1984 to 2002.

He wrote 13 books and 55 academic publications in local and international learned journals.

He was conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 1998 and in 2008 respectively.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Prosperity will remember President Buhari for executive order on legislature, judiciary autonomy – Group says

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An Interest Group, Vanguard for the Independence of the Judiciary (VIJ) on Saturday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for effecting the Financial Independence of the Judiciary, in the new executive order signed into law.

It described the order as one which cannot be forgotten in a hurry, adding that posterity will remember this administration for this landmark development.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, May 22, signed into law, an Executive Order to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary at the state level.

The Attorney-General of the Federation , Abubakar Malami, SAN, in a statement in Abuja, said that the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory that all States of the Federation should include the allocations of both the Legislature and the Judiciary in their Appropriation laws.

According to the AGF, a Presidential Implementation Committee was being constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

In a statement made available to NAN, signed by convener of VIJ, Mr Douglas Ogbamkwa, the group thanked the executive for such feat, adding that such convictions will be remembered by posterity.

“The Vanguard for Judicial independence greatly commend His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammedu Buhari, for the courage in giving effect to Section 121 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ,1999 (As Amended),thereby granting Financial Autonomy to the Judiciary in Nigeria.

“Posterity will remember Your Excellency for this epoch making decision in signing Executive Order No. 10, which now directs the Accountant General of the Federation to.pay any monies standing to the Credit of the Judiciary, directly to the Heads of Court .

“This decision is a watershed in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria and it will change the dynamics and dialectic of Justice Administration in Nigeria,” he said

He urged the executive not to relent in taking the nation to greater heights.

“The next phase of the trajectory to ensure the total Independence of the Judiciary in Nigeria, is to amend the Constitution to provide for the Outgoing Chief Judge to swear in the incoming Chief Judge of a State and to make it automatic for the next most senior Judge irrespective of any other considerations to be Sworn as the Chief Judge of a State,” he said

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Lawyers laud Buhari for signing Executive Order on legislature, judiciary financial autonomy

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Human  Rights Campaigner, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa,SAN, has  commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for signing the Executive Order, granting financial autonomy to the Judiciary and Legislature.

Adegboruwa lauded the new order, describing same as a step in the right direction and urged  total compliance with all its  provisions  by states.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Buhari, on Friday, signed into law, an Executive Order to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary for states.

The Attorney-General of the Federation , Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, had in a statement in Abuja, said that the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory for all states to include  allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in their Appropriation Laws.

According to the AGF, a Presidential Implementation Committee was being constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for state Legislature and  Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

Reacting to the new order, Adegboruwa  told NAN in Lagos that the  president’s bold initiative  to grant financial autonomy to  other tiers of government  through the executive order  to enforce the fourth Alteration of the constitution was highly commendable.

“It takes courage and selflessness for the head of the executive to grant autonomy to other arms of government. For the judiciary,  it is considered that most cases in the courts are to check the excesses of the executive arm, being the organ of government responsible for the implementation of policies,” he said.

Adegboruwa, consequently, harped on a need to ensure full compliance with the rule of law through complete obedience to all orders and decisions of the courts.

He also called for a directive to all government parastatals, to ensure compliance with all orders, judgments and decisions of courts.

“I urge the President to grant total autonomy to the judiciary by signing another executive order to all parastatals, agencies and departments of government to implement section 287 of the 1999 Constitution by complying with all orders, judgments and decisions of the courts.

“I urge state  governors  to cooperate with the president for the full implementation of this executive order in all parts of the federation,” he said

Another Lagos based constitutional lawyer, Mr Spurgeon Ataene also lauded the executive order of the president and called for its sustenance.

“I commend the executive arm for this giant stride which has long been awaited; while I support this step, I will urge fellow Nigerians to be more awake to their fiscal responsibilities in the area of acting as watchdogs to know how their resources are spent.

” Every allocation accruing directly from the federation account should be published alongside the expenditure.

