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Court gives COAS 20 days to apologise

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Court gives COAS 20 days to apologise

The Akwa Ibom High Court sitting in Itu LGA has given the Chief of Army Staff twenty days, to write an apology letter to the Clan Head of Oku Iboku, Etebom Ubong Essien Edet Okokon, over the gross infringement of his fundamental rights by officers of the Nigerian Army in Akwa Ibom State.
The Court, presided over by Justice Ntong Ntong also ordered the indicted soldiers, Captain Ibrahim and Brigadier T.A. Lagbaja of the Two Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo, to jointly pay one million Naira to the monarch for the aggravated breach of his fundamental rights from 6th to 13th of August, 2019.
In a one-hour judgment monitored by 9news Nigeria, Justice Ntong held that the two soldiers humiliated and tortured the Clan Head in the course of interviewing him over allegation that he was involved in the missing of four boats in his domains.
The Court described Akwa Ibom State Government as responsible and responsive, stressing that although the Army officers were engaged in the investigation of the missing boats, it was not the government that asked them to maltreat the traditional ruler.
The judge noted that the two indicted Army officers were overzealous in the course of carrying out their lawful duties.
Justice Ntong said that the soldiers ought to have shown respect and dignity to the person of the applicant, not because he is a traditional ruler, but because he is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is entitled to the respect of his fundamental rights as enshrined in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution.
He said even if the monarch was suspected to have been involved in the alleged missing of the four boats, the Nigerian Army and its officers, who were asked to investigate the matter, ought to have treated Etebom Ubong Okokon with some modicum of respect.
The Court ruled that the days when military men, treated their civilian counterparts with impunity and disdain, were gone and gone forever in Nigeria.
Justice Ntong held that the Army Officers, Captain Ibrahim and Brigadier T.A. Lagbaja were personally liable for the infringement of the rights of the Clan Head.
He explained that the Court was not shielding and cannot shield Etebom Ubong Okokon from investigation of any criminal allegation, but that the investigating body should do so within the purview and ambit of the Law.
Justice Ntong declared that the arrest, detention, harassment, humiliation and torture of the royal father from 6th to 13th of August last years, was unlawful, unconstitutional and a gross breach of his rights, which the soldiers must pay for it.
The Court held that the Chief of Army Staff should apologize to the Clan Head of Oku Iboku within twenty days, while the indicted officers should pay one million Naira as compensation for the breach of the rights of the royal father.

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Lagos Based Businessman Wants NJC to Investigate Judge For Alleged Bias

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Lagos Based Businessman Wants NJC to Investigate Judge For Alleged Bias

A Lagos based businessman, Chima Nsudum, has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) urging it to investigate Justice D. E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, over his alleged bias in a case before him.

Nsudum, in his petition, a copy of which was obtained by this news medium, wants the NJC to probe the alleged poor handling of a winding up proceeding of a private limited liability company, Davebenlin Nigeria Limited.

The petitioner clamed that on December 4, 2019, the Judge received a notice of appeal, and an application for stay of proceedings pending appeal, forcing him to adjourn the main suit indefinitely.

“However in spite of the order for adjournment granted by the judge, in the suit number: FHC/UM /PET/02 2018 between Chima Nsudum and Davebenlin Nigeria Limited, he later fixed a new date for hearing of the matter without the conclusion of the appeal.”

According to him, the judge fixed
July 23, 2020 for hearing of a motion by Davebenlin Nigeria Limited, seeking to confiscate the brand name ‘KMCA’ of a Sandpaper product owned by his company, Panadave Investments Limited, anywhere it was found in Nigeria on the allegation that they were newly imported in contravention of the Judge’s injunctive order.

The petitioner claimed that Panadeve Investments Limited is not a party in the suit.

Nsudum further claimed that “during the proceedings on the 23rd of July 2020, in the face of a Motion on Notice by the petitioner’s counsel, seeking an adjournment of the motion for stay of proceedings, in deference firstly, to the court’s own ruling, secondly, to the Motion for stay of proceedings pending at the Court of Appeal and thirdly, to the Record which had been entered, Justice Osiagor still insisted on hearing Davebenlin’s Motion.

