The court held that one of the sureties must be a family member and the other a community leader or clergy. Both sureties must have proof of tax payment which is to be verified by the police.
The Lagos Police Command had paraded all 49 suspects arrested in connection with Oodua Republic mega rally at Ojota.
Those paraded include 47 men and two women.
According to Commissioner of Police (CP) Hakeem Odumosu, some of them were intercepted and found with guns, axes, Oodua flags, Yoruba Armed Forces vests and other items. Others were arrested at the protest ground in Ojota.
Those granted bail include Olasunkanmi Tanimola; Kabiru Lawanson; Chinemerem Emmanuel; Rasaki Musibau; Lukman Olalade; Olasanmi Oladipupo; Bashiru Shittu; Taofeek Abdusalam; Olamilekan Abata; Abdullahi Sikiru; Tosin Adeleye; Babatunde Lawal.
Also included are, Abiodun Taiwo, Adagunodo Babatunde, Oluwafemi Adeleye, Oloye Taiwo, Saheed Kareem, Adebayo Waheed, Akinbode Sunday, Lawal Akeem, Samuel Ire, Ogundile Dare, Oba Tajudeen Bakare.
The ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja on Friday ordered the Federal Government to pay journalist Agba Jalingo N30m as compensation for ill-treatment and torture while in detention in Cross River State.
In a judgment, the court said the journalist was arrested and chained to a deep freezer for about 34 days without being charged to court, brutalized and dehumanized.
“This action taken on Jalingo’s behalf by SERAP seeks from this court reparation for inhuman treatment and torture meted out to him. We have looked at the evidence before us. There was no answer as to the facts that Jalingo was arrested and illegally detained, brutalized and dehumanized,” the court ruled.
According to the court, the act violated the international human rights treaties, particularly the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party, adding that the “Nigerian government has flouted the provisions of these treaties on international fair trial standards.”
SERAP counsel, Femi Falana, via a statement welcomed the court ruling, saying the judgment could not have come at a more opportune time than now “in view of the ongoing brutalization of hapless Nigerian citizens by the police and other security agencies.”
He said, “It is to be hoped that the Federal and state governments and all law enforcement agencies will study the terms of the judgment and desist from further infringing on the human rights of the Nigerian people, including criminal suspects who are presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the State.”
The judgment followed the suit filed by SERAP against the Federal Government and the Cross River State Government to ECOWAS Court over the prolonged, arbitrary detention; unfair prosecution; persecution, and sham trial of Mr Jalingo.
Jalingo, who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was arrested on August 22 over a report alleging that Mr Ayade diverted N500 million belonging to the state.
The court gave the order for compensation after hearing arguments from Solicitor to SERAP, Femi Falana SAN, and lawyers to the government Abdulahi Abubakar and A. A. Nuhu.
In the suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/10/2020, SERAP argued that: “The sole objective of the government of Nigeria and the Cross River state government of governor Ben Ayade is to perpetually keep Agba Jalingo in arbitrary detention and to silence him simply for expressing critical views and carrying out his legitimate job as a journalist.”
The suit, read in part: “The harassment, intimidation, unfair prosecution and arbitrary detention of Agba Jalingo simply for exercising his human rights violate Nigeria’s international human rights obligations, including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which the country is a state party.”
“The government of Nigeria and the Cross-River state government of governor Ben Ayade have via the charges of terrorism and treason and denial of bail to Agba Jalingo, violated and continued to breach his human rights.”
“SERAP contends that Agba Jalingo is being unfairly prosecuted because of his reporting in his online news outlet, Cross River Watch, which alleged that the Cross Rivers State Governor diverted the sum of N500 Million, belonging to the Cross-River Micro Finance Bank.”
“On 22nd August 2019, the Nigeria Police, through its special anti-robbery squad arrested Agba Jalingo. On 23rd August 2019, Mr. Jalingo was transferred to a detention facility run by the anti-cult and anti-kidnapping police in Calabar, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Cross River state and was held there for days before his arraignment on 31st August, 2019.”
A Russian court Wednesday sentenced two members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to seven and eight years in prison, the US-based religious movement said, accusing Moscow of setting a “new record for cruelty.”
Moscow outlawed the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2017, labelling it an extremist organisation, and nearly 60 people are currently either serving prison terms or in detention.
