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Supreme Court rules Atiku, PDP failed to prove case against Buhari

The Supreme Court on Friday said all allegations raised by the Peoples Democratic Party and Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the February 23 presidential election, were unproven.

Atiku, a former vice-president who contested the election against Buhari, claimed he won the election.

Justice Inyang Okoro said this while giving reasons why the apex court on October 30 dismissed the appellants’ appeal that challenged the judgment of the presidential tribunal.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the appellants had claimed that the tribunal erred in addressing all the issues raised in petition.

NAN further reports that the issues brought before the tribunal bordered on the qualification, electoral malpractice, and transmission of election results electronically, among others.

In the circumstance, the appellant prayed the tribunal to rule all the issues in their favour and return Atiku as winner of the election.

However, Okoro, who provided the definitive reasons by seven-man panel of justices, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, also held that: “the appeal lacked any scintilla of merit and therefore needed to be dismissed.”

On allegations on the president’s qualification, Okoro said Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the election as sufficient evidence was adduced to confirm both his educational and candidature status that were accepted by INEC.

Okoro, therefore, upheld the decision of the tribunal on the issues around the president’s qualification and possession of relevant certificates was legendary.

The judge also said that Buhari was not liable of any irregularities and corrupt practices before, during and after the election as claimed by the appellants.

He also said the president was not under any obligations to attach his credentials to his INEC nomination form as contested by the appellants, adding that such demand was not provided for by the Constitution.

On the allegation of the use of server by INEC in transmitting results of the election to a central point, Okoro, said PDP and Atiku failed woefully by not providing evidence to substantiate such an allegation.

“They were wrong to have relied on the so called results obtained from a website not maintained by the electoral umpire, adding that the claim by Atiku that he won the election based on information from such a clandestine source was questionable.

“I agree entirely with the court below that the appellants failed to prove that INEC has the server from which they got their figures.

“As a result, all the results, calculations and analysis based on the results from such a source that did not belong to INEC are of no moment,’’ the judge said.

On allegations of over voting, violence and malpractices, Okoro held that the failure of the appellants to call credible witnesses was fatal to their case, adding that five witnesses invited to prove such allegations was unimaginable.

According to the judge, most of the issues raised by the appellants were based on to prove hearsay evidence, adding that the apex court could not grant prayers that were not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

“We are of the conviction that the lower court did a good job based on the evidence brought before it by the appellants. We also unanimously dismissed the appeal as all five issues remained unproven,’’ the judge said.

Masked security men storm Makinde’s hotel in Lokoja

 

Masked security operatives stormed Suitorial Hotels, Lokoja, Kogi state capital, where Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state, lodged ahead of Saturday’s election.

Makinde is the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council for the governorship election.

According to Taiwo Adisa, the governor’s spokesman, Makinde and members of his campaign team were inside the hotel when masked security operatives attempted forcing their way in around 12 mid-day.

He said they shot sporadically into the air and the security operatives attached to the governor responded swiftly.

“Some of the hooded security operatives scaled the fence of the Hotel and attempted to gain entrance into the main Hotel,” Adisa quoted a witnesses as saying.

Adisa said the hooded policemen came in about 100 vehicles.

He quoted another witness as saying: “They came fully armed and hooded. Some of them scaled the fence of the Hotel and made to enter the Hotel proper. But pandemonium ensued, as there was commotion between security operatives attached to the Governor and the invaders.

“However, some residents in the neighbourhood of the Hotel soon mobilised and joined the Governor’s security to resist the invaders.”

When The Cable visited the hotel on Friday afternoon, some staff who spoke off the record, confirmed that policemen came to the hotel.

They said the officers wanted to search the facility but they were not allowed to do so because they could not provide any search warrant.

The hotel officials also said only 20 policemen came into the facility, denying that there were gunshots.

“There was no shooting or any form of violence as claimed,” the official said.

It was gathered that Makinde left the hotel shortly after the incident.

 

Two killed, 17 vehicles burnt as petrol tanker crashes, explodes in Ogun

 

At least two persons were killed after a petrol-laden tanker crashe in the wee hours of Friday around Toll gate, Ota axis of Lagos-Abeokuta highway, while approaching Shoprite Store.