“There should be a committee set up and must  include all stakeholders from the different constituencies to oversee how their money is spent, with appropriate sanctions meted on defaulters,” he said

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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Lawyers pay glowing tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Karibi-Whyte

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Some lawyers in Lagos on Saturday paid glowing tribute to late Rtd Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, who died on Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the late Justice Karibi-Whyte was aged 88.

Reacting, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa,SAN, said:”Nigeria has lost a foremost jurist and a fearless adjudicator with a robust intellectual mind.

“He was full of wits, wisdom and judicial stamina to tackle most cases that he participated in, either in writing the leading judgment, supporting judgment or dissenting judgment.

“He rendered very profound explanations behind the reasonings contained in his judgments, all of which have helped to shape the course of judicial history in Nigeria.

“He deployed his knowledge and experience garnered from private legal practice, up to the Bench as a judge of the then Revenue Court, now known as the Federal High Court, up to the Supreme Court, in the practical application of the determination of cases brought before him.

“His book on the practice and procedure of the Federal High Court is always a delight for judges, lawyers, law teachers and law students alike.

“I, hereby extend my heartfelt condolences to the Nigeria Bar, to the Governor and good people of Rivers State, to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the President on the demise of this erudite jurist.

Also speaking, a former Chairman of the Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Adedotun Adetunji described the death of Justir Karibi-Whyte as a huge loss to the legal community.

He said the late jurist was an epitome of knowledge and a Professor of Law whose judgement could only be described as sound and classic.

“His Lordship was a fine jurist with penetrating and lucid reasoning in his judgements.

“Significantly, His Lordship was courageous to dissent with majority views while he was in the Supreme Court,” he said

He said that the demise of the legal icon leaves yet another legacy to be emulated by younger jurist.

Adetunji commiserated with the family of the deceased as well as the entire Nigerian legal community and prayed for a peaceful repose soul of the late Justice.

Another human rights activist, Mr Spurgeon Ataene in his reaction described the late jurist as a dogged fighter for the course of Justice.

He said:”I condole with the family of this legal Colossus Late Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte who retired from the supreme Court upon attaining the mandatory 70 years stipulated for retirement of Justices at that level

“He was such an enigma in every sense; one that should be emulated in hardwork and judicial activism.

“To have started out as a court clerk- the lowest in the court system and steadily acquired requisite education to become a lawyer, got his Masters degree from London and a PhD from University of Lagos.

“He was prepared for the journey to the bench, and was one with wide knowledge from the West and native intelligence from home in Nigeria.

“No wonder his gargantuan exploits on the bench cannot be easily matched.

“I commiserate with his entire family members, the legal community, and the country at large for Nigeria has indeed lost an almost irreplaceable brain,” he said

In the same vein, another lawyer, Mr Anthony Makolo described the late Judge as “the people’s jurist”

“When the news of his demise filtered the air, it simply reawakened in him, the consciousness that every man will be remembered for the legacy he leaves behind.

“I must extend my heartfelt sympathies to the NBA, the nation’s Judiciary, as well as the Rivers State Government for this great loss,” he said

NAN reports that Justice Karibi-Whyte hails from Abonnema, in Rivers State.

He was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Revenue Court in 1976, where he began his illustrious judicial career.

Thereafter, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1980, and later to the apex Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1984 from where he later retired after a meritorious judicial service.

Some of his notable celebrated judgments include Government of Gongola State v Tukur (1989), Attorney General of the Federation v Attorney General of Abia State , amongst others.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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President Buhari Signs Executive Order on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature, Judiciary

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday  signed into law the Executive Order Number 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary.

Dr Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Media and Public Relations disclosed this on Friday in Abuja.

The President signed the Executive Order based on the powers vested in him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

This extends to the execution and maintenance of laws made by the National Assembly (including but not limited to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), which guarantee financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary.

He noted that a Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary.

This is in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

 

“The amendment took into consideration all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations, which provide for financial autonomy at the State tier of Government’’.

 

According to him, `the implementation of financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary will strengthen the institutions at that tier of Government and make them more independent and accountable’.

This would be in line with the tenets of democracy as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

 

“The Order Provides that, `the Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this Order and any such other Orders, Regulations or Guidelines as may be issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, authorise the deduction from source in the course of Federation Accounts Allocation from the money allocated to any State of the Federation that fails to release allocation meant for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with the financial autonomy guaranteed by Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended)”.

