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OBARO chieftaincy tussle: Court stops coronation of Owoniyi

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OBARO chieftaincy tussle: Court stops coronation of Owoniyi

A Lokoja High Court Tuesday has ordered Governor Yahaya Bello shelve the planned coronation of Chief Solomon Owoniyi as the new Obaro of Kabba pending the determination of the case.
The court also insisted that that Owoniyi must not parade himself as a Paramount ruler of Kabba pending the determination of the case.
Governor Yahaya Bello had on July 27 appointed Owoniyi as the new Obaro of Kabba following the death of Oba Michael Olobayo in May 2016.
The Ilajo Royal family consisting of three ruling houses vehemently rejected the choice of Owoniyi as the new Obaro on the ground that he was not from the royal family and was just ” a commoner in a suburban community of Kabba ” and was therefore not fit to become a Paramount ruler.
The Ilajo Royal family who accused the governor of playing politics with the sensitive issue of tradition and cultural values of Owe- Kabba kingdom through the appointment of the new Obaro thereafter approached the court for redress and a High Court presided over by Justice Gwatana consequently granted the prayers of the claimants by granting them an interlocutory injunction restraining Chief Owoniyi from parading himself as the new Obaro.
When the new Obaro with a fraction of Kabba Chiefs led by the Speaker of Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole paid a courtesy call on the governor during the Sallah celebration, the governor was quoted to have said that the interlocutory injunction restraining Owoniyi has been vacated and that the new Obaro will be coronated in the second week of September this year.
But when the motion on interlocutory injunction came up at the court, Tuesday, Counsel to the claimant, Chief Haruna Rabanah ( SAN) drew the attention of the court to the fact that the first defendant ( Owoniyi) went ahead to carry out some traditional rites inspite of the court order restraining him from parading himself as the new Obaro and said this amounted to contempt of court.
But Counsel to the first defendant M A Aliu ( SAN) quickly objected to the submission of Counsel to the claimants and said his client did not at anytime disobeyed the court order restraining him, but that the said traditional rites had long been carried out before the court order actually came.
Ruling on the motion, the trial judge, Justice Gwatana said the status quo should remain and ordered that Chief Owoniyi should not parade himself as the new Obaro of Kabba pending the determination of the case.
He also directed the State Counsel to write a memo to the governor through the office of the Attorney- General intimating him of the court decision by stopping the governor from carrying out the planned coronation next week until the final determination of the suit.
The judge also urged the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah to re assign the case to another court who will in turn fix another date of hearing as he was on vacation leave.
End

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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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