Anambra PDP: Court Orders INEC Chair To Appear Over Contempt ‎ Charges

INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, ElectionsA Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to appear before it to answer to contempt proceedings pending against them.

Justice James Tsoho gave the order while ruling on arguments on whether or not the physical presence of INEC and its Chairman was necessary for the court to determine the contempt proceedings initiated against them by Ejike Oguebego and Chuks Okoye – Chairman and Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anambra State.

The judge rejected the argument by INEC and Yakubu’s lawyer, Mr Adegboyega Awomolo to the effect that the nature of the contempt proceedings against his clients was civil and could be determined without their physical presence.

Justice Tsoho said that whether civil or criminal, contempt proceedings were always quasi-criminal, which required the physical presence of the alleged contemnor in court for him or her to be heard on whether or not the order of committal should be made.

Justice Tsoho, who specifically directed the alleged contemnors to present themselves in court on Thursday, July 7, said that a bench warrant would be issued for their arrest should they refuse to be in court on the date fixed.

Oguebego and Okoye, who are suing for themselves and on behalf of other members of the Executive Committee of the PDP, Anambra State, are accusing INEC and Mahmood of allegedly refusing to obey the December 5, 2015 judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered by Justice Evoh Chukwu.

 

Appeal Court Nullifies Nyako’s Impeachment

NyakoA five-man panel of Appeal Court judges presided over by Justice Jummai Sankey sitting in Yola has nullified the impeachment of former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Tunde Owoloye, the court set aside an earlier ruling of a lower court that upheld the impeachment. All the five judges unanimously ruled that the Adamawa State House of Assembly fragrantly abused tenets of law by infringing on the fundamental rights of Nyako by removing him from office illegally.

The Appeal Court maintained that Nyako was not served with an impeachment notice as stipulated by law before the legislators embarked on the impeachment process which they now termed as “wrong, sad, unfortunate and unconstitutional”.

The Appeal Court went further to frown at the manner in which the State Assembly went ahead with the impeachment process by serving Nyako through a substituted means which they say was wrong.

The judgment further described the proceeding that ousted Nyako as “a sham and a kangaroo sitting” that was stage managed and cannot be allowed to stand.

The judgement  stated that it did not matter whether Nyako committed the alleged offenses but that since he was not given right to any fair hearing and having his fundamental human rights trampled upon, the assembly acted in affront to the rule of law and such an illegality cannot stand as legal.

The impeachment was therefore reversed to mean that Nyako remained the Governor of Adamawa State until the elapse of his tenure.

The judge, however, posited that the issue of tenure elongation for Nyako cannot stand as his term has elapsed.

Responding to the Judgement, the Adamawa State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Bala Sangha, described the judgement as an absurdity that can only empower a governor to evade being served notices of allegation.

He said that the legal counsel to the Adamawa State House of Assembly would appeal the matter.

Abuja Court Grants Ex-Governor Nyako Bail

nyakoA Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to a former Governor of Adamawa State, Mr Muritala Nyako, his son, Senator Abdulaziz Nyako and two others accused of corruption, abuse of office and money laundering.

Justice Evoh Chukwu released the former governor and his co-accused persons on bail, on the condition that they will provide two sureties each in the sum of 350 million Naira.

According to him, both sureties must be serving Directors in any government establishment or one Director serving in a Federal Parastatal .

The accused persons must also deposit two passport photographs each and all their travel documents with the court.

Mr Nyako was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Governor Nyako is the second governor granted bail by a court in Abuja on Friday. Earlier, a court had earlier granted bail to a former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, who is also facing charges of corruption, abuse of office and money laundering.

Ex-MD Of Mint Company Appeals Extradition Order

Court JusticeLess than a day after an order for extradition to the UK was granted, the embattled former Managing Director of Nigeria Security Minting and Printing Company, Mr Ehidiamhem Okoyomon, has approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja Division, seeking an order to set aside the verdict of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He also prayed the court for a stay of execution of the order to stop any possible attempt by the Nigerian government to whisk him away to the United Kingdom.

