FG Appeals Case Against Justice Ademola, Others

Adeniyi Ademola, Court, Joe Agi, Olabowale AdemolaThe Federal Government has filed an appeal against the decision of Justice Jude Okeke of the FCT High Court, upholding the no case submission in the corruption case against Justice Adeniyi Ademola; his wife, Olabowale, and Mr Joe Agi.

It was also gathered that the government, through the Ministry of Justice, has also filed a fresh case against Justice Ademola and his wife, this time in the Code of Conduct Tribunal, for allegedly living above their means and failure to declare their assets.

Justice Okeke had on Wednesday struck out the 18-count charge preferred against the three defendants, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove any of the allegations against them.

According to the judge, some of the charges do not meet constitutional standards and, in his words, no court can base its judgement on speculation.

The Presidency is however, said to have considered Justice Okeke’s judgement as a strange outcome which is capable of undermining the war against corruption.

The Department of State Services had accused Justice Ademola of receiving 30 million Naira from a senior lawyer, through a Guarantee Trust Bank account allegedly operated by his wife, a former Head of Service in Lagos State.

Judge Transfers Dasuki’s Case To Speed Up Trial

FG, ECOWAS Court, DasukiThe trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, in two High Courts in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja for alleged money laundering and breach of trust has been streamlined.

This followed the transfer of the two cases against Dasuki and other defendants from FCT High Court into one for quick and effective trial.

The Chief Judge of the FCT Judiciary, Justice Ishaq Bello, ordered the transfer of charges before Justice Peter Affem to the court of Justice Baba Yusuf, as the only Judge that would now conduct the trial.

Though Colonel Dasuki has been granted bails by all the courts involved in his trials, he has remained in the custody of Department of State Services (DSS) since November 2015.

The movement of the two charges into one court was at the instance of lawyers to the Federal Government and that of all the defendants in the matters.

The lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob, confirmed to reporters that the two charges in two different courts would now be conducted by a single court to ensure effective and speedy trial of the case.

He also said that with the movement of the charges into one court, the issue of consolidation of the charges would no longer arise having been overtaken by event.

Meanwhile, Justice Yusuf has fixed November 16, 2016 for the trial.

In The Interest Of Justice

At the last hearing on October 5, 2016 before Justice Baba Yusuf, the Federal Government agreed to consolidate the criminal charges filed against Colonel Dasuki and others before the two different FCT High Courts.

This followed a complaint by Colonel Dasuki that putting him on trial in two different courts on the same issues was abuse of judicial process that would prejudice and cause double jeopardy.

The counsel to the government, Mr Jacob and that of Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu agreed before Justice Yusuf to formally write the chief judge of the FCT judiciary, Justice Bello to consolidate the two charges in the interest of Justice.

The two senior counsels then applied to Justice Yusuf to adjourn the matter pending the time the chief judge would consider the application for consolidation.

The judge, who was then billed to give ruling on Dasuki’s motion for consolidation, put off the ruling because of understanding between the prosecution and the defence and adjourned the matter till October 21, 2016.

PDP Crisis: Federal High Court Upholds Sheriff’s Leadership

PDP, SheriffA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has affirmed Mr Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to Justice Okon Abang, only actions and decisions made by the Sheriff-led leadership are lawful and binding.

He, however, said that although he has the powers to nullify the ruling of the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court, which recognized the Makarfi-led leadership, he would not do so because there is no application to that effect before him.

Hence he would allow the Court of Appeal to do justice to that.

The court held that the convention held in Port-Harcourt on May 20, was held in violation of the two court orders of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court which barred the PDP and INEC from holding the convention.

Justice Okon Abang, in his ruling barred the Makarfi-led caretaker committee from exercising any authority or taking any decision on behalf of the PDP henceforth on account of been an illegal body.

According to Justice Abang, the Makarfi-led group missed their way to Port Harcourt to obtain a judgement from a division of the Federal High Court which is a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction to that of Lagos to obtain a favorable judgement.

