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Presidential Tussle: Atiku’s Appeal Lack Merit – Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has held that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar failed to prove their claim that INEC had a server and that it transmitted election results electronically.

Justice Inyang Okoro who led the panel of the judges, while giving reasons for dismissing the appeal by the PDP and Atiku, held that they were wrong to have relied on results to get from a website, whose owner they could not establish, to claim to have won the election.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar are absent in court as the Supreme Court begins the proceedings.

The Supreme Court had, on October 30 dismissed the appeal and promised to give reasons for its decision on a latter date.

When the court opened and the case was called, but no lawyer announced appearance for the petitioners. None of the PDP known faces were in court as against the situation on October 30, 2019 when chieftains of the party flooded the court.

Alex Izinyon (SAN) who represented Buhari, drew the court’s attention to the strange development and noted that it was against the court’s rules for an appellant to stay away from court when a decision is being taken on the appeal.

The court further ‎resolved the 5th issue against the appellant, which relates to the admission of some documents tendered by the respondents to the petition before the lower court.

The judges also held that President Muhammadu Buhari was right not to have submitted his academic credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

It held that Buhari was eminently qualified to contest the last presidential election.

It said, Buhari did not only show that he has secondary certificate and rose to the rank of Major General in the Army, attended military training, became the nation’s Head of State, could communicate in English and possessed primary school leaving certificate, all to the satisfaction of INEC.

The court upheld the decision of the PEPC on the issues of Buhari’s qualification and possession of relevant certificates.

The Supreme Court proceeded to dismiss the appeal after resolving all the five issues determined against the appellants.

Details shortly…

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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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CRIME

PHCN N6bn Insurance Benefit Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Cecilia Osipitan

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Justice U. P. Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, has granted the Managing Director of PJO Ventures Limited, Cecilia Osipitan N500million bail with two sureties in like sum.

The judge gave the bail ruling shortly after her arraignment along with PJO and Insurance Resource and Consultancy Services Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

EFCC had filed nine-count charges against the defendants which borders on criminal breach of trust, conspiracy and conversion of public funds to the tune of six billion naira.

According to EFCC, the money was meant for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Read Also: N322m Laundering: Senator Nwaoboshi Trial Resumes December 10

Osipitan’s offence was said to have contravened Section 311 of the Panel Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Act.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the nine counts charges levelled against them.

Ruling on the bail application, the judge noted that the sureties must be federal civil servant, a religious leader or a member of the National Assembly residing and own landed properties in Abuja.

The matter was subsequently adjourned till January 20, 2022 for commencement of trial.

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PDP National VC (South-South), Reps Member Restrain from Convention

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Justice Joy Okeaya-Inneh of the Edo State High Court in Benin City has gave a restrain order against the National Vice Chairman (South-South) of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Dan Orbih and the State Secretary of the party, Hilary Otsu from participating in the forthcoming Convention of the party scheduled for October 30th and 31st 2021.

The judge granted the interim injunction while ruling on a motion ex-parte filed by Chief Idehen Manfred Ekundayo, Mr. Stanley Iduoze and Odior Omadimhe (Claimants) in the suit marked B/218/os/2021.

Hon. Samuel Saiki, Vincent Ekpomhoriri Umoru, Leslie Ebozoje, David Okoh Aigbodion (also known as Arizona) and Abdulkareem Kassim were listed as Defendants in the suit.

Others defendants are Kayode Ogunubi, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide Ihama (House of Representatives member representing Oredo Federal Constituency), Mr. Oduwa Igbinosun and Mr. Friday Enaruna, excluding the PDP which was also listed as 12th Defendant in the suit.

Justice Okeaya-Inneh restrained them from attending, participating, or voting at the National Convention of the PDP herein to elect members of its National Working Committee, NWC or an other Governing body, which Convention is fixed for the 30th and 31st of October 2021 or fixed for any any other date, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

Read Also: Ondo Tribunal Throws Out PDP Petition Against Akeredolu

The court also granted “an order of interim injunction, directing PDP, its servants, Officers, agents, or otherwise whosoever to deny admittance to the Defendants at the National Convention or any other day

Justice Okeaya-Inneh ordered PDP to ensure that the Defendants do not vote or participate in any shape or form at the National Convention pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

According to the enrolment order of the court, the judge granted leave to the Claimants to serve the concurrent originating summons on PDP, outside the jurisdiction of the court at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, namely at the National Headquarters of the Party being Plot 1970 Michael Okpara street, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.

You May Also Like: Party Crisis: PDP Member Ask Court To Disqualify Eng. Wada

The court also granted leave to the Claimants/Applicants to serve the originating summons and all other accompanying processes in the suit on all the Defendants by substituted means, to wit, by Advertisement in a National Newspaper.

The court cited the salient pressing issues raised in the processes before the court and ordered an accelerated hearing of the Motion-On-Notice.

The court further directed the Bailiff of the court to effect service as a matter of urgency of “all the processes in the suit on all the Defendants.

Justice Okeaya-Inneh subsequently fixed November 2, 2021 to entertain the suit.

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CRIME

Former NSITF Board Chairman, Olejeme Trial Begins November 8

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Justice Maryam Hassan of Abuja (FCT) High Court sitting in Jabi has fixed November 8, for commencement of trial of the former board chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme.

The judge gave the date shortly after delivering ruling over her bail application which allows her to continue to enjoy the administrative bail conditions already granted to her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Justice Maryam Hassan in addition to the ruling directed that the travel documents of the defendant be submitted at the court’s registry.

Ngozi Olejeme was arraigned before the court by EFCC on nine-count charges which borders on mismanagement, giving a false statement, taking a kickback from contracts, and diversion of NSITF funds into personal accounts and companies she had an interest in.

According to EFCC, Olejeme committed the offence between 2012 and 2015 when she was the board chairman of the NSITF.

Read Also: Bariga Housemaid Murder Controversy; Couple File File No-Case Submission

The anti-graft agency noted that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 8,19 (1) (b) (1), punishable under the Corrupt Practice & other Related Offence Act 2000 and Section 17, (1) (2), 39 of EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.

However, Olejeme pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge preferred against her.

Subsequently, her counsel, Mr. Paul Erokoro, SAN, applied for bail on self recognition or in the alternative, in the most liberal terms.

He said the bail application was predicated on medical grounds as the defendant has been diabetic and hypertensive for thirty years.

In a counter reaction, EFCC Counsel, Mr. Steve Odiase, who did not opposed the bail application however, opposed to granting of bail on self recognition.

He said that there was no consideration for bail on self recognition in Section 165 (1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

He urged the court to grant the defendant bail with reasonable surety.

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