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JUDICIARY

Oyo Mobile Court Begins Trial of Traffic Offenders Wednesday

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By Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan

Traffic offenders caught by the men of Oyo State Road Traffic Management Agency (OYRTMA) in the State will face the wrath of the law immediately they get arrested.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Chairman of OYRTMA, Dr. Akin Fagbemi after the Chief Magistrate of State Mobile Court, Magistrate Moruff Mudashiru paid him a visit at his Ibadan office on Monday.

He disclosed further that the mobile court set up to try those that violate traffic regulations would start sitting on Wednesday, 18th September, 2019.

Fagbemi charged the court to ensure fair and speedy trial of offenders to minimize what he called the culture of indiscipline by some road users in the State.

He expressed the readiness of the agency to work closely with the judiciary to bring the nuisance of unnecessary traffic violation to a halt as his men have been trained to be civil in their approach to motorists while they were on the road.

The OYRTMA Chairman maintained that motorists whose vehicles were confiscated or impounded by the officers of the agency would be made to face the Mobile court and get speedy trial across the State.

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“We are ready to work with the Mobile court to bring to barest minimum, the culture of road indiscipline by some road users who will not respect the rights of others on the road by parking indiscriminately, driving against the traffic among other sundry illegalities on the roads.

“By Wednesday, the court will start trying offenders and we will give the Mobile court the best of our support to make their job easier and prompt to ensure sanity is returned to our roads,” Fagbemi said.

He went on to solicit for the absolute commitment of the court in speedy adjudication of all cases in line with global best practices and dictate of the traffic laws of Oyo State so as to oil the wheels of the developmental agenda championed by the State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

The Chief Magistrate,Magistrate Moruff Mudashiru expressed satisfaction with the operational and administrative changes which he said was going on at the Agency since the appointment of Akin Fagbemi as the Executive Chairman of OYRTMA. 

He further affirmed that sanity would be returned to the highways and major roads across the State as all traffic offenders would be tried fairly without recourse to social status, creed, gender, religion or political affiliations.

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Justice Ariwoola Becomes Third CJN in 7 Years

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By Eze Okechukwu and Mathew Dadiya Abuja


President Muhammad Buhari yesterday at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja swore in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, to replace Bauchi-born Justice Tanko Mohammad who resigned from the position early yesterday on health grounds. 

By the swearing in Chief Justice Ariwoola, who hails from Iseyin District of Oyo State becomes the third CJN in the seven years of President Buhari administration cumulatively in both in acting and substantive capacities.

In March 2017, Professor Yemi Osibanjo in his capacity as Acting President  nominated Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria to replace Justice Mahmud Mohammed. And in January 2019, Justice Onnoghen was suspended for alleged false asset declaration, paving the way for Justice Tanko Mohammad.
 

Justice Ariwoola, born on August 22,1958 started out at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State between 1959 – 67. Afterwards, he proceeded to the Muslim Modern School in Iseyin between 1968-69, before going to Ansar – Ud – Deen High School, Saki in Oyo North District of Oyo State. 

He studied Law at the then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State where he bagged his bachelor of law’s degree with honours in July 1980. In July 1981, Ariwoola was called to the Nigeria Bar and he got enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as a Solicitor and Advocate soon after. The jurist served as a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 -2011 in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos divisions within the period. He was also a judge of the High Court of Oyo State, a position he was appointed to in 1992 from private legal practice.

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Justice Ariwoola was the next most senior among the Supreme Court justices after the voluntarily retiring Justice Mohammad. Observers had watched out if the administration of President Buhari would flout orderly procedure in the appointment of Justice Mohammad’s replacement.
Former senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani had urged the government not to cut corners “in order to find a person who will fit into the political, sectional, religious or ethnic peg of the ruling establishment” but rather do the needful by following the established order for such appointments by the Apex Court. 

Though the resignation of Justice Mohammad has been put down to Ill health, it’s in the public glare that crisis of monumental proportion has bedeviled the Supreme Court for a while now, leading to an allegation of corruption by 14 Justices of the Supreme Court against him. The allegations, which the justices conveyed in writing to Justice Mohammad  captured non replacement of run down vehicles, accomodation challenges, epileptic power supply to the Supreme Court, lack of drugs at the Supreme Court clinic, increase in the electricity tariff, non- increase in the allowance for diesel, lack of internet services to residences and chambers.