The tanker, it was learnt, went up in flames immediately, destroying lives, vehicles, and properties.

Confirming the incident, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance (TRACE) Corps Spokesperson, Babatunde Akinbiyi released a video of the inferno.

Akinbiyi that there were casualties but the number could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.

According to Akinbiyi, the TRACE Corps, Fire Service agents, Federal Road Safety Corps, the police, the NSCDC, Naval officers and the Army were all on ground for rescue operations.

However, Bisi Kazeem, Chief Education Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, confirmed that two persons dies, six reported injured and 17 vehicles were destroyed in the inferno, which caused a massive gridlock on the Lagos Abeokuta Expressway.

Kazeem said in statement sent to Thenewsmatrics that the corpses of the deceased victims have deposited the corpses at the hospital morque while rescue operations were ongoing.

Some casualties still alive with burn injuries have also been evacuated for medical attention

He added that alternative routes have been announced ussing electronic and social media broadcast and posting on traffic platforms for vehicles inward Lagos to go through under the bridge at Sango pending when the obstructions fully cleared

“For now men have been deployed to control traffic at toll gate. Vehicle inward Abeokuta are going through Ilo awela Road to emerge at Sango”, he said.

 

Photos from the scene:

ICPC: We uncovered N12.4bn padded in 2019 budget

Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says the agency uncovered N12.4 billion padded into 2019 budget.

Owasanoye said this on Thursday in Abuja while giving a report on the tracking of constituency projects in the country.

The ICPC chairman said about a month ago, the commission prevented N9.2 billion from leaving government’s purse.

According to him, budget padding is still prevalent in the MDAs because “oversight is not strong enough”.

“We broke down the 2019 budget and we are going to announce publicly what project is allocated to each state,” he said.

“People can call ICPC and ask for it and we will tell them what project they should expect. This is much more effective way of fighting corruption.

“Part of our prevention mandate is to go into government agencies and look at how public fund is used. A month ago, we restrained N9.2bn from going out. What happened was that when we looked at the budget and what has been appropriated and how it was to be used, I can tell you authoritatively that there is still budget padding.

“This is because the oversight is not strong enough. If you have personnel vote that is not exhausted and people do not complain that salaries have not been paid, you can tell that someone has made budget proposal of more than what is needed to pay salary. The agency involved did not dispute it and we informed the ministry of finance, budget and national planning.

“The figure has moved because it is an ongoing exercise. As at this morning (Thursday), we found an additional N3.2bn. Hopefully, by the time we finish, we would have found more money and saved government personnel cost.”

 

EFCC is seen as a monster, says Owoseni, former Lagos CP

Fatai Owoseni, former commissioner of police in Lagos state, says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seen as a monster by some people.

He said this while speaking as a panelist during the 12th annual business luncheon of SPA Ajibade & Co., a commercial law firm, in Lagos, on Thursday.

The event, chaired by Amina Augie, justice of the supreme court, who was represented by Helen Ogunwumiju, justice of the court of appeal, was themed “the forum for resolution of civil disputes: The courts v law enforcement agencies”.

Owoseni said the EFCC emerged from the creation of task forces, adding that to some persons, the anti-graft agency has become a monster.

“That task force was used to seize properties, to do all sorts of things and that was what metamorphosed into the EFCC. Depending on which side of the divide you belong, to some of us, the EFCC has become a monster,” he said.

The former CP also said the interpretation of the rule of law has become flexible depending on which side an individual views it.

“The rule of law and the application and the enforcement is interpreted based on which side of the divide you are. If you are any of these governors today, the rule of law is something to you; if you become the Vice-President today, the rule of law is another thing to you; and we are seeing it,” he said.

Another panelist, Biobele George, justice of the court of the appeal, said the EFCC and police must investigate cases properly before carrying out arrests.

“In civilised societies, you don’t arrest, detain and investigate; no! You investigate, arrest and detain. But here, you arrest before you investigate; you detain before you investigate. You are supposed to conduct preliminary investigation before you arrest somebody. It is so unfortunate, the police and the EFCC, you have to stop,” he said.

