Tag Archives: court

Court snub EFCC’s petition to revoke FFK’s bail

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Again, the EFCC lawyer said he did not have Fani-Kayode’s phone number to know if his counsel was calling him.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s application, seeking for revocation of the bail granted to the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

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Justice John Tsoho ruled that the medical report brought by the defence counsel, Wale Balogun, that Fani-Kayode was indisposed was sufficient reason to reject the application by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar.

Noble Reporters Media (NoRM) reports that the ex-minister was, on Nov. 10, 2016, admitted to a N50 million bail bond with a surety in the like sum.

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Fani-Kayode is accused by the anti-graft agency of diverting N26 million alleged to have received from the ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the resumed hearing, Abubakar, who said the matter was for trial continuation, noted that Fani-Kayode was not in court.

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The lawyer stated further that the former minister was equally not in court on two previous occasions, which he argued, amounted to jumping of bail.

Abubakar, thereafter, urged the court to revoke Fani-Kayode’s bail and issue a bench warrant against him.

He also prayed the court to summon his surety to show cause why the bail bond would not be forfeited.

However, lawyer to the former minister Balogun urged the court to dismiss the EFCC’s oral application.

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He argued that such an application should be filed formally.

According to him, the prosecutor has narrated some facts and such facts should be on record by way of an affidavit.

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Balogun further argued that before the commencement of the sitting, he met with Abubakar and gave him two reasons the ex-minister was not in court.

According to him, I told him that the defendant has been indisposed in the last two weeks.

“I showed him the medical report from the Kubwa General Hospital that the defendant should be on bed rest,” he said.

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Balogun said due to his state of health, he could not attend the sister case in Lagos.

Again, the lawyer said he also misinformed Fani-Kayode about the next hearing date.

“We have advised the defendant that the matter was for tomorrow (Thursday).

“It was our error, I mean the lawyers. I even called him (Fani-Kayle) on phone to the knowledge of the prosecutor but he has not picked.

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“I have called him more than 20 times just to tell him that the matter was for today.

“His absence today regrettably is due to our fault, the lawyers’ fault. We apologise.

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“We plead passionately with ur lordship that the defendant will be in court tomorrow,” he said.

Balogun added that his absence in the last two proceedings was not his making.

“The defendant has always been coming to court before now.

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“The last time, it was beyond him because the airspace was shut down,” he said.

Balogun, who said that the reason for bail revocation must be substantial, urged the court not to grant the prosecution’s application.

Abubakar, who responded on points of law to submissions by Balogun, said issues of bench warrant did not require a formal application.

He enjoined the court to take judicial notice of all the reasons adduced for Fani-Kayode’s absence.

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Abubakar argued further that the defence counsel, who announced his appearance after he did, had all the opportunity to tell the court why his client was not in court.

He said whatever information Balogun gave the prosecution on the absence of his client in court “goes to no issue because he is not the court.”

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He also argued that it was the personal responsibility of a defendant on bail, under the law, to know when he should be in court.

“Counsel cannot take responsibility for that,” he said.

Abubakar urged the court to grant his application.

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Justice Tsoho then asked Balogun for a copy of the medical report.

In his ruling, the judge disagreed with Balogun that an application for bail revocation ought to have been made orally, citing the law to back the decision.

He also agreed with Abubakar that the defendant had a personal responsibility to his case.

The judge, however, said that the reasons giving by the defence counsel for the absence of his client on the two previous occasions when the court sat were justifiable.

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Besides, Tsoho, who ruled that the medical report was sufficient to justify the absence of Fani-Kayode in court, declined to grant the EFCC’s application.

He adjourned the matter until Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, 2021, for the continuation of hearing.

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#Newsworthy

Storyline: Court disagrees with EFCC’s exhibit against FMR NNPC GMD, Yakubu

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Mohammed held that the primary evidence of the motion to be tendered was the original copy which is at the custody of the Supreme Court.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, refused to admit a document sought to be tendered in evidence by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling, held that the motion was inadmissible because the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was unable to bring to the court its certified true copy.