 

“Based on the Executive Order at the commencement of this Order for implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), all States of the Federation shall include the allocations of the two Arms of Government in their Appropriation Laws.

 

“Article 6 (1) also provides that `notwithstanding the provisions of this Executive Order, in the first three years of its implementation, there shall be special extraordinary capital allocations for the Judiciary to undertake capital development of State Judiciary Complexes, High Court Complexes, Sharia Court of Appeal, Customary Court of Appeal and Court Complexes of other Courts befitting the status of Courts’’.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

 

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I do not have personal “debt collectors” -Malami says

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The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, says the recovery agents engaged by his office are institutional recovery agents for the federal government.

Dr Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Public Relations made the clarification in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

“Malami in his personal capacity does not have any personal debt collectors for the recovery of federal government debts.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice does not engage recovery agents based on personal gratification or individual’s inclinations’’.

He said that none of those engaged by the Federal Government in the recovery of assets and generation of revenues belonging to the government work for “Malami”, as mischievously portrayed in some media.

“They belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the instrumentality of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

“Such engagements were purely based on the interest of the general public, as a guiding principle’’.

The Minister reiterated that engagement of recovery agents was neither propelled by any ulterior motive nor any personal desire.

Nor was it for any personal benefit accruing to anyone, but by an unflinching patriotic commitment to get back for the country the revenue that belongs to it.

“It is the same Federal Government that engaged the Trobell in the recovery of the unpaid Federal Government revenue that asked the agency to step down based on stakeholders’ decision.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Police arraign woman in court for alleged N415,000 fraud

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The police, on Friday, arraigned a 37-year-old woman, Folake Aderoyin in court for alleged N415,000 fraud.

Aderoyin, whose address was not provided, is facing a charge of fraud before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court.

She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Olubu Apata, told the court that the defendant committed the offence in  January  at Ajilosun area of Ado-Ekiti.

Apata said the defendant collected some goods worth N415, 000 from the complainant, Mr Mahmood Badra and promised to deliver the money to him, a representation she knew was false.

He alleged that the defendant fraudulently converted the money to her own use.

The prosecutor said the offence contravened Section 383(1) (2) (a) (b) (f) (4)  of the Criminal Law of Ekiti State, 2012.

Apata  urged the court to  adjourn the case to enable him study the file and assemble  his witnesses.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Olawumi Olowofela, urged the court to grant his client bail, promising that she would not jump bail.

The magistrate, Mrs Kehinde Awosika, granted the defendant bail  in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Awosika ordered that  the sureties must be her blood relations.

She adjourned the case until June 3 for mention.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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SAN tasks young lawyers on self-development

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A Lagos-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr Babatunde Ajibade, on Friday advised young legal practitioners to engage in self-development which would enhance their practice as lawyers in an ever-changing society.

Ajibade gave the advice while speaking at a zoom webinar seminar organised by the Young Lawyers Forum (YLF) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

It is themed: “The Survival of Young Lawyers in a Highly Competitive Legal Market Amidst Crave for Self- Development.’’

He said that if young lawyers took out time to develop themselves in legal practice, they would stand out and be distinct in the current highly competitive legal market.

Ajibade noted that even as young lawyers of the Bar, there was much more they could do to enhance their practice, especially by being open to learning new skills of practice from senior colleagues.

“Being disposed to learning and having an enduring desire for self-development, is a major factor and drive to a successful life as a legal practitioner.

“As young lawyers, it is important to have set goals and more importantly, to work toward a realisation of these goals,” he said.

He said that this formed the basis for a successful career as a legal practitioner in Nigeria.

Ajibade urged participants at the webinar to take their personal development seriously and remain passionate about law practice.

He added that it would pave the way for them to be marketable to prospective employers.

The legal practitioner advised all participants to take courses online to broaden their horizon.

