Court Sentences Falae’s Kidnappers To Life Imprisonment

Court Sentences Falae's Kidnappers To Life ImprisonmentAn Ondo State High Court has sentenced the seven persons accused of kidnapping a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.

Mr Falae was kidnapped on September 21, 2015, at his farm in Ilado, a rural agrarian settlement near Akure, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

He was later released by his captors after spending four days with them.

Speaking to reporters, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Adesola Adeyemi-Tuki, said that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence.

“Part of the ransom were found inside his (the first defendant) vehicle at Minna where he was tracked to. Also, some of them made confessional statements and there were other evidences that corroborated their statements,” Adeyemi-Tuki said.

The lead counsel to the accused, Abdulrahman Yusuf, however noted that his team would study the judgement to know the next step to take.

“We were able to knock out armed robbery and conspiracy, so they were left with kidnapping and the judgement for kidnapping is life imprisonment. They were convicted for kidnapping and thereby sentenced to life imprisonment, each of them,” he said.

FG vs INEC Officials: Court To Rule On Jurisdiction May 12

FG vs INEC Officials: Court To Rule On Jurisdiction May 12Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 12 to rule on the application to strike out the charge by the Federal Government against 23 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The officials were accused of allegedly receiving 360 million Naira as bribe from the Rivers State Government, to manipulate the outcome of the legislative polls in the state in December 2016.

The defendants, in a motion, asked the court to either strike out the case or alternatively transfer the case to Port Harcourt, on the basis that the alleged offences took place there.

They also argued that the prosecution’s submission that the trail cannot take place due to security concerns was unfounded, saying the offences in question are currently being tried in various courts in Rivers State.

The prosecution, however, opposed the application and called for its dismissal for lack of merit.

Speaking to reporters, Counsel to the defendants, Ukpai Ukairo, said: “All the elements of this offence happened in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

“We are saying that it is appropriate and that’s the position of the law that it should be tried in Rivers State. The prosecution says that there are security challenges in Port Harcourt, but our contention is that those security challenges will not inhibit the trial of this case in Port Harcourt.

“They’ve completed investigations into this matter and there is nothing before the court showing that there will be a breach of security if the defendants are tried in Port Harcourt”.

On his part, the prosecution counsel, Alilu Kayode, noted that it was up to the court to decide where the trial would take place.

“The argument is already placed before the court, it is for the court to now determine whether by the submissions of all parties, the court has territorial jurisdiction or not.

“If it has, we will continue here; if it does not have, we will await the court determination of the application,” Mr Kayode said.

Justice Ademola’s Trial Opens As First Witness Makes Revelations

Justice Ademola's Trial OpensThe prosecution of Justice Adeniyi Ademola opened at the FCT High Court on Monday January 16, 2016, as the prosecution counsel lined up 14 witnesses to testify against him.

The lead prosecution counsel, Mr Segun Jegede, told the court that he had 14 witnesses including officials of the Department of State Services (DSS), Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank who will testify in the case.

The court proceedings commenced with the prosecution counsel addressing the court on the evidence with which he intends to prosecute the case.

He also told the court that he had lined up 14 witnesses who will testify, apart from other evidences he wished to tender before the court.

After his statement of evidence, the prosecution invited his first witness, a sales consultant to Coscharis Motors in Lagos who testified to have received payment of eight million naira from Joe Agi Associate for a BMW car.

The prosecution then tendered the invoice for that transaction, including an original certificate of ownership to the court as part of his evidence

The defence counsel, however, objected to the request by the prosecution to admit a written statement of the witness to the Department of State Services as part of evidence to tender before the court.

After listening to arguments from the defence and prosecution counsels, the presiding judge adjourned to January 17 to rule on the objections.

Both counsels to the defence and prosecution have applauded the decision of the court, describing it as a good start.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola is standing trial over an allegation of bribery and illegal possession of firearms.

Corruption Charge: Shema Challenges Court’s Jurisdiction

Corruption Charge: Ibrahim Shema Challenges Court's JurisdictionFormer Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, has questioned the jurisdiction of a State High Court to try him on charges of corruption.

The former governor questioned the jurisdiction of the court through his lawyer, Joseph Dawodu when he appeared before the court to answer charges of corruption filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the proceedings, Dawodu had told the court on the need to first hear the former governor’s application questioning the jurisdiction of the court before reading the charges filed by the anti-graft commission.

He also urged the court to allow the former governor to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted him by the anti-graft commission since he has not been arraigned in court.

However, the prosecution counsel, J.S Okutepa, filed a counter affidavit in reply to the motion, asking that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody until the next adjourned date.

Okutepa told the court that the first accused person violated the terms of the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC.

But Daudu argued that since the court is yet to assume jurisdiction to hear the matter, such application should not have come up at this stage.

Justice Bako refused the prosecution application for remand and adjourned the matter to February 7, 2017, for hearing on the motions on notice after which the issue of arraignment would be determined.

Shema is being charged alongside three others, Sani Hamisu Makana, Lawal Ahmad Safana and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba before Justice Maikaita Bako of the Katsina State High Court for the alleged offences of criminal breach of trust, abuse of office and conversion of public funds to the tune of over 11 billion Naira during his tenure as governor.

The Charge

One of the charge read that “You Ibrahim Shehu Shema whilst being the Governor of Katsina,  Sani Hamisu Makana whilst being Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,  Katsina State,  Lawal Ahmad Safana whilst being the Permanent Secretary for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs of Katsina State and Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba whilst being the Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria,  Katsina State Chapter, between September 2012 and May 2015 at Katsina,  within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court were entrusted with certain property to wit; an aggregate sum of N4,463,600,000 (Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Three Million, Six Hundred Thousand Nairn Only) committed a criminal breach of trust in respect of the said sum by transferring it from Katsina State Joint Local Government Account domiciled at Access Bank, Katsina Branch to the account of ALGON domiciled at Union Bank, Katsina Branch and subsequently withdrew same and dishonestly converted it to your personal use (under various guises including funding security intervention fund to all the 34 local governments in Katsina State and falsely described in several payment vouchers and memos) and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 311 and punishable under section 312 of Penal Code Cape 96 Laws of Katsina State, 1991.”