Court Jails Senior Lawyer, Nwobike Over Justice Perversion

A Lagos High Court Sitting in the Ikeja area has convicted a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Nwobike on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi, who delivered the verdict today also sentenced the Snr Advocate to a jail term of one month.

The court held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission proved beyond reasonable doubts that the SAN was in constant communication with some court officials to influence the assignment of his cases to preferred judges.

READ ALSO: Court Convicts Senior Advocate, Nwobike, Of Justice Perversion

Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s Properties In Abuja

The EFCC had alleged that Nwobike offered N750,000 and N300,000 gratifications to Justices Mohammed Yunusa and Hyeladzira Nganjiwa. Both are Federal High Court judges.

The EFCC claimed that Nwobike offered them the money to pervert the course of justice. The SAN denied these charges.

The court also did not find him guilty on any offence of offering gratification to a judicial officer.

The EFCC had also detailed in court an exchange of text messages between a deputy registrar of the Federal High Court and Mr Nwobike. The commission alleges that the SAN used the msgs to influence the assignment of his cases before certain judges of the court.

In its amended charges, the Commission specifically listed Mrs Helen Ogunleye, a former registrar to Justice Musa Kurya and another Mr Jide, an assistant Chief Registar as persons whom the Snr Advocate regularly communicated with.

At his trial, Mr Nwobike admitted sending the messages but denied that the intention was to influence the outcome of his cases.

Court Convicts Senior Advocate, Nwobike, Of Justice Perversion

A Lagos High Court has convicted Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Nwobike, of 12 counts  on allegation of inducement to pervert the cause of justice.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi acquitted him on five counts of giving gratification and one count of making false statement.

Justice Adebiyi has stood down the case for sentencing.

Nwobike was first arraigned on five count charges on March 9, 2016 by the EFCC, which was later amended the charges on two different occasions, each time leading to the re-arraignment of the SAN.

The last amendment to the charges saw Nwobike re-arraigned on February 8, after which the lawyers canvassed their final arguments.

In the charges, EFCC had claimed that Nwobike offered N750,000 and N300,000 gratifications to Justices Mohammed Yunusa and Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, respectively both judges are federal high court judges.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr Oyedepo, says the money was allegedly meant to prevent the cause of Justice which is section 97 (3) of the criminal law of Lagos state.

Canvassing final arguments Nwobike’s lead counsel, Wale Akoni (SAN), had urged the court to discharge and acquit his client, contending that the EFCC failed to substantiate its allegations against him.

Akoni said contrary to the claim by the EFCC, the N750,000 that Nwobike gave to Justice Yunusa was not a bribe but “for the specific purpose of helping the (sick) mother of the gentleman.”

Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Innoson Chairman

Alleged Fraud: Innoson Boss Absent In Court For Arraignment
File photo: Innocent Chukwuma

 

A Lagos High Court Sitting in the Ikeja area has issued a warrant for the arrest of the Chairman of Innoson Motors Limited, Innocent Chukwuma for failing to appear before the court to face his trial.

Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that Mr Chukwuma should be arrested and brought to court on the next adjourned date of March 14.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in December last year filed four charges against the C.E.O of Innosons Motors and others at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.

In the letter by the Head of Legal and Prosecution for the EFCC, A.B.C. Ozioko, dated November 30, the commission noted that the four charges were bordering on conspiracy to obtain property by false pretence, obtaining property by false pretence, stealing and forgery.

Chukwuma, however, failed to show up at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Wednesday, January 17 for his arraignment on fraud allegations.

Further Details Shortly…

Don’t Order Execution Of Inmates, Falana Urges Ambode

Don't Order Execution Of Inmates, Falana Urges AmbodeHuman rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has appealed to the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, not to order the execution of persons sentenced to death in the state.

In a letter to the Governor, a copy of which was sent to Channels Television, Mr Falana referred to a statement credited to the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniyi Kazeem, to the effect that Governor Ambode would soon decide the fate of condemned prisoners on death row in the state.

The senior lawyer insisted that death by hanging or firing squad violates the rights to freedom from torture.

