Ifeanyi Ubah Appeals Judgement Sacking Him From Senate


 

Embattled Senator Ifeanyi Ubah says he has filed a suit at the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgement which removed him as the lawmaker representing Anambra South senatorial district.

He disclosed this to Channels Television on Saturday a day after a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in the Bwari area of Abuja reaffirmed his sack.

Ubah explained that appealing the judgement of the court was important because it lacked the jurisdiction to giving such ruling.

He stressed that neither him nor his party – the Young Progressives Party (YPP), was served the court notices when the case was brought before the court.

The embattled lawmaker said, “Even in the Electoral Act; anything after the announcement of an election (result) is a post-election which should go through the Tribunal, not FCT High Court.

“Even the FCT High Court has no territorial jurisdiction over this matter. The matter was a matter which took place in Anambra South senatorial district.”

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

“In the court record, I was not served; which is still till date. Our party doesn’t run on rubber stamp; our party runs on seal stamp and there is a name they claimed is the party’s secretary who is not known to the party,” he added.

Giving his ruling on Friday, Justice Bello Kawu of the FCT High Court had refused to reverse the judgement of the court delivered in December which removed Ubah as a member of the Senate.

He, however, ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged Ubah’s victory in the February 23 poll, be recognised as the winner of the election.

The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.

In his prayer, the PDP candidate had claimed that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled him to contest the Anambra South senatorial election.

He asked that Ubah’s party be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.

UPDATED: Court Reaffirms Sack Of Ifeanyi Ubah As Senator

Ubah Accuses PDP Of Injustice, Says 'I Have Not Gained Anything'
A file photo of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

 

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in the Bwari area of Abuja has reaffirmed the sack of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

Senator Ubah was the lawmaker representing Anambra South district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Bello Kawu refused to reverse the judgement of the court delivered in December which removed Ubah as a member of the Senate.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Upholds Ifeanyi Ubah’s Election

He, however, ordered that Mr Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had challenged Ubah’s victory in the February 23 poll, be recognised as the winner of the election.

The judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzoh, the applicant, as the senator-elect in the district.

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Among other claims, the PDP candidate alleged that his YPP counterpart presented a forged National Examination Council (NECO) secondary school certificate to INEC, which enabled him to contest the Anambra South senatorial election.

He also insisted that Ubah’s party should be disqualified for not conducting a primary for its candidates in the poll.

In his judgement, Justice Kawu sacked Ubah and declared that the second defendant in the suit – the YPP – did not have the locus standi, and should not have participated in the election.

Reacting to the judgment, the National Chairman of YPP, Mr Bishop Amakiri, said his party would appeal the decision of the court.

According to him, the court erred in law on the ground that the party was never served with the court processes.

Amakiri added that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain and enter judgment in favour of Mr Uzoh who he said never participated in the senatorial election.

Court Dismisses Car Theft Case Against Naira Marley, Others

Naira Marley Gets N2m Bail
A file photo of Naira Marley.

 

 

A Magistrates’ Court sitting in the Tinubu area of Lagos Island has dismissed a car theft charge filed by the police against popular hip-hop artiste, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, as well as his two brothers and their cousin.

Delivering his ruling on Tuesday, Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias struck out the four counts and dismissed the case after receiving a settlement agreement between the complainant, Mr Adelekan Ademola, and the four defendants.

Marley, his two brothers – Idris Fashola (18) and Babatunde Fashola (24), and their cousin, Kunle Obere (22), were the defendants in the case.

They were all charged with conspiracy, stealing, assault, and obstructing the police from arresting Marley.

Naira Marley was absent in court, but the other defendants were present.

Supreme Court Hears Governorship Appeals From Sokoto, Kano, Four Other States

Supreme Court Strikes Out APC's Appeal On Exclusion From Rivers Elections

 

The Supreme Court has begun hearing of the appeals from the governorship elections in Imo, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano, Plateau and Benue States.

The hearing of the appeals, brought by various aggrieved candidates in the March 9 polls in the affected states, took place on Monday at the apex court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, presided over a seven-man panel hearing the appeals.

The appeals were brought before the court by various aggrieved candidates in the March 9 polls in the affected states.

The apex court is hearing the appeals filed by the governorship candidates 10 months after the elections held in the affected states.

The governors returned elected by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the states are Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Simon Lalong (Plateau), and Samuel Ortom (Benue).

Shortly after the court commenced sitting, Justice Muhammadu suspended the hearing of the appeals over the inability of the security operatives to control the crowd and the noise level in the court.

As part of efforts to decongest the court, the CJN directed counsels representing the parties not to appear with more than five lawyers.

