Connect with us

JUDICIARY

Supreme Court Strikes out Perjury Suit Against Buhari

Published

on

Share

The Supreme Court on Monday struck out the suit seeking the disqualification of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election over alleged perjury.The suit was filed by Kalu  Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris, all legal practitioners.Delivering judgment, the Justice Mary Odili-led panel of five justices held that the case was statute barred and therefore dismissed.

 News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the justices during the introduction of appearances wondered why Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, State Counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice will be representing a private individual.
 Abubakar had announced his appearance for the first respondent (General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) in the suit.
They warned him to desist from such act of using public office to defend a private litigation.Muhammad Dattijo, while addressing the counsel sited the President Bill Clinton’s numerous private cases while in the office.“Clinton in his numerous private litigation, he never used government organs but rather personally sponsored all his private cases,”.He warned that his actions contravene the Code of Conduct for public servants which has consequences.Odili in her judgment said, ‘the court notes the inappropriate appearance of Mr Abdullahi  Abubakar state counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice, representing the first respondent Gen. Muhammad Buhari Rtd in his personal capacity.“This practice must be discouraged, appeal haven been withdrawn is hereby dismissed,”” Odili said.The juctices had warned AbubakarThe appellants grievances had arisen from the dismissal of their suit at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on grounds that it was statute barred and as such could not be heard.They had approached the apex court to nullify the candidacy of President Buhari in the just concluded presidential poll over allegations of perjury.The appellants specifically wanted Buhari’s nomination and subsequent victory at the Feb. 23 presidential election nullified on the grounds that President Buhari lied on oath in his form 001 that he submitted to INEC for the purpose of clearance for the presidential election.They asked the apex court for an Order to set aside the judgment of the court of appeal and hear the matter on merit and grant the reliefs sought in the Originating Summons.Among the reliefs sought are a declaration that Buhari submitted false information regarding his qualification and certifcate to INEC for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the President of Nigeria and that he should be disqualified.They also prayed for an order of court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of APC and another order restraining Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognising Buhari as a candidate.The Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, had on July 12, held that the singular fact that the suit was filed outside the 14 days provided by the law robbed the court of jurisdiction to entertain the it.The Federal High Court had in May declined to grant the request of the appellants on the grounds that the suit was not filed within the time allowed by law and therefore sustained the preliminary objection raised by Buhari at the hearing.The appellants had through their counsel, Ukpai Ukairo, presented 12 grounds for the setting aside of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, amongst which are;That the ”Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law in relying on a Preliminary Objection withdrawn and struck out by the Court of Appeal in striking out and dismissing the appeal.“The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law and breached the right of the appellants to fair hearing by relying on a preliminary objection, withdrawn by the 2nd Respondent and struck out by the Court, thus being a case not made out or relied upon or abandoned by a party in entering a decision in a judgment.“They erred in law in holding that ‘the failure of the Registrar to sign the Originating Summons is fatal and goes to the issue of jurisdiction’ and thereby struck out the Originating Summons.Also that “The Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law in holding that delving into the other issues raised in the appeal will be regarded as an academic exercise as the case has been held to have been statute barred by virtue of Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 4th alteration and robs this court of its jurisdiction”.According to Ukairo, the appellants in the brief of argument distilled two issues for determination, (i). Whether the Learned Trial Judge was right in relying on the processes filed by the 1st defendant through a Law Officer in the Ministry of Justice?(ii).  Whether the Learned Trial Judge was right in holding that the suit was statute-barred by computing the number of days from Sept. 28, 2018 when the 2nd Respondent held its primary election wherein the 1st Respondent was elected as a candidate of the 2nd Respondent?The appellants had approached the appellate court to nullify and set aside the Judgment of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court which declined to hear their suit instituted to challenge the educational qualification of President Buhari before the conduct of the 2019 general election.But the appellate court in a judgement delivered held that the suit had been caught up by the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution which stipulate a 14 days time period within which an election matter must be filed.Though the appellate court agreed with the trial court that the suit was statute barred having filed out of time, it however disagreed with the trial court on the date the cause of action took place.Justice Ahmed Mohammed had in his judgment held that the cause of action took place on Sept. 28, 2018 when the APC held its primary election to select candidate of the party in the 2019 general election.But the appellate court however held that the cause of action took place on Oct. 18, 2018, the date Buhari submitted his form 001 to INEC for the purpose of clearance for the presidential election.The appellants had filed the suit on Nov.5, 2018, claiming October 25, the date INEC published the list of successful candidates in the 2019 general election as the date the cause of action arose, making the suit to be competent.The three man panel of the justices of the Court of Appeal had also dismissed the suit based on the preliminary objection filed by the APC’s lawyer challenging the jurisdiction of the suit on the grounds that it is incompetent.The justices held that the failure of the Registrar of the Federal High Court to transmit the record of proceedings was fatal to the originating summons and makes the suit incompetent.The decision had prompted the appellants to approach the apex court in their further quest for justice. (NAN)

JUDICIARY

Court Further Adjourns Fayose’s Money Laundering Trial

Published

on

Share

Money laundering trial of a former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, could not proceed on Wednesday before a federal high court in Lagos, as the court did not sit.