In a Notice of Appeal filed by his counsel, Alex Izinyon, the lawyer contended that the trial Judge of the Federal High Court erred in law when he ordered the extradition of the appellant to Great Britain to stand criminal trial, on the grounds that there is no subsisting Act of the National Assembly or treaty between Nigeria and Great Britain upon which the decision of the court was premised.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday approved the extradition of Mr Okoyomon to the United Kingdom to face charges of bribery and corruption.

Justice Evoh Chukwu ordered that Mr Okoyomon should be extradited within 30 days to the Untied Kingdom for the trial.

Mr Okoyomon is wanted in the United Kingdom over his alleged role in the bribery involving officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Security and Minting Company and Security International Party of Australia.

He had approached the court to stop his extradition to the United Kingdom to face charges of corruption.

Fayose Impeachment: Lawmakers Question Court’s Jurisdiction To Hear Case

Court JusticeThe All Progressive Congress (APC), factional speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr Adewale Omirin has challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction of the Ekiti State House of Assembly challenging the attempt to impeach Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

Counsel to the APC-faction of the Ekiti State Assembly, Mr Terrence Vembe told the court that the applicants did not properly seek the leave of the court to file the suit as such the suit cannot be heard.

However, Counsel to the applicants, Mr Ahmed Raji opposed the application, saying Mr Vembe did not properly file a notice of appearance to the court as such he has no right to address the court or even challenge the jurisdiction of the court.

Having heard all parties, trial judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu asked all parties to exchange documents on the question of the court’s jurisdiction.

He however ordered all parties to maintain status quo, as previously ordered by the court, until the next adjourned date.

The case has been adjourned to the May 21, 2015 for the court to decide if it has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Suit Challenging INEC, APC On Use Of PVC Stalled

PVCsHearing in the suit filed by the Attorney General of Plateau State and 27 others against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the use of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) during the 2015 general elections has been stalled.

At the resumed hearing of the suit in Abuja on Monday, lead counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Damian Dodo, sought an opportunity to amend the originating summons but the defendants objected to the request on the ground that it was not ripe for hearing.

The defendants claimed that they needed time to respond to the motion for amendment which was only served on them by the plaintiff on 13 March.

The plaintiffs, in the amended motion on notice, were among other reliefs, seeking an order of mandatory injunction directing the INEC to allow all eligible voters in Plateau State who are qualified and whose names are on the National Register of Voters compiled by INEC in Plateau to vote and be voted for during the forthcoming election or at any general election.

Having listened to arguments for and against the hearing of the motion for amendment, Justice Evoh Chukwu adjourned the suit to the 20 of March for hearing.

INEC Insists Card Reader Technology Eliminates Rigging

INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has once again expressed confidence that the card reader technology will guard against any chances of rigging the forthcoming elections in Nigeria.

At a meeting with stakeholders on Monday, the Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, said that the commission had put adequate strategy in place to ensure that the card readers are configured according to polling units, making it impossible for the cards to be cloned or faked.

Card Reader Objectives

“You can only vote where you registered. 

“If we do not use the card readers, we will lose in many fundamental respects. We have done field and quality assurance tests on the card reader and we are confident of its capabilities.

“Many Nigerians who participated in the demonstration have expressed satisfaction in the use of the card readers.

“Nigerians should be confident that cloned cards cannot be used. The card readers will not read cloned cards,” he said.

He further gave key objectives of using the card readers and the impact the technology would have on the electoral process.

“The card readers will be used to audit the electorate for future elections, eliminating the stress of accreditation and also help to provide statistical information on demographic immediately after the elections,” the INEC boss said.Professor Attahiru Jega

“We are doing everything possible to make sure that everyone gets their Permanent Voter Cards.”

Provisions For IDPs

On the issue of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps, he said that the INEC had made provision for IDPs to take part in the electoral process, but expressed fears that provision had not been made for all of them.

“We have no time or resources to organise elections for all IDPs in Nigeria. All IDPs in the three north-east states will be able to vote.

“We’ve found suitable locations in and out of IDP camps for easy access and participation in the elections,” he said

Armed Police Near Polling Units

Professor Jega clarified the role of the military in elections, saying: “We have never had armed military men in elections. Military guards the outer cordon around the different states to minimise movement. Unarmed policemen are to be at the polling units. Armed police can only stay 300 metres away from the polling  unit.