 

Appeal Court judge freed after two weeks in kidnappers’ den

Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, judge of the Benin division of the Court of Appeal, has regained freedom after two weeks in captivity.

She was abducted in Benin, capital of Edo state, on October 30 while her police orderly was shot dead.

Danmallam Mohammed, Commissioner of Police in Edo, confirmed that the judge was rescued from kidnappers and has been reunited with her family.

D. O. Anosike, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Owerri, Imo state capital, also confirmed the release of the judge.

“It’s with a joyful heart and praises to God Almighty, that I announce to us all that my Lord, Hon. Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme has been released,” he wrote in a message shared among NBA members in his branch.

“I thank God Almighty, and all of us, for our steadfastness, support, and prayers. I wish to thank the State Government especially, for her immeasurable assistance. Good night all and God bless.”

During her abduction, the Benin branch of NBA, boycotted the courts for three days last.

Nwosu-Iheme is Uzoma Nwosu-Iheme, a former commissioner for public utilities and rural development, and commissioner for education in Imo state.

In August 2005 at the fifty-ninth (59th) session of the United Nations’ General Assembly, she was elected along with 26 other judges to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Eastern Europe.ectoral panels in Nigeria.

In 2010, her first son was kidnapped in Owerri.

Akwa Ibom Councillor who assaulted woman and paraded her naked remanded in prison

A councillor in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state has been remanded in prison by Justice Archibong Acrhibong for allegedly assaulting a woman identified as Iniubong Essien and stripping her naked.

The councillor identified as Nseobot was arraigned in court for allegedly kidnapping, assaulting and publicly stripping the woman Essien, who he had accused of stealing some naira notes that was sprayed on him and his wife, Aniedi, at their wedding.

The judge ordered that Mr Nseobot be remanded in prison, after the councillor pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him by the police while hearing the case today, November 14th.

According to reports, Iniubong revealed that she assisted the Nseobots in cooking their wedding food but denied being the person that picked the money at the wedding. She was reportedly abducted from her home in Uyo in November 2018, driven to a village in Ibiono (about 27 kilometres) and paraded before a village hall around 10 a.m.

“I was beaten and forced to walk stark naked in the village hall, they removed my dress, my bra, and my pant, Ms Essien, who is over 40 told Premium Times.

“People were inside the village hall, I think he (the councillor) may have told them that he was bringing a thief for them to beat, so the whole place was filled with people.

“He was mixing charcoal with pepper to rub on my body, but he didn’t rub (it) on me. They tied a rope around my waist and said I must dance naked before the village people.” she said

Iniubong who was in court today, said she is happy with the decision of the judge to sent Nseobot to prison.

“I am so happy with what has happened.” she said.

Ex-Information minister, Alex Akinyele dies at 81 … Buhari mourns

A former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele, has died. He was aged 81.

A son of the deceased, Constantine Akinyele, said the former minister died on Thursday night after a brief illness.

Akinyele, who was a public relations expert, was a pioneer spokesperson of the Nigerian Customs Service.

He was also a Secretary-General and later, President of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations.

Akinyele was also Chairman of the National Sports Commission and a member of the Constituent Assembly.

A former Minister of Information, Alex Akinyele, is dead.

The former minister earned a degree in the English Language from then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathised with the family of a former Minister of Information, Alex Opeyemi Akinyele, who died on Thursday night.

A State House statement by the president’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, said, “The President commiserates with the government and people of Ondo State, friends and professional colleagues of the departed, urging them to take solace in the lasting legacies of the former colourful minister, who also served as Chairman of National Sports Commission and Chairman of National Reconciliation Committee.

“As a trained teacher and public relations specialist, President Buhari affirms that Chief Akinyele’s scrupulousness, discipline and diligence were always obvious to those who worked closely with him, and his love for the nation, which was zealously demonstrated through providing exemplary leadership.

“The President prays that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the former minister eternal rest, and comfort all members of his family.”

Two injured as fire guts building near Tejuosho Market

Two yet-to-be-identified men on Thursday sustained injuries when a storey building in the Tejuosho area of Lagos was gutted by fire.

