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Kano Election Petitions Tribunal Stops Yakasai From Giving Evidence



The Supreme Court, Political Parties and Internal Democracy

Ganduje Accuses PDP of Smugling Witnesses Before Election Tribunal

From  Abdulgafar Oladimeji, Kano.

Kano governorship Election Tribunal headed by Justice  Halima Shamaki sitting at Miller road,   on Tuesday night refused PDP chieftain, Umar Tanko Yakasai from giving evidence at the ongoing governorship election trials.


Yakasai, who was ushered before the court by Abiodun Jelili Owonikoko(SAN) according to the court, Yakasai  would  not be permitted  to testify owing to the  discovery that his name  was not enlisted amongst the witnesses before the court.

Earlier, Barrister Owonikoko(SAN) told the court that the witness had made deposition, urging the tribunal to permit the  witness to give evidence.

Counsel to the first respondent(INEC), Adedayo Adedeji raised an objection over  the  appearance of Yakasai before the court.

He told the court that the name on the list of witnesses was one Tijjani Yakasai and not Dr Umar Tanko Yakasai.

According to him, the tribunal on 16th July rejected an application made by PDP, requesting  to amend the list of witnesses, he  stated that Umar Tanko Yakasai was on the list sought to  be amended, which was  dismissed by the tribunal.

He argued that the witness despite his deposition on oath is not qualified to testify, explaining that his name ought to also  be enlisted to be eligible to give evidence.

Adedayo further  told the court that the attempt by PDP  to bring Yakasai into the witness box was a flagrant disregard of  the Tribunal.

He prayed the Court to stop Yakasai from testifying before the tribunal.

The tribunal presided by Justice Halima Shamaki granted the request made by the respondents, explaining that her decision to stop the witness from giving evidence  was informed by the ruling, delivered by her tribunal, dismissing the request for an amendment on the list of witnesses.

According to her, the petitioners have filed an appeal challenging her initial ruling on the application seeking to make amends to the list of witnesses, on this ground, she said “my hands are tied” saying Umar Tanko Yakasai   would not be allowed to testify.

Ganduje Accuses PDP of Smugling Witnesses Before Election Tribunal

Meanwhile, the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has accused the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Kano state chapter of allegedly smuggling a witness to testify before the Kano governorship Election Tribunal.

Ganduje, represented by his Counsel, Offiong Offiong(SAN) raised an alarm, against the attempt by  Umar Tanko Yakasai to give evidence before the governorship tribunal.

According to him, the name Umar Tanko Yakasai  is not enlisted on the list of  witnesses, adding that the appearance of the witness before the court is an alleged  attempt by the petitioners  to smuggle the witness before the court .

Ganduje told the court that  the Kano PDP through the back door  attempted to present a witness to testify before the tribunal.

According to him, the name on the list of witnesses was enlisted as  one Tijjani Yakasai and not Dr Umar Tanko Yakasai.

Adding that the tribunal on 16th July rejected an application made by PDP, requesting  to amend the list of witnesses, he  stated that Umar Tanko Yakasai was on the list sought to  be intended amended list, which was  dismissed by the tribunal.

Counsel to the petitioners, Barrister Abiodun Jelili Owonikoko(SAN) furiously resent the use of the word “smuggle” by the representative of Governor Ganduje.


Court rejects no-case submission of woman charged with N110m fraud




An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday rejected the no-case submission of a woman, Portia Emilia, charged with N110 million fraud.

Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe, in her ruling, held that the prosecution had established prima facie against the defendant on the amended five-count charge bordering on stealing and fraud.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution has established a prima facie case, which the defendants are called upon to answer.

“The no-case submission is hereby overruled, and the defendants are called upon to enter their defence,” Abike-Fadipe said.

She adjourned until Jan. 18 2024 for the defendant to open her defence.

Emilia was arraigned on Aug.16, 2022 alongside her company, Savanah Crest Investment Ltd, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against her.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Franklin Ofoma, alleged the defendant stole the money from one Mrs Wendy Daniel and converted it to her personal use.

The prosecution had called two witnesses, tendered several documents and closed its case on March 16.

Defence had filed a no-case submission, arguing that with the evidence adduced by the EFCC, his client had no case to answer.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offences contravened the Criminal Laws of Lagos State (2015) and the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Fraud Offences Act 2006.