He cited a judgement of the State High Court, saying: “The Lagos State High Court held that while a person who commits murder may be sentenced to death, it is illegal and unconstitutional to execute such death sentence by hanging or firing squad, as it will lead to the violation of his fundamental right to freedom from torture guaranteed by the constitution”.

He asked Governor Ambode not to sign a death warrant authorising the killing of any condemned prisoner, but instead commute the death sentences to life imprisonment.

“On the basis of the valid and subsisting judgment of the Lagos High Court on the illegality of the execution of the death penalty in Lagos State, we urge Your Excellency not to sign a death warrant authorising the killing of any condemned prisoner either by hanging, firing squad or any other means whatsoever.

“In the circumstance, Your Excellency may wish to commute the death sentences of all condemned prisoners in Lagos State to life imprisonment forthwith,” Mr Falana said.

Application On Jurisdiction Stalls Trial Of Ajumogobia, Obla

Application On Jurisdiction Stalls Trial Of Ajumogobia, Obla An application challenging the jurisdiction of Justice Hakeem Oshodi to hear the case of alleged bribery against a suspended judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate Of Nigeria, Godwin Obla, stalled proceedings on Monday, at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

When the case was called, a new counsel, Mr Robert Clarke (SAN), announced appearance for Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia. He led another Senior Advocate, Wale Akoni, who had been in the matter from the beginning.

The judge noted that though the application was not ripe for hearing as the prosecution counsel was yet to reply, he would have to adjourn to hear it.

He also rejected a move by Mr Clarke to temporarily withdraw the application so that an earlier application seeking permission for Mrs Ajumogobia to travel abroad for medical treatment could be heard.

Justice Oshodi subsequently fixed hearing of the application for April 28.

Court Sentences Cynthia Osokogu’s Murderers To Death

Cynthia OsokoguThe Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island has convicted and sentenced two men to death by hanging for the murder of late Cynthia Osokogu.

Trial judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, held that the prosecution proved the case against them beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Akinlade sentenced Okwumo Nwabufo and Olisaeloka Ezike to death after finding them guilty of murdering Cynthia Osokogu by chaining her hands and legs, as well as choking and gagging her.

The act was said to have led to asphyxia, the absence of oxygen supply to the body of the victim which the court identified as the cause of her death.

The late Cynthia Osokogu, a postgraduate student of Nassarawa State University, was murdered on July 22, 2012 at a hotel in Festac Town by the men who lured her to Lagos after she met them through a social media platform.

Justice Akinlade had fixed March 23 to deliver judgment in the trial of four men charged with her murder, after counsel to the Lagos State Government and those who represented the defendants adopted their final written addresses.

In arriving at the judgment on Thursday, the judge held that the prosecution had successfully proven against the two defendants the offences of conspiracy to kill, murder, conspiracy to steal and stealing.

She found the convicts guilty on the strength of the circumstantial evidence and exhibits presented against them by the prosecution, and also based on their confessional statements made to the Police.

The court, however, discharged and acquitted the third and fourth defendants on the ground that the prosecution had not proved its case against them.

Court Orders NAFDAC To Warn Against Drinking Fanta, Sprite With Vitamin C

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public FightA Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island, has ordered the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to order the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) PLC, to put a written warning on Fanta and Sprite bottles stating that both soft drinks are poisonous, when consumed along with Vitamin C.

The court also held that NAFDAC failed Nigerians by declaring, as fit for human consumption, products discovered by tests in the United Kingdom as turning poisonous when mixed with Ascorbic Acid (popularly known as Vitamin C).

In the judgment given by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, the court awarded a cost of 2million Naira against NAFDAC.

The court judgment was given in a suit filed by a Lagos-based businessman, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, against NBC PLC and NAFDAC.

Mr. Adebo, had in the suit, urged the court to declare that NBC was negligent to its consumers by bottling Fanta and Sprite with excessive levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives.

The businessman also urged the court to order NAFDAC to carry out routine laboratory tests on all the soft drinks and related products NBC bottles to ensure their safety for consumption.