It was gathered that the fire started from a power surge in one of the rooms in the building and escalated to other rooms in the building.

The fire which started around 3.00 p.m. was said to have destroyed properties worth millions of naira.

READ ALSO: Gov election: El-Rufai kneels before Kogi people, says ‘please forgive Yahaya Bello’

It was learnt that the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and other emergency responders like the Lagos State Fire Service and the Federal Fire Service responded to the fire.

Confirming the incident, the LASEMA Public Affairs Officer, Nosa Okunbor, noted that the fire which caused physical cracks on the building led to the collapse of the building, adding that the injured persons had been taken to the hospital

El-Rufai kneels before Kogi people, begs them to  forgive Yahaya Bello

 

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday knelt before the people of Kogi State, asking them to forgive Governor Yahaya Bello for any wrong he had done.

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, also knelt down next to el-Rufai. However, Bello did not join them in kneeling down.

El-Rufai, while addressing a crowd at the All Progressives Congress rally in Lokoja, noted that Bello was young when he became governor and had made many mistakes.

The Kaduna governor, however, said Bello had since retraced his steps.

He said, “Many people say Yahaya Bello is young; that he has fought many people. For every one that the governor has offended, I’m asking all of you to forgive him. He is young; he is supposed to make mistakes. When you are young, you make mistakes but you learn from them.

“On his behalf, I’m kneeling down, to beg all of you to forgive Yahaya Bello if he has offended you. He cares about the people of Kogi State. He cares about this state. He has brought progress to this state; he has brought young people and women into government.

“He has cleared salary arrears that he inherited from previous governments. You must all come out to support him. I beg you all. Let us make history. The Late Prince Audu did everything to bring progress to this state. Let us not dishonour his memory by allowing PDP to return to Lugard House.”

He said the Peoples Democratic Party did nothing in the state during its 13-year rule. He, therefore, declared the opposition party dead.

El-Rufai added, “In the last four years, the progress recorded by Governor Yahaya Bello in the last four years is more than what the PDP has tried to do in 13 years.”

Jack Ma: Why I flew 15 hours just to visit Nigeria

Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce company, led a team of investors from his country to Nigeria on Thursday.

Speaking when he met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja, Ma said the essence of the visit is to understand Africa more.

One of the richest men in Aisa said he had been looking forward to visiting the country.

“I think our team today realised our dreams meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four, five countries in every trip,” Ma said.

“My personal target is to try and visit every country in Africa in 10 years and support Africa. Nigeria is a great country with a large population, very strong economy, excellent young people with excellent innovations. And this is a country.”

Ma also shares some concepts that he feels could assist a developing nation like Nigeria.

“We also want help through four Es in Africa. The first, E list is E-infrastructure – support internet connections to everybody. We hope that every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime,” he said.

“The second E is support entrepreneurs, this is very important. We think we can make entrepreneurs as the heros of African continent. In China is the entrepreneurs that promote business development, government support entrepreneurs.

“The third is E-government, if government is on E, it will be very efficient, transparent, people will know government can help and government will know what the people want. The last and very important E is education.

“In the next few days we are going to have the all the internet prize, everyone in Africa can apply for award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigeria entrepreneurs will have great result.

“This is just the beginning. Our jobs is to support entrepreneurs. Everyone in the delegation, we are all founders of our own businesses in China. We think what we have experienced in China can help Africa entrepreneurs develop, support e-infrastructure, e-governance, e-entrepreneurs and e-education and this is what we came here for.

“We will love to have advise and know government’s direction so that we can do a better job.”

Osinbajo thanked Ma for “acknowledging Nigeria’s role in Africa and the world”.

“By leading a team of investors to Nigeria, I hope you see as we do, investment opportunities in Africa’s digital economy, infrastructure and her people,” Osinbajo said.

 

Buhari orders security agencies tp prevent ballot materials from being hijacked in Kogi, Bayelsa

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for peaceful elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

In a statement on Thursday, the president asked law enforcement agents to ensure that citizens are allowed to exercise their voting rights without intimidation.

He also said any attempt to steal ballots must be stopped with all legal means.

