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Party Crisis: PDP Member Ask Court To Disqualify Eng. Wada

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A member of People’s Democratic Party in Kogi State, Femi Joseph has urged a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Independent National National Electoral Commission, INEC, to disqualify, the Party flagbearer, Engr. Musa Wada from participating in the governorship election in Kogi State.

This request was contained in a suit filed by his lawyer, Mike Enahoro Ebah, before the court where he alleged that the Engr. Wada forged his primary school certificate.

In the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1147/2019, Enahoro Ebah, argued that by virtue of Section 31(5) & (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) he reasonably believes that the information supplied by the PDP candidate in both his Form CF001 and the attached first school leaving certificate, as to his primary school education, were false.

Joseph wants the court to declare that the 3rd defendant’s (Wada’s) INEC Form CFOO1 and the primary school certificate, bearing number: 910922, attached therewith and submitted to the 2nd defendant (INEC) by the 1st and 3rd defendants (PDP and Wada), contain false information regarding the 3rd defendant’s primary school certificate.

He is equally seeking an order restraining Wada from parading or holding himself out as governorship candidates in the Kogi State governorship election.

While the PDP has responded to the suit, Wada is yet to file any response to the case instituted on September 27, 2019.

A similar suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1375/2019 and filed by a lawyer, Sunday Ehimoni, before the same court is also seeking Wada’s disqualification for allegedly having mental health history.

Ehimoni wants the court to, among others, “determine whether going by his medical records the candidate of the PDP, Musa Wada, ought not to be declared and certified lunatic and a person of unsound mind, sanctioned for providing false information to INEC on his forms and prevented from contesting.

It will be recalled that social media and the press became awash last week with Wada’s medical records from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba Lagos State after they were leaked by unknown persons.

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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 Vice Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and occupied same office with 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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Judiciary Funding: Judgement on Dispute Between States and FG Suffers Set Back

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The Supreme Court has reserves judgment till a later date in the dispute between the thirty-six states and the Federal Government on Judiciary funding, Executive Order 10.

The judgment expected to be delivered yesterday, according to hearing notices dispatched to parties by the court’s Registry, suffers set back.

Justice Musa Dattijo Mohammed, who led the court’s five-man panel, announced that the judgment was not ready.

He explained that members of the panel who heard the case had tried to ensure that the judgment was ready for delivery on December 7, but it became impossible to get it ready.

The judge who expressed regret assured the parties that they would be informed when the judgment is eventually ready.

Read Also: Buyer Of Ataga’s Apple MacBook Denies Involvement in Murder

However Justice Mohammed did not stated the specific day it would be delivered.

Counsel in the case, who came from outside Abuja, were unhappy with the development.

The thirty-six states, through their attorneys general, filed the suit to challenge the legality of Executive Order 10 and to compel the Federal Government to undertake capital funding of the superior courts created under Section 6 of the Constitution.

On October 4, this year, a seven-member panel of the court, led by Justice Muhammad, had, after taking final submissions from lawyers to the parties and the five amici curiae invited, announced that judgment was reserved till a date to be communicated to parties.

While the states are contending, among others, that it is the responsibility to the Federal Government to bear the capital and recurrent expenditure of all courts created under Section 6 of the Constitution, the Federal Government has said otherwise.

Also Read: Alleged $32m Fraud: Court Orders Princess Kolade Lawyer To Produce Her

Arguing the plaintiffs’ case on October 4, their lawyer, Augustine Alegeh (SAN), averred that the current practice where the Federal Government limits itself to funding only the recurrent expenditure of superior courts in states was a violation of the Constitution.

He argued that since the salaries, remuneration and allowances of judges were already charged in the Consolidated Fund of the Federation, they do not form part of the annual appropriation (budget), which should cover the capital expenditure of Federal courts and superior courts in various states.

In a counter-argument, lawyer to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), who is the sole defendant, Mr. Tijani Gazali (SAN), argued that issues raised in the case had been decided in the case filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

The senior silk argued that the attorneys general of the thirty-six states were parties in the suit who chose not to appeal or comply with the judgment but rather filed a fresh suit before the Supreme Court.

He added that Section 81 of the Constitution provides for the responsibilities of the Federal Government on Federal courts, while Section 121 applies to the responsibilities of the states to the Judiciary.

 

 

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Alleged $8.4m Fraud: Court Orders Serial Fraudster Ajudua To Undergo COVID-19 Test

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A Lagos State High Court, Ajah, has ordered serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua to undergo Covid-19 test at Yaba Infectious Disease Centre Laboratory, in the presence of the representatives of both the prosecution and defence, and the result must be communicated to the court within 48-hours.

Justice Josephine Oyefeso made the order shortly after counsel to the defence, Mr. Akinwale Kola-Taiwo, who represented the lead counsel for the defendant Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), informed the court that though Ajudua was present in court premises but pleaded that he should not be made to entre the court room because he has been tested positive for COVID-19.

Ajudua, allegedly defrauded a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi of $8.4 million while they were both in Kirikiri Prison in 2004 for different offences.

The defendant and his accomplices approached Bamaiyi and convinced him that he would hire the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) at a cost of $8.4million, to help him secure his release from custody.

