Category Archives: News

CCT Trial: Appeal Court Fixes October 6 To Hear Senate President’s Appeal

The Court of Appeal on Monday in Abuja adjourned until Oct.6 to hear an appeal filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging his criminal trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Justice Abdul Aboki leading four other Justices of the Court gave the date at the instance of counsel to the parties.

Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Mr. Rotimi Jacob (SAN) represented Saraki and the Federal Government respectively.

At the resume hearing, Agabi had urged the court to adjourn the matter on account of the convenience of the presiding justices.
My Lordships, it is glaring that the court is over-worked and this is telling on the postures of your Lordships.

If we say we should press on because of the exigency of this appeal we could all be dead.

We shall at this juncture be urging your Lordships to adjourn hearing on this appeal after you have returned from the annual break,’’ Agabi said.

Meanwhile, the presiding judge interjected to assure parties of the court’s readiness to entertain the appeal.

We appreciate the concerns advanced by the Senior Advocate Agabi, but we shall not be adjourning on account of our convenience as we are here to serve,’’ Aboki said.

Jacobs, counsel to the Federal Government, opposed the motion for adjournment, adding that the applicant should be eager for the appeal to be heard.

My Lordships, I am also concern about the effort you people are putting to ensure speedy dispensation of appeals. And this no doubt is telling on your health.

More so that the court has come to the threshold of this year’s annual recess, it is appropriate to take your deserved rest but not when a matter is ripe for hearing.

Hearing of this appeal has been adjourned three times at the instance of the appellant applicant,’’ Jacob said.

Jacobs further said: “why have they suddenly developed cooled feet toward the application.

Be that as it may, My Lordships, I shall be guided by the body language of the court to hold that My Lordships’ discretion should prevail in the circumstance,’’ Jacobs said.

Saraki is challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him on charges bordering false and anticipatory assets declaration.

Saraki had approached the appellate court challenging the March 24 ruling of the Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal dismissing his application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

He further said that the Code of Conduct Bureau did not give him the opportunity to react to the alleged discrepancies in his asset declaration form before his prosecution.

It would be recalled that Saraki’s earlier appeal aimed at ending his trial was dismissed by the Supreme Court in its judgment delivered on Feb. 5.

The apex court had in that decision ordered the Senate President to submit himself for trial at the CCT.

Fayose Asks Government To Release Defence Procurement Audit Report

​Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has asked Nigerians to demand the release of the authentic report of the Audit of defence equipment procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

In a statement issued yesterday by Lere Olayinka, his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Fayose said, “it is now obvious to the entire world that anyone that is in President Muhammadu Buhari’s good books can never be adjudged as corrupt even if such a person is caught looting the entire money in Nigeria’s treasury.”

Fayose described the claim by the Federal Government that the probe panel only looked into procurement and contracts awarded by the military between 2011 and 2015, because documents regarding procurement from 2007 to 2010 were not available as a clear indication of his support for corruption.
The governor said it smacked of sheer hypocrisy and nepotism for anyone to accept that fraud could have been perpetrated on procurement and award of contracts in an establishment without the involvement of the director of procurement.

There are many petitions relating to the defence from 2007 that are been discarded, the question is why? There are several petitions against APC leaders that are not being looked into. The question is why?

“Fighting corruption and targeting only opponents of the president is in itself corruption,” he said.

He said; “Buhari’s’ Minister of Interior, Major General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) was Chief of Army Staff between 2008 and 2010 and the current Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai served as Director of Procurements, Defence Headquarters, from 2012 till May 2015.

“It is a fact that the committee in its terms of reference said it queried all procurement from 2007 to 2015. Even the Press Release issued was titled; ‘Third Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015.

“The first paragraph of the committee report also indicated that it used 2007-2015 as reference, stating that the committee ‘analysed procurement contracts awarded by or for the Nigerian Army between 2007 and 2015.

“The questions Nigerians must now begin to ask President Buhari and his government are; where is the report of Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement relating to 2007 to 2010? Who doctored the committee report and why? Fayose queried.