“All must carry out their functions with fairness and transparency; without let or hindrance and without fear or favour,” Buhari said in a statement Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi States to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations.

” Law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation and any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.

“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different.

“All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

The president wished the people of the two states a safe and credible exercise as they vote “in these historic and suspenseful elections” .

Kogi election might be bloody, CDD warns

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) says the incidents of violence can affect voters turnout during the governorship election in Kogi state.

In a statement jointly signed by Adele Jinadu, CDD chairman, and Idayat Hassan, the director, the organisation said the language being used by politicians in the state can affect voter confidence and the credibility of the process.

The CDD urged security agencies to protect the lives of the electoral officials and ensure that violence is curbed during the election.

“Less than 48 hours to November 16, 2019, Kogi State Governorship election, political actors have failed to de-escalate the tension, which had been building up in the State. Unfortunately, this has set the stage for what could be a very bloody electoral process, if urgent action is not taken to address the situation,” the organisation said.

“It is disheartening that political gladiators across the partisan divide have shown no apparent signs of refraining from using vitriolic rhetoric capable of inflaming passions, which could result in dire consequences for voter confidence and turnout and the credibility of the entire process.

“At the CDD Elections Analysis Centre, we believe the credibility of an election does not rest exclusively with happenings on the polls or outcome of the elections. To us, equally crucial is the nature of the environment heading into the polls, and mainly how it contributes to the unfettered participation of all stakeholders, especially political contestants in the process.

“Our findings from the observation of the pre-election environment point to a very volatile political environment, characterised by fierce rhetoric, threats of violence and actual incidents of violence.

“At the last count also, the threats of violence and actual incidents of violent disturbances, including the condemnable arson on the party secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) could have the effect of making voters stay away from the polls.”

 

JUST IN: Appeal Court stays order banning APC from participating in Bayelsa governorship election

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has granted a stay of execution of a high court order which disqualified  the All Progressives Congress (APC) from  participating timg in Saturday’s Governorship Election in Bayelsa State.

This stay of execution granted by the Appeal Court on a November 12 was with respect to a High Court order disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship candidate.

At the Court of Appeal, the APC Deputy Governorship candidate was represented by D. D. Dodo SAN.

The Appeal Court granted and made the following orders:

1. That the status quo ante bellum which existed on or before the 19th September, 2019 when the suit was filed be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.*

2. An interim order for stay of judgment of the lower court delivered on 12th November, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

3. The Motion on Notice to be heard on 20th November, 2019 and the Respondents to be served with the Motion on Notice and and copy of the Court Order.

‘They threatened to bury us alive’ — immigration official abducted in Rivers narrates ordeal

Samson Raphael, an official of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has lauded the Nigerian Navy for rescuing him and three of his colleagues from kidnappers in Rivers state.

Raphael, a senior immigration inspector from the Rivers marine command of the service, was abducted alongside three others by suspected militants on Tuesday.

The other victims are: Peter Ofili, Asuquo Ededet and Hafiz Moyi.

The officer, who spoke with NAN in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said they were kidnapped while travelling on board a speed boat.

“We left Bonny Island on board a speed boat for an official assignment in Onne. On our way to Onne, we were apprehended by gunmen at about 8am on Tuesday,” he said.

“Immediately the kidnappers stopped our boat, they pointed their guns at us and threatened to shoot if we did not cooperate.

“Thereafter, they forcefully took us and sailed the sea for about 10 hours before we arrived their camp.”

He said they were kept in a hut after they arrived the kidnappers’ camp in a dense mangrove forest.

“Later, our abductors told us that they will contact our superiors to demand for our ransom. They threatened to bury us alive if NIS and our families failed to cooperate.

“Thankfully, they were unable to carry out their threats due to the timely intervention by troops of the Nigerian Navy that raided the camp on Wednesday.

“On the day of our rescue, we heard heavy gunshots and immediately laid flat on the floor. We suspected that such superior fire power could come only from security agencies.

“Afterwards, we saw naval operatives shooting and pursuing the fleeing captors. Later some navy personnel came to where we were held and rescued us.”.