Ajibade also suggested that the young lawyers should get professional certification from reputable institutes to proceed for post graduate studies and mastering specific areas of law where they could develop expertise.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Police arraign students over alleged membership of secret cult

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Three secondary school pupils on Thursday appeared before the Ogbeson Chief Magistrate’s Court in Benin, charged with being members of an unlawful society.
The defendants: Aminu Rasak, 19, Chinedu Aduba, 14, and Eromosele Okonofua, 21, all students of Aduwawa Secondary School in Benin, were alleged to be members of the Baby Bird Secret Cult (Eiye Confranternity).
The Prosecutor, Insp. Abass Faruk, told the court that Rasak joined the Baby Bird Secret Cult (Eiye) sometimes in March 2018 at Aduwawa Secondary School in Benin.
Abass said that the second and third defendants (Aduba and Okonofua) were initiated into Eiye cult in the same Aduwawa Secondary School on Jan. 10, 2019 and sometime in August 2018, respectively.
He said that the offence committed contravened the provisions of Section 64 of the Criminal Code Cap. 48 Vol. 11, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, now applicable in Edo.

If found guilty of the offence, the three defendants stand the risk of spending three-years in jail.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, Prince Mutairu Oare, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N100,000 each, with one surety in like sum.
Oare said that the surety must either be a parent or guardian, adding that all information must be verified by the court’s registrar.
The Chief Magistrate adjourned the case until June 2, for further hearing.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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President Buhari signs 2018 Executive Order on voluntary overseas asset declaration

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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2018 Amended Executive Order 008 on Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS).

Dr Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Media and Public Relations disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja.

“As a result of stakeholders input and need to strengthen implementation mechanisms and structures, the Order was reviewed.

“Consequently, the Amendment to the Executive Order 008 was signed on May 20 by President Buhari’’.

He said the Executive Order 008 as amended mandated the Attorney-General of the Federation to set up and implement a Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularisation Scheme otherwise referred to as `VOARS’.

VOARS gives all relevant persons and their intermediaries who have defaulted in declaration of their offshore assets the opportunity to voluntarily declare and regularise their offshore assets, subject to fulfillment of the terms and conditions stipulated in the Order and other subsequent regulations’’.

Gwandu noted that in order to ensure seamless exchange of information, VOARS will work closely with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) which has worldwide access to relevant financial information.

“The government hopes that relevant persons amongst Nigerians, their entities and intermediaries will seize the opportunity provided by VOARS to declare and regularise their offshore assets before it is too late.

“Relevant persons who voluntarily declare their offshore assets and pay the stipulated levy to the government will receive compliance certificates which allows them to use their residual assets freely without hindrance.

“The recoveries accruing to the government will be used for essential infrastructure development for the benefit of Nigerians’’.

He warned defaulters who may be tempted to continue the concealment of their offshore assets of the power enshrined in the Executive Order 008 as amended.

“It stipulates that `any domestic or foreign bank, asset manager or intermediary that cooperates with defaulters, enabling them to conceal offshore assets and obligations pertaining to them shall, upon discovery will be liable to pay to the federal government a penalty on the total of such offshore assets, in addition to other penalties provided for under the Nigerian law or laws of foreign countries from which Nigeria can benefit’’.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

 

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Man, 30, docked for allegedly obtaining N155,000 under false pretence

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A 30-year-old man, Stephen Adams, was on Thursday brought before an Ogbeson Magistrates’ Court in Benin, for allegedly obtaining N155,000 under false pretence.

The defendant is being tried on a two-count charge of obtaining goods under false pretence and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Abass Farouk, told the court that Adams committed the offence on March 8 in Down Jehovah Road, Ikpoba-Hill, Benin.

Farouk alleged that the defendant obtained N155,000 from the complainant, Mr Friday Aiguehiven, for the digging of a bore-hole for him, knowing same to be false.

The prosecutor also alleged that the defendant stole the said amount from the complainant.

Farouk said the offences contravened Sections 419 and 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap. 48 Vol. 11 Law of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, now applicable in Edo.

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

The Chief Magistrate, Prince Mutairu Oare, admitted him to bail in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in like sum.

Oare said the surety must be a guardian and must be verified by the court registrar.