He, however, granted the parties in the case to witness the proceedings and until that was done, Justice Muhammad ordered that the hearing be put on hold.

Thereafter, politicians who were not parties in any of the appeals were asked to leave the courtroom as the police deploy a dog to assist in the decongestion process.

After carrying out the directive of the CJN to decongest the courtroom, the court resumed proceedings.

Justice Muhammad, however, announced that a member of the panel was sick after which he adjourned all the appeals until Tuesday.

Briton Guilty Of False Rape Claim, Court Rules

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A court in Cyprus on Monday found a British woman guilty of falsely claiming she was gang-raped by a group of Israeli tourists in the resort of Ayia Napa.

Sentencing was adjourned until January 7.

The woman, who was 19 at the time of the incident in July, had pleaded not guilty to the charge of “public mischief”, which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of around 1,700 euros.

“The statements you have given were false,” the judge told the defendant in remarks translated by the court interpreter.

She appeared frustrated by the delay to the sentencing, telling her lawyer: “He already made his decision! I thought we were asking for a fine.”

More than a dozen women from an association for the protection of women attended court wearing white scarves with an image of lips sewn shut printed on them.

The woman’s lawyers had claimed she was pressured into signing a statement written by a detective.

The judge said during the trial that police had acted properly at all times, with no pressure exerted to change the woman’s mind about her initial claim she was raped by 12 Israelis on July 17.

The Israelis, aged 15 to 18, were released without charge the same month after the woman was arrested on suspicion of making a false statement.

Rights groups argued the teenager has suffered humiliation and been mistreated by the police and media.

They have called for an investigation into police handling of the case and criticised the way rape cases and victims are treated in Cyprus.

AFP

Court Fixes Date To Rule On Jonah Jang’s ‘No Case’ Submission

Jang Replies EFCC, Denies Ownership Of Kaduna Property
(File) Former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.

 

 

Justice Daniel Longji of the Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State has set December 31 to rule on the no-case submission by a former governor of the state, Senator Jonah Jang.

The judge fixed the date on Monday, said a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren.

EFCC has been prosecuting the lawmaker since March 2018 on an amended 17-count, alongside a cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (OSSG), Yusuf Pam, for alleged corruption and misappropriation of Plateau State funds to the tune of N6.32billion.

On December 17, Justice Longji set December 23 for the adoption of written addresses by the parties in the no-case submission of the defence to which the prosecution counsel, H.O. Ejiga, decried the late service of notice of the defence’s written address on its no-case submission.

He noted that it ran contrary to the court pronouncement of November 18 that the defence should file its no-case submission within 14 days, and for the prosecution to file its response within 10 days of service of the defence’s no-case submission.

At Wednesday’s proceeding, counsel to the first defendant (Jang), E.G Phajok, and that of the second defendant, S. Olawale, submitted that the filing of their no-case submission was in order and properly done.

He also urged the judge to set the defendants free, arguing that the EFCC has failed to establish a case against them.

However, the lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, made an oral application for the court to allow him more time to respond to the no-case submission, insisting that the defendants have case to answer.

“My lord the first defendant (Jonah Jang) made a statement that he signed the money and made the approval.

“If the court set them free, how will the state recover its N6.32 billion? And these series of withdrawals happened during the 2015 general elections,” he said.

The prosecution counsel also observed that there was no decision by Plateau’s State Executive Council to grant Jang the approval as governor to borrow the money, and as such, Jang, he said acted arbitrarily in borrowing the money.

He observed that there was no approval from the National Economic Council (NEC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for Senator Jang to borrow the money as governor.

“I, therefore, request the kind permission of my lord to halt the ruling and follow the law of the Supreme Court,” Jacob added.

The judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter until December 31 for ruling.

Judge Recuses Self From Sowore’s Case Amid Allegations Of Bias

 

Justice Ahmed Muhammed has recused himself from hearing any suit concerning the convener of the #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

The judge made the declaration on Monday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, saying he took the decision as a result of two publications by online news platform, Sahara Reporters accusing him of bias.

He added that he would return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on the grounds that justice is rooted in confidence.

Justice Muhammed stressed that there have been issues with the news outfit in the past, insisting that it would only be right if he hands off the case.

Mr Sowore had instituted the fundamental rights enforcement suit before the court, seeking an order for his release from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).

There has been no fresh charge instituted against Sowore since he was rearrested by DSS operatives on December 6, barely 24 hours after he was released from the agency’s detention lasting over months.

But Justice Mohammed ruled that he could not hear Sowore’s case, saying it was the fair, just and proper thing to do in view of the previous publications by Sahara Reporters, accusing him of taking a bribe to influence the outcome of the case.