Adegoke Ebo, executive officer, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, said the navy had immediately deployed gunboats after learning of the abduction.

Ebo handed over the victims to personnel of the police command in Rivers.

“After we learnt of the abductions and gathered available intelligence, we conducted a clearance operation on Nov. 13 at the suspected militant camp in Ikelekele, River,” he said.

“The operation, comprised of a combined officers and men of NNS Pathfinder and Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny, successfully rescued the NIS officers without any casualty.”

He said items recovered from the suspected militant camp included one Pump action rifle, a locally made gun, 7.62mm ammunition, hammers, cutters and several mobile phones.

“We were unable to make any arrest as the suspects escaped from the camp during the raid. However, we saw traces of blood that suggested that some of them sustained gunshot injuries,” he said.

“To this end, a search is currently ongoing with a view to locate and apprehend the hoodlums that fled the camp.

“We urge the public to report any suspicious person with gunshot wounds, particularly, those living in communities where the militant camp exist, to the nearest police station.”

APC rejects court ruling on Bayelsa gov candidate

The All Progressives Congress has rejected the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa which ruled that the party has no candidate in the Bayelsa State governorship election on Saturday.

The APC said at a press briefing on Thursday that it would appeal the judgement as its lawyers were already working on the processes to first secure a stay of execution.

Court fines Busola Dakolo N1m, dismisses case against Fatoyinbo

A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Bwari has dismissed a suit filed by photographer, Busola Dakolo, against the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The court also ordered Busola to pay N1m for wasting the court’s time.

In a suit, filed by Busola, wife of Musician, Timi Dakolo, in September, she had accused Fatoyinbo of rape, adding that the alleged action of the pastor, as well as his denial in a statement adversely, affected her marital sex life.

She, therefore, demanded “a personal letter of apology” from the cleric to show honest remorse for his misdeeds.

Fatoyinbo’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN), however, argued that the prayer could not be granted, describing it as a frivolous suit.

In his ruling, Justice Oathman Musa held that the matter amounts to injustice and an abuse of judicial process adding that the case is empty and purely sentimental. Justice Musa said that the case was aimed more at cruelty than obtaining justice.

The court also awarded costs of N1m against Busola Dakolo and held that the fine should have been 10 times more because the court’s time was wasted.

In her suit, which was filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi and Co of Law corridor, Mrs Dakolo asked the court to declare that Fatoyinbo’s denial of his alleged acts contained jointly and/or severally through a press statement he released on June 28, 2019, had caused her continuous emotional distress and amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress on her.

Olajengbesi said, “The claimant avers that she was immediately terrified and in shock while the defendant pinned her down on the couch following which he caressed her body, fondled her breasts, pulled her pants, quickly half-pulled his trousers and ordered her to allow him to have his way with her.

Bayelsa/Kogi elections: Court to hear suit challenging Bello’s eligibility on Friday
“The claimant avers that the defendant in the process used his hand to cover her mouth, thereby muffling her screams. The claimant avers that the defendant made efforts to penetrate her vagina, whilst she struggled to fight him off; however, the defendant overpowered her and penetrated her vagina and had sexual intercourse with her.

“The claimant avers that while she was in shock of the incident which had rendered her befuddled and mortified, the defendant rushed out of the living room area of her family home and briefly returned with a bottle of soda (Krest) which he forced down her throat thereby making her breathing difficult.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force says the probe into the allegation of rape against Fatoyinbo is slow because the alleged crime took place 20 years ago.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said this during an interview with PUNCH.

Mba said the matter was being investigated but the police would not be pushed into filing charges for the fun of it.

He said once the police are done with the investigation, the public would be notified regarding the next step.

Fatoyinbo: I’ll appeal court judgement —Busola Dakolo

Celebrity photographer, Busola Dakolo, on Thursday said she would appeal the ruling of Justice O. A. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly over alleged rape.

Her lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said this in a statement issued in reaction to the court verdict.

He said, “We have received several calls after the ruling of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Bwari this morning seeking our view on the decision of the court, hence, this statement.