“The judge was, however, forced to adjourn the matter to October 13, because the time had not run out for the petitioner to file counter-affidavits to the Motion.

“Nevertheless, he still went ahead to make an order for maintenance of status-quo by the parties.”

“In the meantime, a Form 48 (Notice of disobedience to an order of court) was served on the petitioner’s office, with a copy of the order of 23rd July 2020 as an attachment.

“The Form 48 was dated 24th of July 2020, meaning that the order attached was obtained most probably on the 23rd of July 2020 by Davebenlin’s counsel, while the petitioner’s counsel has been denied access to the proceedings/order to date,” Nsudum alleged.

“The Judge has consistently refused recording my lawyers and their submission. For example, the Judge attributed his order that ‘parties should maintain status quo’ on the 23rd of July 2020 to my lawyer, Barrister U.A. Emeagwara, when no such application emanated from him on that day.

“In view of the foregoing, the petitioner is uneasy about the conduct and disposition of Hon. Justice Osiagor, and does not believe he can have a fair-hearing before him, hence his petition,” he claimed.

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PDP hails Appeal Court Ruling that upturned sack of Bayelsa governor Diri

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PDP  hails Appeal Court Ruling that upturned sack of Bayelsa governor Diri

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has acclaimed the Court of Appeal ruling on Friday, October 2, 2020 that upheld the election of Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.
The country’s main opposition party described the Appellate Court judgment as victory for the rule of law and true will of the Bayelsa people.


A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said; “Our party congratulates the people of Bayelsa and notes that the celebration that erupted in state at the breaking of the news of the verdict is not only a testimony that indeed justice was upheld but also that Govenor Diri is indeed the choice of the people.”
The PDP noted that just like other governors elected on its platform, “Governor Diri indeed had hit the ground running in the task of developing Bayelsa state, particularly in his outline of projects in key sectors.”

The party listed the sectors to include, manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas, power, road infrastructure, and education, among others, noting that the Governor Diri’s administration is focused on developing the state despite the prevailing fiscal challenges.
“Our party therefore urges Governor Diri not to relent but continue in his commitment towards the good of all, in line with the manifesto of the PDP”, the statement said.
A five-man panel of the court of appeal had overturned a ruling which nullified the election of Douye Diri as governor of Bayelsa State on Friday.
The court held that the Bayelsa Election Petition Tribunal acted outside its jurisdiction by nullifying the election of Diri’s election.
In a unanimous judgment, the five-man panel of the court said the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party failed to show that it had a valid candidature that was unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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Kogi CJ names ICT Centre after predecessor, Ajanah

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Kogi CJ names ICT Centre after predecessor, Ajanah


By Friday Idachaba

Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Henry Olusiyi has named the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre of the state Judiciary after the immediate past Chief Judge of the state, late Justice Nasir Ajanah.

Olusiyi disclosed this at a Valedictory and Special Court Session in honour of deceased and retired Judicial Officers of the state judiciary at the state High Court Complex on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The Acting Chief Judge who described late Ajanah as his bossom friend, brother, colleague and boss said it was essential for him to rechristen the the ICT centre after Ajanah as part of efforts to immortalise him.

This, according to him, is in view of the late jurist’s commitment to the establishment of the centre as part of efforts to digitise and automate the operations of the state judiciary.

“We are doing this to immortalise his name in recognition of his contributions to the administration of Justice in Nigeria and particularly, in Kogi State.

“The ICT centre was built under his leadership. It was commissioned in 2014 and it contains quite a number of state-of-the-art communication facilities.

“So, it’s now my great privilege and honour to dedicate this Centre to the service of mankind and to the glory of the almighty God.

“From now henceforth, the High Court of Justice ICT Centre shall be known and referred to as ‘Honourable Justice Nasir Ajanah (CON) ICT Centre’.

“It is our hope that it will serve as a nucleus for our efforts to automate our Court processes in Kogi State Judiciary”, Olusiyi said. (NAN)

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