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Abuja Court overturns forgery suit against Senator Eremieyo

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Abuja Court overturns forgery suit against Senator Eremieyo

A Federal Capital Territory FCT High Court sitting in Bwari has dismissed a suit filed by Godsgift Eriaye of the Bayelsa Integrity Group against Senator Biobarakuma Wangagha Degi Eremieyo representing Bayelsa East, to the effect that the later forged his academic qualifications and documents.
In the suit which had the Inspector General of Police IGP, Mohammed Adamu as second defendant, the claimant had sought a declaration “that the First School Leaving Certificate from Ministry of Education of Government of Rivers State of Nigeria with number RS/EV1/76/013360 from State School Bassambiri bearing the name Degi Biobaragha which the 1st defendant claims, and has presented before various authorities as belonging to him and has obtained various benefits on account of same including in particular, his current membership of the Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria, was not duly issued to and does not belong to the defendant, but to another person by the stated name, and the use of same by the defendant is unlawful and constitutes a forgery and falsification of same”. 
He therefore asked the court to mandate the Inspector General of Police IGP to immediately commence criminal prosecution of Senator Degi.
The Supreme Court had on 13th of February 2020, in its judgement in a pre-election matter in respect of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election, affirmed a Federal High Court Judgement which decided inter alia, that Senator Biobarakuma Wangagha Degi Eremieyo, is disqualified from participating in the election on grounds that he submitted forged and falsified documents and also made false declaration to the Independent National Electoral Commission in aid of his qualification for the election.
The judgement led to the invalidation of the election of Chief David Lyon as Governor-elect for Bayelsa State and Sen. Degi as Deputy Governor-elect.
However, the FCT High Court presided over by Justice A.O Musa in its judgement dated November 13, 2020 whose certified true copy was made public on Friday, held that “the name Degi Biobaragha on the first school leaving certificate from Ministry of Education of Rivers State of Nigeria with number RS/EV1/76/013360 from State School Bassambiri (now State School 1 Nembe) is an error and misspelling of the 1st defendant’s name, Biobarakuma Degi”.
Justice Musa said notwithstanding the error in the spelling of the name, the certificate is genuine, belongs to and was issued to the senator.
The court also declared that the name Adegi Biobakumo on the West African Examinations Council’s General Certificate of Education ordinary level of June 1984 with Certificate Number SG 851767 is an error and a misspelling of the 1st defendant’s name, Biobarakumadegi and that the certificate is genuine and was issued to Senator Degi.
It further held that the Masters in Business Administration Statement of Result from Rivers State University of Technology dated 14th February 2002 bearing the name Degi Biobarakumawangagha is genuine, belongs to and was issued to no other person than the 1st Defendant.
It accordingly awarded the sum of ₦500,000 for Sen. Degi against the claimant, Eriaye.
Justice Musa also declared that there is no evidence so far to establish a prima facie case of Forgery or any other crime at all against the 1st Defendant (Sen. Degi) to warrant his prosecution by the 2nd Defendant (IGP) in the circumstances. 
He said by virtue of the Supreme Court judgment in Fawehinmi v. IGP & 2 others (2002), the 2nd Defendant or any Police Officer at all cannot be compelled by Court to commence investigation of any crime or prosecution of any perceived or suspected offender.
He consequently awarded the sum of ₦500,000 as primitive cost against the claimant. 
An attorney to Sen. Degi, Ebere Okonkwo said the import of the court’s decision is that those documents which were submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission and which also formed the basis of the information recorded in the INEC Form CF001, are genuine and not falsified.
“We hope that this judgement is a first step in lifting the huge and incapacitating burden and damage done to the reputation of the Distinguished Senator Degi Eremieyo, who as we restate is only the victim of a judicial mistake and we are confident that the judicial process is sufficient also to undo that grave error visited on him”, Okonkwo stated.

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NAPTIP to establish West Africa regional training academy in Nasarawa

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NAPTIP to establish West Africa regional training academy in Nasarawa

From Daniel Abel, Lafia

The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), said it will establish a regional training academy for the entire West Africa in Nasarawa State.

Thr DG of NAPTIP, Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, made this known when she led her team on a courtesy call at the Lafia Government House yesterday.

Hajiya Suleiman commended governor, Abdullahi Sule for supporting the agency to carry out its mandate and for accepting the agency establish its regional training academy in the state.

Mrs, Suleiman explained that she was in the state to seek for collaboration with the government to stem the twin evil of human trafficking and irregular migration in the state and across the country.

She appealed to the state governments to setup task forces under the supervision of the state governors to consolidate the efforts of the agency.

According to her NAPTIP is setting up three state task forces in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau within the week to aggressively checkmate activities of trafficking in the region.

Responding, Governor, Abdullahi Sule, expressed gladness for the selecting the state as location for its regional training academy, stressing that the state deserves to host such facility mostly because of her proximity to the federal capital.

While assuring NAPTIP of the continued support of his administration, Mr. Sule said that the government is already looking for a site to commence the project in Karu Local Government Council.

The Governor assured that once the land is made available, government will immediately fence it for the agency.

Speaking on the mandate of the agency, Engineer Sule promised to reach out to his colleague Governors, to understand the importance of the protection of children, women and protection against rape.