Former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu arraigned before a Federal High Court for money laundering and financial fraud in Abuja…yesterday. (Noble Reporters Media / NoRM)

NoRM reports that Counsel to EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, had, on Nov. 5, tendered a document in which Yakubu, who is the 1st defendant witness (DW1), tendered at the Supreme Court, seeking for an order of stay of execution restraining the Federal Government from taking over the money which the anti-corruption agency took away when its operatives raided his residence.

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Abubakar said that Yakubu had deposed to an affidavit at the apex court that the money was kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kano by the EFCC.

But while being cross examined before Justice Mohammed by the anti-graft lawyer in the last adjourned date and question about the whereabouts of the money was put to the former GMD, said it was from the EFCC he got to know that the confiscated money was in CBN branch in Kano State.

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However, Yakubu’s Lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, urged the court not to admit the document on the premised that Abubakar ought to have come with its certified true copy being a public document.

In his ruling on Monday, Justice Mohammed said though it was not in doubt that the document emanated from the Supreme Court, “subsequently, to tender the document, it ought to have been certified.”

Quoting Section 35 of the Evidence Act 2011, he said “the content of a document may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence.”

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He said for a motion to be tendered as a secondary evidence, it must have been certified, citing previous cases to back the ruling.

The judge, therefore, held that the document sought to be tendered by the EFCC was inadmissible in the law.

“It is hereby rejected and shall be marked: tendered and rejected accordingly,” he ruled.

Justice Mohammed, who also refused to hear the EFCC’s motion, seeking an order to visit the locus in quo (i.e the CBN in Kano) because it was not fixed for the day’s proceeding, adjourned the matter until Jan. 14, 2021, to hear the anti-graft agency’s motion.

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Recall with NoRM that the EFCC, in 2017, raided the house of the former NNPC GMD in Kaduna State and found 9, 772, 800 dollars (9.7 million dollars) and 74, 000 pounds in a safe.

Yakubu was, however, arraigned on March 16, 2017, on six counts but was ordered by the Court of Appeal to defend counts three and four which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution and intent to avoid a lawful transaction in alleged violation of Section 1(1) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Act.

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#Newsworthy

Update: Court releases Sen. Mo Ali Ndume on bail

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, released Sen. Ali Ndume on bail after spending five days in Kuje Correctional Centre.

Justice Okon Abang, who gave the ruling, said the court decided to exercise its discretionary powers based on Ndume’s good conduct in the course of the trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), for whom he stood surety.

NoRM reports that Ndume (APC-Borno South) was remanded in prison custody after Maina was said to have jumped bail.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Court dissolve Judiciary workers’ debt suit against Edo Govt

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria against the Edo State government.

In the suit, the union urged the court to freeze the account of the state government over alleged refusal to obey a court order asking the state to offset the seven months salary arrears owed its members since 2015.

It asked the court to enforce the judgment of a Federal High Court which ruled in their favour.

Ruling on the application on Thursday, Justice Okon Abang explained that the suit was filed in bad faith with the aim of crippling the activities of the state government, a few weeks to a major election.

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He insisted that the union adopted a careless and nonchalant approach to enforce the judgment secured since January 2014, having failed to take steps to enforce.

The judge questioned why the union surreptitiously approached the court during a vacation to have the entire accounts of the state frozen without stating the exact amount allegedly owed the workers.

While dismissing the suit, he described the action of the applicant as a gold-digging exercise, adding that it was speculative and laced with ulterior motive aimed at satisfying the interests of members of the union to the detriment of the state.

Members of the union had joined their counterparts in the 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2014 to protest over the alleged failure of the state governments to grant autonomy to the judiciary.


#Newsworthy…

Kogi Election: Court dates August 31 for Musa Wada’s appeal.

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Supreme Court sitting in Abuja has fixed August 31, 2020, for the judgement in the appeal filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Musa Wada.

Mr. Wada is challenging the election victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State.

His party (PDP) insisted that its candidate won the November 16, 2019 governorship election while Mr. Wada claims that the election that brought in Mr. Bello as governor of the state was riddled with serious electoral infractions.

