By Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja The federal government has accused the National Judicial Council, NJC,of misrepresenting facts on the recall of the judges earlier suspended over allegation of corruption. A statement from the office of the Special Assistant to the President on Public Prosecution,signed by Okoi Obono-Obla, debunked some of the assertions contained in the statement issued by Soji Oye, Director of Information at the NJC. According to Obla, one of such false assertions by Soji Oye is the claim “that the Office of Attorney General of the Federation had on two occasions April 18, 2017 and April 21, 2017 shunned invitations by the Federal Capital Territory High Court for settlement of records of appeal which, if it had done would have elevated the notices of appeal to proper appeal’’. He said undoubtedly, the statement of Soji Oye is a deliberate misrepresentation of the law and facts. a“It goes without saying that the assertion of...
By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel,Abuja The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman, ad hoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution, Yusuf Lasun has stated that the National Assembly will ensure that Local Governments in the country get financial autonomy in the ongoing constitution review. Lasun, who said this at a retreat of the special ad hoc committee yesterday, said regardless of the "dicey" nature of granting the local governments autonomy, they are essential to democracy as well as the development in any country, hence the need for their financial independence. He said: "it's very dicey because it will involve you to amend so many sections of the constitution. But what I will assure you is we're going to push for financial autonomy. "We are concerned because if you go all over the country today, local governments are no longer in existence, and that is not good for democracy, it's not...
In this report, CHIDI NWACHUKWU looks at the succession crisis in the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the accusation and counter-accusation from members. Few hours to the election for the post of Chairman and Secretary of Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja branch, the crisis rocking the professional body has continued unabated. Some aggrieved members of the body in Abuja, known as the Unity Bar have accused the leadership of the national body of the association of not living up to their responsibilities in putting an end to the crisis. The splinter group restrained by an Order of FCT High Court of the 9th day of March 2017, seems determined to continue to flout the Order of the Court which specifically restrains their action of going ahead with the purported election slated for June, 30 2017, according to their released guidelines for election and campaign timetable. According to the aggrived members...
By Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja The Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has given reason why the Supreme Court cannot hear an appeal on the party’s crisis by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction. The case marked SC/133/2017 was brought before the apex court by the sacked Makarfi’s National Caretaker Committee. The PDP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) led by Ali Modu Sheriff and Prof. Wale Oladipo, the secretary, said the Makarfi Committee, having been declared illegal by the February 17, 2017  judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, lacked the powers to take decisions for the party, including  initiating court proceedings in its name. The party stated this in a written argument in support of an application it filed on March 21, 2017, seeking the striking out of the appeal filed on February 27, 2017 by the Makarfi Committee against the February 17 Appeal Court’s judgment. The written submission was filed...
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah  An Abuja-based legal practitioner and international management consultant has demanded that regulation should be the exclusive preserve of lawyers and that all regulatory agencies should be led by qualified lawyers, at the very least. Kachi Okezie, who is a Principal Consultant at United Kingdom-based training and consulting firm, CTP International, made the call today  at a seminar organised by his firm in collaboration with the Abuja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, to review the legal framework for regulating Free Zones in the country. In a statement he said, “Two fundamental misconceptions are to blame for the present tussle for territory between two the two government agencies charged with oversight and control of free zones in Nigeria. First, we seem to see free zones strictly as a physical place rather as an abstract concept where the needs of the rapidly growing knowledge economy are serviced through the use of...
By Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has called on lawyers in the country to respect order  of seniority at the bar. The president of the NBA, Abubakar Mahmud, at the inauguration of nine committees of the association also advised them not to express their grievances against the leadership of the Nigerian judiciary on social media but rather, go through the appropriate channel. Balarabe, while inaugurating the committee said the establishment of Committees is fundamental to ensuring a more active Bar as it is not possible for the national officers or the Secretariat to deal with all activities and functions of a Bar. According to him, “the use of Committees allows lawyers who have interest and expertise in a particular area to focus on specific issues. “In view of the foregoing, this administration has constituted some committees with a view to achieving our set objective.” One of the committees inaugurated is the welfare,...
BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah before him on May 12 to show cause why the businessman should not be released unconditionally from its custody. Justice Idris made the order after entertaining an ex parte application filed by the Ubah through his lawyer, Mrs. Ifeoma Esom challenging his continued detention by the security agency. Ubah, has sued the DSS before the Federal High Court in Lagos over what he termed unlawful detention by the security agency. Mrs. Esom, which had claimed that her client had been in detention since May 6, asked the court to order the DSS to release him in order to prevent the security agency from coercing him to accede to “whatever conditions they impose on him in exchange for his freedom.” In...
OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos The administrative judge of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun yesterday warned lawyers and litigants against paying bailiffs to serve court processes on parties to a suit. Justice Olatoregun maintained that bailiffs as staffs of the court were not supposed to charge extra fees from litigants to serve court processes. She also warned that henceforth any lawyer or litigant caught offering court bailiffs money to do their job would be handed over to the police alongside the bailiff. Leadership reports that it is a common practice by lawyers and litigants who want their court processes served within time to tipped or mobilised court bailiffs. Most times lawyers who refuse to “settle” them may have their filed abandoned or not treated. The issue came to the notice of Justice Olatoregun on Tuesday, when a lawyer who appeared before her in a case complained that the defendants were yet...
ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja An Abuja High Court has ordered a developer, White Diamond Property Development Company, ‎to remove 7 units of five-bedroom duplex ‎worth N350 million each from a piece of land in Abuja ‎The court also awarded the sum of N10million as damages against the developer of the property, as penalty for encroaching on a piece of land belonging to Trade Wheels Limited. Justice Peter Kekemeke ordered the developer  to remove all structures or building erected on the land, as well as building materials, sands and gravels at its expense. In a 22-page judgment delivered on the 15th June 2017, Justice  Kekemeke held that Trade Wheels has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant encroached on its land. “It is my view that the plaintiff has proved that the defendant trespasses in its land, and I so hold,” he said. The court consequently issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining White Diamonds and its agent from further encroaching...
BY Kola Eke-Ogiugo, Asaba A legal practitioner based in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Barr John Onwe, yesterday, dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, attorney-general of the federation, director of the Department of State Services (DSS), inspector-general of Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and National Judicial Council (NJC),  to court over the recent arrest,  detention and prosecution of some Appeal and Supreme Court Justices for alleged corruption. According to Barr Onwe, the Department of State Services invaded the residences of some Judges of the federal high court, Nigeria, including Hon Justice Adeniyi Ademola, Hon Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, and Hon Muazu Pindiga and some Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria including Hon Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, and Hon Justice John Inyang Okoro between the hours of 9pm on the 7th October, and 9am on the 8th October, 2016 and purportedly arrested them from their judicial duties based on unverified allegation purportedly...