Maryam Sanda’s Trial Resumes

The trial of Maryam Sanda, the woman who allegedly killed her husband in Abuja has commenced at the Federal High Court Jabi.

She is being arraigned alongside her mother Maimuna Sanda, her brother Aliyu Sanda and one Sadiya.

They are standing trial on two counts of culpable homicide and tampering with the scene of crime, to which they all entered a not guilty plea.

Subsequently, their counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu, requested for bail, with a medical report attached to the application, noting that the court should consider the fact that Sanda is a nursing mother.

For the other defendants, Mr Daudu also argued that the offence for which they are standing trial is bailable.

The prosecutor, however, relied on his counter-affidavit to ask the court to deny bail. Mr Jacob Idachaba argued that while he sympathizes with the baby, it is not sufficient reason to ask for bail.

As for the other three defendants, he argued that they ought to be in prison custody pending the determination of their trial, but however, left the bail decision to the discretion of the court.

Ruling has been adjourned to 3:00 pm.

Council Boss, Hakeem Tokede Empowers 100 Widows, Others In Osun

No fewer than 100 widows and physically-challenged persons has been empowered by Executive Secretary of Boluwaduro Local Government, Prince Hakeem Tokede, as part of his efforts to improve their standard of living and boost their trades.

The event, which held at the council secretariat, Otan-Ayegbaju, witnessed about 100 persons comprising of the elderly, widows and physically-challenged persons receiving the sum of N20,000 and food items.

In his speech, the council boss noted that besides fulfilling what he has promised to do if he has opportunity to serve his people, the endowment programme serves as cushion to reduce the burden of self-sustainership on the widows, elderly and the physically-challenged members of the council area.

The Executive Secretary also distributed farm implements to farmers in the council promising to extend the programme to more area across the local government.

Tokede, apart from the empowerment programme, also commissioned 5 boreholes erected for the people of the local government.

The gesture according to him was to ease residents of the local government areas of the stress of searching for water as we entered the dry season.

Calling on other political office holders to emulate the good gusture Tokede, urged the opposition party in the state as well as his party members to hold the responsibility of providing better society for the people.

The Executive Secretary who thanked Governor Rauf Aregbesola for giving him the opportunity to serve his people, said Osun state has witnessed unprecedented development under Aregbeola administation.

He charged the people of the local government on the need to pay taxes and other levies promptly saying “we shall not hesitate to play our roles as government if you fulfil your civic responsibilities”.

“I will charge you all to let us embrace peace at all time because no development can be achieved where there is rancor and acrimony,” he added

He however, advised the youths to be law abiding and shun all forms of vices as the local government election approaches.

The beneficiaries expressed gratitude to God and thanked Tokede for putting smiles on their faces.

Mrs Anike Dad, a resident of Otan-Ayegbaju community, thanked the council boss for extending a helping hand to the downtrodden.

Man, 32, Lands In Prison For Stealing Infinix Phone In Osun

By Nofisat Adeoye

A 32-year old man, Saheed Ganiyu has been remanded in prison custody by a Magistrate Court in Osogbo, Osun State for allegedly stealing an Infinix phone worth N50,000.

Prosecutor Fagboyinbo Abiodun told the court that the accused on the 12th of March, 2017 broke into the house of one Adebisi Olalekan and stole his infinix phone with the sum of N5,000.

Abiodun said the accused also damaged the front door worth N50,000 of a Toyota car belonging to one Odebiyi Idowu. The Prosecutor said the accused also stole one flashdrive worth N5,000 from the car.

He added that the offence is contrary to and punishable under sections 390(a), 411(1)(2), 451 and 509 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.

The accused who had no legal representative, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Adenike Olowolagba remanded him in Ilesa Prison custody and adjourned the case till January 31, 2018.

SARS Will Be Reformed Not Scrapped – Nigeria Police Insists

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, Jimoh Moshood has stated that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, will not scrapped but reformed despite nationwide protest.

Moshood disclosed this at a youth-police forum on Police Accountability in Lagos by Korede Bello Initiative.

CSP Moshood urged Nigerians to be patient as the police force was investigating complaints and feel their pains.

“We have families and we feel your pain; SARS reform is the way to go and not to end SARS.

“SARS has been doing very well in ensuring that robbery is reduced to the barest minimum in the country. However, concerns and allegations against them as regard the violation of human rights are being investigated on the directive of the Inspector General of Police.

“The reform that he has put in place is to ensure that SARS is streamlined just as the Mobile Police Force under a unified commander at the Force headquarters, who is a commissioner of police”, he said.

Dolapo Badmos, the Zonal police public relations officer for Lagos and Ogun state also present at the event commended the Korede Bello Initiative for the forum, reassuring Nigerians that the reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was currently going on.

”If you have any complaint about any police or SARS officer, report and it will be dealt with appropriately by the Police”, Badmos said.

Nigerian celebrities Ruggedman, Dr Sid, Simi, Sound Sultan, Korede Bello and ace broadcaster, Sulaiman Aledeh were at the forum.