8 Turkish Coup Plotters Request Asylum In Greece

​A Turkish military helicopter landed in Greece Saturday carrying eight officers seeking asylum after a coup bid, Greek police said.

The Black Hawk chopper arrived after sending a distress signal to authorities at the airport in Alexandroupolis in the country’s north.

Seven of those on board were in military uniform and all are believed to have been involved in the attempted putsch, ERT TV said.

Athens News Agency said the asylum seekers comprised three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara had asked Athens to send back the eight.

We have requested Greece to extradite the eight traitors as soon possible,” Cavusoglu was quoted as telling HaberTurk television.

According to an official in the Greek National Defence General Staff, “the helicopter is scheduled to be sent back immediately to Turkey”.

As far as the asylum seekers are concerned, we are going to proceed according to the international law” Olga Gerovassili, the Greek government spokeswoman, said.

She said Athens was “in constant contact with the Turkish authorities”, and would take into account the fact that “the asylum seekers took part in a coup against the Turkish constitution”.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras early Saturday expressed his “support for the democratically elected” Turkish government.

Fani-Kayode Meets Bail Conditions, Regains Freedom

​Director of Media for Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Organisation in the 2015 general election, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has been released from EFCC custody after meeting his bail conditions.

The Former Minister of Aviation was released at about 6:30pm in Lagos on Friday after over two months.

The former Aviation Minister, shortly after his release told our reporter that “I give thanks to God that I am free after 67 days in detention.

“This was the worst experience of my life but God was with me all the way. I suffered immeasurably but I count it all as joy.

“I am innocent of all charges and I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court. These charges are politically motivated and I have been severely punished for my political views and criticisms of the government.

Fani-Kayode was arrested by the anti-graft agency over alleged N1.5 billion fraud and has been charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf.

The Federal High Court had granted bail in the sum of 250 million Naira each, to Mr Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman and Danjuma Yusuf who are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly stealing and laundering about N4.9 billion.

Usman was the director of Finance for the Peoples’Democratic Party Campaign Organisation in the 2015 general election.

Delivering his ruling on their bail application, the trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, held that there was no evidence that the defendants would interfere with trial if granted bail.

The judge also held that denying the defendants bail, especially as the courts’ vacation was near, and would span throughout the expiration of August, would not serve the interest of justice.

Justice Sule Hassan granted the defendants bail with two sureties each in like sum. The sureties must own landed properties within the court’s jurisdiction and must present to the court, evidence of tax clearance.

The defendants were also ordered to deposit their international passports in the custody of the court pending the determination of the case.

Owing to the courts’ annual vacation which commences on Monday July 11, 2016 Justice Hassan adjourned commencement of trial to October 19, 2016.

Court Reserves Judgment In Suit By Fayose’s Aide Till Tuesday

​Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama has reserved judgment in a fundamental rights suit filed against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by an aide to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Abiodun Agbele.

Agbele slammed a N500 million Naira suit against the EFCC challenging the legality of his detention without trial since June 27, 2016 by the anti-graft agency and the enforcement of his fundamental right to liberty in line with provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Agbele in the suit claimed that he has been in detention at the custody of the EFCC since June 27, this year in respect of an alleged N1.3 billion reportedly traced to Fayose’s personal account.

Agbele, in the court action instituted on his behalf by Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and legal practitioner, Olalekan Ojo, prayed the court to award him a sum of N500 million as compensatory damages for his unlawful arrest and detention.
At the sitting of the court yesterday, Ozekhome informed the court that the matter before it is an application for the enforcement of Agbele’s fundamental rights dated and filed on July 11, 2016.

Ozekhome told the court that the applicant has presented a 33-paragraph affidavit and a 9-paragraph affidavit of urgency in support of the application. 

Citing amongst others, Sections 34(1), 36(1), 37, 44(1), 46(1) of the 1999 Constitution, Ozekhome urged the court to grant the application for the release Agbele in either self-recognizance or in liberal terms, as the offences are bailable.

