BREAKING: Federal High Court Judge, Ademola Resigns

Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, has voluntarily resigned from service.

The High court judge, who was one of the eight judges whose houses were raided by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) for alleged corrupt practices and money laundering tendered his resignation letter to the National Judicial Council late in the evening of Wednesday after he had presided over several cases, four of which were criminal matters.

As at the time of filling this report, official reason or reasons for his retirement were unavailable.

PDP Crisis: Kashamu Begs High Court on Party’s Disciplinary Action

Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Buruji Kashamu, has begged the Federal High Court in Abuja to nullify the disciplinary decisions taken by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, against him.

He said all disciplinary steps, including his being queried on September 7, 2017, about his alleged actions and his referral to the Disciplinary Committee of the party, were in violation of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division in suit FHC/L/CS/605/2016, and also the order of Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Abuja Division of the court, made in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/732/2017 on September 5, 2017.

He said, the PDP as a party in “serial disobedience of court orders… in the management of its affairs in the South-West and disdain for the rule of law”, unless the court intervened in the matter, the party would unjustifiably expel him or block him from seeking nomination for future elections on its (PDP’s) platform.

He also stated in his fresh suit marked, ‘FHC/ABJ/CS/866/2017,’ that some national leaders of the PDP were moving against him just because he insisted on observance of internal democracy in the management of the affairs of the party, particularly in the South-West zone.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee are the first three respondents to the suit.

The fourth to the sixth respondents are the Chairman of the PDP Disciplinary Committee, Chief Tom Ikimi; Makarfi; and another member of the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the party, Ben Obi.

Kashamu had filed the suit after he was queried by the party on September 7 over his activities in the South-West zone of the party.

He stated in the affidavit filed in support of the suit that the PDP had queried him and some other prominent leaders of the party in the South-West for encouraging “aggrieved members of the party to approach the court to enforce their rights.”

He added that the PDP, Ikimi and Makarfi had accused him in the letter dated September 7, 2017 “of instigating the Nigeria Police to arrest and prosecute certain named members of the party for contempt of court and directed me to respond to the query within seven days upon the receipt of the letter.”

Denying the said allegation, Kashamu said he did not in any way instigate the police to arrest any member of the party, adding that the query was “a prelude to the actualisation of the plan of the second to the sixth defendants (PDP, the caretaker committee, Ikimi, Makarfi and Obi) to have me expelled from the party, suspended or disciplined for no justifiable reason other than my insistence on the upholding of internal democracy in the management of the affairs of the PDP, especially in the South-West zone.”

Begging for the court’s intervention, he said his close friends in the national leadership of the party had told him that “the plan is to either expel or suspend me and other leaders of the party or refuse to allow us to seek nomination to contest for political office in the forthcoming elections.”
He also accused INEC of failing to check the continued violation of court orders and judgments by the party.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Friday fixed October 19, and alternative date of November 10 for the hearing of the suit.
INEC was not represented in court on .

Federal High Court To Appoint Judges Soon – CJN

The Federal High Court is on its way to appointing judges as the seat is vacant says the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Onnoghen spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of the 33rd Annual Judges Conference.

He said that the colossal responsibilities bestowed on the court required that it had the full compliments of its judicial officers.

“The Constitution has vested colossal responsibility in the Federal High Court. “The court is undoubtedly one of the most strategic and significant arms of the judiciary and should be empowered with the right capacity to discharge its functions.

“To this end, I assure your Lordships that the process of appointing judges to this court is under way and will soon be completed.

“The appointment of new judges is with a view to ensuring that the court enjoys the full complements of its judicial officers as stipulated by the Constitution,” the CJN said.

Onnoghen who was represented by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa further stated that the judiciary remained committed to the Federal Government’s fight against corruption.

He urged all stakeholders to perform their functions diligently as all hands needed to be on deck to win the war against corruption.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, commended the support and cooperation of the CJN in appointing new judges to the court.

He said he was optimistic that the new judges would help to clear outstanding cases and reduce the cases on the docket of the courts.

According to Auta, it is a practice in the court from inception for judges to meet annually to appraise the activities of the previous year with a view to finding solutions to identified problems.

“In the process of finding solutions to identified problems, judges sincerely correct and apportion blames to their erring brother judges before eventually rededicating themselves to the core values of our calling and profession.”

Auta further stated that the 2017 Judges Conference was a unique one to him as it was the last one he would attend as Chief Judge since he was retiring on Sept. 16.

The Judges Conference which was declared open by the CJN would end on Sept. 15.

