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Oil Firm Tells Judge To Recuse Self Over Alleged Meeting With Bawa

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An oil firm Nadabo Energy Ltd, has asked a judge of an Ikeja High Court, Justice Christopher Balogun, to recuse himself from further presiding over a suit with case number ID/118C/2012, for allegedly meeting with Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa,the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The allegations of bias were made in an affidavit in support of a Motion on Notice sworn by Abubakar Peters, the Managing Director, Nadabo Energy Ltd and a defendant in the suit.

According to the affidavit, Bawa on March 31, minutes after giving evidence before the court had allegedly held a meeting with Balogun the presiding judge in the office of Justice Kazeem Alogba, the Chief Judge of Lagos State.

Peters in the affidavit noted that several online publications including ThisDay Newspaper widely reported the meeting and the EFCC, through their official Facebook page did not deny the meeting but rather described it as a “routine and courtesy visit”.

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He said that the outrage that generated over the meeting has cast doubt on the expected neutrality of Balogun to be an unbiased umpire in adjudicating the case.

According to Peters, Bawa was a Principal Superintendent of the EFCC, when he investigated the N1.4billion subsidy fraud allegations against him and as a result of his investigations, Bawa now elevated to the post of Chairman of the anti-graft agency is the star witness in the case.

Bawa commenced his evidence-in-chief as PW5 on the June 3, 2015 and did not conclude till Dec. 20, 2021.

According to the affidavit:”At the conclusion of his evidence-in-chief, the cross-examination by the defence counsel commenced immediately on the Dec. 20, 2021. He subsequently testified under cross examination on Jan. 25, March 31 2022 and May 18, 2022.

“After the court proceedings of the March 31, 2022, I did not immediately leave the High Court premises at Ikeja, Lagos State.

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“On my way to the car park within the premises of the court , few minutes after case number ID/118C/2012, wherein I’ am standing trial was adjourned to 17 and 18 May, 2022, I saw the trial judge, Hon. Justice C. A. Balogun exiting the office of the Chief Judge of the High Court of Lagos State.

“Few days after March 31, 2022, I read it in the news media of the visit of Abdulrasheed Bawa to the office of the Chief Judge of the Lagos High Court with a Registrar from the chambers of the trial judge (Balogun) just immediately after he had testified under cross-examination as PW5 on March 31, 2022.”

Responding, the EFCC in an counter-affidavit deposed to by Mr Samuel Daji, a Legal Officer which was made available to NAN, denied the allegations of bias.

The anti-graft agency denied Bawa visited and held a meeting with the trial judge.

The EFCC, however, admitted that its Executive Chairman had a meeting with the Chief Judge of Lagos State on the said day.

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“Visit of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC to the Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba, the Chief Judge of Lagos State on March 31, 2022 was a routine scheduled courtesy visit which is a normal practice amongst heads of government institutions.

“There is no fact to show that Hon. Justice Balogun was at the meeting between the Hon. Justice of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba and the Executive Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa on the said day, ” the EFCC said.

Peters and his firm, NADABO Energy Ltd are being tried by the EFCC on a 27-count charge bordering on using forged documents to obtain N1.4billiom from the Federal Government as an oil subsidy.

The trial began on Dec. 10, 2012, and the EFCC has so far called five prosecution witnesses.

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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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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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Court Restrains Parties From Tampering With Controversial Mile 12 Market

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The High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja, has issued an order of interim injunction, restraining 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; and Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development from entering or forcefully taking over the land known as Alaba Section of Mile 12 Market, Kosofe area, pending the determination of a Motion on Notice already before it.

The Motion on Notice was initiated by the claimants/applicants namely; Incorporated Trustees of Orirere Community Leaders and Traders Association, Yeye Precious Modupe Ojo, Alhaji Akinwale Jimoh, and Babatunde Adetula (suing for themselves and on behalf of the traders from the Alaba section of Mile 12 market).

The court presided over by Justice (Mrs.) L.A.F Oluyemi also gave an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, and/or any other person howsoever described from demolishing or forcefully taking over the land known as Alaba Section of Mile 12 Market, Kosofe, Lagos, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.

Also given by the judge in the suit designated ID/6464GCMW/2022, and brought pursuant to Order 42 Rules 1 and 4 and Order 43 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019, Section 1 of the Preemptive Remedies Section of the Practice Direction, No 2 of 2019, and under Section 34, Section 36 and Section 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, and/or any other person howsoever described from building on the land known as Alaba Section of Mile 12 Market, Kosofe Lagos, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.

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Justice Oluyemi on January 11, 2023, further made an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, and/or any other person howsoever described from letting out the land known as Alaba Section of Mile 12 Market, Kosofe Lagos, pending the determination of the Motion on Notice.

Prior to the injunction order, It was learned that on the 18th of December 2022, the respondents continued with the demolition of the said Market, despite service of court processes and prior agreement by all parties in the office of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, held on 17th December 2022 to stay action till the Meeting fixed for the 19th December 2022.

On the 19th day of December, the second meeting was held. All parties who attended the previous meeting also attended this one.

However, In this meeting, Counsel to the applicant, M.G. QUADRI Esq of G.kolawole Quadri & Co was refused entry and chased out by Princess Samiat Abolanle Bada (The Chairman of the Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area).

The Respondents orally promised the Applicants to begin some sort of resolution process and to stop the further destruction of the Market.

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But despite the promises given, the destruction of properties and assault on helpless traders by heavily armed thugs has not stopped, it has only increased exponentially.

From the time the motion on Notice was filed up until now, more parts of the Alaba Section of the Mile 12 Market have been destroyed and demolished.

Traders have been forced away from their shops and thugs have been patrolling the area, assaulting anyone that comes close.

The matter has been adjourned to the 19th of January 2023.

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Court Restrain UPDC Plc From Acting Over a Disputed Land

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Justice Olufunke Sule-Amzat of a Lagos High Court sitting in Yaba has ordered a firm, UPDC Plc to maintain status quo in a suit filed against him by Oluwafemi Ayodele over the portion of the land area covered by the piles, along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The court order of staying action on the land was sequel to an application filed before the court by claimant counsel, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), asked the court for a restraining order on the land pending hearing and the determination of the suit.

The senior silk, Oyewole in an originating summons brought pursuant to section 272(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended) and under Order 5 Rule 5 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.

He prayed the court to determine whether the claimant is entitled to specific performance of the valid and subsisting contract between the and the defendant for the purchase of the parcel of land measuring 1000 Square Metres representing the portion of the entire land area covered by the piles, along Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He also prayed to the court for a declaration that the contract duly executed by the claimant and the defendant based on the offer letter dated 28″ September 202.2, 15 valid and subsisting having regard to the acceptance of same and payment of consideration.

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While ruling on the application after Oyewole’s submission, Justice Sule- Amzat order the parties to maintain the status quo.

The judge said that she has listened to the learned silk, Oyewole (SAN) praying the Court for a preservative order to maintain status quo in order to forestall the dissipation of the res.

” I have taken cognizance of the fact that the preservation of the res would serve the better end of justice. I am also mindful that there is a need to hear the other side and prevent breakdown of law and order, parties in this suit are hereby ordered to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”

She also ordered that hearing notice to issue, copy of same and affidavit of service of same be put in the court file before the next adjourned date.

The judge subsequently adjourned the case to February 7, 2023 for further proceedings.

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