He faulted the detention of his client for about three weeks, recalling that Agbele was earlier granted bail on stringent conditions that he was unable to meet. He told the court that the EFCC had asked for more time to investigate further and urged the court to not grant the request of the EFCC, citing on point of law, a Supreme Court judgment in Gani Fawehinmi vs. IGP, where the apex court held that arrests could only be made after investigations have been conducted.

Respondent Counsel, Andrew A. Akoja, in opposition to the application, said: “We are fortified by Exhibits: EFCC 09 and 12 which are orders made by a court in Nigeria. “We admit that a Magistrate Court is an inferior court to your lordship’s, but statutes have bestowed powers on the court to act as it has done in this case,” Akoja alleged that Agbele had been evasive when he was sought for cooperation and it took a special unit to track him down.On the issue of stringent bail conditions imposed on him, Akoja told the court that Agbele did not approach the court to seek variation of the bail conditions if he indeed claimed it was stringent, but proceeded to file a fundamental rights suit instead.

He said the second remand order acquired on July 13 in Lagos was a warrant of a court and therefore urged Justice Olukayode to hold that the Lagos Magistrate Court that granted the order, in its respect, would not have granted the order if the applicant had been innocent.He said: “Bail is at the discretion of a court. The same court that has the power to grant bail has the power to remand.”

Akoja insisted that Agbele would jump bail if granted, because a lot has passed through him.

While he repeated that the applicant is not innocent, Justice Adeniyi was quick to remind him that a person is innocent before the law until it is proven otherwise, more so as Agbele had not been charged with of any crime yet.

Akoja told the court that a remand order had been obtained by EFCC to make the arrest and detention legal and in due process of the law and therefore urged the court to dismiss the application for lacking merit, baseless and unwarranted.
Ozekhome in his response, said: “The last time I checked, the Nigerian criminal justice system is accusatorial and not the French model of inquisitorial, where guilt is assumed and innocence will need to be proven.”

Ozekhome concluded that it is impunity on the part of the respondent to have gone to another court to seek an order that may seem to have been done to render the court helpless. Justice Adeniyi, after taking the submissions of both parties, reserved judgment in the matter till next Tuesday, July 19.

Court Dismisses Omisore’s Bail Application

​An FCT High Court on Friday dismissed, Sen. Iyiola Omisore, a former deputy governor of Osun, bail application, describing it as premature and incompetent.

Omisore is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N60 billion fraud.

In his ruling, the judge, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi , held that the counsel to the applicant failed to show what powers the court had to reverse the order of a court with concurrent jurisdiction.

I am not aware of any order to make in the instant applications, which have the tendency and implications of upturning the existing order of my learned brother Justice Jude Okeke.

I must, therefore, agree with the submissions of the respondent’s counsel that in the present situation this court hasn’t made an order for the remand of the applicant for the period of 14 days.

And now turn around to make another order undermining the same order for remand for the release of the applicant on bail.

In other words, the issue of bail cannot arise from this court that validly made an order for his remand during the lifespan of that order.

In my view, the cause open for the applicant in this circumstance is to wait for the expiration of the order of July 8, and thereafter exercise his rights under Section 296 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to renew his application for bail,’’ he said.

The judge said that in totality and with no further ado, his decision was that the application was premature in the circumstance and was thereby incompetent and inappropriate.

Even though I have not considered its substance, the application is hereby dismissed,’’ Adeniyi said.

Omisore’s counsel, Mr. Chris Uche (SAN), had told the court that his client had instituted a suit to enforce his fundamental human rights, which he claimed, was trampled upon by EFCC.

Uche said that the EFCC violated the 1999 Constitution by unlawfully arresting and remanding Omisore.

He said that the warrant was obtained long after Omisore had been clamped into detention and that the remand order could not rob the court of its statutory jurisdiction to entertain the application for bail.

But, Mr. Takor Ndifon, counsel to the EFCC, had in his counter-affidavits, said that Omisore was lawfully arrested and kept in custody as provided for by Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution.

