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JUDICIARY

Court Grants INEC Permission to Reconfigure BVAS

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The Court of Appeal yesterday granted INEC permission to reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the Saturday Governorship and State Assemblies Elections.

A three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, granted leave to the applicant for the purposes of configuring the BVAS for the election on Saturday.

The panel however, asked INEC to upload data to back-end server and make true Certified copy to the respondents.

INEC in its motion filed on March 4, asked the appellate court to vary the ex parte order made in favour of Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), with regards to inspection of materials used for the presidential election.

The appellate  court had on March 3, granted leave to Atiku Abubakar of the PPD and Mr Peter Obi of  Labour Party to inspect election materials used by INEC to conduct the Feb. 25 presidential election.

The court granted the duo permission following two separate ex parte applications filed by Atiku and Obi, who came second and third respectively in the presidential election won by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The commission is asking the court to vary the order to allow it to reconfigure its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

Counsel to INEC, Tanimu Inuwa , SAN said the application became necessary following an order restraining it from tampering with the information embedded in the BVAS machines until due inspection was conducted and Certified.

He added that the commission would require sufficient time to reconfigure the BVAS needed to conduct the election that would take place on Saturday.

He told the court that INEC would upload from back-end.

In his argument, counsel for Obi, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN prayed the court not to grant INEC’s application for granting it would mean losing the original information there.

” All we are seeking is for a physical inspection of the BVAS so that the evidence is obtained before it will be configured,” he told the court.

He therefore, opposed INEC application and urged the court not to grant it.

The three man panel of the appellate court after listening to their submissions adjourned until Wednesday for ruling.

JUDICIARY

Surety Faces N500,000 Bail Bond Forfeiture Charge

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A 47-year-old man, Ogbonna Anoka, who allegedly stood surety for a church member, but failed to produce him in court as required, on Tuesday appeared before a Sabo-Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

Anoka, whose house address was not given, entered a ‘not-guilty’ plea to a charge of perversion of justice.

The Prosecutor, Insp.

Magaji Haruna, told the court that Anoka committed the offence on Jan.
26, at the State Criminal Investigation Department, M.A.K Smith St., Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

Haruna alleged that the defendant conspired with one other person to obstruct and pervert the course of justice.

“The defendant stood as a surety for one Nonso Onyekwelu, a church member, who was involved in a case of conspiracy and receiving stolen property reported at the station.

“Onyekwelu was granted bail and released to the defendant, who promised to produce him at the station until the case is finally disposed off.

“The accused is hereby called upon to show cause why the sum of N500,000 bond executed by him should not be forfeited,” the prosecutor said.

The offence, Haruna said, contravenes Section 97 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Reports says that the Section 97 provides seven years imprisonment for perversion of justice, while sub section (3) provides two years imprisonment.

The Magistrate, Mrs O. Y. Adefope, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The case was adjourned until Feb. 21 for mention (NAN)

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JUDICIARY

Court Discharges Sowore, Bakare, Orders DSS to Release Seized Items

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, discharged Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare of alleged treasonable felony charge by the Attorney-General.of the Federation (AGF), Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling after counsel for the AGF, A.R. Tahir, withdrew the charge, struck out the matter.

Justice Nwite also ordered the Department of State Service (DSS) to immediately release three phones and the sum of N10, 000 seized from Sowore during his arrest.

The judge also ordered the DSS to release a phone belonging to Bakare and the sum of N1, 500 confiscated from him during his arrest.

Justice Nwite equally ordered that Sowore’s international passport be released.

The orders followed an application by lawyer to Sowore and Bakare, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, to tye effect.

Reports says that Sowore and Bakare were earlier arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in 2019 before the matter was reassigned to Nwite.(NAN)

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JUDICIARY

3 Docked over Alleged Theft of Maggi Seasoning Worth N50m

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Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
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Three men were on Monday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly stealing 3,000 cartons of maggi seasoning valued N50 million.

The accused Emmanuel Akpan, 38; Tasiu Aliu, 27; and Usman Hassan, 48, are being charged with conspiracy and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp.

Innocent Odugbo, told the court that the defendants committed the offences on Dec.
15, 2023 at Engineering Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Odugbo said Akpan, a logistics agent, contacted a truck to convey 3,000 cartons of Terra Maggi seasoning belonging to TGI Distribution Company to Kaduna State.

The prosecutor added that Aliu, a driver and Hassan his motorboy, brought the truck for the conveyance of the goods.

”After their departure, all calls made to track their location failed, their cell phones were switched off .

”The goods were neither delivered to the agreed destination nor returned to the company,” he said.

He said the offences contravened Sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Magistrate, Mrs M. O Popoola, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties in like sum.

Popoola adjourned the case until March 20 for trial.(NAN)

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