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JUDICIARY

Kanyip Takes Oath as President, National Industrial Court

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Wednesday, swore in Justice Benedict Kanyip, as the acting president of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).

NAN reports that on Sept. 27, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the appointment of Justice Kanyip as the acting President of the NICN.

This is pursuant to the provision of section 254 (B)(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Kanyip’s appointment was sequel to the retirement of Justice Babatunde Adejumo, who attained the retirement age of 65 years on Oct.

1.

After Kanyip took his oath, the CJN said it was a constitutional provision that the next most senior justice be appointed as the Acting President of NICN pending the conclusion for the process of the substantive President of the court.

He urged him to exhibit leadership qualities that will distinguish him to be able to shoulder the responsibility given to him.

“Take time to constantly look at the act that established NICN and be a practical man, check all the reports being sent to SCN and be sure they followed due process.

“Go round the divisions under the court and see things for yourself and work well with your brothers.

The CJN pleaded for the cooperation of the members of staff of the NICN in finding solutions to problems of the court’’.

Justice Kanyip hails from Anturung-Attakar in Kaura Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

He was appointed a Judge of the National Industrial Court in 2000 for an initial period of four years although with eligibility for a renewal for a further term of four years.

In June 2004, having completed the first term, his appointment for another term of four years was renewed, and he is now a tenured Judge of the Court.

Professor Kanyip attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for his LLB, and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, Nigeria for his BL.

He took up a teaching appointment as a Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1987; and rose to the position of Lecturer II before leaving in 1992 for the National Commission for Colleges of Education as Legal Adviser in the rank of Principal Legal Officer.

In 1995 he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and rose through this appointment to the rank of Associate Research Professor of Law in 2000 when he joined the Court.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles in the areas of consumer law, labour law, tax law and commercial law.

He is the author of the book, Consumer Protection in Nigeria: Law, Theory and Policy (2005) and a joint author of the text: Elements of Commercial Law (1994).

He was the Presiding Judge of the Abuja Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria also known as NIC is a court empowered to adjudicate trade disputes, labour practices, matters related to the Factories Act, Trade Disputes Act, Trade Unions Act, Workmen’s Compensations Act and appeals from the Industrial Arbitration Panel. (NAN)

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JUDICIARY

Alleged N320m Fraud: Rep Mutu’s Defence Opening Suffers Setback

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The plan by Rep Nicolas Mutu (Delta-PDP) to open his defence, on Wednesday, in the alleged N320 million money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) suffered setback at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The matter, which was listed as number one on the cause list before Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo, could not proceed due to the Ill-health of Mutu’s counsel, Patrick Ikwueto, SAN.

Reports says that the EFCC had, in the 13-count amended charge, sued Mutu along with Airworld Technologies Ltd and Oyien Homes Ltd as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

In the second amended charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/123/2019, dated Nov.

22, 2021 and filed Nov. 23, 2021, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the counts.

Mutu waa alleged to have committed the alleged offences between Aug. 2014 and Aug. 2016 when he served as the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

In the charge, he was accused of procuring “Airworld Technologies Ltd to conceal of the sum of N320,159, 689.63 to be paid by Starline Consultancy Services Ltd” when he ought to have known that the said sum formed part of proceeds of corruption, gratification and fraudulent acquisition of property.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, Mutu, who represents Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta was in court but his lawyer, Ikwueto, was conspicuously absent and no lawyer represented him in the courtroom.

However, counsel for the 2nd defendant, J.O. Asoluga, SAN, was in court.

The EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, informed the court that the matter was scheduled for the defendants to enter their defence but that he was in receipt of a letter earlier in the morning from Ikwueto who had been appearing for Mutu and the 3rd defendant that he was indisposed.

Iheanacho said in the letter, a medical report from University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, was also attached.

The lawyer said Ikwueto, in the letter, sought an adjournment of the case and also for the court to vacate tomorrow (Feb. 22)’s date to enable him attend to his health.

Iheanacho said he would reluctantly conceded to adjournment on the ground of Ill-health.

He, however, felt bad that the two days scheduled for the trial would be vacated even when the court had deliberately listed only two matters on the course list to enable the case progress since the judge comes from outside jurisdiction.

Counsel for the 2nd defendant, J.O. Asoluga, SAN, said he had no objection to the application for adjournment.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo consequently adjourned the matter until March 20 and March 21 for the defendants to open their defence.

Reports says that the judge had, on Jan. 22, fixed Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 for Mutu to open his defence after his no-case submission was dismissed by the court.

Giwa-Ogunbanjo, in a ruling, directed Mutu and his co-defendants to enter their defence as they have a case to answer in respect of the allegations made against them.(NAN)

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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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