Court Adjourns Trial Of Ex-Abia Governor, Orji Kalu

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has adjourned the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu to January 22 and 23rd.

Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the proceedings after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to produce one of its major witnesses in court.

The former governor is being tried on a 34 count charge alongside one of his aides, Udeh Udeogu and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited for allegedly diverting the sum of N2.9bn from the coffers of the Abia State Government.

They have however pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed proceedings of the case today, January 16, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told Justice Idris that the witness in question, one M.A. Udoh had been evasive, and the anti-graft agency was having difficulty bringing him to court.

He urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable him to locate and bring the witness, a retired employee of the Abia State Government House, Umuahia, to court to testify.

The defence counsel promptly opposed the move for an adjournment, describing it as frivolous.

They expressed disappointment at the EFCC’s request for an adjournment and indicated their readiness to continue. They also told the court that most of them had flown to Lagos from Abuja just to ensure that there was no further delay in the case that had lasted for over 10 years.

The defence then urged the court to either foreclose the prosecution’s case or in the alternative order the EFCC to bear the cost of their transportation and hotel accommodation.

But the EFCC prosecutor countered by reminding the court that the case was delayed for over 10 years at the instance of the defendants who pursued an interlocutory appeal all the way to the Supreme Court.

In his ruling, Justice Idris described the development as unfortunate.

He noted that the case had been adjourned on four different occasions at the request of the prosecution.

Though he conceded to an adjournment, the judge warned that it would be the last of its kind.

He then fixed further proceedings for January 22 and 23rd.

Court Remands Bricklayer For Defiling A Minor

A Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo, State of Osun, on Tuesday, remanded a 23-year old bricklayer, Lukman Moshood, in prison for allegedly raping and defiling a 6-year-old girl for two days.

The suspect was accused of luring the victim, simply identified as Omode Kekere into his room located at 3, Durojaye Street, Testing Ground area, Osogbo, while her mother sent her on an errand.

Police prosecutor, Fatoba Temitope, a police sergeant, informed the court that the accused person forced the minor to bed two times at about 2:30pm on 23rd and 28th of December, 2017.

Moshood was said to have gagged the minor while having carnal knowledge of her repeatedly.
It was learnt that the victim’s parents discovered stains of blood in her private part before Moshood was confronted and reported to the police.

The charge sheet obtained by our correspondent from the court reads, “That you, Lukman Moshood, on the 23rd and 28th days of December, 2017 at about 14:30hours at No. 3 Durojaye Street, Testing Ground area, Osogbo in the Osogbo Family Court District did unlawfully and indecently assault one Omode Kekere, aged 6, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 360 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vol. II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

The second charge reads partly, “ That you (accused) on the same date, time and aforementioned Magisterial district did unlawfully have carnal knowledge of Omode Kekere, aged 6 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vil. II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

But Moshood pleaded not guilty to the two count-charges of indecent assault and rape slammed against him by the police.

Though the accused person’s counsel, Okobe Najite, made efforts to secure bail for his client, the presiding Magistrate, A. Ayeni, ordered that Moshood be remanded in Ilesa Prison custody.

He adjourned the matter till January 30, 2018, for mention.

Meanwhile, the parents of the victim have appealed to the police and well-meaning Nigerians to ensure that their daughter gets justice over her ordeal.

Speaking with journalists at the Police Command Headquarters, the parents revealed that they had sent Kekere on an errand before Moshood allegedly lured her into his room and defiled her.

The State Commissioner of Police, Olafimihan Adeoye, then advised parents to always ensure that their wards do not go to where they could be abused.

Court Remands 300 B/Haram Suspects In Secret Trials

Three hundred Boko Haram suspects who were due in court on Tuesday will now have to wait until at least next month to learn when they will be formally tried.

The individuals were remanded in custody for 90 days on October 10 by a civilian court set up at a military base in central Nigeria.

“The case was slated for resumption today (Tuesday) but it has been postponed to February. No date has been fixed yet,” a justice ministry source told AFP.

“The law allows for an extension of the remand order for another 90 days, so we are still within the limit provided by the law.

“There are ongoing investigations into the individual cases of the suspects and these investigations have not been concluded.

“We need further investigations before the court resumes so that we won’t be asking for more adjournments.”

Nigeria began the first mass trials linked to the Islamist insurgency in October last year, more than eight years after the start of violence that has killed at least 20,000.

Human rights groups have accused the military of arbitrarily arresting thousands of civilians and holding them in unsanitary conditions and without access to lawyers.

The prosecutions were welcomed but the government was criticised for ordering the hearings to be held behind closed doors, with the media and public banned.

Four civilian courts have been set up at a military base in Kainji, in Niger state, to try 1,669 suspects.

The government said on October 13 that 45 people were convicted and sentenced to
between three and 31 years in jail but gave no further details.