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In May, Mr. Wada lost his petition at the election tribunal which sat in Abuja

In the judgment of two to one, delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, the tribunal held that the petitioner had failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, massive thumb printing, voter intimidation, and other electoral malpractices.

The tribunal also awarded a cost of one million naira to be paid by the petitioners, PDP and Musa Wada to INEC, Yahaya Bello, and APC who are the respondents.

Thereafter, Mr. Wada lost his appeal before the Court of Appeal, being dissatisfied with the judgement, he approached the Apex Court.


#Newsworthy…

EdoDecide’20: Court orders disqualification suit on Ize-iyamu

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered substituted service of a suit seeking the disqualification of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming election in Edo State, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his running mate, Audu Ganiyu.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave the order on Tuesday after granting the plaintiffs’ application for substituted service on the defendants in the case – Ize-Iyamu and Ganiyu.

Giving his ruling, the judge ordered that the defendants be served with the suit by pasting the court documents and the hearing notice for next sitting at their residences in Benin, the Edo State capital.

He, thereafter, fixed August 24 for the hearing of the suit.

The plaintiffs in the suit, who are also APC members, Momoh Abdul-Razak and Zibiri Muhizu, had asked the court to disqualify their party’s candidates in the poll scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020.

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They filed the suit on the ground that Ganiyu gave false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid his qualification for the governorship election.

In the suit filed on July 10, 2020, through their lawyer, Friday Nwosu, the plaintiffs also alleged irregularities in Ganiyu’s name and academic credentials.

A file photo of the APC governorship candidate in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu. (Noble Reporters Media / Oyeyemi Gafar)

The APC and INEC were listed as the first and second defendants respectively in the suit while Ganiyu and Ize-Iyamu were the third and fourth respondents.

Ize-Iyamu, who was defeated by incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki in the 2016 governorship election, ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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In a bid to achieve his ambition of becoming the governor of Edo State, he defected to the APC in 2019 amid the crisis in the state chapter of the party.

He was later cleared to contest for the APC primary where he won the party’s ticket, but Governor Obaseki was disqualified by the screening committee.

The governor, who is seeking re-election, later defected to the PDP where he emerged as the party’s flagbearer in the election.

Ize-Iyamu, on his part, recently got the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to represent the APC in the poll.


#Newsworthy…

Reactions after shari’a court charges Kano singer to death.

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Several Nigerians have reacted to the judgment of an Upper Sharia Court in Kano which on Monday sentenced a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, to death by hanging for blasphemy.

Sharif-Aminu, 22, was found guilty of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song he circulated via Whatsapp in March this year.

He has 30 days to appeal the judgment.

In the aftermath of the court’s decision, thousands of Nigerians trooped to social media to express their opinions on the judgment.

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A Twitter user @FakhuusHashim said nothing should warrant the killing of any Nigerian for what they have said.

“Nothing, and I mean nothing should ever warrant the killing of anyone for anything they’ve said. This is repulsive and regressive. Death sentencing for blasphemy are a human rights violation and the FG must act to stop the sentence from being carried out.”

Another user, YOjora, said Sharia Law in Northern Nigeria affects only the poor and enemies of the powerful.

“Sharia law in northern Nigeria never affects the rich, only the poor and political enemies of the powerful… There’s a video of a certain person packing dollars, I wonder why he hasn’t lost his hands..”

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A journalist, David Hundeyin, described the judgment as “state-sanctioned terrorism.”

“Boko Haram regularly executes musicians and artists for “blasphemy” in the villages they occupy, citing Sharia Law. I’d love to know how this is not state-sanctioned terrorism. What is the difference between the Kano State government and Boko Haram? Please do tell.”

The West African coordinator of the Afro Arab Youth Council, Bello Shagari, said no muslim has the moral right to react angrily to blasphemy.

“No Muslim has the moral right to react angrily to blasphemy; that doesn’t mean one cannot be angry. Meanwhile, the sharia law on blasphemy cannot be done to a non Muslim. It is only applicable to Muslims who commits a ‘certain degree’ of blasphemy in a circular state.”


#Newsworthy…

Money laundering: High Court adjourn Adoke’s trial till August 13.

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The trial of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke has been stalled.

