The Supreme Court on Thursday struck out the appeal filed by Chief Ambrose Owuru the candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The appeal was struck out on the grounds that Owuru and his party engaged in gross abuse of court processes by filing two notices of appeal contrary to the provisions of the law.
In the unanimous decision read by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, the five member panel of Justices upheld the objection raised by the respondents in the suit and subsequently dismissed the appeal.
Justice Odili upheld the argument of Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, that the two appellants embarked on a journey aimed at misdirecting the court by filing two notices of appeal and simultaneously used the two notices to formulate grounds of appeal, contrary to the provisions of the law.
The court having upheld the preliminary objections of the three respondents to the appeal said that the HDP’s appeal has nothing to stand upon and consequently struck out the appeal.
The panel held that it was wrong for the appellants to have filed two notices of appeal and simultaneously used the two to argue their case even when they were within the time allowed by law to file a proper notice of appeal.
Odili held that the two appellants did not appeal the ruling of the tribunal which declared their petition incompetent and an abuse of court process, and struck it out but chose to appeal against the substantive judgment on the main petition which was delivered by the tribunal, “out of abundant caution”.
With the failure of the appellants to appeal against the ruling of the tribunal on the respondents’ objections to the petition, Justice Odili held that their appeal against the substantive judgment of the tribunal has no legs to stand upon.
Owuru and HDP had dragged the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to the apex Court over the dismissal of their petition challenging the declaration of Buhari as winner of the presidential election.
The court in striking out the suit further held that failure of the appellants to appeal the Aug. 22 ruling of the tribunal which had struck out their petition for being incompetent was fatal to their appeal.
Counsel to Buhari, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Yunus Usman SAN, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lateef Fagbemi SAN had in separate preliminary objections asked the apex court to strike out the appeal on the grounds that the appellants contravened the law by filing two notices of appeal in one matter.
They drew the attention of the court to the first notice of appeal filed on August 28 and the second one filed on Sept. 2, which were simultaneously used to formulate issues in the main appeal and which were predicated on different grounds.
The first one has 12 grounds and the second, eight grounds.
The respondents argued that the action of the appellants by the two notices of appeal constituted gross abuse of court process and aimed at irritating and annoying the respondents.
In his own notice of preliminary objection filed on Sept. 16, counsel to the APC insisted that the appellants attempted to build their appeal on nothing since the decision of the tribunal that they have no competent petition known to law was not challenged.
Fagbemi informed the tribunal that the petition relied upon by the appellants to come to the Supreme Court had been declared nonexistent by the decision of Justice Mohammed Garba, adding that until the decision of the tribunal on the competency of the petition is set aside, the two appellants have no business coming to court without challenging the declaration of the petition as incompetent by the tribunal.
However, counsel to the appellants, Isaac Udoka, made spirited efforts to convince the apex court on why the two notices of appeal were filed in respect of one matter.
Udoka submitted that the appellants were forced to do so because the presidential election petition tribunal did not release a clean copy of its Aug. 22 judgment on time while the time to file a notice of appeal was running out.
He urged the court to use its discretion to consider the second notice of appeal as a continuation of the first one.
It would be recalled that the tribunal had in a separate ruling on Aug. 22 voided the petition of Owuru and HDP for not being in conformity with the position of the law and for being an abuse of court process. (NAN)
edited by Sadiya Hamza
2 men in court for allegedly damaging house foundation
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
2 charged with attempting to buy hemp with fake naira notes
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.
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
Court remands man, 26, for stealing goods worth 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
Police arraign man for allegedly stealing provisions worth N170,000
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
Job applicant remanded for allegedly robbing with toy gun
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
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