But in a swift response to the allegations, Justice Mohammad through his media aide, Mr. Ahuraka Isah berated the fueding justices for taking the issue to the public realm; an action he likened to “dancing naked in the market square”. His spokesman would later advise the public that there’s no hostility or ill feelings among the justices of the Apex Court, adding that Justice Mohammad had held a meeting with the aggrieved justices to assuage their grievances. 

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Meanwhile, prior to the climax of the feud, Justice Ejembi Eko who retired from the Supreme Court on May 23,2022 had called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC and other investigative agencies in the country to probe and expose what he described as internal fraud in the management of the budgetary resources of the judiciary. 

” The vandalization of the judiciary budget, despite increase of the budgetary allocation calls for investigations by the ICPC and other investigatory sgencies, “he said. 

Similarly, Justice Walter Onnoghen who was forced out  out of office by the President Buhari administration in 2019 and replaced with Justice  Mohammad had at a book launch on June 16,2022 warned that the Supreme Court was gradually turning to “a glorified High Court”, owing to the ill treatment of the justices. 

DAILY ASSET recalls that in a bid to restore calm and order at the Supreme Court,both the Body of Benchers and the Nigeria Senate, through the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters,as mandated by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan waded into the crisis “to as a matter of urgency intervene and bring normalcy to the troubled Apex Court. 

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JUDICIARY

CJN Tanko Mohammed Resigns

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Mohammed resigned in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari swore in Mohammed as the acting CJN in January 2019 following the suspension and later sack of former CJN Walter Onnoghen.

CJN’s Special Assistant on Media, Isah Ahuraka, confirmed his resignation to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola is the next most senior judge to Justice Mohammed following Justice Mary Odili retired on May 12 after attaining the retirement age of 70.

Mohammed’s resignation comes amid the corruption allegations leveled against him by some Supreme Court judges.

Fourteen Supreme Court judges in a protest memo accused Mohammed of not giving justices their legitimate entitlements.

The justices said their annual foreign training, meant to enhance capacity building for the country’s judicial process, had been blocked by Muhammad.

The main issues put forward by the justices in their letter through a welfare committee were; non-replacement of poor vehicles; accommodation problem; lack of drugs at the Supreme Court clinic; epileptic electricity supply to the Supreme Court; increase in electricity tariff; no increase in the allowances for diesel; lack of internet services to residences and chambers.

In response, Mohammed told the judges that the Supreme Court was cash-strapped and cannot grant their requests.

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CJN noted that the Supreme Court, like any other establishment in the country, has been hit by a devastating economic crunch.

As a result, he said the leadership of the court under him could no longer meet some of its obligations to Justices, especially in the area of welfare.

He, however, said that the memo sent to him by the aggrieved Justices, notwithstanding, there is no rift between him and Justices of the apex court.

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Reps Hail Supreme Court Judgment on Electoral Act

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The House of Representatives has hailed the Supreme Court judgement which struck out the suit by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami seeking to void the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.


Benjamin Kalu, the Spokesperson of the House gave the commendation while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.


The Supreme Court on June 24, ruled that the President lacked the power to direct the National Assembly to amend or enact an Act, adding that it violated the principle of separation of power.


According to the judgement, there is no part of the Constitution that makes the exercise of legislative power subject to the directive of the President.
Kalu l said that the House of Reps was happy with the Supreme Court judgement, adding that the House was not expecting anything less because the judges were erudite scholars.


“These are people who have followed the trend of event and understand the separation of power and the mandate of each arms of government.
“They understand that the separation of power is one of the tools of democracy and each arms focuses on the responsibilities of their mandate,” he said.
He said that the mandate of the House was law making with the intention of breaching a gap created in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that was not captured.

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He said that the House of Reps could only do this by looking at Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Amendment Act.


“Although, many of you thought that it was either self-serving or targeted at individual but the law is made to advance our democracy, especially to increase the competitive elements in our democracy for credible election.’’
He added that the competitive element was necessary to advance the country’s democracy.


“This judgement is unequivocally embracing and heart-warming, it not a victory for the House of Reps but victory for the advancement of our democracy and the rule of law.


He described the judgement as victory for the supremacy of law making and the National Assembly.


“Let us celebrate this victory, the judiciary has added its own quota to the advancement of democracy, the Electoral Act, nation building is a joint task,” he said (NAN)

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