And that the judgment which recognized the Makarfi-led caretaker committee is unlawful, illegal and has no foundation in law to stand.

He held that until the orders made by the Lagos division of the Federal High Court which restrained PDP from holding a convention at the time it did was set aside, anything done in contravention of the two subsisting orders are unlawful, illegal and should not be recognized.

The Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP had approached an FCT High Court challenging the power of Justice Okon Abang to hear the suit filed by Senator Sheriff.

They specifically asked the court to restrain Justice Abang on the grounds that there is a circular from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court restraining all judges handling PDP leadership tussle cases to stop further action pending the outcome of the appeals before the appellate court.

But the prayers were not granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, who held that the application lacks merit, as the applicant who is listed as PDP is not a natural person as such not entitled to any fundamental human rights.

This was after Mr Ali Modu Sheriff and eight others approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.

He also wanted an order restraining the PDP from presenting anybody or sponsoring any person for election into its offices pending determination of the suit.

He asked for an ancillary order directing the Nigerian Police to enforce the orders of the court until all applications are disposed of.

Sheriff Files Suit To Restrain PDP From Conducting National Convention

PDP, SheriffSacked factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and eight others have approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.

He also wants an order restraining the PDP from presenting anybody or sponsoring any person for election into its offices pending determination of the suit.

He asked for an ancillary order directing the Nigerian Police to enforce the orders of the court until all applications are disposed of.

While this was going on, the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP approached an FCT High Court challenging the power of Justice Okon Abang to hear the suit filed by Senator Sheriff.

They specifically asked the court to restrain Justice Abang on the grounds that there is a circular from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court restraining all judges handling PDP leadership tussle cases to stop further action pending the outcome of the appeals before the appellate court .

But the prayers were not granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, who held that the application lacks merit, as the applicant who is listed as PDP is not a natural person as such not entitled to any fundamental human rights.

The Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta had on the July 8 directed all judges of the Federal High Court to stay clear of any matter concerning the PDP crisis pending the determination of appeals before the appellate court.

It is not clear if Justice Okon Abang, who is in procession of the case filed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff will hear the case.

FG Fails To Arraign Saraki, Ekwerenmadu, Two Others

Saraki, EkwerenmaduThe Federal Government has failed to arraign the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu before an Abuja High Court on charges of forgery of the Senate Standing Rules used to conduct the election that brought them into office, as principal officers.

Contrary to media report on the arraignment, the federal government has not served the four defendants with the criminal charge as required by law.

The court bailiff was said to have taken the charge to the National Assembly complex on Friday evening, but did not meet the defendants in their offices.

Similar attempt was also said to have been made to serve them on Monday, but it also failed, because he was told that the lawmakers do not sit on Fridays and Mondays.

At the time of filing this report, a source in the FCT High Court told journalists that the bailiff had been sent out with the charge to serve the four defendants personally as required by law.

The court said that until they have been personally served, the arraignment cannot hold.

The charges filed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation by the Federal Government, against the senators reads:

“That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.”

It also accused them of fraudulently forging the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when they knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order.

Some lawmakers, on behalf of the Senate, petitioned the Police, alleging forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 that produced Saraki and his deputy, Ekweremadu, following election of principal officers for the Senate.

Counter Court Orders Emerge On PDP Leadership     

PDPThe battle for the leadership of the Nigeria’s main opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appears to have shifted to the courts, with counter orders emanating from different courts.

In one case, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has granted an interim injunction restraining the immediate past National Chairman and National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Professor Adewale Oladipo from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

The duo were among the party officers removed from office at the PDP national convention held on Saturday, May 21, in Port Harcourt.

The court says this is pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice brought before it by the PDP.

A statement personally signed by the presiding judge, Justice A. M. Liman, says INEC has been restrained by the court from according or continuing to accord any recognition to Senator Sheriff, Professor Adewale Oladipo or any or all members of the National Working Committee of the PDP removed from office at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, as officers or organs of the PDP.

