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Kogi Judiciary goes to court; wants assembly resolution set aside

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Kogi Judiciary goes to court; wants assembly resolution set aside

The Judiciary in Kogi State yesterday approached the State High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe seeking nullification of the April 2, resolution of Kogi House of Assembly that recommended the sack of the Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah.

The Motion was filed by Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) leading 11 other lawyers including five Senior Advocates of Nigeria on behalf of the claimants/applicants, Justice Ajanah and Chief Registrar of the state High Court, Alhaji Yahaya Adamu.

He indicated that the Motion Notice (Motion NO. HC/KK02M/201) was brought pursuant to Order 11, Rules 1 and 2 of Kogi State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2006 to counter the action of the Assembly in defying the court order in the impasse between the Legislature and the Executive arms.

The motion has Kogi State House of Assembly; Speaker of the House;
Hon. Bello Hassan Abdullahi, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee; The Governor of Kogi State and the Attorney-General of Kogi State as defendants

The claimants/applicants in the motion contended that the House of Assembly defied the pendency of Suit NO. HC/KK/11CV/2018 and the interim injunctive Orders of the Court to have sat and issued a resolution in respect of the matter.

They prayed for an order of the court nullifying and setting aside the resolution purportedly passed by the House at its plenary sitting of 2nd April, 2019 in defiance of the pendency of the suit.

The action of the Legislative Assembly also defied the interim injunctive Orders of Court by acting upon a report submitted to it by its Public Accounts Committee and resolving that:

“The Chief Judge of Kogi State (the 1st Claimant/Applicant herein) be removed for alleged gross misconduct, and

ii) That the Chief Registrar of Kogi State High Court (2nd Claimant/Applicant herein) should be referred to the Kogi State Judicial Service Commission for disciplinary action for misconduct.”

The motion was based on the grounds that the purported resolution of the 1st-3rd defendants was made during the pendency of this suit and a subsisting order of this Court restraining the defendants from taking any steps In respect of the substantive matter.

The motion also held that orders of court were meant to be obeyed by parties adding that the said resolution of the 1st – 3rd defendants violated the said Order of the court and amounted therefore, “to self help which is deprecated by the law.”

It also held that the said resolution having been made during the pendency of the suit and a subsisting order of the Court, was a nullity under the Law and ought to be set aside.

The High Court presided over by Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye would therefore, be moved on April 12, to hear the claimants/applicants through their counsel.

The motion was supported with a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Alhaji Yahaya Adamu, the Chief Registrar and also one of the claimants/applicants.

Adamu noted that the court had on 12th December, 2018, restrained the defendants themselves, their agents or privies from acting or threatening to act or interfere in any way detrimental to the Claimants in the discharge of their duties as Chief Judge and Chief Registrar respectively.

This, according to him, is with reference to the subject matter of this suit, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice dated 12th December, 2018.

The Court order also restrained the House from accepting, debating or taking cognizance in any way of the report of its Ad Hoc Committee set up on 11th December, 2018 at its plenary sitting.

The ad hoc committee chaired by the 3rd defendant, was mandated to Investigate an alleged “impasse” between the Judicial and Executive arms of the Government of Kogi State.

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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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