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Tribunal fixes judgment in Osun governorship dispute for Friday

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Tribunal fixes judgment in Osun governorship dispute for Friday

The Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Apo, Abuja has scheduled Friday for judgment in the petition by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the September 2018 governorship election held in the state, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

PDP and Adeleke are, by their petition, challenging the declaration of Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The date for the judgment was communicated to parties via hearing notices sent to them on Tuesday to that effect by the tribunal’s secretariat.

Tribunal Chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo had, on March 7, after parties adopted their final written addresses, announced that judgment in the case would be reserved till a later date.

Justice Sirajo said parties will be informed, at least, 48 hours before the date of delivery of the judgment.

Wole Olanipekun (SAN) appeared for Oyetola; Akin Olujinmi (SAN) represented the APC while Lasco Pwahomdi appeared for INEC on March 7.

The petitioners’ legal team was led by Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN).

In adopting their separate final addresses, Olanipekun, Olujinmi and Pwahomdi urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the petitioners have failed to prove their case.

On his part, Ikpeazu urged the tribunal to uphold the petition and grant all the reliefs prayed by the petitioners.

Olanipekun, while adopting his final address, noted that the petition was full of confusing claims and betrayed the petitioners’ lack of understanding of the nation’s election petition jurisprudence.

In identifying what he described as the many contradictions in the petition, Olanipekun noted that “in pages 37, 38 and 39, the petitioners are presenting a different case entirely from their pleadings. The petition is a bedlam of confusion.”

Olanipekun noted that the petitioners have admitted breaching the electoral law by seeking that some of their votes be quashed.

He added: “They are also asking the tribunal to quash some of their votes. A self-confessed petitioner, who has in writing, admitted infringing the law, cannot be asking to be returned as a winner of the election.

“In their relief seven, they want the court to nullify the certificate of return, but they failed to present the certificate before the tribunal. Where is that certificate? Can the tribunal nullify what is not before it?

“They said the certificate of return is with us. If it is with us, should they not have given us a notice to produce it? They did not give us notice to produce,” Olanipekun said.

He relied on a decision of the Court of Appeal given on Wednesday in the motion filed by the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar and urged the tribunal to decline the petitioners’ prayer to void the guideline issued by INEC for the conduct of the election.

In similar argument, Olujinmi faulted the evidence given by 63 polling agents called as witnesses by the petitioners.

He noted that, though the petitioners called 80 witnesses in all, 63, who were polling unit agents gave common evidence by saying similar things and using almost exactly the same words.

Olujinmi also argued the the evidence by the petitions’ 74th witness, who was the state polling agent, amounted to hearsay evidence because he admitted getting the information from the documents submitted to him.

He urged the tribunal to ignore the various documents tendered by the petitioners, which he said they merely dumped on the tribunal without demonstrating their link to the case.

Olujinmi also noted contradictions in the case of the petitioners and the evidence they led.

He noted that while the petitioners want the tribunal to declare them winner of the first part of the election held on September 22, 2018 and void the supplementary election held on September 27, 2018, their 74th witness said they have no cause of action as it relates to the election of September 22, 2018.

Ikpeazu, in his counter argument, urged the tribunal to disregard the issues raised by the respondents’ lawyers.

He faulted the written addresses by the 2nd and 3rd respondents, which he argued, were not filed as required by law.

Ikpeazu said there was no confusion as it relates to the case of the petitioners. He said the respondents’ claim of existence of confusion betrayed their misunderstanding of the case.

Ikpeazu said the petitioners’ case was that, based of the result of the election of September 22, the 1st petitioner, having satisfied provision of Section 179(2) of the Constitution, ought to be declared as having won.

He faulted the respondents’ argument that the petitioners dumped documents on the tribunal.

Ikpeazu argued that the petitioners have effectively demonstrated all the documents tendered, including the certified true copies of the result sheets, which he said, were riddled with alterations.

He queried the powers of INEC to alter election results and urged the tribunal to grant the petitioners’ prayers.
Culled from thenewsguru

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Kogi Ag. CJ embarks on state-wide visit to Correctional Centres, emphasises cleanliness

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Kogi Ag. CJ embarks on state-wide visit to Correctional Centres, emphasises cleanliness


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 in the centres did not have drugs to take care 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 but presently has 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 told our courts at all 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, to 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 him over the demise of late Attah Igala, 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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