Court To Rule On Charles Okah May 16

A Federal High Court sitting in in Abuja has fixed May 16 to rule on the application for no-case-submission filed by Charles Okah and Nwabueze Obi, to dispel terrorism charges brought against them.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date to rule on the motion after counsel to all the parties had canvassed their arguments.

Mr Okah, a younger brother of Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation Niger Delta, (MEND) and others standing the trial are expected to open their defence.

The applicants were alleged to be the masterminds of the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja that killed at least 12 people and wounded over 17 others.

El-Zakzaky, DSS Suit: Court Asks Parties To Explore Alternative Resolution Means

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, ShiitesA Federal High Court in Abuja has advised parties in a suit filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Mr Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to explore the option of resolving the issue through alternative dispute resolution.

Mr El-Zakzaky had filed a Fundamental Human Rights suit, challenging his arrest and continued detention by the Department of State Service (DSS).

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Wednesday, lawyer to El-Zakzaky, Mr Femi Falana, told the court that his client was being held against his wish without trial since December 14, 2015.

He further claimed that El-Zakzaky was not at the scene of the clash between members of the Islamic Movement and the Nigerian Army on the December 12, 2015.

Lawyer to the DSS, Mr Tijani Ghazali, however, told the court that Mr El-Zakzaky was being held under protective custody due to intelligence report which revealed that his life was under threat.

He added that the service had been taking adequate care of him and had never denied him access to members of his family and legal team.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, after listening to arguments from both counsels advised them to explore the option of resolving the issue through alternative dispute resolution.

He, thereafter, adjourned the suit to November 25 for judgment in case the parties were unable to resolve their differences.

Members of the Islamic group have continued to call for the release of their leader, holding several protests since he was taken into custody.

The Shiites had held protests in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Kaduna and kano among other states.

On september 10 in Kaduna, members of the group, comprising of women, youths and children, gathered at the popular Leventis roundabout in the state capital, demanding for the unconditional release of their leader and other members.

Chanting songs and blocking major roads, the Shiites feared that the health condition of Zakzaky is deteriorating due to gunshot wounds he sustained.

They vow never to rest until their leader and others are freed.

Shiites Reiterate Call For Zakzaky’s Release

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, Shiites
Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have reiterated the call for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky.

The Shiites pushed for the release of their leader during a protest on Wednesday held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Some members of the group’s Academic Forum, Muhktar Awwal and Firdausi Yusuf, read out a statement which contained the demand.

The Shiites say the group and its leaders are being subjected to what they called “unwarranted and vicious attack” by the Kaduna State government and security agencies.

They held a peaceful protest through the streets of the Federal Capital Territory, which terminated at the Federal Secretariat.


The protest follows the refusal of a Federal High Court to hear the bail application filed by Mr Zakzaky.

Ruling on the application on Monday, Justice Okon Abang, said since the main suit was already ongoing before another judge of the Federal High Court, the applicant ought to obtain a ‘leave of court’ to hear the matter.

Zakzaky and his wife, Mrs Zeenah Ibrahim, were arrested after a confrontation between the Islamic group and soldiers which resulted in several deaths and destruction of property on December 12, 2015.

The leader of the Shiites, through his lawyers, Femi Falana and Festus Okoye, is demanding an order of court directing his immediate release from custody.

Court Declines Hearing Zakzaky’s Bail Application

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, ShiitesA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has refused to hear the bail application filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky.

Ruling on the application on Monday, Justice Okon Abang said since the main suit was already ongoing before another judge of the Federal High Court, the applicant ought to obtain a ‘leave of court’ to hear the matter.

Justice Abang noted that the applicant failed to serve the Department of State Services (DSS), the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, who were the respondents in the matter.

Mr Zakzaky and his wife, Mrs Zeenah Ibrahim, were arrested after a confrontation between the Islamic group and soldiers which resulted in several deaths and destruction of property on December 12, 2015.

The leader of the Shiites, through his lawyers, Femi Falana and Festus Okoye, is demanding an order of court directing his immediate release from custody.

He also wants the court to award the sum of two billion Naira against the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; the DSS, Mr Idris and Mr Malami.

The case which had been before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, has been adjourned till September 20.

We Are Holding El-Zakzaky In Custody At His Will – DSS

Sheik-El-Zakzaky-ShiiteThe Department of State Security Service (DSS) says the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is being detained at his own will.

The DSS is making the statement in defence of accusations by the council to the leader of the Shiites that his rights were being violated.