Professor Jega acknowledged that the election extension had offered the INEC more time to prepare for the elections.

He noted that the six weeks extension of the election had enhanced preparations in terms of operation and logistics processing and in ensuring that there is tremendous value added  in terms of the preparations for the elections.

 

Court Rules Ugwuanyi Is PDP Governorship Candidate

Ifeanyi UgwanyiA Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Senator Anyogu Eze, challenging the nomination of Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the  governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State.

Senator Eze had asked the court to hold that a sister court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, endorsed the list used for a parallel governorship primaries of the party, which produced him as the authentic candidate of the party.

However, Justice Evoh Chukwu, in his judgement disagreed with the lawmaker, saying the primaries conducted with the harmonised list of the party in the state, which produced Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the party’s candidate subsists.

He ruled that the order of the sister court was merely declarative and not mandatory.

Justice Chukwu also stated that only one primary was held by the PDP national working committee in line with section 89[4] of the Electoral Act.

The Judge held that Ugwuanyi was declared the candidate of the party after voting by delegates in the party’s primaries held on April 11 last year.

Supporters of the Enugu State governorship candidate, Honourable Ugwuanyi, received the news that the court had struck out the suit challenging his candidacy in cheers, celebrating the end of a case that had been postponed on four different occasions.

Addressing reporters at the end of the ruling, Alex Akoja, the lawyer to Senator Eze, said he would consult with his client to decide on whether to appeal the judgement.

 

Suspended PDP Member Heads For Court

PDP22A member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Aliyu Gubrin, who was suspended alongside former Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Bmanga Tukur, for suing the party has vowed to challenge his suspension in court.

Mr Gubrin, who spoke through his counsel, Barrister Lilian Ojimma, described his suspension as ‘strange’, insisting that he was not given a fair hearing by the party before his suspension.

He also debunked the claim that Bamaga Tukur has anything to do with the suit he filed seeking to oust Mr Adamu Mu’azu as the party’s national chairman.

Gr Gubrin had dragged the party before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to challenge the appointment of Mu’azu as the chairman of the party.

Justice Evoh Chukwu of the court dismissed the suit, saying that the plaintiff lacks the right to file the action.

The ruling PDP announced their suspension on Thursday.

FG To Arraign Ekiti Commissioner For Alleged Terrorism

RThe Federal Government would on Wednesday arraign the Ekiti State Commissioner for Integration and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, and 11 others before Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged terrorism.

Afuye and 11 others, who are charged with terrorism, in a 3-count charge filed by the Police, were arrested over the last violent clash by party supporters in Ekiti, during which a man identified as Peter Akin was killed.

The Government’s decision to arraign the 12 accused persons came shortly after Afuye sued the Police in Ekiti State, alleging physical assault on him by Mobile Police Commander, Gabriel Selenkere.

Afuye, in the suit filed before the State High Court in Ado Ekiti, was seeking N1billion in damages for physical assault on his person and unlawful detention.

Charged with Afuye are Idowu Aladejebi, Afuye Jide, Anisulowo Kayode, Azeez Suleiman, Ajayi Idowu, Babadi Ajayi, Abiodun Omoniyi, Oyedapo Olaoluwa, Sunday Olalere, Dapo David and Akinyemi Tayo.

The Governor of Ekiti State Dr Kayode Fayemi had alleged that the violence between members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State and the Police was an attempt to assassinate him.

Dont Celebrate Yet, Baraje Tells Tukur’s PDP

The Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje faction of the PDP has advised that Bamanga Tukur and his loyalists should not celebrate yet as any such celebration would be short-lived as they are “more than ever determined to show him the way out of the exalted position he is illegally occupying”.

In an earlier press release, they reiterated “we will see this issue to a logical conclusion, including going to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to ensure that a non-member of our party does not continue to lord it over us as our National Chairman”.

They insist that their faction has every right to continue using the PDP flag, symbol and colours, as they are bonafide members of the party and thus entitled to use them.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory had earlier affirmed the election of Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party. The presiding judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu also ordered the Baraje faction of the PDP to stop parading themselves as officers of the party.

The court also restrained the Baraje faction from interfering with the activities of the PDP or establish parallel offices.