AFP

Suspected Killers Of UNIOSUN Student Remanded In Prison

By Nofisat Adeoye

An Osun State High Court presided by Justice Kudirat Akano has ordered that the five suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Timileyin Olufemi Sonibare, a four hundred level, microbiology student of Osun State University, UNIOSUN, be remanded in prison custody.

The suspects who had also been arraigned before a Magistrate Court were charged with three counts charge of conspiracy, murder and misconduct with corpse which are contrary to section 516, 319, 242 and punishable under section 319(1) of Criminal Code Cap 34, Laws of Osun State, 2002.

The accused persons, Abdurafiu Zakariyah, Yusuf Kareem, Aruba Ibrahim,  Ishaq Yusuf and Abdulkareem Adeoti were alleged to have killed Sonibare for purposes of money rituals on the 26th of June 2017, at Jafariyah Avenue, Oke-Bale Area in Osogbo.

The deceased head and right hand were cut and burnt inside a pot which was caught with the first suspect, Zakariyah.

When paraded by the police, the first suspect had confessed that he carried out the act together with one yahayah who is still at large and with the second and third suspects.
Zakariyah also confessed that the account book for the procedure of money rituals was gotten from the 5th suspect, Adeoti.

However, on further investigation, the pot used in burning the deceased body parts was recovered from the house of the 4th suspect, Yusuf.

Speaking in court today, the counsels for the accused persons, Barrister Badmus Kazeem and Barrister Abayomi Alayoku prayed the court for the bail of their clients in the most liberal terms.

Justice Kudirat, however, remanded the accused persons in prison custody and adjourned the case till the 15th of December, 2017.
She also ordered that the counsels come by way of written bail application on the adjourned date.

Court Remands Surety For Failing To Produce Accused

By Nofisat Adeoye

A Magistrate Court in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun presided over by Magistrate Adenike Olowolagba, has ordered that a surety, Adeyemo Clement be remanded in prison custody for failing to produce the accused he stood for.

Prosecutor Duro Adekunle told the court that Clement, from April 2016 to the 28th of October, 2017, intentionally disrespected the court by failing to produce one Abeeb Owolabi, an accused he stood surety for.

Adekunle said Clement also conspired with the principal accused to abscond and prevented him from attending his criminal trial.

The Prosecutor added that the offence contravened sections 126(2), 133(9) and 192 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

Meanwhile, Clement pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him and his counsel, Barrister Abimbola Ige, prayed the court for his bail in the most liberal terms.

In his ruling however, Magistrate Olowolagba ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody and adjouned the case till the 27th of December, 2017.

Septuagenarian, Others Arraigned For Forging Land Documents In Osun

A Septuagenarian, Alarape Sariyu, has been arraigned by the Osun State Police Command before a Magistrate Court in Osogbo for allegedly forging a land ownership document.

Sariyu was arraigned alongside Rauf Balogun aged 60 and Abdul Hazeem aged 34.

Prosecutor Oladoye Joshua told the court that the trio sometimes ago in Osogbo, forged the agreement document of a land situated in Obelawo estate which is property of one Lawal Obelawo.

Joshua said the accused persons also unlawfully erected a building on the land and thereby caused a breach of public peace.

The Prosecutor stated that the offences were contrary to and punishable under sections 81, 249(D), 456 and 516 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2003.

The trio however pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them and their counsel, Barrister O. Ademola prayed the court for their bail in the most liberal terms.

In his ruling, Magistrate Fatima Sodemade granted the trio bail of N500,000 with one surety in the like sum each and adjourned the case till the 20th of December.

 

Court To Rule On IPOB’s Application Against Ban Jan. 2018

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed January 17, 2018, to decide if it will set aside the order of proscription against Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

IPOB had earlier asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reverse its orders proscribing it and labelling it as a terrorist group.

In September 2017, IPOB made the request in a motion filed by its lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati.

The group made this application barely 48 hours after Justice Kafarati had granted an ex-parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the proscription of the group and its categorisation as a terrorist group.

IPOB had insisted that it is a non-violent movement, based its motion on 13 grounds one of which was that the court did not have the jurisdiction to proscribe the group as it is “an entity unknown to law.”

Ikirun Bank Robbery: Police Present Recovered Arms In Court

Revelations have emerged on how the robbers that attacked two banks in Ikirun, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State in February 12, 2016, operated for 45 minutes.

A witnessed called by the state prosecution on Thursday, SP Oluwaseyi Adedayo, explained that the robbers took over the town for 45 minutes, firing and killing people.

The witness who was the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Iragbiji in Boripe local government, said the robbers arrived the banks with a Primera car, snatched from First City Monument Bank and one Armada Jeep snatched from Oba Orangun of Ila.

Adedayo who was led in evidence by the prosecution team led by Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, said three AK47 riffle were recovered from the robbers during faceoff.

