By Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan
The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday upheld the election of Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, representing Oyo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Senator Buhari whose election victory
as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was challenged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mulikat Adeola-Akande, is the incumbent Chairman of the Senate Committee on Land Transport.
In a unanimous judgement read by Hon.
The three-man panel comprises Justice Anthony Akpovi (Chairman), Justice Sambo Daka and Justice Chinyere Ani.
The panel awarded a cost of N150,000 against the petitioners.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the judgement, Senator Buhari gave glory to Almighty Allah for the electoral and tribunal victory which, he said, had further affirmed his acceptance by the electorates in Oyo North.
He also expressed appreciation to his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), his legal team led by Chief Lateef Fagbemi SAN , and his constituents for their support and prayers.
While reassuring his constituents that he will not relent in his efforts to accelerate the development of the Senatorial District and the constituents through qualitative representation at the National Assembly, Buhari posited that the victory is a pointer to the fact that the judiciary still remains the hope of the masses.
Alleged N320m Fraud: Rep Mutu’s Defence Opening Suffers Setback
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)
Surety Faces N500,000 Bail Bond Forfeiture Charge
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)
Court Discharges Sowore, Bakare, Orders DSS to Release Seized Items
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)
Read Our ePaper
Kidnaping: Police in Adamawa Nab 3 Suspects, Rescue 16-yr-old Female Victim
Share The Police Command in Adamawa, says its operatives, in collaboration with Hunters in Gombi Local Government Area (LGA), have...
Average Price Per Litre of Kerosene Stood at N1,329.53 in January – NBS
Share The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the average price of a litre of kerosene dropped from N1,362.27in December...
Alleged N320m Fraud: Rep Mutu’s Defence Opening Suffers Setback
ShareThe plan by Rep Nicolas Mutu (Delta-PDP) to open his defence, on Wednesday, in the alleged N320 million money laundering...
Protest: DSS Urges Labour to Embrace Dialogue
Share The Department of State Services (DSS) has urged the organised labour to embrace dialogue and negotiation against its planned...
Police Arrest 2 Fake Soldiers in Lagos
ShareThe Police Command in Lagos State says two men, Jonathan Yahaya and Mohammed Umar, were handed over to them by...
Army Refutes Allegation of Land Grabbing in Osun
Share The Nigerian Army has described as misinformation the case regarding a controversial land tussle between it and 65 family...
Yuan Strengthens 7.1030 Against Dollar
ShareThe central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened 38 pips to 7.1030 against the dollar...
Mutfwang Launches Victim Support Fund, Assures Donors of Transparency
ShareFrom Jude Dangwam, Jos Governor of Plateau State Caleb Mutfwang has launched Victim Support Fund that will cater for survivors...
We Came Prepared, Minister of Information Assures Nigerians
ShareFrom Dan Amasingha, Minna Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Muhammed Idris has assured Nigerians that the administration of...
ATBU to Graduate First Set of 25 Medical Doctors
ShareFrom Ajiya Ayuba, Bauchi Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi will graduate first set of 25 medical doctors on Feb. 24....