Mrs Josephine Obanor, the Director of Magistrate, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), says the law that a magistrate can grant warrant of arrest without having jurisdictions has been grossly abused.
Obanor said this at the closing ceremony of a two day retreat organised for the three chapters of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Abuja by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) on Wednesday.
RoLAC is a programme funded by European Union (EU) and managed by the British Council.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the three chapters are Bwari, Gwagwalada and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Obanor said that warrant of arrest had always been abused in the past, adding that move were on to create a synergy between the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and magistrates to ensure things were properly done.
According to her, this will be in line with the provision of Administration of Criminal Justice Acts (ACJA).
She said that Section 1 of ACJA promotes efficient management of justice dispensation, stressing that the main aim of criminal justice was to reform offenders and not to keep them valueless.
She called on lawyers to familiarise themselves with the provision of ACJA in terms of prosecution of suspects, adding that proper management of suspects at the police station was crucial to the provision of ACJA.
“ACJA opens a lot of doors in the justice system and being a lawyer or magistrates is a calling because whatever we do as ministers in the temple of justice, we should know that God is watching us.
She called on lawyers to ensure that they made the legal profession decent, adding that the FCT magistrates was making effort to enter into an agreement with a German Trade Zone, a development agency to support magistrate.
According to her, section 34 of ACJA has empowered the magistrate to visit police stations quarterly to inspect facilities at the stations and suspects in their custody.
The director of magistrate, noted that the police before now were not cooperating with the magistrate, but with the coming of ACJA , they had started cooperating.
Obanor added that magistrates now had the opportunity of telling the police to charge suspects to court instead of keeping them perpetually in their custody.
Mr Bayo Akinlade, the NBA Chairman, Ikorodu branch, Lagos state, condemned some of the courts environment with a rickety look.
“If you are in court and you are a lawyer, I am interested in the way you dress and if you do not dress by the code, I will tell the judge not to listen to you,’’ he said.
He said that the branch was coming up with a standard fee charge by lawyers that would be acceptable, adding that lawyers were getting some ridiculous amount that was not commensurate with their services.
He said that an average magistrate in Lagos State had 300 cases per day, adding that some of the magistrates had no security.
According to him, I have cases of magistrates entering public transport after seating on sensitive cases, the NBA and other stakeholders should ensure things are in order in the judiciary.
Edited by Grace Yussuf
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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