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Ondo Pastor Appears in Court Over Allegation of Raping Pregnant Woman

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Ondo State Magistrate’s Court sitting in Akure has ordered the Nigeria Police to transfer the case File of a pastor, Gbenga Filani, who allegedly raped a five-months old pregnant woman in Akure, to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, DPP, for Legal advice.

The presiding Magistrate, Mr Damilola Sekoni, gave the order after the pastor appeared before his court over allegations of rape and assault.

Pastor Filani was arrested by the police last week after the victim accused him of raping her inside his church when she went for deliverance.

Arraigning the defendant, Police Counsel, Mr. Nelson Akintimehin informed the court that the Police has two count charge information against the defendant over the offences.

Also Read: Women Rally Against Domestic And Sexual Violence

He told the court that the offences are punishable under sections 358 and 360 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

Akintimehin prayed the court to remand the defendant pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

But the defence counsel, Mr Adelanke Akinrata, opposed the application and urged the court to grant his client bail pending the issuance of the legal advice.

He argued that there was no evidence before the court to link the defendant with the alleged offence.

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In a short ruling, Magistrate Sekoni granted bail to the pastor in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

He said the sureties must depose to affidavits of means, adding that they must also have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

He adjourned the case till January 14, 2022 for hearing.

The charge read, “That you, Gbenga Filani, on December 8, 2021, around 3.43pm at the Celestial Church of Christ, Deliverance Parish, No 1, Owuye Close, Fabunmi Avenue, Oda Road, Akure, in the Akure Magisterial District, did unlawfully have carnal knowledge of a 19-year-old woman without her consent, under the pretext of spiritual healing, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 357 and punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That you, Gbenga Filani, on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did unlawfully and indecently assault her by touching her private parts against her will, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 360 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.”

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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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Court Clears All Road Block Disrupting Jonathan Eligibility To Contest

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Justice Isa Hamma Dashen of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa has affirmed that former President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to contest the 2023 Presidential Election.

Justice Dashen held that Jonathan’s right to vie for the office of president again cannot be stopped by any retroactive law.

Jonathan, who was elected as Vice-President alongside the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, was inaugurated as President in 2010 following the death of Yar’Adua. In 2011, he ran for election and was again inaugurated.

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In 2015, while running for another term, the courts ruled that Jonathan was eligible to contest as his first inauguration was done to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure.

However, in 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari, signed the fourth alteration of the 1999 Constitution which bars Vice-Presidents who succeed their principals from serving more than one full term.

However, some have argued that the new provision ought not to apply to Jonathan as the law ought not to take a retroactive effect unless it was expressly stated.

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CRIME

Court Convicts Retiree Over Perversion of Justice

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Justice Mojisola Dada of a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has sentenced a retiree from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Charles Aiyeyi, to one year imprisonment.

Charles Aiyeyi was convicted for charges bordering on conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and making false statement to a public officer with intent to pervert the course of justice.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned the convict alongside with Friday Itsede, on a two-count charge for their involvement in the stalling of the trial of Chief Executive Officer of Omo-Jay Nigeria Limited, Jerome Itepu.

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and EFCC commenced trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution witness, Callistus Egwuonwu, testified that sometime in 2015, the EFCC received a petition against some persons which included Jerome Itepu.

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He told the court that in the course of investigation, Itepu was in 2018 invited for interrogation, which he honoured and he made statement, following which he was granted administrative bail.

In fulfilling the bail condition, the suspected fraudster provided the two defendants who stood as sureties for him. Aiyeyi had produced a letter of introduction from the Office of the Auditor General in which he was introduced as a staff of the Office. The second defendant told investigators that the suspect was a “blood relation” and that he could produce him anytime. They both signed a bond of N18 million each.

Thereafter, the suspect was released to the defendants, but he jumped bail, became incommunicado, while the defendants failed, despite promises and assurances, to produce him.

Subsequently, the EFCC arrested the defendants and charged them in court for perverting the course of justice. Though charges had been drawn against the suspected fraudster, he could not be arraigned in court as he remained in hiding and the defendants failed to produce him.

It was later discovered that at the time the first defendant introduced himself to the EFCC as a staff of the Office of the Auditor General, when he had in fact at the time retired from active service.

Click To Read: Lagos Chief Judge Backs EFCC on Fight Against Corruption

In the course of the trial, the defendants also filed a no-case submission which was dismissed by the Court.

Delivering judgement, Justice Dada discharged and acquitted the second defendant holding that as argued by the defence, Exhibit P3 which was the bail condition, required only one surety, a level 14 civil servant, which in the instance was Aiyeyi.

The Judge thereafter held that the prosecution successfully proved the charges against the first defendant and so sentenced him to one year in prison; following the allocutus, however, he was given an option of fine of one million naira, (N1m).

One of the counts reads: “Charles Aiyeyi, Friday Itsede and Jerome Itepu (at large) on or about 21st December, 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to pervert the course of justice by giving Mr. Callistus Egwuonwu, a staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, employed in the public service with the intention of causing Jerome Itepu to be released on bail pursuant to which he absconded.”

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CRIME

Court Sentences Husband To Death By Hanging For Killing Pregnant Wife

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An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting at the state capital, Uyo, has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Nkereuwem Emah, to death by hanging for killing his pregnant wife, whom he accused of infidelity.

Justice Bassey Nkanang in his judgement found Emah, the father of five from Mbiabam in Ibiono Ibom Local Government area of the state, guilty of murder.

The convict was said to have killed his wife on the 12th of February 2018, while she was sleeping in their residence.

During his arraignment on 6th December 2018, the convict pleaded not guilty to the one count of murder, contrary to Section 326(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Volume 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, 2000.

Click To Read: There Is Massive Cover-Up Over Death Of My Son – Oromoni Snr.

The judgment came after four years of litigation in which, the prosecution called three witnesses, including a 10-year-old son of the deceased, Christian Sylvanus Etim, who narrated how his father committed the act against his mother.

Mr Etim said “On 12/2/2018, my father, (the accused person) is a mechanic with the Water Board. On the said date, he used a matchet in the night. My mother was sleeping. He used it and cut my mother. My mother died. The incident took place in the house we all lived in. The village head called the Police in Itam. The Police came and invited me to accompany them to the station.”

The evidence of the son was corroborated by his father, who had earlier confessed to the Police when he was arrested after the incident.

In his extra-judicial statement before the court, the convict stated that “on 12/2/2018 at about 4:30 am, I call my wife to ask her about how she came about the pregnancy and who is responsible for it. She refused to answer me and I become annoyed.

Also Read: Child Theft: Court Sentence Culprit, Mary Effiong to 28yrs’ Imprisonment

I took the big matchet and cut her right hand. She moved to run away, I cut her neck again and she fall down. I was informed by people around our house that one Michael Udoh always sleep with her anytime I left the house for work,” Emah said.

Delivering judgement which lasted for almost one hour, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang described the act as a “callous, inexplicable and inexcusable debasement of the marriage institution.”

The court held that the accused person, Nkereuwem Etim Emah, is hereby sentenced to death. In compliance with the Section 339(2) of the Criminal Procedure Law, Cap 39, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, the sentence of the Court upon you, Nkereuwem Etim Emah is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”.

Earlier, the Convict had pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy and give him another chance to go home and take care of his five children.

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