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Tribunal adjourns sitting to July 23 in Sokoto governorship petition

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The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, in Sokoto has adjourned hearing into the case filed by Ahmed Aliyu, the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate to July 23, for opening of defence by the respondents.

Aliyu is challenging the return of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as elected governor during the election.

The Tribunal Chiairman, Justuce Abbas Bawale adjournment sitting on Wednesday after Aliyu and his party led 10 witnesses and tendered exhibits to closed their case.

Lead Counsel of the Petitioners, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, told the Tribunal that they were satisfied with the witnesses and the exhibits presented before it.

Izinyon objected to long adjournment sought by Counsel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Alhassan Umar, who prayed for two weeks adjournment to enable them commence their defence.

The Counsel to Tambuwal and PDP, Mr Eze Duru, SAN and Aare Olumuyiwa-Akinboro, SAN, have respectively aligned themselves with the adjournment submissions.

Justice Bawale adjourned the case to July 23, 2019, for Tambuwal to open his defence.

NAN recalled that Bawale admitted some documents after he granted application by the petitioner’s counsel, who tendered the documents,  which he said were vital to the petition.

The documents included copies of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Forms EC8 A and B from Tambuwal, Sokoto South, Tureta, Goronyo, Kebbe, Illela, Wurno and Gada Local Governments.

They also comprised copies of the summary of results for the General and Supplementary elections, as well as two copies of Form EC 40 G for Illela and Kebbe Local Governments.

Others were voters registers of twenty seven polling units and some wards in ten local governments.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the main governorship election held on March 9 was declared inconclusive following cancellation of 75, 403 votes which were higher than the 3, 413 votes margin between the leading candidates.

The re-run was conducted on March 23, and Tambuwal won with a slim margin of 342 votes.

Unsatisfied with the outcome, Aliyu approached the tribunal challenging the return of Tambuwal as the governor-elect, on the grounds that the election was marred with irregularities.

———

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

Judiciary

DSS operatives re-arrest Sowore, Bakare

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Operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS), on Friday, re-arrested Omoyele Sowore, Convener, #RevolutionNow Protest, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Sowore and Bakare had resisted being rearrested by the officers of the security outfit shortly after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the day’s proceeding till Feb. 11, Feb. 12 and Feb. 13, 2020 for definite hearing.

NAN reports that Justice Ojukwu had, on Thursday, ordered the DSS to release Sowore and Bakare within 24 hours after meeting his bail conditions.

Ojukwu, who gave the order, also awarded a N100, 000 fine against the DSS over its delay to serve the defence counsel with the additional proof of evidence in the ongoing trial despite the court’s order to the effect.

The DSS had, on Thursday, complied with the court order by releasing the defendants and also paid the fine.

At the Friday’s sitting, the DSS Counsel, Hassan Liman, SAN, told the court that the security agency had already complied with the order of the court.

He also hinted that based on the agreement between the parties, the matter be adjourned till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 to enable the parties respond to applications filed.

Also speaking, Counsel to the defendants, Femi Falana, SAN, confirmed that his clients were released to him on Thursday evening.

“My Lord, at about 5 o clock yesterday, I received a call from my respected colleague to send our lawyers to receive our clients.

“I am happy to tell you that our clients were released and the N100, 000 cost was also paid.

“On account of this, on behalf of our defendants, we wish to express our profound appreciation for your leadership and for standing up for integrity and for standing for the rule of law in Nigeria.

“I also thank my colleague for impressing it on their client to obey the court order.

“I hope my learned friend will allow the defendants to get their freedom notwithstanding the charges,” he told the court.

Justice Ojukwu, who commended the DSS for obeying the Court order, said everyone must be ready to allow the law to take its course irrespective of position one held.

“It is obvious that the DSS has demonstrated their commitment to rule of law.

“No one is above the law,” adding that those at realms of power must respect the rule of law.

“The DSS has earned the respect of Nigerians for this,” the judge said.

She then adjourned till Feb. 11, 12 and 13 for definite hearing.

But as everyone filed out of the courtroom, no fewer than 15 armed officers of the DSS, who had laid ambush for the defendants, made their way towards Sowore and Bakare.

There was a stampede as the officers cocked their guns scaring people away.

Sowore and Bakare, however, resisted being rearrested, running back into the courtroom.

The development led to the disruption of court sitting as the judge hurriedly retired to her chamber while the court workers, lawyers and journalists scampered for safety.

Amidst the commotion that pervaded the courtroom, the officers of the DSS stood their ground on rearresting the defendants.

Sowore, while speaking with the newsmen, in the courtroom, said the ploy of the security agency was to kill him.

He said their action had shown that they had no respect for the law, the court and the citizens.

However, after over an hour battle, Sowore and Bakare were led out of the court by his team of lawyers, friends and surrounded by the stern-looking DSS officers.

The security agents, who remained adamant on rearresting him, refused to listen to anyone, including Falana, and they did not give any reason for their action.

As Sowore and Bakare walked out of the court premises, the DSS operatives drove their vehicle to accost the defendants but they refused to board the vehicle.

Falana, who was visibly unhappy with the treatment, cautioned them against rearresting them in the court premises.

The human rights lawyer then insisted that if the defendants must follow them, they must go in his car.

Sowore and Bakare were later conveyed to the DSS office in Falana’s Lexus Jeep with registration number: ABC 202 HV while the officers escorted them with their vehicles.

NAN reports that the two men are facing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking, among others.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Realtor docked over alleged conversion of N4.7m mistakenly credited to his bank account

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A 41-year-old Realtor, Abayomi Olayinka, on Friday, appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, charged with allegedly stealing N4.7million mistakenly credited into his account by his bank.

