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IPAC says Appeal Court judgement on deregistered parties is triumph of democracy over tyranny

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IPAC says Appeal Court judgement on deregistered parties is triumph of democracy over tyranny

The president of the Inter Party Advisory Council Petter Ameh has indicated that attempt by INEC to appeal the recent Appeal Court Judgement which reversed INEC decision to deregister 74 political parties will amount to mere grandstanding and a waste of tax payers money.
This was contained in a press statement that he personally signed and made availlable to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, the time tested democratic principles and the rule of law first enunciated by the wise men of ancient Greece and nurtured by the larger democracies world over, including Nigeria, cannot be allowed to crumble in one fell swoop by any agency of government.
He observed that the Appellate Courts have in a plethora of cases including Musa V. INEC continued to stand in defense of liberty, justice, freedom and multi-party democracy as the only route for the advancement of our Nation.
“The Court of Appeal, led by its President Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has maintained this noble tradition in the judgment delivered on the 10th August, 2020 by ordering INEC to relist the Appellants who were illegally deregistered.”
He indicated that the conduct of INEC in the saga is indefensible. He recalled that while the Appellants were in Court and in anticipation of the ruling of the Federal High Court fixed for the 17th February, 2020, INEC on 6th February, 2020 went ahead to deregister the Appellants to foist a fait acompli on the Court.

This he said, shows disrespect not only to the political parties but to the Judicial Arm of Government.

“The Court of Appeal has risen in defense of the integrity of the judiciary. A Court must defend its jurisdiction and integrity jealously and courageously and we salute our Judiciary for acting without fear or favour.

“Mistakes have been made by INEC and the trial Court. But to err is human. INEC only need to put this behind it and relist the parties immediately.”
He said, any claim of conflict between the NUP case and the instant one (by any Lawyer), is mischievous and dishonest.
He added that, the Court has not said INEC did not have power to deregister, it only said that the due process of law was not adhered to with respect to the ACD & 21 ORS’ case.
He pointed out that the deregistration of Political Parties is akin to Capital Punishment (death sentence) on natural persons which cannot be allowed without giving fair hearing to the accused.
“Even the all-knowing and all seeing Almighty God having known that Adam ate the forbidden fruit, still gave him the opportunity to say something in his defense before passing judgment.
“The high point of the judgment is the pronouncement by the Court on Section 40 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 on Freedom of Association.
“Even though the proviso to this Section says it shall not derogate from the powers conferred by the Constitution on INEC with respect to Political Parties to which INEC does not accord recognition, the Court put it clearly that this proviso is ousted with respect to Political Parties which INEC has already recognized and registered. 

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Kogi Ag. CJ embarks on state-wide visits to Correctional Centres

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Kogi Ag. CJ embarks on state-wide visits to Correctional Centres

By Friday Idachaba

Acting Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Henry Olusiyi has commenced tour of the six Custodial Centres (Correctional facilities) in the state with emphasis on cleanliness to check infestation of diseases.

Olusiyi who commenced the tour with a visit to Dekina and Ankpa Custodial Centres disclosed this while reviewing warrants of 35 Awaiting Trial Inmates incarcerated for various criminal offences.

The acting CJ said that there was need for the centres to be kept clean and neat to avoid communicable and other diseases adding even the clinics did not have drugs to take of minor diseases.

“In the clinic also they don’t have essential drugs for instance, the inmates in this centre, most of them are infected with infectious skin diseases and they don’t have drugs”, he said.

Olusiyi however commended the two correctional centres saying, “What we have seen is good in terms of cleanness. The environment is clean and the officers are doing well with the little that they have.”

On possible congestion of the facilities, the acting Chief Judge said Dekina Custodial Centre was underutilized because it has capacity for 105 inmates and they have 14 inmates including nine awaiting trials and five convicts.

“In Ankpa Custodial Centre, we have 26 inmates out of which one Gabriel Odiniya has been released unconditionally. The facility is underutilized but it is good. It is not all the time that we should expect correctional centres to be over full. It is good.

“That is a takeaway from this visit. That our correctional centres are not congested. Ankpa and Dekina are not congested. That means that our courts are working and our correctional officers are also working.

“We have already said it to our courts at all the stages that the essence of our mandate is the administration of justice and justice delayed sometimes can be Justice denied and at the same time Justice rushed sometimes can be Justice crushed.

“So we need to balance the two, make sure that whatever we do, we do not allow cases to linger in our courts and at the same time, do not over rush them so that we don’t miss out on the Justice of the matter.