A court in the Far Eastern city of Blagoveshchensk on Wednesday sentenced Dmitry Golik and Alexei Berchuk to seven and eight years in a penal colony respectively for organising the work of an extremist community, the movement said.
“The judge Tatyana Studilko set a new record for cruelty,” it said in a statement.
Berchuk’s sentence was the longest handed down to a Jehovah’s Witness in Russia so far, the group added.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered that the former Vice Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government Area, Asekun Sakiru Kehinde, be remanded at the correctional centre following his arraignment on a charge of allegedly exporting 1,000 kilogrammes of cocaine.
Justice Ayokunle Faji gave the order on Wednesday after Kehinde pleaded not guilty to one count bordering on the offence.
The defendant was arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The NDLEA prosecutor, Abu Ibrahim, told the judge that Kehinde had committed the offence on July 7, 2021, during the outward clearance of passengers on a Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight from Lagos to London-Heathrow, at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.
The court heard that the defendant, “without lawful authority exported 1,000 kilogramme of cocaine, a narcotic drug” that is prohibited in the country.
Following Kehinde’s plea, his counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Supo Shasore informed the judge of a pending bail application.
He, therefore, asked the court to admit the defendant to bail on liberal terms, noting that the offence for which he was charged is a bailable one.
But the prosecution counsel opposed the application. Citing the gravity of the offence, he asked the court to refuse the bail application.
Justice Faji then adjourned his ruling till July 16 and ending the ruling, he ordered the remand of the defendant in custody.
It was an unexpected end for Mr Farouk Lawan on Tuesday when he appeared before Justice Angela Otaluka of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Lawan, a former chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy, was accused of soliciting a $3 million bribe from Femi Otedola while probing the multi-billion naira fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.
The bribe was to remove Otedola’s then company Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited from the list of oil companies allegedly involved in the scam.
Although the former lawmaker had been walking freely while awaiting the court to determine his fate in the bribery charges filed against him, he is expected to spend the night in jail after he was found guilty of the counts.
In the first count, he was said to have corruptly asked Otedola for a bribe of $3 million as an inducement to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Monitoring of fuel subsidy regime.
Count two also stated that Lawn collected the sum of $500,000 as a bribe to exonerate Zelon Petroleum and Gas from the fuel subsidy probe report.
The Long Journey To Justice
Following a long journey to justice for Lawan who has been standing trial since 2013, Justice Otaluka finally sentenced him to seven years in prison.
He was found guilty of counts one, two, and three which bothered on corruptly asking for bribe and obtaining same from Otedola.
The presiding judge stated that the evidence listed and submitted before the court by the prosecution counsel remained unshaken during cross-examination.
She added that the conduct, responses, and submissions of the defendant and witnesses established the charge in the first count, while the defendant demanded a balance after receiving the first and second tranche of the payment.
As of the early hours of April 24, 2012, when Lawan received the second tranche, according to Justice Otaluka, no complaint was made to any security agency or anti-corruption agencies as he claimed he took the money to show as evidence before the House.
She affirmed that the former lawmaker failed to convince the court that his acceptance of the said bribe was to serve as evidence before the House that Otedola intended to bribe the committee.
In her judgement, the judge sentenced Lawan to seven years in prison on counts one and two, while he got five years on count three.
She said the sentences were to run concurrently and ordered the former lawmaker to return $500,000 to the Federal Government.
After the judgement, Lawan was driven out of the court premises in a Toyota Hilux van owned by the Nigerian Correctional Service.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has acquitted and discharged the lawmaker representing Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, of the allegation of laundering N322 million.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove the elements of the offence against the lawmaker.
He also cleared Nwaoboshi’s two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd.
The judge held, among other things, that the EFCC’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify” and prove the money laundering charge.
Nwaoboshi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arraigned alongside his companies in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal.
This necessitated a re-arraignment before Justice Aneke in October 2018.
The prosecution had alleged that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects purchased a 12-storey building property, known as Guinea House, on Marine Road in the Apapa area of Lagos for N805 million between May and June 2014.
According to the anti-graft agency, N322 million out of the N805 million was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act of fraud”.
The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the property’s vendor on the order of Suiming Electricals which was accused of aiding the accused to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
The alleged offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (2) (d) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, it claimed.
But Senator Nwaoboshi had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
A former presidential aide in DR Congo who had been sentenced to 20 years in a high-profile corruption case has had his term reduced by seven years on appeal, his lawyer said.