The  Judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, is said to be away on an official assignment.

The case has been adjourned until March 8 for continuation of trial,

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N6.

9 billion fraud and money laundering.

He was first arraigned on Oct. 22. 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun.

He was arraigned alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd.

, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering.

Fayose, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.

The defendants were, however, re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Olatoregun following a petition by EFCC.

Fayose equally pleaded not guilty before Aneke, who allowed him to continue on the bail granted him by Olatoregun.

EFCC has since opened its case before Aneke and is leading witnesses in evidence.

According to the commission, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele took possession of N1.2 billion for the purpose of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti.

The commission alleged that the sum formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose is also alleged to have received a cash payment of five million dollars from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution.

EFCC also alleged that the former governor retained N300 million in his bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which formed part of crime proceeds.

It added that Fayose procured De Privateer Ltd. and Still Earth Ltd. to retain aggregate sums of N851 million which formed part of crime proceeds.

The commission also accused Fayose of using about N1.6 billion crime proceeds to acquire property in Lagos and Abuja.

The former governor also allegedly used N200 million crime proceeds to acquire a property in Abuja in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji.

The alleged offences contravene Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d) and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011. (NAN)

Continue Reading

JUDICIARY

Man in Court over Customer’s Tyres 

Published

on

Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
Share

The Police on Wednesday arraigned a 30-year-old man, Badamasi Saidu, in a Magistrate’s Court, New Karu, Nasarawa State, over alleged theft of two tyres belonging to his customer.

The defendant, who is into car wheel balancing and resides at Calvary Road, Mararaba was charged with criminal breach of trust, cheating and theft, offences he denied committing.

The prosecutor, Mr Shehu Ndam, told the court that the defendant was arrested on Feb.

14, following a report by the complainant, Sylvia Ugochi.

“The complainant alleged that she entrusted some tyres to the defendant to sell, but that he stole two tyres, valued at N116,000.

“The complainant also alleged that goods worth N3 million had been stolen from her shop,” Ndam told the court.

He said the offence contravened sections 312, 322 and 288 of the Penal Code.

The Judge, Godiya Bawa, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 and one surety in like sum, and adjourned the case until March 8 for hearing. (NAN

Continue Reading

JUDICIARY

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

Published

on

Share

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)

Continue Reading

Read Our ePaper

Top Stories

NEWS7 hours ago

NEC Moves to End Economic Hardship, Enhance Food Security

Share The National Economic Council (NEC) has taken bold steps to ensure food security and put an end to the...

NEWS7 hours ago

Over 4,000 Officers to Partake in 2024 Police Games in Oyo – FPPRO

ShareNo fewer than 4,000 police officers across the country will converge in Ibadan for the 14th Biennial Police Games coming...

NEWS7 hours ago

Labour Ministry Awards 22 Workers for Dedication, Hardwork

ShareThe Ministry of Labour and Employment has honoured 22 officers with the 2023 Ministerial Service Award for excellence and productivity....

NEWS7 hours ago

APC National Working Committee Visits Plateau over Spokesman’s Murder

ShareThe National Working Committee (NWC), of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has condoled the Plateau chapter of the party over...

NEWS7 hours ago

Suspected Lassa Fever Outbreak: KDSG Orders prompt Investigation

Share The attention of the Kaduna State Government has been drawn to suspected outbreak of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever popularly known...

NEWS8 hours ago

Tinubu Reconstitutes Managements of NCC, NIGCOMSAT, Galaxy Backbone  

Share President Bola Tinubu has approved the reconstitution of the managements of three agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications...

NEWS8 hours ago

NAMA, Air Force Strengthen Tie on Airspace Safety

Share The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has reinstated its commitment to fortify  collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force to...

NEWS8 hours ago

Tinubu Directs Dispatch Delivery of Citizens’ Welfare

Share President Bola Tinubu has directed that policies that have impact on the welfare of Nigerians and the economy must...

NEWS8 hours ago

Abure’s Arrest, Abuse of Democratic Ethos, Says LP Reps Caucus

ShareBy Ubong Ukpong, Abuja The Labour Party (LP) caucus in the House of Representatives has queried the timing and intentions...

NEWS8 hours ago

Senate Steps Down Bill Seeking Tenure Elongation for NASS Clerk, Others

ShareBy Eze Okechukwu, Abuja Senate yesterday suspended a bill seeking tenure elongation for the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji...

Copyright © 2021 Daily Asset Limited | Powered by ObajeSoft Inc