The case in question is the trial of a former governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam, who is now being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before another judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang.

Justice Mohammed noted that the reports by Sahara Reporters in 2016 and 2019 made him withdraw from the ex-governor’s trial.

He recalled that when the first report was published in 2016, he was prevailed upon by the prosecution and defence teams to continue with the case.

The judge said on continuing with the case, a similar report was published in June this year.

He said the incident put him in a situation whereby if he ruled in favour of Sowore, it could be perceived as having been blackmailed by the activist to so rule.

Justice Mohammed explained that in the event that he ruled against the activist, he could be perceived as being vengeful.

“Justice is rooted in confidence,” he said, adding, “That is to say none of the parties should be afraid or apprehensive that he will not get justice before a court.”

The judge then ordered that the case file be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, for reassignment to another judge.

N7.65bn Fraud: Court Rejects Orji Kalu’s Post-Conviction Bail

A file photo of former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

 

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has refused to grant a former governor of Abia State, Uzor Orji Kalu, a post-conviction bail.

Justice Mohammed Liman, however, ordered that the former governor be remanded in prison until his appeal has been heard.

Ruling on Mr Kalu’s application on Monday, the judge wondered the motion for bail was filed speedily when the appeal against his conviction has not been heard.

The former governor had, through his counsel, filed an application for post-conviction bail pending his appeal against his jail sentence based on health grounds which he said the medical facilities in the prison could not handle.

He also informed the court of his role as the Chief Whip of the Senate that the interests of his constituents would be in jeopardy if he was kept behind bars.

But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) opposed the bail on grounds that bail was for accused persons on the presumption of innocence.

The anti-corruption agency argued that since Kalu had been convicted, he could no longer enjoy such a privilege.

The court had on December 5 jailed Mr Kalu for 12 years after finding him guilty of fraud to the tune of N7.56 billion.

The assets of Slok Nigeria Limited, Kalu’s company, were also forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Similarly, the former governor’s aide and erstwhile Director of Finance in the Abia State House of Assembly was also sentenced in an amended 39-count, the EFCC had charged them with.

Court Sentences Professor To Death For Blasphemy

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A Pakistani court on Saturday sentenced a university professor to death for blasphemy under a law that critics say is often used to target minorities and liberal activists.

Junaid Hafeez, 33, was arrested in March 2013 for allegedly posting derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed on social media.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Muslim-majority Pakistan, where laws against it carry a potential death sentence. Even unproven allegations have led to mob lynchings and vigilante murders.

Hafeez’s sentence was announced in central city of Multan, where he was a university professor at the time of his arrest, and his counsel Asad Jamal slammed the decision as “most unfortunate”.

“We will appeal against this verdict,” Jamal tolP.

“Junaid Hafeez’s death sentence is a gross miscarriage of justice and the verdict… is extremely disappointing and surprising,” Amnesty International’s Rabia Mehmood said.

“The government must immediately release him and drop all charges against him,” she added. “The authorities must also guarantee his safety and that of his family and legal representatives.”

Hafeez’s lawyer was killed in 2014 after receiving death threats during a hearing.

About 40 people convicted of blasphemy are on death row in Pakistan, according to a 2018 estimate by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The acquittal last October of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who had spent more than eight years on death row for blasphemy, provoked violent protests across Pakistan, leaving large swathes of the country paralysed.

Bibi now lives in Canada with her family.

While many cases involve Muslims accusing Muslims, rights activists have warned that religious minorities — particularly Christians — are often caught in the crossfire, with blasphemy charges used to settle personal scores.

AFP

Appeal Court Upholds Conviction Of Ex-SAN Nwobike

Court To Decide Certificate Case Against Buhari Today
A file photo of the Court of Appeal 

 

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has struck out an appeal filed by a former Senior Advocate of Justice (SAN), Mr Joseph Nwobike for lacking in merit.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the State High Court had on May 2018 convicted Nwobike on 12 out of 18 counts bordering on attempts to pervert the course of justice.

She sentenced him to one month’s imprisonment on each of the 12 counts but said the sentences would run concurrently.

The judge said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) proved beyond reasonable doubts that Nwobike was in constant communication with court officials to influence the assignment of his cases to his preferred judges.

The EFCC accused Nwobike of offering monetary gratification to judges of the Federal High Court to influence them to give judgments in his favour.

READ ALSO: Corruption: 22 Ex-Governors Facing Probe, Trial – Malami

Following his conviction, the senior lawyer had approached the appellant court challenging the decision of the lower court.

Consequently, the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) stripped Nwobike of his SAN title.

