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Impeachment: Senior lawyer hails Ondo CJ for obedience, fidelity to constitution

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Impeachment: Senior lawyer hails Ondo CJ for obedience, fidelity to constitution

A senior Advocate of Nigeria, Jibrin Samuel Okutepa has commended the chief Judge of Ondo State for his obedience and fidelity to constitutional duty which his lordship sworn to defend and uphold by refusing to be coerced.
The chief Judge had declined to set up a seven man panel to investigate the Deputy Governor of Ondo State at the instance of the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly.

This was contained in a Statement that was personally signed by Okutepa(SAN) and made availlable to the NationalUpdate in Abuja.
Okutepa said the refusal of the Hon Chief Judge of Ondo state to set up a seven man panel is a good step in the right direction saying that it is what a good judicial officer should do.
“That is a CJ that knows his onions.This was what the late CJ of Kogi State, my state had lacked the courage to do when the Kogi State House of Assembly requested that a seven man Panel be set up to investigate the then Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba.
The impeached Kogi deputy Governor he said had gone to court to challenge the removal process being put in place then by the Kogi State House of Assembly.

“His lordship CJ of Ondo State, Hon Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu will go down in history as the first CJ that refused to set up a  panel to investigate the Deputy Governor when litigation was pending.
“He said it was sub-judice.
That is what a good judicial officer should do. Kudos to Akeredolu CJ. There is no doubt that the political class who want the Deputy Governor removed may not find the decision of his lordship palatable and acceptable.
“But all right thinking members of the legal profession must stand up and applaud the bold decision of Akeredolu CJ.”
He said the law holds that when a matter is pending in court, no party to it is allowed to do anything to undermine the judicial process.
I
“It is only the judiciary that can instil sanity into the political class. While the political class sworn to uphold and defend our constitution, practical conduct on their parts shows mockery of our constitutional democracy.
“The example of Akeredolu CJ must be copied by all heads of courts and other judicial officers when faced with decisions to defend our constitution.”
He said the nations electoral justice also requires bold statements to put an end to political rascalities before, during or post elections disputes.
“For me Akeredolu CJ  has done the right thing even if heaven falls even though heaven has never fallen and it will not fall.”

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Libel Suit : Court Rules Against Ohakim’s Ex-Mistress

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Libel Suit : Court Rules Against Ohakim’s Ex-Mistress

The High Court of Imo State sitting at Owerri has struck out an application by former Gov Ikedi Ohakim’s ex-mistress, Chinyere Amuchinwa (née Igwegbe), against the hearing of Chief Ohakim’s fundamental rights case against her and the Nigeria Police Force.

In the application, Lady Amuchinwa, who accused Chief Ohakim of some wrongdoings for which Ohakim had sued her, applied to the court to refer Ohakim’s case against her from the High Court to the Court of Appeal. The originating case bears Suit No HOW/717/2020.

Ms Amuchinwa, in her application, argued that under the constitution, the High Court could refer a case concerning an issue of interpretation and application of the constitution. However, Barr Aloy Ejimakor, the counsel to Chief Ohakim, argued that the case before the court concerned enforcement of fundamental rights, and not the interpretation and application of the constitution.

The presiding judge, Justice I.G. Chukwunyere, upheld Ejimakor’s arguments and ruled that, “This application is pre-emotive and is therefore refused. The application fails and is accordingly struck out.”

Our correspondent reported that Chief Ohakim slammed a N5bn libel suit against Lady Amuchienwa, née Igwegbe. The suit is premised on an alleged interview granted by Amuchinwa, which Ohakim claims ‘is defamatory and falsehood’ against his person.

In the suit, the former governor had prayed the court to declare that allegations contained in the interview as published in the medium ‘are slanderous, libelous and defamatory’.

He also prayed an order of the court compelling the accused to retract the allegations by granting another interview to the same medium, and to also retract the audio by countering her earlier claims, and circulate same through the social media, including particularly the WhatsApp.

Ohakim, in the suit marked HOW/888/2020 filed before the Imo State High Court, further urged the court to: “Order perpetual injunction restraining the accused from further and forever uttering the said slanderous and libelous words about or concerning the plaintiff.”

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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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