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Court Rejects Baba Ijesha Post Conviction Bail Pending Appeal

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court has refused the bail application filed by the convicted Nollywood actor, James Olarewaju, alias, Baba Ijesha pending the determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo who presided over the matter, rejected the bail application on the ground that he did not meet exceptional circumstances and criteria to warrant the bail.

The judge noted that the applicant must show special and exceptional circumstances because the term given to him is 5 years which is to run concurrently.

Also the judge said that there is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication before this court that the court will not treat the case expeditiously.

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The embattled actor is   seeking a bail for an appeal for the  five years conviction of sexually assaulting a 14-year- old girl.

Baba Ijesha’s counsel, Prince Gabriel Olabiran had on Aug.10 for informed the court of a notice for bail pending appeal has been submitted  in pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 51 of the High Court law of Lagos State, administration of criminal justice law.

Olabiran argued that the application admitted the applicant to bail, either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions.

He said the application was brought before the court  due to difficulty in getting a date at the Court of Appeal.

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The state prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule, however, in a counter affidavit dated Aug.18, argued that the defence failed in its address to establish the special circumstances which might grant the convict bail.

The court had on July 14 sentenced the embattled actor to five-years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

The court held that the prosecution had successfully proven the charge of sexual assault of a minor and indecent treatment of a minor against the convict.

The judge, however, discharged and acquitted him of count one and six which were sexual assault by penetration which  took place in  2014 and attempted sexual assault by penetration, which took place in 2021.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

CRIME

N72.5m Theft: Peter Onoja Remand in Prison Pending Bail Application

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court, has remanded a former member of the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Peter Onoja, in a correctional centre for allegedly stealing the sum of N72.5 million from the union.

Onoja is facing a six-count charge bordering on stealing, contrary to Section 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that the defendant be remanded in any correctional facility of his choice pending the filing and hearing of his bail application.

Subsequently the judge adjourned the case until Jan. 24 for the commencement of trial and hearing of bail application.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, counsel, Mrs Anita Imo, alleged that the defendant fraudulently converted the sum of N72.5million, property of NUFBTE to his personal use.

Imo told the court that the defendant committed the offences between February 2015 and August 2020 in Lagos.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his not guilty plea, the prosecution urged the court to remand the defendant in a correctional centre pending the commencement of trial.

Read Also: Oil Marketer, Adeleke Fayose, Remanded in Prison Over Alleged N66.5m Fraud

“In view of the not guilty plea of the defendant, we shall be asking for a trial date and we urge the court that the defendant be remanded, my lord’’, the prosecutor said.

The defence counsel, Mr Paul Okwoi, however, informed the court that the defence counsel could not file his bail application due to an error in it.

He, however, prayed to the court that two dates be granted in December for the defence counsel to file his bail application.

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Dr. Olaleye Remanded in Prison Over Sexual Assault Allegations

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Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in Ikeja, has ordered the remand of a Medical Director of of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr Femi Olaleye, in Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.

Dr. Olaleye was charged before the court with a two-count charge of defilement and sexual assault by penetration of his 16 year-old wife’s niece.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

His lead counsel, Mr Babatunde Ogala, (SAN), while moving his bail application dated Nov. 24 and filed on 25, prayed to the court to grant the defendant bail on liberal terms.

Mr. Ogala argued that the defendant had cancer patients who looked up to him for his service and would not be productive if remanded in prison.

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He  also urged the court to use its discretion to grant the defendant bail adding that he appeared voluntarily in court after he had been served.

The prosecution team, led by the Director of the Public Prosecution (DPP,) Dr. Babajide Martins, in his counter affidavit dated Nov. 28, argued that the nature of the charge was serious enough  because it attracted life imprisonment.

Dr Martins argued that the complainant was the first wife of the defendant while the nominal complainant was the niece of the wife.

Justice Ramon Oshodi admitted the defendant to fifty million naira bail with two sureties in like sum, following the adoption of bail application by defense and counter affidavits by prosecution.

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The judge ruled that the sureties must have landed properties in Lagos and the original documents of the properties must be submitted to the chief registrar of the court.

He also said that the defendant must submit his British, Nigerian and other international passports in his possession to the chief registrar of the court.

The judge further ordered the court audile to verify the residential addresses of the sureties.

Subsequently, the matter was adjourned till December 19, for commencement of trial.

 

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Court Orders Arrest Of Imo State Deputy Speaker Over Alleged N785m Fraud

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has issued a warrant for the arrest of the Deputy Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, Amarachi Iwuanyanwu, following his alleged involvement in a N785million fraud.

The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Nigeria Police, the Department of Stats Services, the Nigerian Immigration Services and the Interpol, to arrest the lawmaker on sight, “anywhere he is sighted in Nigeria or outside the country and produce him before the court or to the EFCC headquarters, Abuja”.

The order for Iwuanyawu’s arrest was sequel to an ex-parte application dated November 14, filed by the EFCC through its lawyer, Mr. Olanrewaju Adeola.

In the application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2124/2024, EFCC, told the court that it got an intelligence that the lawmaker had since escaped from the country and is currently hiding in the United States of America, USA.

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It told the court that the Iwuanyanwu refused to make himself available to respond to a petition that was lodged against him and his company, Sun Gold Estate Limited.

According to the EFCC, a firm, Hakiz Investment Company Limited, had in the petition that was signed by its lawyer, Mr. Aikhunebe Malik, SAN, and addressed to its Chairman, alleged that it had sometime in 2012, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Iwuanyawu’s company to develop an estate comprising of 14 units of 4 bedroom terrace and one blocks of 6 flats on the petitioner’s land situated at Mabuchi Abuja.

It told the court that the agreement was that upon the completion of the estate by the lawmaker, the complainant, who is the owner of the land, would take 40% of the building, while the Respondent, being the developer, would take 60% of the building.

However, the anti-graft agency alleged that its investigations revealed that “upon completion of the estate, the Deputy Speaker sold all the buildings and criminally diverted the funds without the knowledge of the Complainant”.

“That the market value of 40% of the buildings is about N785million.

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“That investigation is still ongoing and all invitations extended to both Iwuanyanwu and his company proved abortive.

“That a lawyer to the Respondent had on one of the occasions, received a copy of the invitation on his behalf and made promises that he would be available for questioning.

“That there is an intelligence report that the Respondent is in the USA.

“That without the suspect being apprehended or voluntarily coming to state their side of the story, the investigation will be incomplete.

“That in the light of the calculated effort by the suspect to remain evasive, there is need to place the suspect on watch list of the Commission, the police and any other law enforcement”, EFCC averred in an affidavit that was deposed to by one of its officials, Ufuoma Ezire.

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EFCC maintained that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to issue an arrest warrant against the Respondent.

It predicated the application for an arrest warrant to be issued against the Respondent on section 35(1) (c ) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, sections 3, 37 and 39(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, as well as sections 6, 7, 13 and 41 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004.

The Commission told the court that it had since written investigation activities letters to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Banks, and other relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, in his ruling, Justice Ekwo held that there was merit in the ex-parte application and accordingly granted it.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till February 23 for report.

 

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