Relocate to Abuja Immediately – Appeal Court CJ, Mensem Orders Ebonyi Election Petition Tribunal
Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal, Monica Mensem, on Wednesday, ordered the Ebonyi State Election Petition Tribunal to relocate to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with immediate effect.
Mensem’s order was announced by Secretary of the Tribunal, Nyior Henry Sekulla, in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
Sekulla explained that after the order, the Election Petition Tribunal office at the Ebonyi Judiciary Headquarters in Abakaliki has shut down.
“The Hon. Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, President Court of Appeal – HPCA has through the Deputy Chief Registrar, Election Petition Tribunal (EPT) Headquarters Abuja, directed the relocation of EPT sitting here to Abuja,” Sekulla said.
10th NASS Proclamation: Court Extends Order Stopping EFCC, Others From Detaining Yari
A Federal HighCourt, Abuja has extended the order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and Department of State Services (DSS) from detaining Sen. Abdul’aziz Yari.
Justice Donatus Okorowo extended the order on Thursday after Yari’s counsel, Michael Aondoaka, SAN, made an oral application to the effect.
The development occured following a plea for an adjournment moved by lawyer to the EFCC, Gloria Ogbason, and her counterpart representing the ICPC, Kemi Odogun, to enable them file their responses to Yari’s motion.
Upon resumed hearing in the matter, Aondoaka, informed that all the respondents had been served as directed by the court.
Ogbason, who acknowledged receipt of Yari’s processes on June 5, said they had yet to file their response.
“Therefore, we will be asking for a date since we are still within time to file my lord ” she said.
Corroborating Ogbason’s submission, Odogun, who said the ICPC was served on June 6, also sought an adjournment
“In accordance with the rules of this court, we are still within time to file and we intend to show cause my lord,” she also said.
Aondoaka said though he was not opposing their intention to respond to his application, he said: “We will only be asking for an order extending the order made on June 5 because the order was given by the court to abridge the time to show cause.”
The senior lawyer also informed that there was a proof of service of their application on the DSS, the 3rd defendant in the suit, though it was not represented in court.
Obasun and Odogun did not object to Aondoaka’s application for extension of the order.
Justice Okorowo, who adjourned the matter until June 27, barred the EFCC, ICPC and DSS from.detaining Yari until they appear to show cause in the next adjourned date.
The 10th National Assembly will be inaugurated on June 13 after a proclamation by President Bola Tinubu.
Yari, the two-term ex-governor of Zamfara, had indicated interest to vie for the position of the Senate president of the 10th assembly.
Yari had, through his team of lawyers led by Mr Aondoaaa, filed the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/785/23.
In the motion dated and filed on June 2, Yari sued the EFCC, ICPC and DSS as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.
In the application, the former governor prayed the court for an order, restraining the respondents, their officials from arresting, detaining and preventing him from attending or participating at the Proclamation of the 10th Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on June 13 pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice.
In a 15-ground of argument given by the senator-elect, he said his aspiration to contest the position of President of the Senate had received overwhelming support from the general public and amongst distinguished senators-elect irrespective of party affiliations.
According to him, the support which the applicant has continued to garner across party lines has drawn consternation from some members of his political party, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC).
The party, he alleged , has resorted to using the respondents and their agents to harass and threaten to arrest and detain the applicant on trumped-up charges for the period leading to the First Sitting of the Senate when nominations and election of presiding officers shall be constituted.
“The respondents and their agents have threatened to violate the applicant’s rights as enshrined in the Constitution by unlawfully threatening to arrest and detain the applicant up to the period of the First Sitting of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 13th June, 2023, without a warrant of arrest and informing him in writing the reasons for the arrest and detention.
“The respondents and their agents violated the applicant’s fundamental human rights as enshrined under Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The respondents and their agents are mandated to operate within the ambit of their establishment laws, and to respect the fundamental human rights of the Applicant as enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.
Yari said if the order was not given, his rights would have been breached by the respondents.(NAN)
Court Orders EFCC to Teach Internet Fraudster Merits, Demerits of Fraud
A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Gwagwalada, Abuja on Thursday urged the EFCC to educate a man, Ndubisi Success convicted for internet fraud on merits and demerits of fraud.