Counsel to the DSS, Mr Tijani Gazali, told reporters on Tuesday that the Shiite leader was held by security operatives at his own will and for his benefits.

Mr Gazali said: “He needs not give his consent because it is the duty of the DSS to protect every Nigerian especially one who is as vulnerable as the shite leader is at the moment”.

But in his defence, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Mr Festus Okoye, said he had not received any statement from his client that would corroborate the claims of the DSS.

He also accused the DSS of breaching the fundamental human rights of his client.

The hearing on the suit filed by the Shiite leader challenging his arrest and continued detention could not commence following the fresh issues raised by the DSS that he had been held under protective custody and not detention.

The security agency asked the court to allow it an extension of time in order to file a counter affidavit and written address on the motion on notice filed by El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zainab.

With no objections from the parties in the suit the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned the case to July 13 for hearing and to also allow El-zakzaky’s lawyer respond to the new dimension raised by the DSS.

The embattled Shiite leader is seeking damages to the tune of two billion Naira against the Federal Government for unlawful arrest and detention.

Court Grants Raymond Dokpesi Bail

dokpesiAfter about two weeks of legal fireworks, the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday granted bail to the former chairman of the Africa Independent Television (AIT), Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

Raymond Dokpesi was granted bail with two sureties each of whom must have properties worth 200 million Naira which must be verified by an established estate surveyor.

The sureties must swear to an affidavit of means that in the event that the accused is not available for trial, the properties will be forfeited to the government.

Chief Dokpesi is also to deposit his international passport with the court.

Chief Dokpesi pleaded not guilty to a 6-count charge of fraudulent and corrupt act preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Justice Gabriel Kolawole however held that Chief Dokpesi must not be re-arrested and if there is any need to investigate him, the anti-graft agency should contact his lawyer who will provide him within the hours of 10am and 6.30 pm.

He ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje prison if his bail conditions were not met.

The trial has been adjourned till February 2, 2016 .

Chief Dokpesi was first arraigned on Wednesday before a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

In count one of the charge, Chief Dokpesi and DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited were accused of receiving public funds to the tune of 2.1 billion Naira from the office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contrary to Section 58 Sub-section Four B of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

Dokpesi Pleads Not Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

Dokpesi Arraigned, Pleads Not GuiltyThe proprietor of Africa Independent Television, Mr Raymond Dokpesi, has pleaded not guilty to a six-count charge of fraudulent and corrupt act preferred against him by the Federal government of Nigeria.

Mr Dokpesi was arraigned on Wednesday before a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said he was absolutely not guilty, as the charges preferred against him were not true.

In count one of the charge, Mr Dokpesi and DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited were accused of receiving public funds to the tune of 2.1 billion Naira from the account of the office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contrary to Section 58 Sub-section Four B of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

In the other counts, Mr Dokpesi was also accused of collecting the said amount without a certificate of no objection to contract award duly issued by the Public Procurement Bureau and receiving payment for a purported contract without bidding for the said contract.

Having pleaded not guilty to all the charges, Justice Kolawole adjourned the hearing of Mr Dokpesi’s bail application to December 10.

The judge also fixed February 17 and 18 as well as March 2 and 3, 2016 for the trial.

Although, the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, declined an interview, lawyer to the former Chairman of Daar Communications, Ifedayo Adedipe, dismissed the charges against his client.

Court Declines Jurisdiction In Wada’s Suit

Court Justice

A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined jurisdiction in a suit filed by the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, against the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The judgment was delivered on Friday, a day to the scheduled supplementary election, by Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

Governor Wada had asked the court to declare him the winner of the November 21 governorship election, following the death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abubakar Audu, who was leading.

But Justice Kolawole said that only an Election Tribunal could adjudicate such suit.

He said that the role of the judgement was to create a judicial and permissive atmosphere for INEC to conduct the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.

‘Idle Judicial Indulgence’

The judge further said that it was his view that where the court did not have affirmative powers to make declarative orders, it would amount to idle judicial indulgence to proceed with the suit.

Justice Kolawole on Tuesday adjourned for judgment after all the parties adopted their final written addresses on contentious legal issues that arose after the sudden death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abubakar Audu, before the election was concluded.

The court had consolidated four separate suits challenging the legality of the scheduled supplementary election, with the Justice saying that there was need for the court to expeditiously determine the issues “so that INEC will not conduct the election under a grave shadow of doubt as to the legal or constitutional validity”.