Olayinka, a resident of Abule-Ojo, Alagbole area of Lagos, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing.

The Prosecutor, Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the defendant committed the offence sometime in February 2018 in Lagos.

According to her, a system malfunction of Sterling Bank’s applications mistakenly credited the defendant with N10 million but immediately debited him N5.3 million, leaving a balance of N4.7 million.

Olaluwoye said that, instead of the defendant reporting the error to the bank, he went on a spending spree with the money five days after the credit mistake.

She said that the defendant used some part of the money to buy a Toyota Matrix car, some clothes and paid his Wife’s hospital bill with some other outstanding bills.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Section 287 stipulates three years imprisonment for the offence of stealing.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Oluwatoyin Oghere, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N3 million with two sureties in like sum.

She further directed that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction and be gainfully employed with evidence of three years’ tax payment to Lagos State Government.

Oghere adjourned the case until March 31, for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Bayo Sekoni/Adeleye Ajayi
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Court sentences 3 teenagers to 30 days each for unlawful possession of Cannabis Sativa

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An Osogbo Magistrates’ Court in Osun on Friday sentenced three persons to 30 days imprisonment at Ilesa Correctional Centre for unlawful possession of Cannabis Sativa.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the convicts included Yusuf Saheed, 18; Ogunlowo Dare ,19 ; and Yekini Opeyemi,19.

Delivering judgment, the Magistrate, Mr O.O. Adegoke, ordered that the convicts be kept at the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Ilesa for one month because of the gravity of the offence committed.

The court said that the sentence was without options or fine.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Adeoye Kayode, had told the court that the trio committed the offence on Dec. 4 at about 9pm, around Sabo/Arikalamu area, Osogbo.

Kayode said the convicts were caught with cannabis sativa popularly known as “Indian hemp’’ at odd hours by the Police.

The prosecutor averred that the convicts were trapped by the police patrol on duty.

He explained that the convicts were eventually subjected to thorough search where the unlawful substances were discovered.

The Prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 243 and 70 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 vol. 11 Laws of Osun, 2002.

The convicts had pleaded guilty to the two count-charge of unlawful possession and breach of public peace brought against them.

The defence counsel, Mr Najite Okobie, had prayed the court to temper justice with mercy being that they were first offenders.

Edited & Vetted By: Martins Odeh/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Man, 40, in court for allegedly assaulting woman

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A 40-year-old man, Abiola Okubote, on Friday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly beating up a woman.

 

Okubote, who resides at 8, Aluko Close, Oshodi in Lagos State, is being tried for assault and causing a breach of the public peace.

The prosecutor, ASP Clifford Ogu, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on Nov. 17, at 20, Sadiku St., Shogunle, near Oshodi.

 

Ogu said that a fight ensued between the complainant, Mrs Bunmi Ayedun and the defendant, leading to assault.

 

The prosecutor said that the defendant assaulted the complainant, pushed her into a drain and poured beer on her.

 

Ogu said that the complainant sustained fracture on her left hand as a result of the assault.

 

He said that the offences contravened Sections 168 and 245 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

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

 

The chief magistrate, Mr J. A. Adegun, admitted the defendant to a bail of N50, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

 

Adegun adjourned the case until Dec. 27, for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Tayo Ikujuni/Peter Dada
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Man docked over alleged theft of lotto terminals worth N278,000

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A 43-year-old businessman, Obasi Ukpai, charged with allegedly stealing two lotto terminals valued at N278,000 was on Friday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

The defendant, who resides at Ikeja, was arraigned before a Magistrate, Mrs O.A.Aderibigbe, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

Ukpai, however, denied committing the offences and was admitted to a bail of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Aderibigbe said that the sureties should be gainfully employed and show evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government (LASG).

The Prosecutor, Insp. Mojirade Edeme, told the court that the defendant and one other person yet to be apprehended committed the offences in September.

She alleged that the defendant absconded with the terminals belonging to Golden Chance Lotto.

“The defendant obtained the terminals from the complainant and ran away with them to an unknown location without paying.

“Efforts made by the complainant to get the money or retrieve the terminals proved unsuccessful as the defendant refused to pick his calls.

“He was eventually arrested and handed over to the police,” the prosecutor said.

The alleged offences violate Sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Section 287 stipulates three years imprisonment for stealing, while Section 411 prescribes two years for conspiracy.

The case was adjourned until Dec. 13 for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Adeleye Ajayi
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Bus conductor in court over alleged damages, stealing of cell phones

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An 18-year-old bus conductor, Emmanuel Iwede, was on Friday brought before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing three mobile phones valued at N12,000.

The defendant, whose address was not stated, is being tried for damages, stealing and causing breach of peace.

The Prosecutor, ASP Clifford Ogu, told the court that the offences were committed on Nov. 21 at Ago-Owu area of Shogunle Oshodi in Lagos.

Ogu said that the defendant entered the compound of Mrs Esther Itabor at night, damaging a window net valued at N10, 000 and stole two Itel phones valued at N8,000.

The prosecutor also said that the defendant entered the apartment of Mr Francis Romanda and stole a Nokia phone valued at N4, 000.

Ogu said that the defendant was, however, caught while entering another apartment of Mr Sodiq Olaleye.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, contravened Sections 280, 308, 309 and 350 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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

The Chief Magistrate, Mr J. A. Adegun, admitted the defendant to a bail of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

Adegun, thereafter, adjourned the case until Dec. 27 for mention.

Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

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