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Judiciary

SH edits – – – Judge’s absence stalls Rickey Tarfa’s alleged bribery trial.

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Lagos, March 11, 2019 The absence of Justice Adedayo Akintoye of an Igbosere High Court in Lagos, on Monday, stalled the  trial of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), on allegation of alleged perversion of the course of justice.

Akintoye was away on an official duty.

The court consequently adjourned the hearing until March 19.

Tarfa is standing trial on a 26-count charge bordering on offering monetary gratification to two judges of the Federal High Court – Justices Hyeladzira Nganjiwa and Mohammed Yunusa, respectively.

EFCC in its charge alleged that Tarfa had between June 27, 2012 and Jan. 8, 2016, Tarfa paid a total of N5.3 million in several tranches into Justice Nganjiwa’s account.

The anti-graft agency also accused the defendant of paying into Justice Yunusa’s account, a total of N800,000 in three tranches between Feb. 9 and Nov. 30, 2015.

The agency further accused the defendant of age falsification.

Upon his arraignment on March 9, 2016 and subsequent re-arraignment on Nov. 16, 2016, Tarfa pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail on self recognizance.

Though EFCC has closed its case, the court dismissed Tarfa’s no case-submission application.

NNN also reports that Tarfa’s first witness, Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR)of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Mr Bello Okandeji, is yet to finish his cross-examination.

NNN reports that the trial on the last adjourned date, Jan. 21, suffered a set back because of the absence of the defendant, Tarfa.

Tarfa’s counsel, Mr Jelili Owonikoko, had told the court that his client traveled outside the country for medical treatment.

Owonikoko, who informed the court that Tarfa would be away for three months, said his failing health condition urgently needed medical attention abroad.

Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel for the EFCC ,  affirmed receipt of a medical report and a letter from the defendant in which he had requested for adjournment date.

He, however, said that the defendant should have come to court to apply for leave to travel before embarking on such a trip.

Justice Akintoye, however, who granted the request, had asked the defence counsel to ensure his client appeared in court on the next adjourned date.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, the court did not sit apparently because of the ongoing Judges’ conference.

Judiciary

Gov Oyetola presents 13 Jeeps to High Court Judges

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Gov. Adeboyega Oyetola of Osun on Friday presented 13 Toyota Jeeps to the State High Court Judges as part of efforts to enhance the welfare of judicial officers in the state.

The governor, while inaugurating the vehicles at Government House, Osogbo, promised to ensure vibrant and smooth judicial activities in the State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the keys of the Toyota Jeeps were handed over to the judges.

Oyetola said: “The state government would continue to play its roles with the judiciary in ensuring that their activities are carried out smoothly.

“We will go round the courts to rehabilitate and rebuild some of the dilapidated buildings.

The 13 brand new Toyota Jeeps are for our judges purposely for the progress of judicial activities in Osun.”

In his remarks, the Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo, commended the governor for fulfilling his promises to the judiciary with the believe that such gesture would continue.

She, therefore, said that the vehicles would be used for judicial activities in the State.

Justice A.B. Abdulkareem, who delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries, commended the governor for fulfilling his promises. (NAN)


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Plateau Chief Judge frees 88 inmates

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Plateau Chief Judge, Justice Yakubu Dakwak, has freed 88 inmates serving their jail terms at the various correctional centres in the state.

ASC Martha Banda, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Plateau Comamnd of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NSC) made the disclosure in statement on Wednesday in Jos.

According to her, the CJ’s action was part of his second quarter jail delivery exercise aimed at decongesting the correctional facilities in the state.

Banda explained that the CJ visited the various facilities and carried out exercise on June 1 and 2.

The Chief Judge of Plateau, Justice Yakubu Dakwak,  during his second quarter jail delivery, released 88 inmates in the state.

 “This is part of effort to decongest correctional facilities in the state.

 “At the Jos custodial centre, 49 inmates, seven at shendam, 15 at Lantang, 14 at pankshin and three at Wase  custodial centres were set free

“All the inmates discharged were those on awaiting trial category with minor offenses,” he said.

 Banda said the inmates who benefited from this exercise were grateful and assured that they would turn a new leaf.