Other persons who filed suits, Johnson Usman, Emmanuel Daikwo and Emmanuel Igbokwe were asking the court to rule that a fresh governorship election should be conducted in the state.

INEC had declared the governorship election held on November 21 inconclusive, even as it fixed Saturday to conduct a run-off poll.

The electoral body said it declared the election inconclusive because the margin between the leading candidate, Late Audu and the second contestant, the incumbent Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, was less than the number of cancelled votes.

 

 

Okah’s Trial: Court Admits Car Dealer’s Statement As Exhibit

okah The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has admitted as exhibit, the statement of Fatai Adeyinka, who sold a Mazda car used by the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010, Charles Okah in the Abuja bombing that killed 12 people.

Adeyinka’s statement was admitted by the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole on Tuesday, despite objections raised by the defence counsel.

The exhibit was tendered through the third federal government witness, Chukwuma Igwe, a staff of the Department of State Security Service, who also informed the court that he took Adeyinka’s statement.

Igwe told the court that he was instructed by his boss, Abdul Abubakar, to take the statement when Adeyinka, an illiterate, told them that he can not read and write in English language.

But the defence counsels in their objection, said that Adeyinka’s statement was not admissible through the witness, because they cannot cross examine him on the content of the statement.

In his ruling, Justice Kolawole ruled that the objections raised by the defence had failed to take cognizance of the background and the fact that Mr Igwe was not the maker of the statement, but that he recorded it.

He further ruled that the defence is free to cross examine the witness on the procedure adopted by him to take the witness.

Further hearing has been adjourned till November 4 .

Tribunal Nullifies Kashamu’s Election In 110 Polling Units

KashamuThe election petition tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, has ordered a fresh conduct of the senatorial election in 110 polling units in Ogun East Senatorial District.

Following the earlier election, Mr Buruji Kashamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the poll.

Delivering his judgement, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Ebiowei Tobi, said that the election was marred with irregularities and non compliance with the Electoral Law.

The tribunal also nullified the election into the Federal House of Representatives in Ijebu East /Ijebu North /Ogun waterside, won by the PDP being represented by Mr Adekoya Adesegun, while it upheld three state House of Assembly elections.

It dismissed two applications of the APC and ordered fresh election in five state constituencies.

The Petition challenging Kashamu’s victory in the March 28 National Assembly elections, was filed by candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Dapo Abiodun.

Although no date has been fixed for the fresh election, the Tribunal Chairman directed that the exercise should hold within 90 days.

Mr Kashamu is, however, to remain in the Senate until the conclusion of the elections.

 

EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-Jigawa Governor, Sons, Others

efcc Re-Arraigns lamido, sons, othersThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has re-arraigned the former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday.

The former Governor entered fresh plea to an amended 27-count criminal charge against him by the anti-graft agency.

Mr Lamido and his sons were previously arraigned on July 9 and remanded in prison custody by Trial Justice, Evelyn Anyadike of the Kano division of the High Court over a 28-count charge that bothered on his alleged complicity in money laundering.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who entertained the case as a vacation judge, had in his ruling granted Lamido bail on self-recognition owing to his status as a former Governor.

The court, however, ordered his sons and their alleged accomplice, Wada Abubakar, to deposit 25 million Naira each.

Court Refuses To Stop Speaker From Setting Up Committees

courtA Federal High Court in Abuja has again declined to stop the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, from appointing principal officers and standing committees for the House of Representatives.

While ruling in an ex parte motion brought by Honourable Abubakar Lado and Olanipekun Jimoh, seeking to stop the Speaker from appointing principal officers, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held that the issue was a domestic affair of the House of Representatives.

Justice Kolawole said that “the court could only intervene when there is substantial infraction of the 1999 Constitution”, stressing that ‘for now there has been no breach of the Constitution’.

He added that it was not the duty of the court to choose principal officers for the National Assembly, because it had its own machinery.

The court also maintained that it would not allow itself to be used as a platform by aggrieved members, to get what they should canvass on the floor of the House.

Justice Kolawole insisted that  the court was not a supervising institution for the National Assembly on account of Separation of Power and that there was no evidence before the court that the constitution had been breached.

He, therefore, refused the application in its entity  and thereafter directed that the defendants in the substantive suit, which includes the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his Deputy, the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the National Assembly, be put on notice and served with the originating summon.

The case has been adjourned to August 12 before Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

In a related development, an ex parte order seeking to stop the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, from constituting the Senate Standing Committe, was rejected on Tuesday.

The Judge, Justice Kolawole, said there was nothing urgent in the application.