The Federal High Court, with 80 judges spread across its 37 judicial divisions, began activities to open its 2017/2018 legal year on Sept. 12 with a special court session

BREAKING: Court Orders Permanent Forfeiture Of Ex-Minister Diezani’s N7.6bn Loot

A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of N7,646,700,000 said to have been illegally kept in Sterling Bank.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had linked the money to Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources.
Chuka Obiozor, a judge, who gave the judgment on Monday, had ordered the permanent forfeiture of a $37.5m sky-scrapper in Banana Island, Lagos, allegedly owned by Diezani.
The commission had told Obiozor through an ex parte application that the N7.6bn was part of the $153,310,000 which Alison-Madueke allegedly siphoned from the coffers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2014.
The EFCC also alleged that the former minister stashed the money away in three banks and that the federal government had since February last year, through an order granted by another judge, Muslim Hassan, recovered part of the money.
It urged the court to order Sterling Bank to release to the federal government the said sum still in its custody.
Obiozor had granted an interim order for the forfeiture of the funds, but on Monday he gave a permanent order for the seizure of the funds.

Court To Rule On Dino Malaye’s Recall Sept 11

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 11, will decide if the process to recall Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye should be aborted.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed the September date after listening to arguments from all parties involved in the suit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had commenced the process to recall Mr. Melaye, but the senator went to court, seeking stoppage of the process.

One of the grounds upon which Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi West in the Senate, challenged his recall, was that the signatures of some of the voters in the petition for his recall were fictitious.

Mr. Melaye who argued his case through his counsel, Nkem Okoro, said majority of the signatures on the petition were dead people.

He added that death certificates were attached to the processes he filed as exhibits to ascertain the veracity of his claim that some of the signatories were deceased.

He further alleged that he was denied fair hearing by both his constituents and INEC.

“The petitioners ought to have informed Mr. Melaye of the facts and circumstances upon which the alleged loss of confidence was based prior to submission of the petition to INEC.

“INEC upon receipt of the said petition only served Melaye a mere notice that it had received a petition for his recall. So we are challenging INEC’s action.

“They should have shown a copy of the petition to Melaye and failure to do so amounts to denial of fair hearing and a violation of the laws of natural justice.”

Mr. Okoro also said his client was challenging the validity of the said petition on the grounds that the petition was based on political animosity, malice and bad faith.

He urged the court to grant the prayers of his motion and stop INEC from going ahead with the planned recall.

Counsel to the other plaintiffs in the matter said they aligned themselves with the arguments of Mr. Okoro.

Counsel to INEC, Anthony Adeniyi, on his part, said Mr. Melaye had failed to show the court the particular signatories on the petition to which the death certificates attached as exhibit belonged.

“If he attached death certificates, he should tell the court that this certificate for example, belongs to signature number 24 on the petition, but he failed to do that.”

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until Sept. 11 for judgment.

The judge also fixed Sept.11 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), also seeking to stop Melaye’s recall.

The judge consolidated the two suits to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject of both suits were similar.



Court Grants Nnamdi Kanu Bail

The leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu has been granted bail by the Federal High Court in the sum of N100 million on Tuesday.

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, granted bail to the defendant to enable him to attend to his ailing health.

The judge, in addition, ordered that the defendant produces three sureties with N100 million each.
Kanu, Onwudiwe Chidiebere, Banjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi were arraigned by the federal government last year on an 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and illegal possession of firearms, among others.

But Justice Nyako had struck out six out of the 11 amended charges filed against the defendants on grounds that they lacked competence.

Ruling on the bail application of the defendants, the judge said she was convinced that Kanu’s ailment was one that needed serious medical attention than the current medical facilities provided by the prison authorities.

“The first defendant, Nnamdi Kanu, has appealed to the court for bail based on health grounds and it is only the living that can stand trial.
“So I am minded to grant him bail so that he can attend to his health and face his trial alive,” she said.

The court, however, said that the sureties to be provided by Kanu should include a highly respected Jewish leader since according to her, the defendant claimed Judaism as his religion.

Another of the sureties, according to the judge, should be a senior and highly placed individual of Igbo extraction and in the ranking of a senator, while the last is expected to be a respected individual resident in Abuja with proof of ownership of landed property.

In addition, Justice Nyako said Kanu must never be seen in a crowd of more than 10 persons, adding: “No interviews and no rallies.”
Also, the judge ordered Kanu to deposit his international passport including his British passport with the court, adding that the court should on a monthly basis be furnished with a progress report on his health.