INEC Approves Final List For Edo Governorship Election

INEC, Edo ElectionThe Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday released the final list of candidates that will be contesting the Edo State governorship election slated for September 10, 2016.

In a statement by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Augusta C. Ogakwu, 19 political parties and their candidates have been cleared by the commission to contest the election.

The final list perhaps put to rest the controversy over who is the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party since the party was hit by leadership crisis at the national level.

On the list, INEC enlisted Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his deputy governorship candidate, Yakubu John.

The party, due to its factionalisation, held parallel primaries where Mr Mathew Iduoriyekemwen emerged in the primaries conducted by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction.

Other contenders whose names were released by INEC include, Godwin Obaseki for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Onaiwu Osaro of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Areloegbe Amos for the Labour Party.

Court Ruling In Pension Case Not Substantial – Lawyer

A Legal practitioner, Toyese Adenipekun on Thursday described the court ruling on the Police Pension theft case as unsubstantial.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Adenipekun confessed his surprise at the court’s decision, an echo of the general reaction to Justice Adamu Bello’s judgment.

“Given the facts of the case and how much involved, N32 billion you would have expected that the fine would be substantial enough to bring about the deterrence value of the criminal justice system,” he said.

In the light of the argument that Justice Bello’s ruling is what the law dictates, Mr Adenipekun agreed that plea bargaining can take place stating that “the whole essence is to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice.”

Asked if he suspects any conspiracy in the case, he said that it is hard to prove that there is any conspiracy involved in the controversial case but confirms public suspicions that “something wrong took place somewhere.”

“I wonder what the prosecution had to tell the court before the court was convinced to allow the initial charges to be reduced,” he said.

Lagos-based Lawyer Calls For Disbandment Of NJC

A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Suraj Olarenwaju has called for the overhaul or disbandment of the National Judicial Council (NJC) stating that it is irrelevant in reforming the judicial system in Nigeria.
“We can’t see the relevance of that body… in reforming the judicial system in Nigeria,” said Mr. Olarenwaju on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.
While sharing his views on the topic, Justice Delivery System In Nigeria, he described his initial reaction to the court ruling on the case involving former Assistant Director Police Pension Office, Yakubu John, as “unfortunate and ridiculous.”
He described the Judge’s ruling as a mere “judgement” as opposed to “justice” which should have been meted out.
Mr. Olarenwaju, who confirmed the 2-year imprisonment ruling as what the constitution states, questioned the N750,000 fine option saying that the law couldn’t have specified an amount of fine because it would not anticipate the amount of money involved in a case.”
“The option of fine should at least be commensurate with the crime committed… Fine should be an option that would be stringent for the convict to meet or either straight go to jail,” he added.
He faulted the ruling by Justice Adamu Bello’s, saying that “the Judge was on trial and he lost that process… as a barometer… you are also responsible for making law.”
“The review of the law should not be used as an escape for such a ruling,” he pointed out.
In his opinion the judge should have used his discretionary powers to ensure justice. “The judge would have reflected the circumstances of that case, assuage the pains and feelings of the Nigerian people and the police pensioners who have been deprived, many of whom have died without their entitlement, by asking that guy to pay a minimum of N1billion fine.”
He also challenged the integrity of the lawmakers of the country, saying that the “lawmakers anticipate that they would find themselves in this position at one point or the other and that is why they are prescribing this least possible sentencing.”

Convicted Ex-Pension Boss Remanded In Prision

A former Assistant Director at the police pension office, John Yakubu has been remanded in prison despite having pleaded not guilty to a four count charge of false declaration of assets.

Following his plea, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked the court to remand the accused in prison and set a date for trial.

Presiding Judge, Justice Adamu Bello obliged to the application of the EFCC and remanded the accused in prison despite the appeal by his counsel to remain in EFCC

The EFCC re-arraigned the convicted on charges of false declaration of assets.

According to court papers, Yakubu is charged with failing to declare in his asset form, as a civil servant, his interest in SY-A Global Services Limited, a company owned by him and members of his family.

Yakubu is also accused of failing to declare the sum of N285million lodged in fixed deposit in the name of the said company Anda Surrugate named Danjuma Gele.

Yakubu pleaded not guilty to the charges.

This re-arraignment is coming two days after an Abuja High court convicted Mr John Yakubu, a former official of the police pension board.

Following his plea of not guilty, the anti-graft agency asked the court to remand him in prison custody and set a date for trial.

Despite appeal by his lawyer that he should be remanded in EFCC custody; the court directed that he should be sent to prison.

Justice Bello also set trial for the 4th of March 2013; he however allowed the defence to appear before the court before the trial date to make an application for bail.

Mr. John Yakubu was on the 28th of January sentenced to 6 years imprisonment or an option of paying 750,000 after pleading guilty to three count charges of criminal conversion of the police pension fund for personal use.