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.

Apo Six: Court Adjourns Adoption Of Final Written Addresses

Court, ApoThe Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the adoption of final written addresses in the alleged extra judicial killing of six Apo traders till October 11.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the first defence counsel, Mr Ricky Tarfa, applied for an extension of time to file and serve his final written address.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mamman Osuman, did not oppose the application, but asked the court to grant 21 days to the prosecution to file its reply.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, granted the applications of both counsels.

The Attorney-General of the Federation had in 2005 filed a 9-count charge bordering on conspiracy and culpable homicide against the six police officers.

FCT Chief Judge Calls For Accurate Reportage Of Court Proceedings

judiciaryThe Chief Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello has asked journalists to report the exact proceedings that occur in the court with facts.

Addressing journalists at a round table on Reporting Court Proceedings by the media in Abuja, he stressed on the need for journalist to check with the court to ensure that whatever they report is what happened in court.

He gave the assurance that the judiciary will work together with journalists to ensure that their stories contribute to the growth of the judiciary and the nation at large.

Also speaking at the event, Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice, Mr Eze Onyekpere, advocated for the automation of the court in the country such that information are available in real time.

The automation, according to him, will remove incidents of misinterpretation of facts and also make information readily available to journalists for better reporting of the judiciary.

How I Invested $2Million For Olisa Metuh – Wealth Manager

metuhA prosecution witness and former wealth manager with the Commercial Resource Management Company has told the court how Mr Olisa Metuh allegedly gave her the sum of two million dollars and how she managed the funds for him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission opened its case against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

Led in evidence, the first prosecution witness, one Miss Nicole Ararume, told the court that she received two million dollars in 100 dollar bills from him which she took to two bureau the change companies for onward transfer to the Asset and Resources Management account of Mr Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited.

The lawyers to Mr Metuh asked for an adjournment for him to prepare materials required for cross examination but the judge refused to adjourn the cross examination of the prosecution witness on the grounds that there was no cogent reason before the court to do so.

Consequently, a second witness – the owner of a bureau de change company was invited to testify and he corroborated the first witness’s testimony.

He recounted how he received half of the said fund and transferred same to the account of Mr Metuh.

In what has become the usual, Mr Metuh arrived the court premises in the company of prison officials and in handcuffs but this did not deter him from exchanging banters and hugs with friends and relations.

In his earlier attempt to get an adjournment, counsel to Mr Metuh, Oyeachi Ikpeazu, had complained that it had been difficult to adequately prepare for trial as the prison officials have made interaction with his client difficult.

He told the court that the allegations of the witness were serious and there was a need to get the necessary documents to enable him adequately cross examine her.

The counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Tahir Sylvanus, objected to the application, saying: “It has been known to the defence that trial will commence today, as such, it should have adequately prepared for the case”.

Mr Sylvanus also told the court that he had front loaded all the account details relating to the transaction, as such there was no cogent reason why the hearing should be adjourned.

Again Mr Ikpeazu argued that he could not cross examine a prosecution witness based on its document but the defence would rely on its own generated document to do so.

 

Metuh Requests For Variation Of Bail Conditions As Trial Begins

Olisa-metuhThe trial of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh, has started, with the opposition party’s spokesman requesting for a variation of his bail conditions. 

Mr Metuh made the request before his trial began on Monday.

However, because the prosecution was just served, the trial judge, Justice Abang Obong, deferred hearing on the issue to January 27.

Witness Testify

He, however, declined to adjourn the trial, asking the first prosecution witness to testify.

The witness, one Miss Nicole Ararume, claimed she was the wealth manager for Mr Metuh and his company Destra Investment Limited.

She narrated to the court how she received the sum of two million dollars paid in 100 dollar bills, which she took to a Bureau De Change for onward transfer to the Asset and Resources Management account of Mr Metuh and his company.

The lawyers to Mr Metuh, however, asked for an adjournment for him to prepare materials required for cross examination.

“Her allegations are serious and there is a need to get the necessary documents to enable me adequately cross examine her,” Mr Oyeachi Ikpeazu told the court.

However, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Tahir Sylvanus, objected to the application.

He said: “It has been known to the defence that trial will commence today, as such, it should have adequately prepared for the case”.

Mr Sylvanus also told the court that he had front loaded all the account details relating to the transaction as such there was no cogent reason why the hearing should be adjourned.

Again Mr Ikpeazu argued that he could not cross examine a prosecution witness based on its document.

He told the court that the defence would also rely on its own generated document to do so.

The council to Mr Metuh further complained that it had been difficult to adequately prepare for trial as the prison officials have made interaction with his client’s difficult.

On Friday, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court granted Mr Metuh bail in the sum of 300 million Naira and two sureties in like sum.

In the ruling, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, stressed that the sureties must be resident in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

Mr Metuh is facing a seven-count charge of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

FCT Chief Judge Decries Shoddy Prosecutorial Processes

Naigerian-in-jailThe Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, has decried the ‎shoddy investigation by prosecuting agencies saying it is making the work of the court difficult and slowing down the administration of justice.

Justice Bello, who also expressed concerns over the inadequate usage of multi door courthouse made the assertion during the 2015/16 New Legal Year in Abuja.

‎He said the menace of delay in the administration of justice stemming from rampant adjournment and stagnation in the prosecution of cases is frustrating many litigants.

Justice Bello, however reiterated the commitment of the FCT judiciary not to be influenced in any way by factors outside the law.

He adds that the judiciary will continue to do all that is necessary to administer justice in a manner that will benefit the interest of the public.

Judge Grants Pardon To 24 Kuje Prison Inmates

Jail BreakThe Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello, has granted official pardon to 24 inmates of the Kuje Prison in Abuja.



Those pardoned include two foreigners from neighboring Chad and Niger Republic who were certified to be critically ill after spending over seven years behind bars.

Others pardoned include a 90 year old man, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Chief Judge says his visit to the prison has also corrected some abnormalities which led to the congestion of the prison.

The Chief Judge said his visit to the prison also corrected some abnormalities which led to the congestion of the prison.

Channels Television’s correspondent reports that out of the about one thousand three hundred inmates here, over 700 are awaiting trial.

FCT Chief Judge Tasks Police On Criminal Justice

Chief JudgeThe Chief Judge of Federal Capital High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, says obsolete and weak laws have prevented the effectiveness of the justice sector.

Justice Bello made the remark on Monday at a workshop on the Administration of Justice and Violence Against Persons Acts 2015 which were recently signed into law.

Justice Bello observed that the former Criminal Justice Law and the Police Act were disconnected from the 1999 Constitution and Nigeria’s international obligation.

He, however, urged police officers to handle and process suspects and accused persons in a way  that would remove any bottle neck that may be encountered in the trial process in order to reduce the number of awaiting trial inmates, especially when their cases could be easily resolved.

On May 26, the administration of justice law was formerly presented to the public and the legal community.

The Law, according to the government, is in line with the desire to reform justice sector in Nigeria.

Monday’s workshop, coming two months after, was organised by the National Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

At the workshop were some police officers led by the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, and it was meant to educate them on the use of the Administration of Justice and Violence Against Persons Acts, as they are the first contacts with suspected criminals.