The court went on to ask INEC to recognise the National Caretaker Committee of the party headed by Senator Ahmed Markarfi.

But in a counter ruling, a Federal High Court in Lagos has declared as invalid the caretaker committee constituted to take over the affairs of the PDP from its acting National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.

Justice Ibrahim Buba directed the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to enforce its order, barring the members of the committee, headed by former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi from running the affairs of the party.

 

PDP National Convention Is Illegal, Gulak Claims

Ahmed-GulakThe former Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Ahmed Gulak, has described as illegal, the National Convention held by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Gulak made the declaration on Sunday’s Politics where he noted that Saturday’s convention was not held in line with the PDP constitution.

“First and foremost, the party cannot be run by common sense, experience or by the powers that be. The party must be run in accordance with the provision of the constitution.

“Chapter 33 of the party’s constitution only mandates the Chairman to surmount and preside over the convention while Chapter 35 gives the National Convention powers to elect the new officers under the chairmanship or presided over by the national chairman,” he stated.

Violation of Court Orders

Claiming that Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff was still the present Chairman of the party, Mr Gulak said that the former Borno State Governor was slammed with a court order by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos and another by Justice A.B. Mahmud of the FCT High Court, which made it illegal for such convention to hold.

“These two orders prevented the PDP and any of its officers from conducting convention to elect its first three officers that is the secretary, chairman and the auditor (and) while another order by the Abuja High Court, prevented the party from electing 18 officers including all the NWC.

“With these orders still valid and subsisting, no reasonable law abiding party officer will go ahead in violation of these court orders,” he said.

The former President’s aide explained that that was why the former PDP Chairman in the early hours of Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State’s capital, convened a meeting with some of the members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), where they resolved that the convention was illegal.Ali-Modu-Sheriff-former-PDP-chairman

He said Senator Sheriff subsequently issued a press conference to suspend the convention until the issues of the court judgments and orders were sorted out.

Despite Senator Sheriff’s suspension of the convention, some members of the party insisted that the convention must be held as planned.

They further removed the Chairman and set up a working committee.

EFCC Set To Arraign Ex-Police Commissioner, Mohammed Sambo, For N10m Fraud

jafaru isaThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), will on Thursday, May 12, 2016 arraign a retired Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Sambo, before a FCT High Court.

A statement by the EFCC, signed by the HEad Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwajuren, said he will be charged with a one-count bordering on criminal breach of trust and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N10 million.
Sambo, who allegedly connived with one Nuhu Bello Dabai, had allegedly duped the complainant, Abdul Malik Bello, Managing Director/ CEO, Ideal Sunbeam International Company Limited, the sum of N10 million.

The defendant allegedly claimed that he needed to defray both the survey and other preliminary expenses involved in the execution of a contract worth over N1 billion purportedly awarded him by Zamfara State Governor, Abdul Aziz Abubakar Yari.

The accused person was subsequently arrested and granted an administrative bail by the Commission on January 19, 2015.

He, however, jumped the administrative bail granted him on April 7, 2015.

After playing hide-and-seek, he was eventually re-arrested on Wednesday, May 3, 2016.

Court Orders Full Access To Dasuki, Adjourns Till May 3  

Sambo-Dasuki-trial-2016An Abuja High Court has fixed May 3 for the trial of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, facing charges of diverting funds meant for the purchase of arms for soldiers fighting insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf fixed the date and directed that the prosecution allow full access to lawyers to Colonel Dasuki during business hours of Monday to Friday to enable them take instructions and prepare defence for their client.

Lead counsel to Colonel Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu, had complained that he had no information of the whereabouts of his client except in court, prompting the judge to give the directive.

The former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, alongside two other accused persons, arrived the court more than three hours before commencement of proceedings.

At the proceedings, the prosecutor, Adebisi Adeniji, pressed for the commencement of the trial but the defense applied for a long adjournment of the case because they were not ready.

He said that the defence team had no access to the accused except in court, making it impossible for them to take instructions or prepare necessary materials for the defence.