Mr. Adoke’s trial was stalled due to the failure of the prosecutor to serve the defendants with the proof of evidence and statement of the witness.

The former AGF was arraigned today alongside Aliyu Abubakar who is an Abuja based businessman, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court.

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During the last sitting, the defendants pleaded not guilty to a 14-count charge filed against them bordering on money laundering.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June filed an additional seven charges against the former AGF over money laundering allegations involving about N400 million.

Mr Adoke’s trial was expected to begin last week but it was stalled due to the amended charges.

The initial charge contained seven counts, with six of them relating to Mr. Adoke.

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At the resumed trial, the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.

The trial judge, Justice Ekwo who frowned at the late filing of the amended charge adjourned the trial on the ground that he is yet to sight the amended charges.

In the former seven counts, the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja, in September 2013.

In the counts relating to Mr Adoke, he was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

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He was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.

The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution,” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to Section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.

The former AGF was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 10, 2020, in the sum of N50m with one surety in like sum.

The case has been adjourned till August 13, 2020.


#Newsworthy…

Reenlisting 22 parties: INEC set to tackle Appeal Court

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has received the judgement of the Court of Appeal reinstating at least 22 political parties in the country.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed the receipt of the judgement in a statement on Monday.

Noble Reporters Media had reported that Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), and 20 others were reinstated by the appellate court.

But the electoral umpire said a total of 23 political parties were relisted by the four-man panel of judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo.

Okoye decried that the same court had upheld its decision to de-register the political parties, only for it to later fault its action.

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“We recall that on July 29, 2020, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division in an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) affirmed the power of the Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties that fail to meet the constitutional threshold in Section 225A.

“Dissatisfied with the judgment, the National Unity Party lodged an appeal which is presently pending before the Supreme Court,” he said.

A File photo of INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

The INEC official added, “The Commission is, therefore, faced with two conflicting judgements from the Court of Appeal – one affirming the powers of the Commission to deregister political parties and the other setting aside the deregistration of ACD & 22 others.

“Faced with two conflicting judgements from the same Court, the Commission is not in a position to pick and choose which one of them to obey.”

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Okoye said INEC would approach the Supreme Court for a final resolution of the issues raised in the two conflicting judgements.

He insisted that the commission was focused on preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020, and October 10, 2020.

According to the national commissioner, INEC is strictly and methodically following its timetable and schedule of activities derived from the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

He assured Nigerians and the people of Edo and Ondo States that the electoral umpire was on course and would deliver on its mandate.


#Newsworthy…

Elections: Appeal Court fires at INEC – reenlist 22 parties.

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reinstated 22 political parties de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Some of the parties reinstated by the court are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Their de-registration was reversed on Monday in a judgment prepared and signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem.

In a unanimous decision, the court declared as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, the judgement of the Federal High Court upholding INEC’s action de-registering the political parties.

A four-man panel of judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo held that the de-registration was illegal because the due process was not followed.

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The court also held that INEC’s action was not in compliance with Section 225(a)of the 1999 Constitution as amended, as the electoral umpire did not indicate reasons for the de-registration of the political parties.

File photo

On February 6, INEC announced that it had deregistered 74 out of the 91 political parties in the country.

It said it took the decision following a review of the performance of political parties after the 2019 general elections to see which parties qualify to exists.

Although a total of 75 parties were listed for deregistration, one of them – Action People’s Party (APP) – had obtained a court order restraining the electoral umpire from deregistering it.

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The electoral umpire stated that the 1999 Constitution vested in it the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.

It added that the Constitution was amended in 2018 and in addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowered the commission to deregister political parties.

Dissatisfied with the development, some of the political parties tested the legality of INEC’s action at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

But in a judgement delivered in June, Justice Taiwo Taiwo reaffirmed the powers of the electoral umpire to deregister political parties in the country.


#Newsworthy…

Magistrate court dismisses suit against senator Abbo

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A Magistrate Court in Zuba on the outskirts of Abuja has dismissed the case of assault instituted by the Nigeria Police Force against the lawmaker representing Adamawa-North, Senator Elisha Abbo.

