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Court dismisses suit against Fayemi, declares him fit to contest

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging the eligibility of Kayode Fayemi to contest the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state.

Fayemi is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Action People’s Party (APP) had lodged a suit following the report by a judicial commission of inquiry set up by the state government to probe Fayemi who was governor between 2010 and 2014.

In the report, Fayemi was indicted of misappropriation of state’s funds and was declared unfit to hold any public office.

Subsequently, a white paper released by the government barred him for holding a public office for 10 years.

In the case with suit number FCT/HC/BW/CV/57/2018, APP asked the court to determine whether Fayemi was fit to hold public office after the indictment by the commission.

The APC in the state had, however, asked if Ekiti government was a court of law that would bar Fayemi from holding public office.

In a judgment on Tuesday, Othman Musa, the judge hearing the case, dismissed the suit on the ground that it was without merit.

Quashing the indictment by the commission of inquiry which he described as being biased, Musa declared Fayemi eligible to contest the governorship election, and that his party is at liberty under the law to field him as its candidate.

The judge added that the section 182 (1) (i) of the constitution on which the suit was filed have been deleted in 2011 by the national assembly through the first alteration of the constitution.

Fayemi will take on Kolapo Olusola, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his major contender in the election.

Four men kill brother, remove heart for money ritual, herbalist on the run

A Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Monday ordered four men to be remanded in Ikoyi Prisons for allegedly killing their brother and removing his heart for ritual.

They are Daniel Luka, 24, Audu Isaiah, 24, Wavi David, 20 and Ayuba Musa, 24. They are standing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder.

The Prosecutor, Sergeant Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the men committed the offences on May 22 at Alasia along Oke-Ira road in Ajah, near Lagos.

Olaluwoye alleged that the accused had been patronising a herbalist, who had asked them for a human heart in exchange for wealth.

She said that the accused had lured their 21-year-old brother, James Isaiah, into the bush, where they killed him with a knife and cut off his heart.

“The police were able to trace them to their house where they admitted killing their brother for ritual purposes.

“The ritualist is, however, still at large,” she said.

The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 223, 233 and 165 (a) (b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

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

Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghere ordered that the case file should be sent to the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution for advice.

She adjourned the case till August 15.

EFCC arraigns PDP deputy chair, five others for alleged N500m fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday arraigned the Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Babayo Garba Gamawa, and five others over an alleged N500m fraud.

Gamawa was at some points Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Deputy Governor and  Senator representing Bauchi North.

Others arraigned along with him are Barrister Ibrahim Dandija, an SSG under ex-Governor Isa Yuguda for six years, Aliyu Jalam, Dahiru Madaki, Alhaji Sanusi Isa and Aminu Hamayo, who was at a time Commissioner for Finance and SSG.

The case which first came up at the Federal High Court, Bauchi, was presided over by the Chief Judge, Justice Mohammed Shittu Abubabakar.

Counsel for the EFCC, Barrister Abubakar Aliyu, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the court session said that the defendants were accused of laundering N500 million in 2015.

Abubakar said that the  EFCC was yet to establish any proof as to whether the money was from Dasuki’s arms deal or part of Diezani’s campaign funds.

He said the PDP chieftain and the four others were given administrative bail pending the next sitting

Justice Shittu adjourned the case until September 25, 2018.

Court stops Imo State APC state congress

A Federal high court sitting in Owerri, the Imo state capital has stopped the All Progressives Congress (APC) from going ahead with the state congress scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Five members of the party in the state had gone to court seeking an interim order to stop the congress from going ahead with the congress pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Presiding Judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa said it is hereby ordered that “the respondents are hereby ordered to appear in court on the next adjourned date to show cause why the order should not be granted.

The plaintiff in the case Re Barrister Manchu Augustine, Anumhinu China Jude, Akudinobi Umunna, Ekwebelum Sammy Kelechi and Joseph Ilechukwu, while the respondents are the APC, INEC, the National Organising Secretary of the party, the state chairman of the party, Chief Hilary Eke, Chairman of the Ward and Local government congress committee and six others.

“That time is hereby abridged to order that the return date shall be provided that the respondents are served 48hours before then ad that all parties stands adjourned should maintain status quo anti bellium”.

The court adjourned the matter to 22nd May for further hearing.

The plaintiffs are seeking an interim injunction to stop the conduct of local government and any other congress pending the determination of the suit.