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Foreign

Pakistan court defers blasphemy judgement on death row appeal

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A court in Pakistan on Wednesday deferred its judgement on an appeal by a Christian couple held on death row for six years following a conviction on blasphemy charges, a defence lawyer said.

Shafqat Masih and his wife Shughufta Masih, were sentenced to death in 2014 for sending blasphemous text messages to their Muslim colleagues, lawyer Saiful Malook said.

The Lahore High Court had been expected to announce a verdict on the couple’s appeal, but the judge said more time was needed to examine new evidence.

The date for next hearing is due to be announced in the coming days.

The court ordered the prosecution to re-examine the faulty evidence used to frame the couple for blasphemy, a crime punishable by death in Pakistan.

The couple, parents of four young children, denied having sent the messages, and claimed they had been framed after a work related dispute with their Muslim colleagues, Malook said.

A prosecutor matched the mobile phone numbers from which the messages were sent with the couple’s identity, and used this as the main evidence in the case, the lawyer said.

But the couple claimed their identity documents were stolen from the company for the purpose of buying mobile numbers to frame them for the crime.

Mobile phone companies no longer sell numbers without electronic thumbprints, but this was not the case in 2013 when the couple were arrested, said Asim Khan, an employee working for Ufone, a telecom company.


Edited By: Halima Sheji (NAN)

 

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Judiciary

You have case to answer, judge tells man charged with robbing Bet9ja shop

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Justice Yetunde Adesanya of an Ikeja High Court on Thursday ruled that a man, Sunday Kunle, accused of robbing a Bet9ja shop of N280,000 and other valuables in 2017, had a case to answer.

Adesanya  gave the ruling  during a virtual proceeding.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendant is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery.

Ruling on a no-case submission filed by defence counsel, Mr Ibrahim Abass, the judge noted that armed robbery was  carried out by a person or persons using  dangerous weapons.

She said that the prosecution had established a prima facie (correct until proven otherwise) by tendering a gun allegedly used by Kunle during the robbery.

Adesanya said: “I have carefully considered the legal ingredients necessary to establish the offence of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery.

“The said gun used during the robbery was tendered during the trial as Exhibit P3 and the live cartridges allegedly recovered from the defendant tendered as Exhibit P4.

“In the light of the evidence of the prosecution especially those of the second and third prosecution witnesses, and Exhibits P3 and P4, this court must come to the conclusion that a prima facie case has been established against the defendant for the two offences charged.

“I, therefore, hold that the prosecution has made a prima facie case against the defendant of the criminal charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery.

“I accordingly reject the no-case submission made by the defence, and call upon the defendant to enter his defence. I so hold.”

According to the prosecution team led by Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, the defendant and an accomplice who is at large, sometime in 2017, robbed a Bet9ja shop located at Surulere, Lagos.

The shop belongs to one Mrs Toyin Lucas, the prosecution said.

“The defendant and his accomplice, while in possession of two locally-made guns and four live cartridges, had at 8.30p.m. robbed Lucas’ Bet9ja shop of N280,000 earnings, three mobile phones belonging to staff and two laptops.

“While they fled the scene, the defendant tried firing his weapon at residents of the neighbourhood who were in pursuit. His gun jammed and he was apprehended.

“When he was caught, one of the two stolen laptops was recovered while his accomplice escaped with the cash and mobile phones,” Oluwafemi said.

NAN reports that during the trial, three witnesses – the complainant, a cashier of the shop and the investigating police officer – testified on behalf of the prosecution, which closed its case on Dec. 18, 2019.

Adesanya adjourned the case until July 1, for defence.

 

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Foreign

Meng Wanzhou case continues after Canada judge ruling

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A Canadian judge ruled on Wednesday that the extradition case against China‘s Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou can proceed.

According to the ruling, the case of Meng meets the Canadian extradition standard of the so-called “double criminality.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Tuesday urged Canada to immediately correct its mistake, release Meng and ensure her safe return to China. The United States and Canada abused their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily took compulsory measures against a Chinese citizen without cause, Zhao said. “This is a serious political incident that grossly violates the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen.”