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Police Parade Suspected Killers of Former Benue Judge




 By David Trough, Abuja

The Benue State Police Command has paraded four suspects in connection to the murder of Retired Justice Margaret Igbetar, who was murdered in August this year.

State Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on Tuesday said the suspects have since confessed to the crime.

According to him, among those who were arrested was a nephew to the deceased, Aondohemba Joseph, adding that Joseph had alleged that Justice Igbetar was holding his father’s property which should have been bestowed on him, but she (Justice Igbetar) had refused to relinquish the said property.

Onyeka said, “You will recall that on 24th August 2023, a case of Culpable Homicide involving the late Justice Margaret Mary Igbetar (rtd) was reported and I had promised to ensure that Justice is served. One Aondohemba Joseph, a nephew of the deceased was arrested immediately.

“A more detailed and advanced investigation started when the case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) and handed over to the Operation Zenda investigative team to continue.

The suspect who eventually confessed to having planned and recruited other people to help him in killing his Aunty (Justice Igbetar) led a team of detectives to Adikpo, in Kwande Local Government Area of the state where more suspects were arrested including, Igbazenda Gbidye, 63yrs old and Dzungwenen Ukor, 40yrs old.

“These suspects admitted that Aondohemba Joseph had reported to them that his father died and left so much property in the hands of his aunty (the deceased) and she has refused to hand the said property over to him. They agreed to join him in eliminating her so that he could have access to his property.

“One Akuhwa Barnabas, 32yrs old, a driver to the deceased who was also arrested, corroborated their statements by admitting that he was the one who allowed the gang access to the house and manned the gate for them until they finished the assassination process”, the State Commissioner of Police stated.

Onyeka said commended the people of the state for their patience and cooperation adding that the command would continue to do its best to rid the state of crime

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CJN  Swear in 23 Federal High Court Judges, Wednesday




Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola will swear in the newly appointed 23 Judges of the Federal High Court on Wednesday.

A statement by the Director of Press and Information of the Supreme Court, Dr. Festus Akande on Sunday said, the Judges will be sworn in at 11:00 am at the main courtroom of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The new Judges according to the statement are: Dipeolu Deinde Isaac from Ogun State; Ogundare Kehinde Olayiwola from Ekiti State; Agbaje Olufunmilola Adetutu from Lagos State; Musa Kakaki from Kaduna State; Abdullahi Muhammad Dan-Ige from Sokoto State; and Sharon Tanko Ishaya from Kebbi State.

Others are: Salim Olasupo Ibrahim from Ogun State; Yilwa Hauwa Joseph from Gombe State; Wigwe-Oreh Chituru Joy from Rivers State; Owoeye Alexander Oluseyi from Kogi State; Anyalewa Onoja-Alapa from Benue State; Amina Aliyu Mohammad from Katsina State; Abiodun Jordan Adeyemi from Kwara State; Hauwa Buhari from Federal Capital Territory; and Aishatu Auta Ibrahim from Borno State.

The rest according to the statement are Hussaini Dadan-Garba from Bauchi State; Ibrahim Ahmad Kala from Gombe State; Mashkur Salisu from Zamfara State; Onah Chigozie Sergius from Enugu State; Egbe Raphael Joshua from Bayelsa State; Ariwoola Olukayode Jnr. from Oyo State; Ekerete Udofot Akpan from Akwa Ibom State; and Ogazi Friday Nkemakonam from Ebonyi State.

Akande also said, a valedictory Court session will be held on Tuesday, 10th October, 2023, in honour of the late Justice Chima Centus Nweze at the main courtroom of the Supreme Court at 10:00 am.

As customary, he said, the Chief Justice of Nigeria will preside over the session which will, among other things, feature the presentation of tributes by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chairman of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) and President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in honour of the departed Jurist.

It will be recalled that Justice Nweze died on Saturday, July 29, 2023 in Abuja after a brief illness at the age of 64 years. He was sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court on October 29, 2014.

The late Justice of the Supreme Court was born in Obollo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State on 25th September 1958 and attended St. John Cross Seminary, Nsukka from 1972 to 1977.

He gained admission into the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus in 1979 where he graduated with a Degree in Law in 1983. In the same year, he represented the Law Faculty and, indeed, all Nigerian Law Faculties, at the Philip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC, as the Chief Oraclist.

His Lordship did his NYSC between 1984 and 1985 in Bauchi, after being called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984. He equally had his Doctorate Degree in Law from the same University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.

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