Evans weeps in court…says ‘they’ve been beating me in Kirikiri

There was drama at a high court in Igbosere, Lagos, on Monday when Chukwudumeje Onwuamadike, suspected kidnap kingpin better known as Evans, staged a protest.

He refused to alight from the vehicle which conveyed him from the prison to court. After failing in the bid to convince the suspect to follow him to the courtroom, the prison official told the judge that the suspect refused to come inside.

Adedayo Akintoye, the judge, ordered that Evans should be bundled. He was eventually forced inside the court. While inside, Evans signalled the judge that he needed to speak.

When the judge acknowledged him, he said: “I have an explanation to make. Since I have been in the maximum prison, they have been maltreating me; no visit, they don’t feed me well, I have an eye problem and I can not see afar.”

According to him, he was kept in solitary confinement and was denied access to his visitors.

His complaints followed the continuation of proceedings in a series of kidnap, murder and attempted murder charges brought against him by the Lagos state government since his arrest on June 10, 2017.

One of the prison officials opposed him, saying he was being treated well and that a doctor still visited him recently but the suspect said he was only seen by a nurse.

The judge asked the prison officials to treat him well, emphasising that Evans had not been convicted. The judge stood down the case but as soon as he rose, Evans broke down in tears, saying: “What have I done to you people? They have been beating me; no good food; I have been locked up in one place since last year; why are they taking my case personally? Why do you people want to kill me.”

Court denies Melaye bail, remanded in prison till June 11

A magistrate court in Lokoja, Kogi state capital, has refused to grant bail to Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west.

Melaye was ordered remanded in prison by a Magistrate Court in Lokoja, Kogi State till June 11, 2018.

He was charged with conspiracy and aiding of jail break.

The lawmaker was brought to court in a police ambulance around 9:17 am. Before his arrival, heavily armed policemen taken positions within and outside the court premises.

Journalists and other person’s that had seated in court for hours were all asked to go out for security checks. At the end, only few were allowed inside.

He was brought in a Toyota Hiace police ambulance bus with registration number NPF2214D.

Before being brought to court, the senator was taken to the SARS headquarters near the NTA office in Lokoja.

Melaye was declared wanted following his refusal to appear before the police to answer to accusations by some arrested suspects, who alleged that the senator supplied them with arms and ammunition.

Court orders arrest of former Enugu governor Nnamani

Chimaroke Nnamani, former governor of Enugu state, has been serve with a bench arrest warrant for failure to appear before the court.

Chuka Obiozor, a justice of the Lagos federal high court, issued the arrest warrant against Nnamani on Monday, which was set for his re-arraignment.

Obiozor said Nnamani’s counsel did not present concrete explanation on his client’s absence from court.

Nnamani had in 2007 faced charges of alleged economic crime, money-laundering and financial impropriety estimated at N5 billion.

He was initially prosecuted along with his aide, Sunday Anyaogu, and six firms linked to them.

In July, four companies and assets belonging to Nnamani were confiscated following a court ruling by Mohammed Yinusa, who was then a justice of the federal high court.

However, the case — which has “stalled” — has sparked controversy, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) expressing frustration at its delay.

Kelvin Uzozie, counsel to the EFCC, told a federal high court in November that he would file an application for Nnamani’s trial to hold separately.

Nnamani’s re-arraignment was set for December 4, following a written request for adjournment by both Uzozie and Nnamani’s lawyer.

I paid Evans N100m ransom for my brother’s release, witness tells  court

 

The trial of suspected kidnap Kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans officially commenced on Friday as a prosecution witness regaled a Lagos High Court, Ikeja Judicial Division, how he paid the defendants the sum of N100m ransom to secure his brother’s release.

The witness, Anselem Dunu, the elder brother of Donatus Dunu, the Chairman of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, who was kidnapped on February 14, 2017, told Justice Hakeem Oshodi, the trial judge that Evans did not release his brother even after collecting 223,000 Euros.

Dunu,said his brother was in the kidnapper’s den for four months, adding that during this period, the kidnappers through phone calls threatened  him and demanded for 100 million Euros.

“On the 14th of February I received a phone call from my younger brother Innocent Dunu informing me about my brother has been kidnap.

“We rushed to the Ilupeju Police Station where we reported the case. We were referred to SCID Panti where the CSP in charge told me that the pattern of kidnapping was similar to that of the notorious kidnapper, Evans.

“The CSP further told me to be strong adding that Evans would contact me in two weeks as it was his pattern, and that I should be strong because the kind of money they would ask us to bring can make me faint.