But a three-man panel of the court comprising Justices Joseph Ikyegh (presiding), Jamilu Tukur and Ebiowei Tobi unanimously held that the lower court properly convicted the lawyer in accordance with Section 97(3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

The court, however, discharged and acquitted Nwobike of the charge of offering gratification to a Federal High Court judge, Justice Mohammed Yinusa.

Nwobike’s counsel, Olawale Akoni (SAN) said afterward that the lawyer would appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court.

Akoni contended, amongst other things, that the allegation of attempt to pervert the cause of justice for which he was convicted was not proved by the EFCC.

The applicant also described the judgment as “unreasonable and unwarranted.”

The appellant formulated 14 grounds of appeal and raised six issues for determination through his counsel Olawale Akoni SAN.

The EFCC opposed the appeal through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who raised two issues in defence.

Justice Tobi, who read the lead judgment, reduced the issues to four.

They are: Whether Section 97(3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State upon which Nwobike was convicted did not define the offence and was contrary to Section 36(2) of the Constitution, as contended by Nwobike.

Whether the conviction was based on the non-penal rules (Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners)?

Whether the court was right in convicting Nwobike and whether it had enough evidence and properly evaluated the same?

The judge resolved the issues in the respondent’s (EFCC) favour.

Concerning the issue of whether Nwobike offered gratification to Justice Yinusa, the court held that there was no such evidence.

He said: “That money was given to a judge creates suspicion, particularly when you have matters before him, it is most unethical. It is unethical for any judge to receive money from lawyers, particularly lawyers that have cases before him, but an action being unethical doesn’t necessarily mean it is criminal.”

According to him, the prosecution needed to go further to prove that the purpose for which the money was given was for perverting the course of justice.

He noted that Nwobike clarified that he gave the judge money for his mother’s burial.

The judge held: “I reverse the decision of the lower court and find the appellant not guilty of the charge of gratification… He is discharged and acquitted of counts 3, 12 and 14.

“But I cannot say the same of counts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16 and 17 (attempt to pervert justice).

“The finding of the lower court as it relates to counts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16 and 17 is correct, and I see no reason to interfere. I am of the firm view that the respondent proved his case at the lower court beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant had the mind to interfere with and influence the assignment of case to preferred judges and in so doing is guilty of the offence of attempt to pervert the course of justice contrary to section 97(3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”

 

Court Jails Passenger For Smoking On-Board Air Peace Plane

FILE PHOTO: Air Peace plane

 

A passenger caught smoking on-board Air Peace plane has been found guilty by a Magistrate Court sitting in Ogba, Lagos and sentenced to two weeks imprisonment with the option of paying N200,000 as a fine.

The passenger was seen smoking a cigarette and was accosted by the flight attendant, Adewale Oyebade while carrying out his routine safety checks.

According to a statement released on Wednesday by the Corporate Communications Executive of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, this act contravenes a standing global aviation regulation of non-smoking in-flight.

READ ALSO: Three Nigerian Pilgrims Abscond In Israel

He stated that Oyebade’s safety consciousness reiterates Air Peace’s commitment to global safety standards of protecting passengers and aircraft from harm.

The Air Peace flight P4 7558 was heading from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Lagos, Nigeria on December 11, 2019, when the incident happened.

Olisa further advised intending air passengers to make it an obligation to comply with all established flight safety standards, adding that such measures were meant for their well-being.

Court Orders Remand Of BPE DG In Correctional Facility For Disobedience

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered that the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, be remanded in a correctional facility for a minimum of 30 days.

Justice Anwuri Chikere gave the order on Tuesday while ruling on contempt proceedings against the BPE and its director-general.

BFIG, the preferred bidder for the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), had initiated the suit against the BPE and Okoh in April.

READ ALSO: Ndume Reintroduces Peace Corps Bill In Senate

ALSCON which is located at Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State has been the subject of an ownership struggle since the government privatised the firm in 2004.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Chikere accused Okoh of serial disobedience of the Supreme Court order on the controversy surrounding the ownership of ALSCON.

She held that the continued refusal to obey the Supreme Court order was a fundamental violation of the rule of law, which portrayed the government as lawless.

Russia’s Rusal had claimed ownership of the company while the indigenous BFIG won a Supreme Court ruling backing its ownership claim.

Despite multiple court rulings, the Nigerian Government, represented by the privatisation agency, BPE, has refused to transfer ownership of the firm to BFIG.

BFIG won the initial bid in 2004 but the BPE cancelled the process in controversial circumstances.

The preferred bidder, thereafter, won a legal battle to reclaim ALSCON in a judgment by the Supreme Court on July 6, 2012.