Group Mourns Death of Aregbesola’s Step Mum

By Nofisat Adeoye

Progressives e-Group, the number one online group in the State of Osun, has commiserated with the Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola over the death of his step mother, Alhaja Aishat Aregbesola.

“We receive with great shock and total disbelief, the unexpected death of step mother of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola – Alhaja Aishat Aregbesola and a woman of many phenomenal parts – Olori Opeyemi Omobolawa Fola (popularly called Olori Fola) in the early hours of Wednesday.

“The duo of Alhaja Aishat Aregbesola and Olori Fola lifestyle exemplified hard work, humility, selflessness, forthrightness and remarkable motherhood. We are bold to say without any equivocation that Alhaja Aishat Aregbesola is a complete step mother and perfect replacement as a mother to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola after the demise of Iya Olobi – Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola exactly 134 days ago.

“Also on the other hand, Olori Opeyemi Fola was a sound technocrat, cool headed administrator, altruistic fellow and firm believer in the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as well as rapid growth and development of the State of Osun.

“We can sensed the level of agony and dejection the family of Aregbesola and Fola is experiencing now. However, we urge them to take solace in the fact that the duo was able to make indelible marks while on earth which will continue to be ascribed to them even after death.

“We pray to Almighty God to grant the family, friends, associates of the deceased and the good people of the State of Osun the fortitude to bear this irreparable double loss. Good Night Alhaja Aishat Aregbesola and Olori Opeyemi Fola.” The release signed by the group reads in part.

Osun Assembly Issues Arrest Warrant Against Former Commissioner, Muyiwa Ige

By Nofisat Adeoye

The State of Osun House of Assembly has issued a warrant of arrest against late Chief Bola Ige’s son who was also a former commissioner for Lands, Physical planning and Urban Development in the state, Hon. Muyiwa Ige.

The warrant was signed by the majority leader, Hon. Timothy Owoeye.

Ige was alleged to have ignored the assembly’s call for questions over a land issue in Ilobu community.

Reacting to the news through a phone call, the commissioner however, said he didn’t receive any invitation from the House of Assembly.

Ige who sounded shocked said that, “I don’t know what to say, nobody invited me, I don’t know what this is all about. A phone call should have been put across to me. I was in Osogbo till 7pm yesterday. How much would it have taken me to get to Osogbo from Lagos State.”

Court Fixes Jan 11, 2018 For Hearing On Osun Govt’s Application For Vacation Of Order On LGs Funds

The Federal High Court, Abuja that ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federal government and Ministry of Finance to warehouse statutory allocations to the local government councils in Osun state has fixed January 11, for the application of the state government seeking for the vacation of the order.

The new date, according to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr Basiru Ajibola, supersedes the earlier fixed date of January 23 by the court.

It was gathered that the court had last week granted a Motion Ex-perte filed by three chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Kolawole Osunkemitan, Chief Douglas Adeyinka Oyinlola and Prince Aderemi Adeniran Adelowo had approached the court with an application for the stoppage of monies for the local government in the state in
an attempt to stop the conduct of the local government in the state.

Contesting the court order, the state government filed an application before the court with a prayer for the vacation of the order.

Filed by Ajibola, the government stated in the application that the court order was liable to be set aside ‘ex debito justitae’ for fundamental irregularity, breach of applicant’s right to fair hearing and manifest lack of jurisdiction.

The government stated that the court order was made in violation of the legal right to fair hearing of the government as guaranteed under Order 26, Rules 13 and 14 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and in consequence that it breached the right to fair hearing of the government as guaranteed under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

On this, the government argued that whereas the Rules of the court mandated a minimum of three days as return date for the order to show cause, the Applicant only had one day between the day of service of the order on the Abuja Liaison Office on Thursday 30th November, 2017 and 4th December, 2017 when the orders were granted.

This is in view of the fact that Friday, December 1 and Sunday, December 3 were public holidays in the eye of the law and cannot be computed in determining the three day return date.

In the application, the government contested that the court had earlier refused the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs (now defendants) on November 27 for interim injunction in a Motion Ex-Parte dated November 8, 2017, pointing out that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant same reliefs December 4, 2017 as it had now turned around to do.

The government argued that it amounted to sitting on appeal over its ruling and/or orders for the court to grant same reliefs of the Motion ex-parte it had earlier refused, adding the application had become ‘functus officio’.

It explained that court lack requisite jurisdiction to still proceed to make an order to show cause against the defendants (now applicants) in contrary to its earlier verdict refusing the reliefs.

According to the government, there is no urgency to warrant the grant of the interim orders, maintaining that it amounted to using the court as “a vehicle for perpetrating injustice’. The government also argued that the orders are liable for non-disclosure of material facts by the Plaintiffs in obtaining the ex-parte orders by the plaintiffs (now defendants). For instance, that the LCDAs had been operational since 2015.

Apart from the application to discharge the orders ex-parte, the government also file Notice of Preliminary Objection that the matter should be dismissed and/or struck out on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, locus standi and absence of cause of action.

The government argued that the plaintiffs lacked locus standi to file the suit and that the subject matter of the suit does not fall within civil causes and matters for which the Federal High Court is conferred with exclusive jurisdiction to entertain by virtue of the provisions of 251 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).

