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Trouble looms for APC over sack of Oshiomhole-led NWC as it explains reason for the action to court

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Trouble looms for APC over sack of Oshiomhole-led NWC as it explains reason for the action to court


To pave way for an end to internal leadership crises rocking its rank and file, the All Progressives Congress (APC) party said it dissolved the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) and immediately constituted the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
This it told a Federal High Court in Abuja, helped in putting to rest the crises that had characterised the affairs of the NWC.

This was in reaction to a legal action challenging the dissolution of its NWC instituted by one of its chieftains, Mr Kalu Kalu Agu.
The APC explains further that the present court action challenging the NWC dissolution effected on June 25 was designed to destabilise the party.

In a five paragraph counter-affidavit in opposition to the court action, the APC said that by its own constitution the National Executive Committee (NEC) has power to set up any committee including the current National Caretaker Committee led Governor Mai Mala Buni.

In the counter-affidavit deposed to by Mrs Adenike Adelakun, a Librarian in its legal department, APC further said that Governor Buni and other members of its National Caretaker Committee are eminently qualified for their appointment and pleaded with the court to dismiss the suit.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff in the matter has asked the court to order for continuing hearing of the substantive suit during the ongoing vacation of the Federal High Court.

Kalu also pleaded with the court for another order abridging the time within which the 14 respondents are to file and serve jointly or severally their counter-affidavits and other processes in response to the suit.

His motion on notice filed by Ukpai Ukairo was predicated on the grounds that his suit is a pre-election matter which ought to be decided within 180 days prescribed by the Constitution.

He claimed time is of essence and that a delay may cause irreparable damage or serious mischief.

However, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, counsel to the 14 Caretaker Committee members in their counter to the motion, claimed that the suit has no particular life span, adding that the subject matter of the suit did not relate to any particular election.

Fagbemi therefore urged the court to decline the request of the plaintiff.

Meanwhile, trial judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo after taking submission from parties in the matter fixed September 18 to deliver ruling on whether to hear the matter during the court’s vacation or not.

Kalu, a Youth Leader of the APC in Abia State is challenging the powers of the National Executive Council (NEC) to sack the national leaders barely two years out of their constitutionally guaranteed four year term of office.

In the suit with number: FHC/ABJ/ CS/736/2020, the plaintiff asked for an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, setting aside the dissolution of the NWC by APC’s NEC meeting held at the presidential villa in June this year.

He is also praying the court for an order restraining the National Caretaker Committee members led by Buni from parading themselves as national officers of the APC and from usurping the functions of the party’s NWC.

Plaintiff also prayed the court for an order restraining the National Caretaker Committee from putting into effect the resolution of the APC’s NEC meeting passed on June 25, 2020 and for another order against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising, dealing with or relating with the caretaker committee in whatever guise to usurp the functions of the NWC.

Similarly, the plaintiff also prayed for an order of mandatory injunction compelling Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue to recognise the Oshiomhole-led members of the NWC as the authentic national officers of the party.

He also prayed the court for an order striking down Article 17 of the APC’s constitution which provided for appointment of officers into the organs of the party for being inconsistent with section 223 of the 1999 Constitution and section 85 of the Electoral Act of 2010.

In a 44- paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff claimed to be one of the foundation members of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) under which he contested for the House of Representatives in Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency of Abia State in 2011 and that after the 2011 general elections the party along with others merged in 2013 to form the present APC.

Plaintiff further averred that he is an accredited APC member and that he was elected as the Abia State Youth Leader in April 2014 during the state’s congress held at Umuahia, adding that the national officers of the APC were also elected in 2014 in accordance with the party’s constitution.

Insisting that the 1999 Constitution guaranteed four year tenure for party officials, Agu averred that in breach of the same constitution on June 25, 2020, APC’s NEC meeting at the presidential villa Abuja, passed an illegal and unlawful resolution dissolving the NWC and also setting up an illegal caretaker committee of the NWC.

Plaintiff’s further grouse was that members of APC’s NWC had barely spent two years from their four years in office before they were purportedly dissolved by the NEC.

He is therefore praying the court to declare the dissolution of the NWC as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and another declaration that the recognition accorded the caretaker committee is unconstitutional and illegal.

Plaintiff further prayed the court to declare that the setting up of the caretaker committee for APC by the NEC on June 25, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect.

Respondents in the case are INEC, APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni, Isiaka Oyebola, Ken Nnamani, Stella Okorete, Governor Sank Bello, Dr James Lalu, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, Hon Akinyemi Olaide, David Leon, Professor Their Mamman, Isiaka Ahmed and Senator Akpan Udoedehe.


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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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