“I returned from DPOs conference on that day. As I entered my office in Iragbiji Police station. I received a call from one Cpl Olumide Owojobi that Ikirun town has been taken over by armed robbers

“I left Iragbiji with Armed Personnel Carrier, APC. The road leading to the banks’ street had been blocked by the armed robbers when I got to Ikirun.

“I maneuvered a road from the back of the bank, immediately they saw me and my team in the APC, they opened fire us. I tried to dispatch them with teargas buy they didn’t turn back. It was then I shot and killed three of them immediately.

“They have taken over the town because the operation lasted for 45minutes. I met the first accused person, Nuhu in a pool of blood, holding gun. Three AK47, 7magazines, were recovered from them.

The second witness, DSP Gabriel Ogwuche, who said he was a Surveillance Patrol Officer, explained to the court how he lied down to arrest one of the accused persons, Ndubisi David.

He said the accused person was hidden between two fridges at a refrigeration  workshop beside the bank, when he rolled on the ground and arrested him.

A staff of First Bank, Mr. Jegede Matthew Ayodele, who said he was the Head Cash Officer, revealed how the robbers invaded the bank with sporadic shooting.

Meanwhile, the fourth accused person, Ogundunmade Kayode, was granted bail in the sum of N2million with a member of House of Assembly and a monarch in the state standing for him.

Justice Jide Falola also said the accused must swear to an oath that he would be attending proceedings till the end of the matter.

His counsel, a legal aide counsel, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Akintajuwa, had applied for his bail due to the mental challenges she said the accused was facing.

The case was however adjourned indefinitely for further hearing.

Breaking News: Jonathan Dares Court, Refuses To Appear As Witness

A new twist has again greeted the ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party Spokesperson, Olisa Metuh as former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to honour order of Justice Okon Abang.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, gave an order summoning the former president to appear before him today.

The summon which was in line with a ruling of the Court of Appeal in Abuja that faulted earlier refusal to grant Metuh’s request for subpoena to be issued against Dasuki.

However, reasons for the ex-president’s absence from court could not be ascertained.

Metuh is currently facing charges for allegedly receiving the sum of N400m from former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in the build up to the 2015 presidential election.

Justice Abang said: “Indeed, at the close of business, yesterday (Monday) being October 23, 2017, precisely at about 3.59 pm, the registrar forwarded to the court in chamber a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify at the instance of the first defendant (Metuh).

Court Remands Two For Beating Up Police Officer

By Toba Adedeji

 

Two middle age men Suraju Adeniyi and Lateef Olaitan on Monday was brought before an Osogbo Magistrate’s’ Court in Osun for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

 

The two accused persons were arraigned on one count charge bothering on Breach of peace.

 

The prosecutor Sergeant Ajayi Sunday told the court that the duo conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by gathering at an India Hemp joint.

 

He explained that the offense committed by the duo is contrary to and punishable under section 249 (D) of the criminal code cap 34 volume 11.laws of Osun State 2003.

 

However, the duo pleaded not guilty to one count charge allegation pressed against them by the police.

 

The defense counsel Mrs. Raji Abiodun applied for their bail orally, in the most liberal and affordable terms.

 

The prosecutor opposed the bail application made by the defence counsel.

 

He explained that the charge sheet needs to be substituted.

 

Ajayi noted that the duo committed the offense on 6th of October at Asoje area in Osogbo where their thugs also beat a police officer at the place where they were later arrested.

 

The duo belongs to a gang of which they will go after the police if they were granted bail, he added.

 

The Magistrate, Mrs O. A. Oloyade ignored the application of the defense counsel and ordered the duo be remanded in Ilesa prison custody as she adjourned the case to November 9th for applications on bail.

Man Arraigned For Stealing Baby Clothes

By Pelumi Fasoyin

A 32-year-old man, Gbenga Daramola has been arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate Court for stealing baby clothes, fowl, empty crates of coca-cola and mobile phone.

Police prosecutor, Inspector Olayiwola Rasaq told the court that the accused person and others, now at large committed the offences on the 23rd of September, 2017 at Balogun Biiro, Oke-Baale Area, Osogbo.

The charge sheet stated that the accused person and others at large burgled the dwelling house of One Saka Mojirade and stole four baby clothes, one fowl, two empty crates of Coca-cola and one Huawei mobile phone, all valued N40,000.

According to the charge sheet, the offences committed were contrary to and punishable under Section 516, 411, 412 and 390 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Volume II, Laws of Osun State, Nigeria, 2003.

The defence counsel, Mr Okobe Najite applied for the bail of his client in the most liberal terms, arguing that the offences committed were bailable ones.

The presiding Magistrate, Mrs Fatimah Sodamade granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety.

She thereafter adjourned the case to October 26, 2017 for mention.