Success was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for creating an Instagram account for the purpose of inducing unsuspecting people to deliver money to him.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency.
Delivering judgment, Justice Aliyu Shafa, convicted him and ordered him to report at the Legal Department of EFCC for one week from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Shafa said the convict should be educated under the supervision of the Director, EFCC legal department on the merits and demerit of internet fraud and its effect on youths.
“I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel.
“The rate of fraud in the society is so alarming. Cybercrime is a dangerous offence in our society, which must be tackled” he said.
Earlier, the convict had pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, promising not to indulge in such act again.
“I am very sorry, I promise not to engage in such act again. Please have mercy on me,” he said.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Chibuike Chima, in support of the allocutus by the convict, told the court that Success, who had no previous conviction record was remorseful.
“Success, is a young man who regrets the consequences of his act and has come to realise that there is no excuse for anyone to engage in crime under whatever guise.
“The convict is a young university drop out who could not complete his education as a result of paucity of fund.
“The convict is a first time offender; he has not been convicted for any other crime of whatever kind in Nigeria or elsewhere. We urge my Lord to tamper justice with mercy.
“We assure this court that going forward the convict will be of good behaviour,” he said.
The EFCC Counsel, Chidike Obasi-oko, told the court that Success sometimes in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the Court made an attempt to commit the offence of cheating.
Obasi-oko said that the convict created an Instagram account for the purpose of inducing people to deliver money or any goods to him.
He said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 95 of the Penal Code Act Law of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 322 of the same Act.
He pleaded with the court that the Redmi cell phone being instrument used for the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government. (NAN)
Tribunal: Atiku Accuses INEC of Blocking Access to Documents
The legal team of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday said it was denied access to electoral documents by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), despite paying N6 million.
The team is requesting the documents as exhibits, to tender before the presidential election petition tribunal, to prove its case against the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the last election.
Eyitayo Jegede, lead counsel to Abubakar, told the five-man tribunal yesterday that INEC’s refusal to provide the documents is frustrating the PDP candidate’s case.
Jegede had sought to tender results from 10 out of 21 LGAs in Kogi state to prove the former vice-president’s case against Tinubu.
The LGAs whose results were sought to be tendered are Ankpa, Dekina, Idah, Ofu, Olamaboro, Yagba East, Yagba West, Kabba-Bunu, and Igalamela Odolu.
Jegede said the team had to subpoena INEC officials to provide the required documents before the tribunal.
However, Haruna Tsammani, chairman of the tribunal, said the court would have difficulty marking and numbering the documents as exhibits, adding that it was insensitive to tender such sensitive documents piecemeal.
Jegede sought adjournment of the case to enable his team to get the required documents from INEC.
The commission, represented by Abubakar Mahmoud, did not object to Jegede’s request for adjournment.
Also, Wole Olanipekun, Tinubu’s lawyer and Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), did not oppose the request for adjournment of the case.
Tsammani subsequently adjourned the case to June 7.
Tinubu, the standard bearer of the APC, was declared the winner of the February 25 election with 8,794,726 votes.
The outcome of the election is being challenged by Abubakar and Peter Obi, flagbearer of the Labour Party (LP).
Court Dismisses Suit Against Tinubu over 25% FCT Votes
A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by five residents of the federal capital territory (FCT), who sought to stop the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as president.
Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, yesterday, ordered the lawyer representing the five residents to pay the sum of N10 million each to the attorney-general of the federation and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Ekwo held that the plaintiffs have no locus standi to file the suit.
The presiding judge also said the suit can only be filed at the presidential election petition tribunal and not the federal high court.
The plaintiffs had averred that Tinubu failed to secure at least 25 percent of votes cast in the FCT.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023 was filed on April 28.
The plaintiffs — Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwanchukwu — sued for themselves and on behalf of other residents and registered voters in the FCT.
They had asked the court to determine “whether or not the person who is to be elected president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and consequently administrator of the FCT through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, on the first ballot is required by section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution to obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT”.
The plaintiffs also wanted a declaration extending former President Buhari’s tenure, while also asking the court to set aside the certificate of return issued to Tinubu and restrain the CJN and any other judicial officer from swearing him in.
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