(XINHUA)

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Judiciary

Alleged forgery: Arrest warrant on 2 Sri Lankans still stands, judge says

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Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of an FCT High Court in Maitamadeclared that the warrant of arrest it issued against two Sri Lankans, ‎still subsists and remains valid.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Saththiyaraj Kantharasa, Vinith Ukantharasa and a Nigerian, Anthony Adetokunbo, were to be arraigned on May 13 by the ICPC over alleged possession of  fake Malaysian passports and making false statement.

They failed to appear in court.

Justice Goodluck on  that day, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the two Sri Lankans and their sureties over their failure to attend the court for arraignment .

She fixed June 24 for arraignment after the ICPC counsel Mr Anieken Ekong informed the court that the two Sri Lankans were still not in court.

Ekong said the ICPC reported to the police on the order of bench warrant issued against the suspects and their sureties.

He told the court that the police asked for time to enable them act on it.

Ekong, however, said that the third suspect who had been remanded in correctional centre was in court. 

Edited By: Joseph Idika/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

Ekong, however, said that the third suspect who had been remanded in correctional centre was in court. 

Edited By: Joseph Idika/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Foreign

Serologic test results unable to judge whether to return people to workplace, says CDC

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Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace, according to the new guidelines on COVID-19 antibody test published on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Antibody test can play an important role in understanding the virus’s epidemiology in the general population and identifying groups at higher risk for infection, according to the CDC.

Unlike viral direct detection methods that can detect acutely infected persons, antibody tests help determine whether the individual being tested was ever infected, even if that person never showed symptoms.

“Antibodies in some persons can be detected within the first week of illness onset,” the CDC said.

The presence of antibodies may decrease a person’s infectiousness and offer some level of protection from reinfection. However, definitive data are lacking, and it remains uncertain whether individuals with antibodies are protected against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causes COVID-19, according to the CDC.

“Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities,” said the CDC.

“Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” said the CDC.

It cannot be assumed that individuals with truly positive antibody test results are protected from future infection, according to the CDC.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Senate President mourns Yobe Chief Judge, Nabaruma

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed shock over the death of the Chief Judge of Yobe, Justice Garba Nabaruma, describing him as an erudite judge.

Lawan, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Ola Awoniyi in Abuja on Tuesday, commiserated with the family of Justice Nabaruma, his friends and professional colleagues over the loss.

He also condoled with the government and people of Yobe over the sudden departure of Judge, who presided over the state judiciary for nearly a decade.

“Nabaruma was an erudite judge and leader, who worked assiduously to reform the judiciary in the state.

“Justice Nabaruma left behind an indelible mark, not only on the state judiciary but also on the legal profession in general,’’ Lawan said.

The Senate President prayed Allah to forgive the departed his sins and grant him Aljanat firdaus.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that Nabaruwa died on Monday evening at the National Hospital, Abuja.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Judiciary

Gov. El-Rufai swears in 4 High Court judges

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai has sworn in four newly appointed High Court Judges in the State.

Performing the swearing in on Tuesday, in Kaduna, Gov El-rufai, said that the State has been seeking for the appointment of the high court judges in the past three years.

“Though, only four were appointed, but the state requires about 20 judges to compliment the current ones, who are overworked.

“Each of our High court in the State has a minimum of 200 cases, which is too much for them to handle and therefore, affect the administration of Justice.

“To this end, the State needs more judges as we have the capacity to make their work easier with the provision of housing and vehicles, among other necessary things to make their stay memorable,” the governor said.

He, however said that the only bottleneck is the National Judicial Council bureaucracy, which unduly delay judges appointment.

“In my opinion, the NJC should only select judges for the appelate and Federal courts and leave the selection of judges for State high courts to an equivalent Council at the State level, either the State Judicial Service Commission which now appoints Magistrate or the State Judicial Council which select judges.

“I do not believe that the appointment of high court judges at the State level should be within the purview of the NJC.

“We are trying to operate a unitary judiciary when we have a Federal Executive and Legislature, this needs to be corrected,”he stressed.

NAN reports that the newly sworn in Judges are: Amina Bello, Ambo John, Rabi Oladoja and Andow Edward.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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