Melaye To Tinubu: You Are Not God, You Can’t Determine My Future

​The man at the centre of the storm, Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, has told the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to stop playing God as he can never determine his political future.

In a direct reaction to Tinubu’s riposte that his political career has come to an end following his alleged insulting language on Oluremi, Tinubu’s wife during Tuesday’s Executive session of the senate, Melaye, who addressed a press conference on the issue said: “I want to say that Tinubu is not God. I fear only the God almighty, I fear no soul, I only respect souls.

“So far my political journey to the House of Representatives and the Senate have no political, financial or moral contribution of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the God who has brought me this far is mighty, strong and enough to take me further, what God has given me, no man can give and what God has given to me no man can take”.

He described as fallacious, malicious and a lie that I said “I will impregnate Mrs. Tinubu. Biologically it is even impossible to impregnate Mrs. Tinubu because she has arrived menopause”.

He refuted media reports alleging that he insulted Senator Oluremi during the executive session saying the allegation which was orchestrated by Senator Oluremi and sold to an online Medium was baseless and premised on complete falsehood.

Giving a narrative of what transpired, he said: “I want to say that I will continue to uphold the culture, the tradition, the values of the Kogi West Senatorial district and I will not abuse it. But it is absurd for a woman to look at her colleague and call him a thug and a dog when he has not personally addressed you. Unfortunately, I did not have the anointing to be quiet when being insulted, I replied accordingly. I repeat there is no reaction without an action. If she did not call me a dog or a thug there is no way I would have responded. I responded I have no regrets for responding and defending my person and if tomorrow or in the next one hour, Senator Tinubu again called me any name, I shall equally respond accordingly”.

According to him, “ When I stood up and I made my submissions that day in the senate, all I did was to pacify my colleagues and asked that the case in court be withdrawn because already there is a resolution of the senate that the rules of the senate were not forged and since there was a resolution of the senate that the rules of the senate were not forged then I said all those who have gone to court should go and withdraw their names from court and that if at the end of the day those who refused to withdraw their names from court we should penalise them by suspending them, I said that.

“I did not mention the name of any senator while I was making my presentation, unfortunately Senator Oluremi Tinubu got up and was recognised to speak and immediately she started speaking she specifically mentioned my name even when in my presentation I did not mention anybody names.

“But because of reasons only known to Senator Oluremi Tinubu, she got up the first thing she said was that she’s being harrassed in this chamber by Senator Melaye. I kept quiet at that point, she went ahead to say that why will he come here and be threatening senators she said that this thug must be tamed.

“At that point, I got up and I told her that she is very stupid. The next statement from her is that you are a dog. She called me a dog and when she called me a dog I stood up and I reacted and I told her that this is not Bourdillon and that she should look at my face, I am not one of those senators who normally come to prostrate to them in Bourdillon.

And I told her I am from Kogi State, I am not from Lagos State and that there would never be a day that I will come to you for political assistance. This were my words and she went on shouting dog, thug”, he added.

On the issue of impeaching President Muhammadu Buhari, he said: “nobody amongst those of us who spoke there actually talked about impeachment.

Infact the issue of the presidency or president was not the subject matter we were discussing but on how the senate can also come together and solve the forgery case. There wouldn’t have being any need to even discuss about Buhari or the Presidency but because of deliberate wickedness and satanic manifestations they brought in the issue of presidency to garnish their aim and purpose”. On calls that he should apologise, he said: “if there are instances where as a human being I have reacted negatively, I am also ready to be apologetic about it. But in this particular instance, I have never mentioned anybody’s name, I never even used insolent languages but because they are yet to heal from the wound of defeat of the election of the senate president and because of my key role in this exercise where she and her husband called me severally to appeal to me to backoff Saraki and I say I will not backoff Saraki, I will continue to support Saraki, Saraki is my brother, he is my friend and I will continue to support him and this will not change today, it will not change tomorrow, it will not change in this four years of our stay in the Senate”, he stressed.