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JUDICIARY

FCT CJ Expresses Concern over Negative Effects of Social Media on Administration of Justice

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 The Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Hussenini Baba- Yusuf on Monday, expressed concern over the negative effects of social media on the administration of justice.

Declaring the 2023/2024 Legal Year open, Baba-Yusuf said that the essential task of the judiciary is to make independent and impartial decisions on disputes brought before them.
He added that the goal of the judiciary was to uphold the the principles of openness, transparency and accessibility in administering justice.” I consider that it is pertinent to draw the attention to one social evil that confronts the administration of justice frontally in this jet age of technology. I refer here to the menace of the social Media .” The rights of other persons are often breached with recklessness, misinformation, disinformation, fake news, cyber bullying, online harassment, etc,have become the order of the day.” The alarming rates at which unverified allegations and malicious attacks on or against innocent persons are recklessly posted and spread around on social media denotes how so low civility has declined in our society at large.The truth, he said, remains that when institutions are maligned and debased,its evil effects percolate on the entire society.” To bring me to my specific remarks today on this point, coming from my role as the head of an institution dedicated to the administration of justice,I find it worrisome to see these trends transposed .” Sometimes in ways we notice, sometimes in ways we may not see, into the judicial sphere.” These acts must never be found,let alone encouraged, in the nobleprofession that prides on conservatism, he said.The FCT judiciary, he said, received 5,952 and 7,354 cases respectively in 2022/2023 legal yearBaba-Yusuf noted that for the effectiveness of the functions of judges, they have to be respected, regarded and protected.“Moving on to the 2022/2023 legal year, the FCT high court assigned 5,,952 new cases, consisting of both civil and criminal matters, while the the44 magistrates received 7,364 cases.” In the course of the year, the courts successfully determined 4,293 cases representing 72..4 per cent . Meanwhile, the Magistrate Courts successfully determined 7,328 cases, encompassing both civil and criminal matters,and thereby achieving an outstanding completion rate of 99.6%.” As the 2022/2023 legal year wound up,there were 13,996 pending cases, covering both civil and criminal matters, at the Magistrate Court” he said.He said the FCT judiciary wants to deliver an exemplary justice that can repose confidence in the members of the public amid several challenges . (NAN) 

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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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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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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