“After two weeks a private number called me and I heard my brother’s voice at the other end begging me to close all his bank accounts and give the kidnappers all the money. My brother’s voice was anxious and filled with pain. I told him that there was no way I could access his accounts since I was not a signatory. The call ended abruptly.

“I was contacted again after four days and my brother sounded more desperate, begging me not to allow him die in captivity.

“The kidnappers grabbed the phone from my brother and demanded for 1 million Euros, to which I replied that we were only able to raise N20m. The voice on the other end started saying, ‘thunder fire you. Go and get us our money,’ and the call ended.

“I rallied round and managed to raise N60m which I informed the kidnappers when they called after three days. The kidnapper demanded for 1m Euros if I wanted to see my brother alive.

“The kidnapper threatened to kill me whenever I bring the money. He also insisted that I must be the one to bring the money. I could hear my brother’s voice in the background pleading for mercy and shouting, ‘please stop beating me.’

“We were finally able to raise N100m which we changed into 223,000 Euros. They contacted me and I told them what we were able to raise. They thereafter told me they would contact me.

“They contacted me and I arranged with my Cousin, Uche Okeagbu to take the money to them. They demanded I give the phone to Uche, and instructed him to bring the money to Oshodi.

“We packaged the money in cellophane bags and Uche took it to them in Oshodi. After they collected the 223,000 Euros, they stopped calling. Sometimes in May, I got a call from my younger brother who told me that my brother Donatus had escaped from the kidnappers den”.

When we were finally reunited with him, he was in a very critical condition. He was emaciated. His beard was so bushy and white. In short, he looked like an early man.

When he was asked if he knew the 4th defendant, Dunu answered in the affirmative

“I know Nwachukwu very well. He is my very good friend and I fondly call him Congo. He apologized profusely when he saw me and told me that it was the devil and greed that pushed him into kidnapping.

He further stated that he was shocked to see him at the police headquarters

“At the Bourdillon Police Headquaters the 4th defendant, Okuchukwu Nwachukwu was paraded as the one that tipped off Evans about my brother.

Speaking further Dunu said “Evans was also paraded as the mastermind behind the kidnap. When Evans was asked why he chose my brother he said it was a random act, adding that one of his boys was not feeling fine and had bought a drug manufactured by Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited. He also said when he checked the manufacturer’s address, he contacted Nwachukwu who gave him details of my brother’s movements,” Anselem Dunu told the court.

Justice Oshodi thereafter adjourned the matter till November 17 for continuation of trial

Earlier during the proceedings, Justice Oshodi dismissed an application seeking to quash the kidnapping and conspiracy charges against Evans and the other defendants. Justice Oshodi in his ruling said the court found no merit in the application.

Evan’s Counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje, informed the court that he had two applications pending before the court; one seeking to entirely quash the two count charge against his client while the other application is asking the court to grant his client bail.

Ogungbeje further argued that filing two separate suits against his client in two different courts, is a gross abuse if court processes.

He also argued that there is no prima facie case against his client, adding that his client’s name was not mentioned by any of his alleged ‘victims.’

“There is no ground for Prosecution. The same witnesses the prosecution listed in the suit filed before the Igbosere High Court are the same ones listed in the suit before the Ikeja High Court.

“The new amended charge has no proof of evidence. The proof of evidence presently before this court is the one attached to the former charge, therefore there is ground for the proceedings,” Ogungbeje argued.

“The law is against filing multiplicity of suits against the same person. The Supreme Court also affirmed that instituting different charges before the same party simultaneously is an abuse of court process

In her response, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Ms. T.K Shitta Bey, told the court that the matter was earlier adjourned for prosecution to open trial.

“On behalf of the 1st defendant we were served with application asking the court to quash information before the court. We have responded by filing a counter affidavit. In another application, they are asking the 1st and 2nd defendants to be admitted on bail and acceleration of the trial

“It is in my humble observation the application are conflicting one another. One is asking to quash the charges, the other is asking for accelerated hearing. The application is frivolous and an abuse of court   and an attempt to delay court process,” Shitta Bey said.

Catalan secessionist leaders to appear in court, without Puigdemont

 

 

Catalonia’s secessionist leaders will appear before a court in Madrid on Thursday to answer charges of rebellion and sedition, though the region’s former president Carles Puigdemont said he would not turn up.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked Puigdemont and his government on Friday, hours after the Catalan parliament made a unilateral declaration of independence – a vote boycotted by the opposition and declared illegal by Spanish courts.

