Judiciary

Tribunal fixes May 22 to hear application seeking to stop Buhari’s inauguration

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The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, has fixed May 22 to hear an application seeking an order to restrain Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) or any other Justice from swearing-in Muhammadu Buhari as president on May 29.

Chief Ambrose Owuru, Candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and his party, who are before the tribunal challenging their alleged exclusion from the Feb.23 presidential election brought the application for consideration on Tuesday.

Justice Zainab Bulkachua, President of the Appeal Court, leading four other justices adjourned hearing on the application on account of non-proper service on the respondents.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Buhari, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressive Congress (APC) were the respondents in the matter.

“It is hereby ordered that all exchanges of processes and filing of respondents’ briefs are done within the period specified.

“The sitting on the petition filed by the Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru and the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) is hereby adjourned until May 22’’, Bulkachua held.

The applicants had brought the application pursuant to Sections 1 (2), 6 (6) 139, and 239 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The applicants had also relied on Sections 26 (4) (5) and 138 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

They are praying for an order restraining the first respondent (Buhari) from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for swearing in or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as president.

Owuru and the HDP are also seeking an order restraining the CJN or any other justice in that stead from swearing-in or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on May 29 or any other date on Buhari.

They are praying the tribunal to activate those orders pending the determination of their petition contesting the alleged invalidity of the substituted and questioned presidential election of Feb.23.

The applicants predicated the application on the ground that they had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the election and the return of the first respondent as winner of the election.

They had raised the other ground to hinge in the fact that pleadings had been concluded among parties and petition fixed for pre-trial hearing session following services of hearing notice to all parties which commenced May 8.

The other ground of the application, according to the applicants, stems from the frantic ongoing preparation for the inauguration of the first respondent in spite of the pending petition.

“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory.

“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with’’, they claimed.

However, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Counsel for the president, informed the panel of his application seeking an order to dismiss the entire processes filed by the appellants, adding that their actions were laughable and incompetent.

Judiciary

2 men in court for allegedly damaging house foundation

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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

(NAN)

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Judiciary

2 charged with attempting to buy hemp with fake naira notes

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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.

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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

(NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands man, 26, for stealing goods worth N1,710

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An Ota Magistrates’ Court in Ogun, on Friday, remanded a 26-year-old man, Afeez Alabede, in Abeokuta Correctional Centre for stealing goods valued at 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

(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Judiciary

Police arraign man for allegedly stealing provisions worth N170,000

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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

(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Judiciary

Job applicant remanded for allegedly robbing with toy gun

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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

(NAN)

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