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Lawyers Charged To Use Law To Improve The Democratic Process

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As Nigerians are set for another general election next month, lawyers have been tasked to protect the country’s democracy with instruments of law for growth and development.

The call was made by the former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, while delivering this year’s edition of the annual Gani Fawehinmi Lecture in Lagos.

According to her, the Bar must endeavour to hold all election actors, including INEC, the judiciary, security agencies, candidates, political parties and the media to the standards required by the law without fear or favour.

Mrs Kesson-Smith Osei, who was a United Nations International Electoral Commissioner, said commended the Nigerian Bar Association for speaking truth to power, and urged it to be bolder to ensure free, fair and equitable electioneering process in the country.

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The President of the NBA, Mr Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), called on the National Assembly to consider amending the 1999 constitution to pave the way for independent candidacy in the Nigeria electoral process.

While speaking at the 19th Annual Gani Fawehinmi lecture put together by the Ikeja branch of the NBA, Mr. Maikyau charged lawyers to ensure that the forthcoming general elections, are free, fair, and credible.

The learned silk urged his colleagues to work towards improving Nigeria’s democratic process.

The theme of this year’s Fawehinmi Lecture, was “A Free, Fair, and Credible Election: An Indispensable Tool for National Development.”

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Delivering her keynote address, Kesson-Smith Osei said that free, fair and credible election, remained an indispensable tool for national development.

Challenging the Bar, she said that the NBA and its members must go beyond representing disputing parties in court in electoral matters, and rise up to be the true protors of Nigeria’s democracy.

Declaring that Nigeria has got some successes in conducting regular elections, Osei berated a situation of apathy towards elections and where Nigerians are daily being confronted with cases of abduction, which she said, could hamper a smooth electoral process.

“The high level of apathy in Nigerian elections must be of concern to the NBA. One cannot be interested in the development and yet disinterested in who leads the development and the capacity and character of such leaders. The question is: what would Gani have done? Would he have taken an interest in the level of apathy towards a matter as important as elections? If we are apathetic toward elections, can we then be seriously interested in national development and the quality of governance?

In his welcome address, Oluwaseyi Olawunmi, the Ikeja branch chairman of the NBA, said the branch conceived the annual lecture to celebrate the ideals of the late Gani Fawehinmi.

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“Fawehinmi spoke truth to power, he championed the course of the masses, stood for beggars and the less privileged members of the society,” he stressed.

The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ado-Ekiti, and chairman of the occasion, Professor Akin Oyebode, described the late Fawehinmi as a unique individual, who fought against bad governance.

He posited: “Gani had an indomitable spirit that you cannot overrun. Gani succeeded in democratizing the legal profession. He made indelible marks in the practice of the legal profession in Nigeria.”

The professor of law described, as wicked and oppressive, the incivility of the Nigerian security operatives against the late Fawehinmi.

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The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), declared that Fawehinmi stood for democracy and led the battle against military rule in Nigeria.

Onigbanjo said, “He fought against bad governance and never compromised his stand. He fought for freedom until he died.”

The Chief Judge (CJ) of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, who was represented by the Chief Registrar (CR) of the High Court of Lagos State, Tajudeen Elias, argued that Fawehinmi was a dogged fighter for human rights with a further position that the late legal icon was committed to the development of law in the country.

The CJ enjoined legal practitioners to emulate the legacies of the late Fawehinmi. Alogba said as elections draw closer, the judiciary will remain committed to the conduct of a free, fair, and credible election in the country.

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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

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Medical Doctor Sentence To 4yrs Imprisonment For Negligence

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Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos State High court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, has convicted and sentenced a medical doctor, Dr. Ejike Ferdinand Orji, to four year imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm, negligence and endangering the life of a 16-year-old patient.

The convict, who is the Medical Director of Excel Medical Centre Dolphin Estate, was found guilty on four of the six counts charges filed by the state against him.

Specifically the court finds Dr Ejike Orji guilty on counts 2, 3, 4 and 6.

The court, however discharged and acquitted him on counts 1 and 5 respectfully.

Dr Ejike was initially arraigned alongside his wife Dr (Mrs) Ifeayinwa Grace Orji at the Lagos State high court, Igbosere, but his wife was later discharged and acquitted following an application by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, that the Lagos State government wishes to discontinue the case against her.