He adjourned the case until June 3 for further hearing.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Police arraign man for allegedly impersonating AEDC staff

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The police on Thursday, arraigned a 36-year-old man Joe Abimaje , in a Karmo Grade I Area Court, Abuja, for allegedly impersonating a staff of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

Abimaje, who resides in Katampe,  Abuja, is charged with breach of trust, cheating, impersonation and forgery.

The Prosecutor, Mrs Ijeoma Ukagha, told the court that the matter was reported by Ms Onyinye Okereke, at the Life Camp Police Station on March 10.

Ukagha alleged that the defendant forged an AEDC Identity card and pretended to be a staff and fraudulently collected a contract to construct a 33KV high tension wires for N4.6 million.

Ukagha told the court that the complainant gave the defendant N3.7 million as part payment but he allegedly converted the money to his personal use.

She said all efforts to recover the N3.7 million from him failed.

The prosecution counsel further told the court that the defendant could not provide satisfactory account of himself during police interrogation.

She said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 312, 322, 364 and 244 of the Penal Code.

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

The Judge, Alhaji Inuwa Maiwada, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5 million with a reliable surety in like sum.

He ruled that the surety must be a GL 14 officer in the Federal Civil Service and must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned the case until Sept. 25 for further hearing.

Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

Police arraign man, 36, over alleged murder in Ekiti

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An Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court, on Thursday, remanded one Kehinde Awosusi in police custody over alleged murder of one Ojo Oluwatuyi.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Abdulhamid Lawal, ordered the remand of the defendant pending the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on the case.
Lawal, thereafter, adjourned the case till June 10 for mention.
Awosusi, 36, whose address was not provided, is standing trial for murder.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Caleb Leranmo, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on April 19 at Erinjiyan-Ekiti
He alleged that the defendant murdered Oluwatuyi by smashing plank on his head.
Leranmo said that the deceased had allegedly knocked down the defendant’s mother with his motorcycle, adding that when the defendant got to the scene of the accident, he smashed a plank on the head of the deceased.
He said that the deceased died before he could reach a nearby hospital.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

Edited By: Joe Idika and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Judiciary

Court remands man over alleged armed robbery, theft of 50 gallons of palm oil

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun, on Thursday, remanded one Elugbindin Timothy, 44, over alleged armed robbery and theft of 50 gallons of palm oil.
The Prosecutor, ASP Joseph Adebayo, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 10, around 5 am. at Odemuyiwa Village, via Ifetedo.
Adebayo said that the defendant conspired with others, now at large, to commit the offence.
He added that the defendant armed himself with gun and other dangerous weapons and robbed one Fatai Adeyeni of 50 gallons of palm oil and two bags of cocoa beans.
The prosecutor also listed other stolen goods to include three bags of palm kernel seeds, goats and hospital equipment, all valued at N10 million.
He further told the court that the defendant willfully set the house of Chief Fatai Adeyeni ablaze.
According to him, the offences were contrary to and punishable under Sections 1(1) and 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R11, Laws of Nigeria, 2004.
Adebayo added that the offence also contravened Sections 1 (1), (2)(a),(b) and 443 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.
The plea of the defendant was, however, not taken despite the fact that his defence counsel, Mr Obi Samuel, announced his appearance.
The Magistrate, Joseph Owolawi, did not grant bail to the defendant on the ground that his court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
Owolawi, therefore, ordered the remand of the defendant at the State Criminal Investigation Intelligent Department (SCIID).
He adjourned the case till June 24, for mention.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Judiciary

COVID-19: Nasarawa CJ discharges 16 inmates

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Justice Suleiman Dikko, Chief Judge (CJ) of Nasarawa State on Thursday discharged 16 convicted inmates from the Lafia Custodial Centre in compliance with the directive by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed.

Justice Dikko discharged the inmates during a special tour to decongest custodial facilities as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the CJN had recently directed CJ of all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to decongest the facilities by discharging inmates.

The Nasarawa CJ explained that he had paid the fines for 16 released inmates who could not afford the payments to regain their freedom.

“We were directed by the CJN to decongest the custodial centres as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the facilities.

“So, I have paid their fines ranging from N30,000 to N6,000 so as to pave way for their release,” Dikko said.