Vital Kamerhe, 62, who was also a former speaker of the National Assembly, was sentenced last June for embezzling nearly $50 million (44 million euros) of public funds.
“The sentence has been reduced to 13 years,” Kamerhe’s attorney Jean-Marie Kabengela told AFP late Tuesday after a decision by an appeal court in the capital Kinshasa.
Kamerhe, who has his own political party, was a major figure in national politics before dramatically falling from grace.
He had been an early contender in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections in December 2018.
But he cut a deal with fellow candidate Felix Tshisekedi under which he pulled out of the race and campaigned alongside him.
He was then appointed chief of staff after Tshisekedi became president in January 2019.
He and a prominent Lebanese businessman, Jammal Samih, were accused of siphoning off funds earmarked for building 1,500 social housing units under a programme announced by Tshisekedi after his inauguration.
Samih’s sentence was cut from 20 years to six, Kabengela said. A third defendant who had been sentenced to two years saw his jail term reduced to one year.
Kamerhe’s case became the emblem of the president’s proclaimed crackdown on DR Congo’s endemic corruption.
He was sentenced to forced labour, a term that remains on DR Congo’s statute books but is not implemented.
Kamerhe has insisted that he was the victim of a “political trial” to prevent him from running for president in 2023.
His appeal began last August, but proceedings were repeatedly postponed.
A pro-Kamerhe demonstration in Kinshasa late Tuesday was dispersed by police, witnesses said.
A Belarusian activist who was hospitalised after stabbing himself in the neck in court has been returned to prison following surgery, the Viasna rights group said Wednesday.
Stepan Latypov, 41, on Tuesday rammed a pen into his neck on the first day of his trial on several protest-related charges during a hearing seen by government critics as part of a sweeping crackdown on political opposition.
Viasna, citing Latypov’s relatives, said Wednesday the activist was returned to prison and that family had been able to deliver him a parcel there.
Latypov was detained last September and went on trial in the capital Minsk on several charges including creating protest symbols and resisting law enforcement.
Viasna said he appeared in court with bruises and that after his father was questioned Latypov climbed on a bench and stabbed himself in the neck with what appeared to be a pen.
Belarus was gripped by months of demonstrations that erupted after a disputed presidential election last August saw Alexander Lukashenko claim a sixth term.
Security forces cracked down hard on protests, detaining and imprisoning thousands of demonstrators and pushing opposition leaders into exile. Several people died in the unrest.
Another Belarusian political activist, 50-year-old Vitold Ashurok, died in jail in the east of the country last month, reportedly of cardiac arrest.
Belarus has faced a global outcry after Lukashenko’s government ordered the diversion of a European flight over its airspace last month and arrested dissident Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend who were on board.
An emergency legal challenge to Australia’s contentious ban on citizens returning from Covid-struck India failed Monday, dashing stranded travellers’ hopes of an immediate return.
Federal Justice Thomas Thawley ruled the government had not overstepped its biosecurity powers in banning Australians from returning home temporarily.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month shut the door to all travel from India, fearing a large number of Covid-positive arrivals would overwhelm Australia’s already strained quarantine facilities.
The move stranded an estimated 9,000 Australian citizens and threatened them with large fines and jail time if they tried to dodge the ban and return on non-direct flights.
Thawley ruled that Morrison acted within the law, dashing the hopes of a 73-year-old Australian man who brought the case as he tries to return from Bangalore.
The prosecutor who was investigating FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been removed for public statements that were ‘biased’ against the head of world football’s governing body, a Swiss court announced on Wednesday.
Stefan Keller opened an inquiry into Infantino in July 2020 over three informal meetings with the former head of the Swiss public prosecutor’s office (MPC). In March he started investigating Infantino’s use of a private jet paid for by FIFA.
Keller had not yet started formal proceedings in either case.
The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona “admitted Gianni Infantino’s request for recusal against Stefan Keller” in a decision taken last Friday and published on its website on Wednesday.
The judgement centred on four press communications and a statement to a legal journal by Keller, which, the court said in its judgement, did not constitute “objective, neutral and correct information in the public interest”.
“It appeared obvious that there was not only the mere appearance of a possible bias, but that he was in fact biased towards the applicant,” said the decision.
In particular, Keller had noted in mid-December “indications” that the FIFA boss had been guilty of “unfair management” for using a private jet, funded by the body, to fly between Suriname and Switzerland in 2017.