“The court ruled that the matter is statute-barred because the events that crystallised to the cause of action took place 16 years ago and that the claimant Mrs. Busola Dakolo has only six years within which to seek redress in court in line with the statute of limitation.

“We are mindful of the decision as delivered by the court, presided over by the Hon. Justice A.O Musa. We are equally observant of the fact that the Court omitted to address the cause of action, the subject matter of the suit in determining whether it has jurisdiction to entertain the said matter.

“While we acknowledge the time of the court, we know in accordance with the Nigerian judicial system that the Court’s decision is not final as it is glaringly contestable.

“For all intent and purposes, having seen several sponsored misleading news reports in the media, we are duty-bound to state that the court has not and did not exonerate Biodun Fatoyinbo. As it stands, the substance of the matter has not received any judicial attention.

“Biodun Fatoyinbo through his lawyers have only argued that the court should not allow the matter to proceed to trial because it is an event that occurred long ago and hence out of time.

“We shall therefore in this circumstance approach a superior court to intervene for a better appreciation, and take a more expansive view of the suit considering that the subject matter is one that is novel in our clime.”

Senate swears-in Olujimi as minority leader

 

The Senate on Thursday swore-in Senator Biodun Olujimi as Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District at the National Assembly.

Olujimi, garbed in a coffee brown attire, was sworn-in by the upper chamber, following an oath administered by the Clerk of Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, at exactly 10:40 immediately after the commencement of plenary.

The lawmaker who was the Minority Leader in the Eighth Senate, was last week declared winner of the 2019 Senatorial election by the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal.

The Court which nullified the election of Spokesman of the Senate, Dayo Adeyeye, upheld the tribunal judgment which declared Olujimi and the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party as winner at the 2019 National Assembly elections to represent Ekiti South.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, after the lawmaker was sworn-in, called for unity among all members of the upper chamber.

He added that Olujimi’s victory brings the number of female Senators to eight in the upper chamber.

“Let me congratulate the Minority leader in the eighth Senate. With this, we now have eight very solid female Senators.

“We pray that this addition will bring additional productivity and stability to the Senate.

“I call for unity and of course, we should remain focused  and do those things that will make our country great”, Lawan said.

 

El-Rufai will never be president, says Anglican bishop

The Right Rev. Abiodun Ogunyemi, Bishop of Zaria diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, says Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, will never be president of Nigeria.

He said the governor is being groomed to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

The bishop said this in a statement shared on the website of the diocese while reacting to the aborted demolition of St George Cathedral in Zaria and the ”planned” demolition of another of the church’s property.

The Kaduna state government shelved the exercise in September. It had said it would not proceed with demolishing the 110-year-old cathedral because of its historical value.

Ogunyemi said any attempt to demolish any of the church’s property will be taken as an assault on Christians.

“Diocese of Zaria is not at war with the governor and we are not religious bigots. We are only fighting for our right. Nobody can stop us from fighting for our right,” he said.

“A letter was written by KASUPDA on the orders of the governor to us to quit the Cathedral premises within seven days, and we responded in the best possible ways together with CAN and other Christian organisations all over the world.

“Rather than apologising to the governor, the governor should apologise to the Church and the general public for embarrassing himself with the quit not

“The governor should stop embarrassing himself with demolition of churches in any part of Kaduna State.

“Any attempt to demolish our shops or our properties in Sabongari market is evil, callous and wicked and will be associated with the wrath of God.

“The whole of the Sabongari market is our land acquired in the early 1900s with genuine C of O, which we have submitted to the state government for re-certification.

“Any attempt by el-Rufai to demolish any of our properties in that market will be a direct assault on the Church in the whole of Nigeria.

“The governor is being prepared for 2023 elections. The governor should know that he will never be president of Nigeria. I speak prophetically as a servant of the living God.

“Let fake Christians and religious spies placed in our Church by a particular religion be aware of the consequences of their actions because heaven is watching.

“May the Lord expose these spies in our midst in Jesus Name. In fact, their actions now show very clearly that they are working for an interest against the Church. The Lord in His mercies will raise help to deliver His Church from fake Christians, fake converts and novices.”

The Kaduna state government is yet to respond to the comments.