Osun Governorship Tussle: Appeal Court Denies Claim By PDP Over Panel

Ex-APC Governorship Aspirant Resigns From Osun Govt

 

The Court of Appeal has refuted claims by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that Justice Joseph Oyewole was part of the three-man panel to hear the appeal on the judgment in the Osun State governorship election dispute.

The panel was constituted to hear an appeal seeking to reverse the majority judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that sacked Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from office.

The tribunal had in a verdict it delivered on March 22, declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the PDP, as the valid winner of the gubernatorial election that held in the state in September 2018.

Meanwhile, shortly after the appellate court announced its decision to commence hearing on governor Oyetola’s Appeal on Wednesday, the PDP said it uncovered that a member of the appeal panel has strong ties with the ruling party.

READ ALSO: Osun Election: PDP Rejects Justice Oyewole’s Inclusion In Appeal Court Panel

A statement signed by the Court of Appeal’s spokesperson, Mrs Sa’adatu Kachalla, said Justice Oyewole was never considered as a member of the panel.

Mrs Kachalla also described as uncharitable and unwarranted, the attack on Justice Oyewole by the PDP.

“Hon. Justice Joseph Oyewole, Justice of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, an industrious son of Osun State, is not a member of the Osun Governorship Election Appeal Tribunal set up by the President of the Court of Appeal.

“The members of the public are therefore advised not to be misguided by desperate and jittery individuals whose action is to heat up the polity.
“Time has changed, and it is better for us to change with time. The era of fake news is over.”

Death Sentence: Supreme Court Decides Rev King’s Fate Feb 26

kingThe Supreme Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday fixed February 26, 2016 for judgment in the appeal filed by the General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Reverend King, challenging the judgement of a Lagos High Court sentencing him to death by hanging.

The apex court presided over by Justice Walter Onoghen adjourned for judgment after entertaining arguments from counsel to prosecution and defence in the matter.

Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, who appeared before the Supreme Court alongside the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija and other Senior Counsel in the State, urged the court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower courts.

Ezeugo was arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder.

He pleaded not guilty to the allegation but was sentenced to death by the then Justice Joseph Oyewole of Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on January 11, 2007 for the murder of one of his church members, Ann Uzoh.

Justice Oyewole is now a judge of the Appeal Court sitting in the Calabar division.

The Lagos State Government had said that the convict poured petrol on the deceased and five other persons and that Uzoh died on August 2, 2006; 11 days after the act was perpetrated on her.

Specifically, Ezeugo was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the attempted murder and death by hanging for the offence of murder.

Dissatisfied, Ezeugo challenged the verdict before the Court of Appeal in Lagos, but the appeal was thrown out.

“I hereby rule that the prosecution effectively discharged the burden of proof on it. This appeal is devoid of any basis and accordingly fails.

“The judgment of the High Court is hereby affirmed, and the conviction imposed on the appellant, (which is death by hanging) is also affirmed,” Justice Fatimo Akinbami who read the judgement held.

The two other members of the panel of Justices, Amina Augie and Ibrahim Saulawa concurred with the lead judgement.

Again, Ezeugo not being satisfied with the verdict, approach the Supreme Court, and urged that the judgment be upturned.

The apex court has now reserved judgment.

Absence Of EFCC’s Witness Stalls Ajudua’s Trial

Fred AjuduaThe trial of Fred Ajudua on charges of defrauding two Dutch businessmen of 1.69 million dollars could not proceed on Monday at the Lagos High court, Ikeja owing to the absence of the prosecution witness.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC who is prosecuting the case told Presiding Justice Kudirat Jose that some of its witnesses who reside abroad where not in the country because the commission was unsure of how the matter would proceed.

Counsel to the EFCC, Wemimo Ogunde (SAN) informed the court that the defense counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo had last week Friday, the 25th of April, served the commission with a process for a stay of proceedings.

He said that based on the incident, the EFCC could not extend an invitation to the witnesses to travel down to Nigeria even though the defense team later called to say that the process was served in error.

Mr Ogunde also told the court that the commission was been careful in extending invitation to witnesses because a similar incident had occurred in the past when the witnesses came but the matter did not proceed.

He subsequently asked for a 21 day period to enable the EFCC get the witnesses to attend the trial.

The defense counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo however opposed the request for a 21 day adjournment, saying that the period was too long to get a witness from abroad.

Mr Ojo also said that it would be wrong for the court to grant such a long adjournment when his client has been refused bail.

He further submitted that the fact that his chamber mistakenly served the EFCC with a wrong process was not enough excuse for the commission not to bring its witnesses to the court.

Justice Jose however overruled the argument and adjourned the matter till May 23 for trial.

BACKGROUND

Ajudua and one Charles Okorie were earlier arraigned before Justice Joseph Oyewole in July 24, 2003 for allegedly defrauding Messrs Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen between July 30, 1999 and Feb.9, 2000.

The matter was however stalled for almost 10 years as the defendants failed to attend their trial.

The duo was however re-arraigned last month before Justice Kudirat Jose on the same allegations.

At the re arraignment, the EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired to commit the offences between July 30, 1999 and Feb.9, 2000.

The commission also noted that the defendants deceived the victims that the money was for sundry payments to various government officials.

The EFCC further alleged that the defendants claimed that the payments would help them to facilitate a contract worth 18 million dollars on behalf of the complainants.

The offences according to the anti- graft agency contravene Sections 1(a) and (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act of 1995 as amended by Decree No. 62 of 1999.

Ajudua’s Supporters Attack Channels TV Cameraman, As Judge Adjourns Trial

The supporters of alleged fraudster, Fred Ajudua, attacked a Channels Television’s cameraman, Moses Ekpang as he attempted to get a shot of Mr Ajudua walking out of the court building.

The incident, however, did not degenerate into fisticuffs.

Mr Ekpang said he was outside the court room to take shots of the suspected fraudster when one of Mr Ajudua’s supporters charged towards him to stop him from filming the accused as he walked away from the court.

The cameraman, who managed to record a wobbly video, said when he attempted to film Mr Ajudua as he was being chauffeured out of the court premises, the driver of the car attempted to knock him down with the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the trial judge, Olubunmi Oyewole, adjourned Mr Ajudua’s trial to September 24 after the defendant filed an application seeking to transfer the matter to another judge.

The defence counsel expressed fear that justice would not be done if the defendant is tried by presiding Judge, Justice Oyewole.

Although the trial was meant to continue on Monday and end in the next few days, Justice Oyewole then ruled that with the application filed by the defence, the Chief Judge of Lagos would have to decide on it before any further action.

In the meantime, 24 September has been fixed for prosecution to respond to the application.

Mr Ajudua was re-arraigned on 11 June after eight years of absconding from trial on charges of defrauding two foreigners, Messrs Remy Gina and Pierre Vijgen, of $1.69million.

The court had earlier denied his bail application and dismissed his motion to quash the charges on the grounds that one of his victims had announced his intention to discontinue with the case.

Court Affirms Reverend King’s Death Sentence

A Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has affirmed the conviction and death sentence of Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Rev. King on charges of attempted murder and murder.

He was arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder before Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court.

Ezeugo was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging on January 11, 2007 , for the alleged murder of a church member, Ann Uzoh.

Ezeugo, however pleaded with the Court of Appeal, Lagos to quash the death sentence passed on him by Justice Joseph Oyewole of an Ikeja High Court in November 2012.

He committed the offence as the General-Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly.

Details shortly