Engineer Sule informed the delegation from the agency that already, the state has in place death penalty for rape cases to serve as deterrent to would-be rapists, even as he restated the commitment of his administration to fighting the evil.

“In Nasarawa State, we already signed the anti-rape law last year and we have already started working on that. We have also signed both the child’s protection and violence against women laws,” he stated.

The Governor was emphatic that with such laws in place, the state government is ready to work with NAPTIP.

Inaugurating the state taskforce on human trafficking, Sule expressed confidence that the committee will be prompt in carrying its responsibilities.

The taskforce comprises of the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice as Chairman, while the Zonal Commandant of NAPTIP will serve as Co-Chairman.

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Senator Bamidele denies taking any loan From Oceanic, Sterling Banks

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Senator Bamidele denies taking any loan From Oceanic, Sterling Banks

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, has denied taking any loan from either defunct Oceanic Bank or Sterling Bank as being insinuated in a section of the media.

The senator who represents Ekiti Central on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made the clarification on Thursday in a statement issued by his media office.

Bamidele said the matter is currently pending before a court of competent jurisdiction as he described the media report “as contemptuous of the court”.

He maintained that the whole development was “sponsored, politically motivated and maliciously aimed at maligning my image”

He disclosed that he had joined Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) in the pending suit, in his bid to prove that the banks are the ones owing him instead.

“To set the record straight, Sen. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (M. O.B.) never borrowed money or took any conventional loan from either Oceanic Bank, Sterling Bank or any Bank whatsoever which has become a subject of court litigation as insinuated.

“Neither does he have any large fund with Sterling Bank which a court ordered not to be released to him as maliciously reported.

“He maintained two accounts with Sterling Bank with balances of N25,000 and N7,000 each and both accounts have been dormant for over ten years”

“It is important to clarify that the case is in respect of a financial transaction way back since 2007 (thirteen years ago) between Sen. Bamidele and Oceanic Bank, which deceived him and many other innocent investors to invest their monies in shares to be managed by the Bank through its subsidiary company called Oceanic Capital.

“The Bank eventually mismanaged the invested funds as well as customers deposits, which, in fact, led to the collapse of the Bank while the shares equally lost value.

“In fact, it is public knowledge that the management of Oceanic Bank faced prosecution for mismanaging investors’ money.

“Contrary to the attempt by some political gladiators and pseudo online reporters to portray Sen.Bamidele as a debtor, he is proudly joining issues with AMCON in court, through his counter claim, to show that it is Oceanic Bank and its promoters who are owing him money as a good faith investor in the capital market through the mergin facility syndicated by the Bank,” he added.

According to him, the whole scenario is not far-fetched from those masquerading to malign his reputation ahead of the 2022 Ekiti Governorship Election and 2023 Presidential Elections.

End

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Autonomy for Judiciary has no alternative – Out-going Kogi CJ

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Autonomy for Judiciary has no alternative – Out-going Kogi CJ

By Friday Idachaba

Out-going Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Henry Olusiyi has said that there is no alternative to the total independence and autonomy of the Judiciary if the third arm of government must discharge its functions creditably.

Olusiyi disclosed this in his speech at the valedictory court session held in his honour on his retirement as the Chief Judge of the state at the High Court complex on Monday in Lokoja.

The Chief Judge held that the Judiciary had the duty of ensuring that every citizen of the country lived a life of dignity and not deprived of “right to life” guaranteed to him under the Constitution.

“In a country which professes to follow the Rule of Law and the principle of Separation of Powers, there is no alternative to a totally Independent judiciary.

“All the three arms of government: The Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are expected to and must work together for achieving the goals set out in the constitution. There must be harmony between the three arms.

“The doctrine of Separation of Powers as enshrined in our Constitution is to ensure checks and balances among the three arms of government to avoid the abuse of power and the risk of one arm wielding absolute power to the detriment of the other arms.

“The rule of law is the fabric that holds society together. Any breach of the rule of law is a potential danger for the sustenance of law and order in the society. Court orders should be respected and complied with as a matter of course”, he said.

The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mohammed (SAN) said the tenure of the Chief Judge, though short, was eventful as he was leaving with his footsteps in the sand.

Mohammed said that during the brief period of six months the Executive Arm of government in the state enjoyed a cordial relationship with the Judiciary under Justice Olusiyi.

Usman O. Sule (SAN), representing the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), said, posterity would be kind to Olusiyi as a forthright, fearless and independent minded Judge who delivered his judgements without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.

Sule said the jurist had always ensured and showed that parties who appear before him go home happy with sound result of fair hearing, fair trial and sound judgement.

Mr Sam Owoyomi, chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lokoja branch, who spoke on behalf of other branches in the state described Olusiyi as a child of destiny who had fulfilled destiny.

He said that the Out-going Chief Judge was honest, bold, courageous, incorruptible, impartial judge of great characters and erudition.

Owoyomi urged the authorities to ensure full autonomy was granted the Judiciary.

Pioneer Chief Judge of the state, Justice Umaru Eri (rtd), the Grand Khadi of the state Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Abdulkareem Aruwa and Justice Sunday Otu, delivered goodwill messages at the occasion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Olusiyi retired whose judicial career started in 1980 retired today, January 11 on attainment of the mandatory 65 years of age. (NAN)

FDJ/

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