Although there is a viral video showing Senator Abbo assaulting a woman, Osimibibra Warmate; and a televised press conference in which the lawmaker apologised to the victim, the court dismissed the suit for lack of diligent prosecution by the police.

The Magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah, who upheld a no-case submission filed by Senator Abbo, said the police failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the lawmaker indeed assaulted Osimibibra Warmate on May 11, 2019.

During the trial, two witnesses testified against Senator Abbo and they are Warmate who was the nominal complainant and a police officer, ASP Mary Daniel, who investigated the matter.

In her testimony, Warmate said she had gone to visit a friend, Kemi at Pleasure Chest Sex Toy Shop, Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja on May 11, 2019, when the lawmaker walked in with three women.

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She said suddenly, one of the women that accompanied Abbo started vomiting and later fainted.

Warmate said when she left the shop, she received a frantic call from the owner of the shop asking her to come to her aid as the lawmaker had accused her of fouling the shop’s air conditioning system that caused one of his female companions to vomit and was threatening to get her arrested.

The victim said when she returned to the shop and was cleaning up the vomit, two men, one of whom was a policeman in uniform, barged into the shop, assaulted them on the orders of Senator Elisha Abbo.

Protesters at premises of the National Assembly complex on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

Court Grants Senator Abbo Bail
The court had on July 8, 2020, granted bail to Senator Abbo in the sum of N5million.

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The Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District was granted bail by a Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Ilellah.

This was after the lawmaker was arraigned by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police at Zuba Magistrate Court, Abuja.

He was granted bail in the sum of N5million and the sureties must have verifiable addresses within the Federal Capital Territory.

Protesters Storm NASS, Demand Prosecution Of Senator Abbo

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The viral video of the Senator Abbo assaulting the lady at the shop was widely criticised by Nigerians on social media.

The situation led to a protest by some Protesters who stormed the National Assembly complex in Abuja demanding the prosecution of the senator.

The protesters including popular activist Aisha Yesufu said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, must be prosecuted alongside his police orderlies.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, condemning the act of assault and demanding justice.


#Newsworthy…

Lagos Court jails man for sexually assaulting 12-year-old daughter

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A Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has sentenced a 37-year-old commercial motorcyclist, Emmanuel Idoko, to 20 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting his 12-year-old daughter.

Justice Sybil Nwaka, while delivering judgment on the charge of sexual assault by penetration against Idoko, the prosecution provided ingredients necessary to prove its case.

The judge said: “The defendant is found guilty of the charge of sexual assault by penetration contrary to Section 261 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

“He is hereby sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.”

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The prosecution led by Mr Babajide Boye, had told the court that Idoko committed the offence between July and November 2017 at his residence in Oworonshoki, Lagos.

“He sexually assaulted his 12-year-old daughter (name withheld) by penetrating her vagina using his finger,” Boye said.

During the course of the trial, four witnesses testified for the prosecution while the defendant, Idoko testified solely in his defence.

Testifying for the prosecution on March 5, 2019, Dr Oyedeji Alagbe, a medical doctor and a consultant with the Mirabel Centre (a sexual assault referral centre), narrated what the complainant revealed to him when he examined her.

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Alagbe said: “The client declared in her history that her father, though not married to her mother, had her and her male sibling living with him.

“The victim’s ordeal started in 2016, a year before she was referred to the Mirabel Centre.

“The victim said her father came home and said that he heard from people that she was no longer a virgin and he needed to test her to see if it was true.

“He forced her to undress and said he will use his finger to test her, the client was reluctant. He scolded her and eventually did it with his fingers.

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“He also said that he would use his penis to examine her and she refused, he beat her and he subsequently started torturing her in the home because she kept turning down his requests.”

Idoko, who testified on Nov. 21, 2019, denied seeing his daughter nakedness and inserting his fingers into her private part to test her virginity.

“My daughter is following bad friends, my neighbours said all sorts of things about her. I initially did not believe it until I saw it myself.

“On Nov. 21, 2017, I saw my daughter with some boys while her brother was in the house watching television.

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“When I called her name, the boys ran away and I asked her to tell me who her boyfriend was.