“We wish to commend the Chief Superintendent of Corrections in Ankpa Custodial Centre, Umoru Onuh and Superintendent Omole Olumuyiwa of Dekina and their officers and men for a job well done”, he said.

NAN reports that the acting CJ had earlier visited the Eje Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje and commiserated with the Igala traditional council over the demise of the late Attah, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh-Oboni and Onu Abocho, Alhaji Tijani Okwutachi who died Sunday morning. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Kogi Ag. CJ releases 17-year-old from Ankpa Custodial Centre

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Kogi Ag. CJ releases 17-year-old from Ankpa Custodial Centre


By Friday Idachaba
The Acting Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Henry Olusiyi has unconditionally released a 17-year-old boy, Gabriel Odiniya, remanded in the centre and standing trial for alleged trespass, intimidation and attempt to commit theft.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chief Judge released the juvenile inmate on Tuesday in Ankpa while on inspection visit to Medium Security Custodial Centre in Ankpa as part of his state-wide visits to custodial centres.

Olusiyi said there was no prima facie case against Odiniya aside the fact that he was a child who under extant laws, was certainly not supposed to be in the custodial centre in the first place.

“I have listened carefully to the learned legal officer prosecuting this case and on the whole, I am satisfied that this is an appropriate case for me to exercise my discretion in favour of the defendant by letting off the hook completely in this matter.

“I have also observed that he is suffering from skin rashes which if not controlled, may result in other inmates being infected.

“In the light of all the foregoing, the defendant is hereby released as no useful purpose will be served by his continued detention in this Custodial Centre.

“He shall be released forthwith to the acting Ochogwu of Ogugu, His royal Highness Emmanuel salifu for proper handling etc”, he said.

The acting Chief Judge also implored the Reverend Father Boniface Opaluwa, incharge of the Catholic Church in Emagaba-Ogugu, to take charge and provide spiritual guidance to the fatherless boy.

Odiniya was allegedly framed by a woman who he had worked for and who dragged him to court over alleged theft of money and secured conviction but Odiniya was given an option of fine by the court.

The woman according to Odiniya, had caused him to be arrested again boasting that she would make him to spend five years in jail as he was subsequently arraigned before Chief Magistrate Court, Okpo, Olamaboro Local Government. (NAN)

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Court orders Fidelity Bank, BNSG to pay N1.4b to staff of defunct Taraku mills Ltd

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Court orders Fidelity Bank, BNSG to pay N1.4b to staff of defunct Taraku mills Ltd

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, has ordered Fidelity Bank and the Benue State Government to pay the sum of N1.4 billion Naira to one Aondohemba Agba Injo and 210 others over unpaid claims of the creditors who are staff of the defunct Taraku Mills Limited.

The court also issued a Writ or execution against the garnished /Respondent thereafter, by directing the Deputy Sherriff of the court to seal the Banks branches in Abuja, Lafia, Makurdi and any others in Nigeria for the purpose of enforcing the judgment of the  court.

The two major branches of the bank in Abuja situated in the Business Central Area and Maitama were consequently sealed up this afternoon.

Honorable Justice R. B Haastrup who delivered the judgment on the 19th of November 2020 in a suit no NICN/ABJ/241M/2020 said, “I have  carefully perused through the processes filed by the judgment creditors /Applicants herein and have also listened to the oral submissions of counsel in respect thereto vis-a-vis the authorities cited in support thereof.
“The rules of this court as stated by the Applicant’s  counsel are indeed clear on the requirements for the issuance of the Writ of execution as embodied in Order 49 Rules 3 and 6, which the Applicants herein has compiled with”.

While the seal up of Fidelity Bank was executed in some of its branches in Abuja, a top bank manager said the process of paying off the debts has begun.

One of the Creditors, Aondohemba Agba Injo and their team of lawyers yesterday who besieged the bank premises told our reporter that,” they have showed us bank drafts to show that they are processing the payments but what we don’t know is if it’s a gimmick because they promised to compete it in three hours but it’s well past three hours now but we are still here and waiting”.

Sources however told our correspondent that while the bank is slow in rounding up the process was to buy time while they explore possibilities of obtaining a stay of execution order from the Supreme court.

But  a lawyer, Barrister A Usha told our reporter that cases of such nature terminates at the Industrial court of Appeal.

It was also gathered that the Benue State Government was mounting pressure on  the officials of the Industrial Court of Appeal to illegally unseal the banks premises against a lawful order.

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