In documents before the court, it was alleged that in March 2007, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Company bought large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and soda water from NBC for export and subsequent retail in the United Kingdom.

But when the consignment arrived the United Kingdom, health authorities in that country, precisely the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard’s Department of Environment and Economy Directorate, raised fundamental health issues on the contents and composition of Fanta and Sprite.

Findings by the United Kingdom Health Authorities were also corroborated by other agencies in European Union countries, which found the products to contain excessive levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid, which are known to be carcinogenic.

On account of the irregularities and carcinogenic substances present in the drinks, Mr. Adebo and his company said they could not sell the Fanta and Sprite, this caused huge losses for the company, as the products were seized and destroyed by the United Kingdom Health Authorities.

The claimants equally alleged that NAFDAC did not carry out requisite tests to determine the safety of the drinks for human consumption.

In its response filed before the court by Mr. Tunde Busari, NBC admitted supplying the products, but contended that they are meant for local distribution and consumption, as it does not produce for export.

The company also denied that it was negligent, as it has stringent quality control procedures to ensure that its products are safe for end-user consumption.

NBC also rejected the allegation that the damages claimed by the businessman and his firm were caused by negligence or any fault on its part.

It argued that the levels of the chemical components in its soft drinks are safe for consumption in Nigeria and that the claimants are not entitled to the recovery of damages arising from their illegal exportation of products meant for local distribution.

NAFDAC on its part did not file any defense.

In her judgment, Justice Oyebanji said he was in absolute agreement with the claimants that soft drinks manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company ought to be fit for human consumption irrespective of whether they were to be consumed locally or exported.

He also held that NAFDAC has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company.

The court then ordered, “That NAFDAC shall forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company to, within 90 days, include on all the bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured by the company, a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous if taken with Vitamin C.

Oil Subsidy Scam: Accused Persons Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison

Ada Ugo-Ngali A Lagos High Court has sentenced Mrs Ada Ugo-Ngali and Walter Wagbatsoma to 10 years in prison for defrauding the Federal Government of 754 million Naira in oil subsidy transactions.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu, gave the sentence on Thursday, January 26.

Okunnu, also added that the 754 million Naira which was defrauded by the company, must be returned to the Federal Government in restitution.

Ada Ugo-Ngali
Mrs Ada Ugo-Ngali Being helped out of the premises by officials of prisons service

The co-defendant Walter Wagbatsoma, who was absent in court is currently being held in the United Kingdom on charges relating to a £12 million National Health Service (NHS) Trust fraud.

Mrs Ada Ngo-Nagali had collapsed after the judge had initially convicted her of the crime – the ensuing confusion then forced the court to adjourn the proceedings to January 16.

Family members later claimed that Mrs Ugo-Nnadi, who is the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, was subsequently rushed to a hospital in the company of some prisons officials.

The sentence is the first of its kind since massive oil subsidy fraud allegedly perpetrated by oil marketers was uncovered in the petroleum industry in 2012.

Cynthia Osukogu’s Murder: Court Fixes March 23 For Judgment

Cynthia Osukogu's Murder: Court Fixes March 23 For JudgmentThe Lagos State High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island will on March 23 deliver judgment in the trial of four men charged with the gruesome murder of Cynthia Osukogu, a postgraduate student of Nassarawa State University.

Justice Olabisi Akinlade fixed the date on Thursday after counsel to the Lagos State government and those who represented the defendants adopted their final written addresses.

The late Cynthia Osokogu was murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lake View Estate, Festac Town in Lagos by men she allegedly met and became friends with on the popular social media platform, Facebook.

Those accused of the crime are Okwumo Nwabufo aged 38; Ezike Nwabufo aged 28; Orji Osita, 37; and Ezike Nonso, 29.

They were all arraigned before the court on a six-count charge of conspiracy, murder, stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods, charges brought against them by the Lagos State government.

The offences are said to contravene sections 221, 249, 285 and 327 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the defence counsel, Victor Opara urged the court to dismiss the charges against the defendants because the state had failed to link them to the crime.