He also drew the court’s attention to an application earlier filed for stay of proceedings by the court pending the determination of a similar matter at the Appeal Court.

The prosecutor, however, denied claims by the defence that the accused was denied access to his lawyers.

While Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf directed that the prosecution give the defence team access to Colonel Dasuki during business hours in the next two weeks, he held that the case before him need not be put on hold until the appellate court gives its verdict; a ruling the defence counsel hopes to take to the higher court.

He then adjourned the case till May 3 for the commencement of trial.

Army Releases Jonathan’s Aide, Adegbe After Court Order

AdegbeThe Nigerian Army has released the aide-de-camp to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Colonel Ojugbane Adegbe on bail.

Counsel to Colonel Adegbe, Mr Ogwu Onoja, confirmed his release to reporters in Abuja.

He said his client was released on Friday afternoon.

Colonel Adegbe’s release came after a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or any other organ of government holding Colonel Adegbe to release him on bail immediately in the most liberal terms.

Justice Yusuf Haliru who gave the orders, said that the continuous detention of the Army officer for more than 24 hours, as stipulated in the constitution was not just illegal, but unlawful and an abuse of power.

According to him, the EFCC ought to confine itself to its statutory responsibility of fighting corruption rather than serving as a holding cell for the Nigerian military.

5.2bn Naira Aviation Scam: AGF’s Request Stalls Trial Of Borishade, Others

EFCC on BorishadeHearing on a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Minister of Aviation, Babalola Borishade and four others, has been stalled on the request of the Attorney General of the Federation for a brief on the matter.

Mr Borishade and four others were to appear before Justice Abubakar Umar of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Wednesday.

In a statement issued by the spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, both parties were present in court, but Justice Umar informed them that the matter could not go on as planned, as the AGF had requested for a brief on the case by the EFCC since the matter had been in court for about seven years.

“He presented a letter dated February 2 from the AGF requesting for an adjournment of the case and records of court proceedings so far.

“Counsel to the EFCC, Chile Okoroma, told the court that his hands were tied with regards to continuing the proceeding, as the AGF, being the Chief Law Officer, has power over him,” the statement read.

The statement further read that Mr Okoroma said that “under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and Section 174 of the Constitution, the AGF has the power to take over, continue or discontinue a case”.

Counsel to the first defendant, Kehinde Ogunwumiju and Regina Okotie- Eboh, representing the 4th and 5th defendants, who had initially sought for a dismissal of the case which was earlier slated for ruling on Wednesday, could not have their applications taken as a result of the letter from the AGF.

Justice Umar adjourned the case to February 17, 2016 for ruling and continuation of hearing pending the decision of the AGF.

Mr Borishade, his former personal assistant, Tunde Dairo, and two others allegedly mismanaged a 5.2 billion Naira Aviation Safe Tower contract.

Others on trial for the alleged offence are former Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Rowland Iyayi; an Australian, George Eider and Avsatel Communications Limited.

The suspects were arraigned on November 19, 2009 by the EFCC on a 15-count charge of taking bribe and forging aviation contract documents.

Appeal Court Denies Okoyomon’s Bail Application

OkoyomonThe Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has thrown out the bail application brought before it by former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, Emmanuel Okoyomon.

This is according to a statement from the EFCC Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.

The statement affirmed that Mr Okoyomon’s extradition to the United Kingdom, has already been ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Okoyomon is wanted in the UK over his alleged role in a bribery scandal involving officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company, and Securency International of Australia, between 2006 and 2008.

Justice E. S. Chukwu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, had on May 4, 2015 ordered that Okoyomon be extradited to the UK to face charges of corruption and money laundering. He was also ordered to be remanded in prison custody pending the extradition.

Dissatisfied by the ruling, Okoyomon had at the time, through his counsel, Alex Izinyon, SAN, approached the appellate court seeking for a stay of execution of the order of the court.

Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja had on Friday, September 11, 2015 also ruled as an abuse of court process, the bail application brought before it by Okoyomon’s counsel, Mike Enaharo.