Puigdemont said on Wednesday he would ignore the court order to answer charges over the region’s push for independence, but he was ready to testify from Belgium, where he had traveled with four other members of his sacked cabinet.

The other 15 due to testify from 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) are Puigdemont’s former vice-president Oriol Junqueras, eight other members of his sacked cabinet and six senior regional lawmakers, including the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell.

Puigdemont and his former team were summoned by the High Court while Forcadell and the other lawmakers were summoned by the Supreme Court.

The judges will decide at this first hearing whether they start a comprehensive investigation that could take several years and potentially lead to a trial.

They will also determine whether those called to testify should go to jail pending the investigation. They might also grant them conditional bail or order them to surrender their passports.

The courts have already told the Catalan secessionist leaders to deposit 6.2 million euros ($7.2 million) by Friday to cover potential liabilities.

Puigdemont said on Tuesday he would only go back to Spain when given unspecified “guarantees” by the Spanish government.

If Puigdemont did fail to turn up, an arrest warrant could be issued that would make it virtually impossible for him to stand in a snap regional election called by the Spanish government for Dec. 21.

Following a tumultuous month, attention is gradually turning to the December vote.

Cracks have appeared within the pro-independence coalition of centre-right and far-left parties as well as inside Puigdemont’s own PdeCat (Democratic Catalan Party) where some of his allies are now pushing for a negotiated solution with the central government.

The struggle has also divided Catalonia itself and caused deep resentment across the rest of Spain, although separatist sentiment persists in the Basque Country and some other areas.

Two recent opinion polls showed support for independence may have started to wane.

But an official regional survey published on Tuesday showed some 48.7 percent of Catalans believe the region should be independent, up from 41.1 pct in June and the highest since December 2014.

ECOWAS court orders FG to pay N88bn civil war damages

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has granted an out-of-court settlement application for a case involving the federal government and nine victims of the Nigerian civil war.

In 2012, hundreds of mine victims of the war approached the ECOWAS court, asking for an order for the removal of remnants of war instruments stockpiled in 11 states of the south-east, south-south and part of the north-central.

The instruments were said to include live bombs, abandoned unexploded ordnances (AXO), unexploded ordnances (UXO) and the explosive remnant of war (ERW).

The victims also asked the court to compel the government to rehabilitate the areas and compensate them for the damages.

On October 24, counsel to both parties filed an application for out-of-court settlement, on the ground that they had reached agreeable terms.

At its sitting on Monday, the court granted the application, ordering the parties to abide by the terms of the settlement.

Part of the terms of the settlement obtained by TheCable stipulates that the federal government “undertakes to pay, without delay, compensation in the summer of N50 billion in full and final sum to the victims, their families and communities as contained in Schedule 4(1) to this terms of settlement”.

“That FG undetakes to the pay of undertakes to lay a total sum of N38 billion as contained in schedule 4(2) to this terms of settlement for the purposes of carrying out total demining and destruction, rebuilding of public buildings, mine centre activities, construction of class rooms, provision of prosthetics and all other activities enumerated thereunder,” the court ruled.

“That the federal government undertakes to complete the demining and deconstruction of landmines and bombs in the Nigeria civil war affected states of south-east, south-south and part of the north-central of Nigeria covering eleven states as contained in schedule 1 to this terms of settlement.

“That the federal government undertakes to mobilise the 4th and 5th respondents back to work to complete the final phase of the ongoing removal and destruction of post-war lethal materials, the 4th and 5th respondents having satisfactorily carried out the first phase of the contract.”

The terms of settlement, which was signed on behalf of applicants, by Noel Chukwukadibia, gave the federal government “a reasonable time not exceeding 45 days from the day of his judgement.”

Earlier while granting the application, Nwoke Chijioke, the presiding judge, commended the parties for reaching an out-of-court settlement, saying such means usually “saves time provided all interest are represented”.

“The report of settlement was filed on October 24th, 2017 and signed by counsel to all the parties. The applicant’s counsel applied that the said terms of settlement be adopted by the court in its judgement. The application was supported by counsel to the defendants,” he said.

“The terms of settlement filed on 24th October, 2017 is hereby adopted as the judgement of this court in terms and conditions set out in the terms of settlement.”

Court documents obtained by TheCable show there are 302 affected locations across 10 states where the instruments are buried.

The states are Benue, Enugu, Abia, Cross River, Ebonyi and Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Anambra and Imo states.