He explained that similar exercise would take place in the other four Custodial Centres in Wamba, Keffi, Nasarawa and Umasha, next week.

He, therefore, warned the released inmates to avoid acts capable of bringing them back to the facilities.

Similarly, Abdulkarim Kana, Nasarawa State Attorney-General and  Commissioner of Justice, commended the Chief Judge for complying with the CJN’s directive.

He said that the action would further add value to the efforts of Governor Abdullahi Sule towards containing coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The Commissioner reiterated that the state government had recently released over 140 inmates to decongest the custodian centres.

He however, charged the beneficiaries to know that the situation out there was a bit different because of coronavirus and urged them to desist from committing any crime that could bring back to the facilities.

“Ordinary violation of the government’s directives on coronavirus alone could bring you back to the facilities.

“So, the situation now is not the same with what you people were used to in the past hence the need for all of you to be law abiding,” the Commissioner added.

Earlier, Emmanuel Okoro, Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service in the state, expressed gratitude to the CJ and his team for the visit.

He said that the visit would help in reducing the growth in their facilities thereby assist in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

He therefore urged the released inmates to repent in order to be reinterpreted back to the society. .

SDJ/ BOLA

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin (NAN)
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Judiciary

Court sentences bricklayer, mechanic to 21 years in prison for bag-snatching

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An Ikeja High Court has sentenced a bricklayer, Ibrahim Olaore and a mechanic, Nurudeen Moshood to 21 years in prison for snatching the handbag of a banker in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during Thursday’s virtual proceeding, Justice Yetunde Adesanya held that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and found the defendants guilty of a two-count charge of conspiracy and robbery.
“Section 297(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011 provides that anyone found guilty of the offence of robbery shall be sentenced upon conviction to imprisonment of not less than 21 years.
“The above is a mandatory prescribed term of imprisonment and the position of the law is that where no discretion regarding sentence is to be exercised the period of incarceration before the accused is found guilty cannot be taken into consideration when sentence is being pronounced.
“My sentence is as follows, you Ibrahim Olaore and Nurudeen Moshood are hereby sentenced to a mandatory 21-year term of imprisonment with effect from today Thursday 21st May, 2020. This is the judgment of the court,” Justice Adesanya said.
Earlier before the sentence, the counsel to the defendants, Mrs A. Onalaja, in her allocutus (plea for mercy), told the court to temper justice with mercy.
She noted that the defendants were young men in their twenties who still had their lives ahead of them.
“The defendants are in their prime of life, they are barely starting their lives. It is unfortunate that they have to start on this kind of note.
“I humbly plea that the court considers the ages of the defendants, the time they have spent in incarceration and also the fact that the second defendant (Moshood) is a father to a young child,” Onalaja said.
According to the prosecution led by Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, the defendants alongside Segun Ogunmola who is at large, committed the offences at 6.20am on April 24, 2016 at Foursquare Bus-stop, Ikotun, Lagos.
“The two defendants were on an unmarked motorcycle which was being driven by Ogunmola. They snatched the handbag of one Ms Blessing Popoola, who was on her way to church that Sunday morning.
“They were, however, apprehended about 30 minutes later by some youths who were on high alert due to the spate of motorcycle robberies in the area.
Popoola’s handbag containing her mobile phone, a Sterling Bank identity card and N4, 000 cash were recovered from the defendants,” Oluwafemi said.
NAN reports that during the trial, Popoola, the complainant and Insp Adekunle Adeshina, a Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) official, testified on behalf of the prosecution while the two defendants testified in their defence.
Popoola, while testifying in court, positively identified the defendants as the men who robbed her on her way to church.
The banker noted that hours after the robbery, she called her mobile phone which was picked by one Sgt Emeka who told her that the men who attacked her had been apprehended.
Popoola noted that she was summoned to Ikotun Police Station to retrieve her belongings.
Olaore and Moshood in their testimonies denied committing the robbery and also denied knowing each other.
The defendants had said they were passengers on a motorcycle and they were accosted and overpowered by some youths along Governor Road, Ikotun, Lagos and falsely accused of robbery.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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