In conclusion the government asked the court to dismiss or strike out the suit for being speculative, vexatious, frivolous and intended to irritate the state and constituting abuse of court process.

Also, the State House of Assembly and the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) have filed applications to set aside the order of substituted service granted by the court and all the proceedings of the court.

The grounds of their application are that the court could not competently make an order for substituted service at an address within jurisdiction on a defendant residing outside the jurisdiction of the court.

In the circumstance of non-service of all the processes in the suit on the House of Assembly and the Commission (SOSIEC), government stressed that the court ought to set aside all the proceedings and orders granted in this suit.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the applications which were filed on Friday December 8, 2017.

By law, the application to discharge the orders granted ex-parte must be heard within 14-day otherwise the orders cease to have effect.

Corruption Charges: Arraignment Of Justice Yinusa Stalled

The planned arraignment of a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Yinusa failed to go on at the Lagos High Court Sitting in Ikeja today.

A Registrar of the court told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) that Justice Mojisola Dada would not be hearing the case and had, in fact, sent the case file back to the Chief Judge of Lagos for re-assignment to another judge.

No reason was given for this development.

It was gathered that Justice Dada is the second judge to decline on hearing the case.

The first is Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.

Despite the arraignment being stalled, Justice Yinusa was present in court but left immediately he heard that the matter would not go on. His co-defendant, Esther Agbo, a staff of the Law Firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Rickey Tarfa was however absent in court.

Journalists obtained a copy of the five count charge sheet.

In the first Count, Justice Yinusa is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by engaging in constant private and confidential telephone communications with Mr Rickey Tarfa, SAN during a period he presided over two of the Senior advocate’s matter.

In the second count, Justice Yinusa is charged with corruption for allegedly receiving the sum of N1.5millio paid to him by his co-defendant, Esther Agbo in other to give decisions in favour of the Chambers of the Law Firm of Rickey Tarfa.

In the third count, Justice Yinusa is charged with agreeing to receive financial benefit from another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Nwobike in other to give favourable decisions in the cases of the said lawyer before him.

In count four, the EFCC alleged that Justice Yinusa received the sum of N750,000 from Mr Nwobike and in the fifth charge, Esther Agbo is charged with offering gratification of NI.5m to Justice Yinusa in order to induce him to give decisions in favour of the Law Chambers of Rickey Tarfa.

FESTAC Fire Explosion Leaves 20 Vehicles, 4 Motorcycles Burnt

No fewer than 20 vehicles and four commercial motorcycles were on Wednesday afternoon burnt when a tanker laden with petrol fell and spilled its content on the Festac Link Bridge in Awuwo Odofin LGA of Lagos State.

The fire started at noon and raged for about an hour. Fire fighters arrived at the scene about 30 minutes later but did not have enough water to quench the fire.

A witness, Mr. Olufemi Popoola, said that the tanker, coming from Apple Junction and going to FESTAC Town was ascending the bridge but suddenly rolled back and fell.

The impact of the fall separated the tank from the body, resulting in an explosion, according to Popoola. He said that some residents and passers-by attacked the fire with buckets of water to no avail.

Popoola, who lives in FESTAC, said that the fire from the tanker spilled over to nearby vehicles, forcing their occupants to run, abandoning them.

“The fire then spilled into a car shop at the foot of the bridge, burning some of the cars, while the attendants quickly drove out some.

“Furniture items, bags and boxes displayed for sale at the foot of the bridge all burnt,’’ he said.

Reports say vehicles burnt included a 2010 Toyota Highlander and a commercial bus. The fire caused gridlock on the bridge and in the adjoining roads.

A crowd of affected persons and sympathisers gathered at the scene to lament the situation. One of the owners of the burnt motorcycles, Mr. Akuko Okoli, said that he narrowly escaped death.

It was not clear at the time of the report whether any life was lost to the fire.


Alleged Forgery: Court Grants Sen. Misau Bail

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday granted bail to Senator Isah Misau on self-recognition.

Misau, who represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District, was arraigned on an amended 10-count bordering on forgery and other related offences.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Saleh Hadi, from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, informed the court of the amended charges filed.

Hadi said the amended charges had been filed and he had affixed seal as ordered by the court on the last adjourned date.

He further applied for the charges to be read to the defendant to enable him to take his plea.

However , Misau pleaded not guilty to the amended 10 counts preferred against him.

Presiding Judge, Justice Chikere ordered that the defendant deposit his passport with the Chief Registrar of the Court and can apply whenever he needs it.

The Justice adjourned the matter until January 21 for hearing.

Appeal Court Insists Saraki Must Face CCT Trial

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on Wednesday ruled that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki must face trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

The court also dismissed 15 out of the 18 counts of false assets declaration instituted against the Senate President, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson-led three man panel unanimously ordered the Senate President to return to the CCT to face trial on three of the counts.

The Appeal Court had earlier reserved its judgement on the appeal filed by the Federal Government challenging the acquittal of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

Saraki is facing trial on an 18-count charge of false asset declaration and other related offences levelled against him by the Federal government.