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Delivering judgement today , Justice Akintoye held that the Prosecution has been able to establish the essential ingredients of the offence of breach of duty, care and endangering the life of the 16-year-old patient.

The court further held that the defendant action falls below what is reasonably expected of a professional medical doctor.

Justice Akintoye held “It my opinion that the defendant committed a breach of duty as a medical practitioner, when he willfully refused to remove the fiberglass cast on the patient’s left leg despite complaints of severe pains by the victim which thereby resulted in a compartment syndrome.

The court further held that the convict applied Plaster of Paris (POP) cast on PW 10′ leg using none medical staff, and without carrying out an x-ray to determine the level of injury.

Justice Akintoye further stated that Dr Orji did not obtain the consent of the mother of the patient, who was in the hospital as at the time the Plaster of Paris (POP) was done.

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“The Defendant had undertaken to carry out the procedure and give medical treatment to PW 10 (patient), which turned out to be injurious to his health.

“The prosecution has been able to establish essential ingredients of the offences of breach of duty. I find that the prosecution has established essential ingredients in court 2, count 3, count 4, and count 6. The prosecution has therefore proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.

“Consequently, on count one and five, the defendant, Dr. Ejike Ferdinand Orji is thereby found not guilty. On count two, thee, four and six, i found him guilty and he is accordingly convicted. This is the judgement of the court”

In his plea of allocutus, the Defendant’s lawyer, Ajibola Ariba urged the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that that the defendant being a first offender has never been convict for any crime in the past.

He stated that the defendant was born in 1958, and advanced in age. He urged the court to consider an option of fine.

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After the plea for mercy, Justice Akintoye held “I have listened to plea for liniency on behalf of the Defendant, that the defendant is a first time offender. Therefore, the defendant, Dr. Ejike Ferdinand Orji is hereby convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment each on count two, three, four and six.

However, the judge stated that the sentence will run concurrently.

The fact of the case is that the defendant on July 26, 2018, at their hospital fixed a Plaster of Paris cast too tightly on a sixteen-year-old Ezi-Ashi’s leg, which caused him grievous harm.

The victim complained of discomfort and asked that the POP be relaxed, but the defendants allegedly refused, which resulted in the teenager becoming unconscious and he was subsequently rushed to the Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he was operated upon.

At the Reddington Hospital, it was discovered that the defendant had sawed off the POP and allegedly damaged the muscles in the lower part of the boy’s leg, foot and toes with wide open sores that were at the initial stage of becoming ‘compartmentalised’.

According to the prosecutor, Babatunde Sunmonu, the victim underwent four major surgeries and following his critical condition, two orthopaedic surgeons from the United States of America extracted the dead muscles from the leg, adding that it was a major struggle to save the boy’s life as he had to be flown to the USA for further attention.

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BUSINESS

Market Demolition: Court Threatens Lagos AG, Kosofe LG Chairman Over Contempt

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A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, has warned the state government and others against their defiant to a valid court order stopping them from further action on demolition of 795 shops in Alaba section of Mile 12 market.

Justice Lateefat Atinuke Oluyemi had on January 11, 2023 ordered parties in the suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Orirere Commodity Leaders and Traders Association to maintain status quo ante, restraining respondents from further action on the land.

The plaintiff aside Incorporated Trustees of Orirere Commodity Leaders and Traders Association are: Yeye Precious Modupe Ojo, Alhaji Akinwale Jimoh and Babatunde Adetula instituted the suit against the Lagos State government.

The defendants in the suit are Kosofe Local Government/Ikosi Isheri Local Council Development Area, Dr. Chris Onyekachi; Total Value Integrated Services Limited, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,

Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development as first to fifth respondents respectively.

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However, at the resumed hearing, Mr. Gbolahan Quadri informed the court that, despite the subsisting order, the respondents were still constructing on the land known has Alaba Section, Mile 12 Market, Ikosi-Isheri.

His submission made Justice Oluyemi give a very strong warnings to the respondents to desist from disobeying court order, while threatening to commit anyone who violates the courts order to prison.

A lawyer who appeared for respondent prayed the court to give them time to file necessary applications and their response to the suit.

The judge subsequently adjourned to March 30, 2023 to enable the defence to file necessary applications.