It is on record that for over two-years, Bamaiyi has been under cross-examination by the defence after giving his evidence-in-chief on Nov. 26, 2018.

Read Also: EFCC Arraigns Convicted Serial Fraudster Over Possession of Fraudulent Documents

The cross-examination of the former Chief of Army Staff has suffered several delays brought about by the defence.

At the resume hearing of proceedings, Mr. Kola-Taiwo told the court that medical report of the defendant shows that he contacted the deadly virus for the first time on 8/01/2021, and was tested negative on 15/01/21 after he treated himself through self-medication.

He said: “I’m sincerely sorry for the absence of the defendant. He is downstairs but I don’t think he should be made to entre the court.

“An associate of the defendant met me and handed over these documents to me. They are medical reports of the defendant testing positive for COVID-19 virus.

“Sometimes around October 14 this year while he was in his home town in Delta State, the defendant also contacted COVID-19. The defendant has been medicating ever since, but the condition is deteriorating

“The latest test was done three days ago on 3/12/21, and the result came out positive again. I was told that the defendant flew in from Delta state last night. We will be praying your lordship for an adjournment to give room for the defendant to be treated for the virus.

You May Also Like: Alleged N12bn Fraud: Court Threaten To Jail Banks’ Executives

In his response, lead prosecution counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Seidu Atteh query the absence of the lead defence counsel Ojo.

He says the defence should make all the documents available to the prosecution so that they will conduct their own investigation on the authenticity of the documents.

Mr. Atteh said in alternative, the court should invoke S. 235 of the newly passed Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2014, which states that defendant can be tried in absentia.

Justice Oyefeso while delivering a bench ruling ordered the defendant to be tested at the laboratory of Yaba Infectious Disease Centre, in the presence of both the prosecution and defence.

The court also ordered defence to file application attached all the medical reports of the defendant before the court.

The judge directed prosecution to bringing the issue of S.235 of ACJL, 2014 before the court as an application.

Justice Oyefeso adjourned the matter to February 15, 2022 for continuation of trial.

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NSITF N3bn Laundering: Court To Rule on Olejeme Request To Travel Abroad

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, has fixed December 14 to deliver ruling on whether to grant the request of former Chairman Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Dr Ngozi Olejeme to travel to South Africa and the United States of America USA for heart surgery or turn it down.

Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu gave the date after taken arguments from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Olejeme’s Counsel

Olejeme had through her counsel, Chief Paul Erokoro SAN moved an application praying the court to grant her permission to undergo medical treatment in South Africa and the United States of America.

He also prayed the court to order the release of her international passport and another order to compel the withdrawal of a declaration that Olejeme is a wanted person.

Read Also: Maina Conviction: Judge Indicts Fidelity, UBA Bank, Calls For Revocation of License 

The senior lawyer said that his client has not only returned to Nigeria but reported herself to EFCC for investigation upon which criminal charges were filed against her.

He further requested for an order to compel EFCC to notify the International Police, Immigration and other relevant authorities that Olejeme is no longer a wanted person.

While moving the application, Erokoro argued that his client needs urgent heart surgery and that the Federal Medical Center FMC in Abuja had in a letter to the federal government confirmed the seriousness of the ailment of his client.

Insisting that the right to life is paramount and that only the living can stand trial, the senior lawyer drew the court’s attention to the fact that Olejeme has had surgeries four times and is currently having heart failure.

He further said that the six biological children of his client are all in Nigeria schooling adding also that Nigeria and South Africa have Extradition Treaty that can be invoked to bring her back to the country if she refuses to come back to Nigeria.

You May Also Like: EFCC Secures Conviction Against Bank Manager, Chukwuka Over N219m Fraud 

Erokoro debunked EFCC’S claims that his client brought public documents to support the application adding that a letter from a government hospital to its patient did not fall under public documents.

In a counter affidavit to oppose the request by Olejeme to travel to the two foreign countries to treat her failing heart, EFCC through its counsel Mr Steve Odiase informed the court that the health challenges complained by the defendant could easily be treated in some hospitals in Nigeria.

Mr. Odiase in a vehement opposition said that the court should thread softly in the application because the defendant has always been a high flight risk and that EFCC is in possession of intelligence report with huge fear that she will escape trial if allowed to go abroad.

The counsel countered the request by Olejeme from the court to compel EFCC to remove her name and declaration as a wanted person adding that it is premature for his client to remove such declaration.

Also Read: Alleged N2.1Billion fraud: Court Summons former Secretary NHIS Dr Thomas

Besides, the EFCC counsel objected to admission of documents brought to court by Olejeme to justify her request for medical treatment abroad, adding being public documents, they ought to have been certified by the defendant.

He cited sections 89, 104 and 111 of the Evidence Act adding that no probate value should be attached to the documents and urged the court to refuse the application in the interest of justice.

The anti-graft agency insisted that the ex-NSITF boss is a high flight risk who could use the trip to bolt away and escape justice in the N3 billion alleged money laundering charges brought against her by the federal government.

Olejeme, who was an aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned before the court on October 21 on a nine-count charge, in which she was accused of abusing her office, receiving bribe, awarding contracts without due process, among others.

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