The lawyer also argued that it is the law that in any situation where the prosecution fails to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, the court must rule in favour of the defendants.

However, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija urged the court to convict the defendants on the strength of the evidence the state has placed before it.

Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Shotobi As Ayangburen Of Ikorodu

Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Shotobi As Ayangburen Of IkoroduA Lagos High Court in Ikorodu has dismissed a suit seeking to restrain Oba Kabiru Shotobi from parading himself as the Ayangburen of Ikorodu land.

Justice Olushola Williams dismissed the suit while ruling on an application filed by the claimants in the matter.

The three claimants, who are also princes of Ikorodu, Tajudeen Odofin, Tayo Ladega and Gbolahan Onabanjo, had filed the suit to challenge the installation of Oba Shotobi as the traditional ruler of the town.

Through their counsel, Mr George Oguntade, the plaintiffs asked the court for an order of ‘interlocutory injunction’ to restrain Oba Shotobi, who is the first respondent, from collecting royalties and salaries from the Lagos State Governor as well as the Attorney General and the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs in the state, who are the second, third and fourth respondents in the suit.

They also sought an order of interlocutory injunction from the court restraining the second, third and fourth respondents from dealing with, according any recognition or paying royalties and salaries to the first respondent as the Ayangburen of Ikorodu among other prayers.

Other respondents in the suit are the Lisa of Ikorodu, Chief Zaccheus Odusoga, the Apena of Ikorodu, Chief Kareem Ore, the Oponuwa of Ikorodu, Chief Jacob Adaraloye and the Solomade of Ikorodu, Chief Afolabi Adekayaoja.

In her ruling on Monday, Justice Williams held that the principles of ‘res judicata’ was against the claims of the claimants, noting that their prayers had already been determined and answered in an earlier suit by her brother judge, Justice Akintunde Savage in 2015.

She held that there was no basis for the court to grant fresh orders in a matter that had already been determined by a court.

EFCC Vs Ibru: Court Defers Ruling Till February 2017

Goodie-Ibru-EFCC-CourtA Lagos High Court has fixed February 15, 2017 for ruling on an application filed by businessman, Mr Goodie Ibru and three others seeking to quash charges filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The matter was adjourned by Justice Raliat Adebiyi on Tuesday, after counsel to parties had made their submissions to the court.

Mr Ibru is facing an 11-count charge alongside three companies – Associated Ventures International Limited, IHL Services Limited and Clearview Investment Limited.

The EFCC has charged the accused of allegedly conspiring to steal various sums belonging to Ikeja Hotel Plc in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

The anti-graft agency said Mr. Ibru and the others purportedly committed the offence between 2010 and 2015.

During proceedings on Tuesday, counsel to the defendants, Mr Olawale Akoni informed the court about his pending application dated November 28, 2016 in which they asked the court to strike out the charges.

In his response, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Ayokunle Fayanju, asked the court to dismiss the defendants’ application to quash the charges.

The court subsequently adjourned the case to consider its ruling.

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta’s Trial Stalled

Alleged Money Laundering: Justice Ngwuta's Trial StalledA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned the trial of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, to January 18 and 23, 2017.

The Supreme Court Justice, is standing trial for corruption, alleged money laundering, breach of professional ethics and passport forgery related offenses.

The adjournment followed an application by the counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Chief Kanu Agabi, who told the court that he needed more time to prepare for trials as some documents given to him by the prosecution still needed to be studied.

This did not go down well with the prosecutor who urged the court to turn down the application.

However, trial judge, Justice John Tsoho delivered his ruling in favour of the defendant, Ngwuta, on the ground that section 36 of the constitution allows a defendant time to prepare for his defense.

He also added that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, also allows parties in a suit to at least five request for adjournment, afterwhich he adjourned the case.

Justice Ngwuta is one of the justices arrested and detained by the department of state services on October 8, 2016 for corruption and breach of professional ethics.

In November, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta had entered a not guilty plea to the 15-count charges leveled against him by the federal government.

He was also been granted bail in the sum of 100 million Naira on self-recognition.