“When I tried to beat her, she tried to fight me like those friends of hers who beat up their parents. That was the reason I beat her that day,” he said.

When he was confronted with his police statement in which he admitted seeing his daughter’s nakedness, Idoko told the court that her clothes fell off when she was struggling with him in his attempt to discipline her.

“I did not tear her clothes. I do not understand my statement, I was close to fainting when the statement was written,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

High court order arrest of Ex-NASS clerk, Omolori Sani

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A Federal High Court sitting at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has issued an arrest warrant against the immediate past clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Sani Omolori.

Ruling on an exparte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Justice Suleman Belgore gave the order following claims by the anti-graft agency that Mr. Omolori ignored its invitation to report at its office over an investigation of a petition.

The EFCC in its motion stated that it was investigating a petition, alleging diversion of 14 Toyota Hilux vehicles and 13 Peugeot 508 valued at over 400 million naira.

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It added that, as part of its investigation activities, it invited the secretary of the national assembly commission, Adamu Fika, Mr. Oluseye Ajakaye and others to its office.

The commission added that Mr. Fika and Mr. Ajakaye made revelations indicting Mr. Omolori, following which invitation letters were sent to him on November 4, 2019, which he allegedly ignored.

The anti-graft agency, further noted that it sent another letter to the former clerk on March 16, 2020, which he still ignored.


#Newsworthy…

Kogi West: Appeal Court dissolves Dino Melaye’s suit against Adeyemi

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Senator Dino Melaye has lost the bid to return to the Senate, about eight months after he was defeated in the Kogi West senatorial district election.

He contested the November 2019 poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and lost to Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Melaye had filed a suit at the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgement of the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal which affirmed the election of Senator Adeyemi.

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He asked the court to upturn the decision of the Tribunal that declared Senator Adeyemi as the winner of the election.

A three-man panel of justices of the appellate court, however, dismissed the suit in its judgement delivered on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

L-R: A photo combination of Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Smart Adeyemi.

Melaye Fined
Justice Ibrahim Saulawa who led the other judges and delivered the judgement held that the appeal filed by Melaye was incompetent.

He added that all seven issues raised in the appeal were resolved against the appellant with a cost of N50,000 awarded against him.

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The Kogi State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by Melaye for lacking in merit in its judgement delivered in Abuja on June 10, 2020.

It held that the witnesses presented by Melaye failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, unlawful votes, and the various electoral infractions listed in the petition.

Two weeks after the people of Kogi West senatorial district went to the poll, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Senator Adeyemi as the winner of the November 16, 2019 election.

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The APC candidate polled 88,373 votes to beat his PDP rival who scored 62,133 votes.

A screengrab of the result of the Kogi West Senatorial District election released by INEC.

Ambassador Rufus Aiyenigba of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came third in the poll with 659 votes and was trailed by John Olabode and Adeyemi Taiwo of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP who) garnered 262 and 119 votes respectively.

Following his victory at the poll, Adeyemi was inducted into the Senate and replaced Melaye as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: court upholds rape case of former chrisland school supervisor

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has affirmed the judgment of the Sexual Offences Court which convicted and sentenced a Chrisland School supervisor, Adegboyega Adenekan, to 60 years’ imprisonment for defiling a two-year-old pupil.

The Presiding Justice of the Appeal Court, Justice Lawal Garuba who read the lead judgment held that the appeal filed by the convict lacks merit.

The other justices on the panel, Justice Gabriel Kolawole and Justice Bilkisu Aliyu also agreed with the lead judgment.

On Oct 24, 2019, Adenekan, 47, was convicted on one count of defilement of the pupil, who attended Chrisland School, VGC, an offence committed sometime in November 2016.

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In her judgement, Justice Sybil Nwaka held that the prosecution proved its case against the convict beyond every reasonable doubt, adding that the evidence of the child that the convict defiled her twice was corroborated by a medical report from the Mirabel Centre, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.

The victim, in her evidence before the court, said Mr Adenekan put his mouth and his hand in her wee-wee (private parts). She also said that the supervisor put his mouth in the private parts of her best friend (name withheld).

The little girl said Adenekan covered her mouth when she attempted to shout and that he defiled her twice on the school premises, at his office and at the hallway.