Meanwhile, the traders and owners of 795 demolished shops throngs court in hundreds, protesting against the Lagos State government and it’s agent alleged flouting an order of court restraining them from further demolition.

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They alleged that three traders have died in less than one week, following the decision of the Lagos State Government to intensify demolition of the shops.

Speaking with the newsmen after the proceedings at the high court premises, the market leader, Yeye Modupe Ojo said three traders, Mujidat Suleiman, Adejoke Olawole and Ademola died as a result of shock, noted that the deceased children are with them in the struggle.

Ojo disclosed that, last year October 26, 2022, a notice of contravention was pasted, notifying them that the Lagos State Government will commenced demolition, two days after the notice.

She said they approached the court for justice when the Iyaloja General of Lagos State, Mrs. Iyabo Ojo refused to plead on their behalf but urged them to collect forms and make payment for the new structure.

“Now, am in court to seek justice for these poor people, despite the interim injunction, they are working there with over 200 thugs and policemen.”

She added that the traders want the govt to stop demolition. “We should sit on round table to talk and compensate our people. We welcome innovation, we don’t want war.”

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Also speaking, a leader in the electronic section, Mr. Titus Ezeugo, a 70 year-old man, said the land was allocated to them by the Lagos State Government and that they developed the market with their personal money.

He said they have documents of allocation with receipt of payment, adding that the Lagos state government should tell them what type of structure they want now and they will restructure to that effect.

According to him, the market was not built by government but by private developers.

He said that since the market was built, the traders have been making payment to government and that some of those who collected loans have not been able to offset the loans.

Ezeugo further said the market was approved by the Lagos State Government. He said what will he and his family live on now that he is at retirement age and he is calling for justice.

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CRIME

Offa Robbery: Principal Suspect Reveals Kyari Ask Him To Implicate Saraki

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A principal suspects in the Offa bank robbery incident at Kwara State, Ayoade Akinrinbosun, has told the State High Court sitting in Ilorin, how the former Commander, IRT squad, Abba Kyari, offered him ten million naira, N10m, to implicate former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the armed robbery case.

He revealed further that Kyari promised to give him a visa to any country of his choice if he supports the move to implicate Saraki, but that he declined the offer.

Five suspects, Ayoade Akinrinbosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham and two others were charged to court by the police for criminal conspiracy to rob the banks, murder of nine policemen and other citizens, and illegal possession of firearms.

During the incident, about 10 persons were feared killed while other residents of Offa sustained injuries.

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However, during cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Mathias Emeribe, SAN, Akinrinbosun said he was offered N10 million to claim that Saraki asked them to carry out the bloody robbery operation.

According to him,” he (Abba Kyari) said I should admit and say Saraki was the one who asked us to go and rob. I told him I won’t do that. That I will rather die for what I didn’t do than lie against an innocent man.

“He asked me to think over his offer very well. At this point, he ordered officers Hassan and Mashood to return me to the cell, a separate one from where others were and that they should stop torturing me.”

Akinrinbosun said he was not allowed to write any statement in Ilorin except his bio-data until they were conveyed to Abuja in a tinted bus, where he was later kept in a place called Abattoir.

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There, the suspect said some herdsmen were killed in his presence, adding that he was tortured and shot in the leg in order to implicate Saraki.

Akinrinbosun maintained that Saraki had nothing to do with the robbery case.

He said: “We were like 15 to 20 taken to Abuja, I only know a few of them. We were put outside and served meals, but I couldn’t eat because my hands were paralyzed due to the torture I went through in their hands in Ilorin. They asked Kunle Ogunleye to feed me.

“They separated the five of us, put us in the generator house and Officer Hassan Attila ordered that they bring some men. They went to bring five men, Fulani men. They brought them and killed them all in my presence.

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“I was told that was not a film. He asked me to stretch my legs and shot my right leg. He shot the second leg but when I tried shifting the leg, it hit my thumb.”

The defendant went on to show the gunshot wounds on his legs to the court.

Akinrinbosun added that one of the robbery suspects, Michael Adikwu, was shot dead in his presence, a situation that got him terrified and made him agree to implicate Saraki in a prepared statement before newsmen.

The trial judge, Justice Alimat Salman, adjourned the case till February 13, 2023, for the continuation of the trial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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