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This defendant is conscienceless, wicked, an animal, and not fit to walk on the streets.

“I hereby sentence Adegboyega Adenekan to 60 years’ imprisonment. This is the sentence of the court,” the judge held.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, the convict through his lawyer, Olatunde Adejuyigbe, SAN, appealed against the whole judgment

He contended that the Prosecution had not proved the essential ingredients of the offence with which the appellant was charged.

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Counsel for the State, Mr Babajide Boye asked the court of appeal to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower court.

In a unanimous judgment today, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and affirmed the Judgement of the lower Court.

During the trial, the prosecution called seven witnesses and closed its case on March 14, 2019, while the defence team also called five witnesses and closed its case on June 26, 2019.


#Newsworthy…

Court orders Diezani’s return for trial

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to appear before it for an arraignment on money laundering charges filed against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu made the order in a ruling on an ex parte application shortly after it was moved by the lawyer to the anti-graft agency, Mr. Faruk Abdullah.

The judge ordered the defendant, who is alleged to have escaped to the United Kingdom after leaving office in 2015, to appear in court to answer 13 counts of money laundering involving $39.7m and N3.32bn said to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

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Justice Ojukwu, in her ruling, ordered that the court summons be published on the website of the EFCC and a national daily in a conspicuous manner.

The judge adjourned the case till October 28 for the defendant’s arraignment.

In the application, the anti-corruption agency stated it had made futile efforts to question the former minister on her role in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement to Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The commission also said it sought to question her role in “the chartering of private jets by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of contracts by NNPC to Marine and Logistics Services Limited.”

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It added that it was investigating her business relationships with Mr. Donald Amamgbo, Mr. lgho Sanomi, Mr. Afam Nwokedi, Chief lkpea Leemon, Miss Olatimbo Bukola Ayinde, Mr. Benedict Peters, Christopher Aire, Harcourt Adukeh, Julian Osula, Dauda Lawal, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Mr. Leno Laithan, Sahara Energy Group and Midwestern Oil Limited.

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke

It added that it needed to question her on “her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that were warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 20015 prior to the elections.”

The EFCC said it equally wanted the ex-minister to speak on several items, documents and jewelleries recovered from her house at No: 10 Chiluba Close off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and some identified properties that are linked to her’ In Nigeria, UK, United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirate (UAE) and South Africa.

The EFCC had on November 11, 2018, filed the 13 counts of money laundering accusing Diezani of unlawfully taking into her possession, the sums of sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn when she reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.

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She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.

In September 2013, she allegedly used the name of Rusimpex Limited to acquire a property named Block B3 comprising of six penthouses and 18 flats at Zone N Federal Government Layout, also known as Bella Vista Estate, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, with the sum of $37.5m.

On June 4, 2012, she was said to have used the name of Azinga Meados Limited to buy 13 three-bedroom terrace houses with one room maids’ quarters at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Abuja, with the sum of N650m.

In May 2012, she allegedly used the name of Chapel Properties to buy eight four-bedroom terrace houses, two three-bedroom penthouses, six three-bedroom apartments, two three-bedrooms Mansionette , two two-bedroom apartments, one four-bedroom apartment at No. 4/6 Thorbun Avenue, and No 5 Raymond Street, Yaba, Lagos, with N937m.

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She was also said to have in May 2012, purchased in the name of Blue Nile Estate Limited, 16 four-bedroom terrace houses, at Plot 2C, Omerelu Street Diabu GRA, Port Harcourt Rivers State, with N928m.

She was also said to have in January 2011 bought in the name of Vista Point Company Limited, six flats of three-bedrooms with one boys’ quarters each, lawn tennis court, Gym, garden and appurtenances, at 135 Awolowo Road/Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, with N805m.

The ex-minster was also said to have in December 2011, bought in the name of Sequoyah Properties Limited a property at 12, Forces Avenue, Old GRA, Port Harcourt measuring 4,890 square meters with $2.2m.

Her alleged offences which she was said to have committed between November 20, 2011, and September 2013 were said to be contrary to section 15(2), (d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.


#Newsworthy…