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Law/Judiciary

Ouster Clauses

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Jurisdiction is a practical authority granted to a legal body, the court precisely to administer jurisdiction justice within the defined field of responsibility. The jurisdiction of a court may be limited by way of ouster clause. Ouster clauses are provisions in the statutes that take away the jurisdiction of a competent court of law. It denies the court the ability to make any meaningful contribution with respect to matters relating to sustainable development and good government brought before the court. The provision of section 6 (6) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, ousts the jurisdiction of the court in enforcement of directive principles.
Ouster clauses exist to preclude the jurisdiction of the court. They are usually regarded as antitletic to democracy and judicial system. The 1999 constitution contains provisions which literally ousts the jurisdiction relating to removal of executive heads by members of the legislative arm of government. The constitution thus precludes the courts from entertaining suits relating to removal proceedings of the president or the vice president, conducted by the National Assembly. The provisions under section 143 (10) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are Mutatis Mutandis with those aptly in section 188(10), which similarly obviates the courts from entertaining suits relating to removal of Governors and Deputy Governors.
The court in Chief Enyi Abaribe V. The Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly and Ors (2002) 14 NWLR (Pt 738) 466 held that in interpreting the provision of section 188(10) reiterated the fact that a case cannot be brought before it concerning the affairs of the legislature in the powers of impeachment. The court held that its jurisdiction was effectively ousted issue concerning whether the provisions of section 188 (1) – (9) were followed was not raised before the court, thus the reason for the court declining jurisdiction. Also the court in the locus classius case of Inakoju V. Adeleke (2007) a NWLR (Pt 1025) 423 held that the ouster clauses in S. 188(10) will only be applied if the provision of section 188(1) – (9) which outlines the procedure for removal of the governor has been duly complied with. If the facts of the case show that the provisions of the constitution were flaunted, the court would wade in to correct the anomaly. This judicial decision was also applied in subsequent cases like Ekpeyong V. Umana (2010) All FELR (Pt 520) 1387 at 1397 paras. GH.
The above cases show that the court has introduced a new twist to the interpretation given to ouster clauses as provided in the 1999 constitution. This show of activism was clearly shown in the case of Jimoh V. Olauoye (2003) 10 NWLR (Pt 828) 307 at 337, where the court interpreted the provision of section 26(10) of the local government law of Kwara State relating to local government chairman which is in parimateria with the provision of section 188 (10) of the constitution to the effect that the court will intervene in an impeachment suit notwithstanding section 26(10) of the local government law of Kwara State under the provision f section 26(1) – (9) which listed the procedure for removal have been complied with, as was in the case of Inakoju V. Adeleke (Supra).

 

Nkechi Bright Ewere

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Law/Judiciary

Monarch Wades Into Keke Operators’ Crisis In Rivers Community

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As part of measures to resolve the fracas between two keke factional leaders which snowballed to the gruesome murder of one Clement Elewa, destruction of property in Okporo Okwurusi, Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area, the traditional institution in Okporo Okwurusi Kingdom has waded in by suspending the activities of the factional leaders.
The Okporo Okwurusi Traditional Institution headed by His Royal Majesty, King Amadi Wenenda Morgan (JP) also announced the appointment of Comrade Henry Ohia as the Substantive Chairman, Okporo OkwurusiKeke management committee.
Other members of the committee were drawn among three major communities in the kingdom namely, Rumuodara, Eliowani and Mgbuesilarn ..
Addressing the factional leaders at his palace, Eze Oha Okporo Okwurusi, King Morgan Amadi said the dissolution and subsequent appointment of the Keke Management Committee were part of the recommendations of the Arbitration panel set up by the community to resolve the impasse.
The monarch, however, noted that 4 million would be given to one Mr. Ayo as part of compensation over the destruction of his property.
Eze Oha Okporo Okwurusisaid the community decided to intervene following Governor Nyesom Wike’s directive to arrest the situation to avoid further degeneration.
Eze Amadi further warned that the community would no longer tolerate any criminal act capable of jeopardizing the existing peace and orderliness in the community saying Okporo Okwurusi would continue to accommod those whose businesses or activities do not threaten the peaceful co-existence of the kingdom.
According to the government recognized traditional ruler, blessed are .the peace makers.”
“Our happiness is that the two factional leaders had our appeal for the matter to be settled amicably so that those affected can continue with their life because we are one• indivisible family,” he explained.
He noted that although the life lost could never come back hence the need for all invloved to accept the decision of he community in the interest of peace and social harmony.
King Amadi thanked all those who paid supreme sacrifices to allow peace reign, and assured that Okporo Okwurusi Traditional Institution would ensure peaceful co-existence of different tribes living and doing business in the kingdom.
Earlier, Okporo Okwurusi Keke Management Committee chairman, Comr. Henry Ohia assured that his committee would never disappoint the trust reposed in them.
Comr. Henry who doubles as National Youth president Okporo Okwurusi Kingdom also advised the keke factional leaders to embrace peace as directed by the traditional rulers to enable the community move on.
All who spoke commended Eze Oha Okporo Okwurusi in Council for his sense of responsibility in settling the matter amicably.
Recall that early this year precisely 26th May, 2020 a middle aged man, Clement Elewa was murdered in cold blood following misunderstanding between two factional keke unions operating in Okporo Okwurusi Kingdom leading to breakdown of law and order within the kingdom.

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Law/Judiciary

Police Task Journalists On Objective Reporting

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The Rivers State Police Command has urged journalists in the state to be objective in their reports.
The Police Public Relation Officer PPRO, SP Nnamdi Omoni made the appeal yesterday while presenting the police’s pledge of 43 – inch flat screen television to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the security of the state is not the sole responsibility of the police alone, but journalists also have vital roles to play in reducing crimes to the barest minimum in the state.
Omoni commended journalists for their cordial relationship with the police in fighting crime in the state.
He said the television gift was a token to assist the union in monitoring events that would foster peace and development in the state.
Omoni officially presented the pledged item to the leadership of NUJ in Port Harcourt.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of NUJ, Stanley Job Stanley commended the police in the state for keeping to its promise.
Stanley reiterated the NUJ’s commitment in partnering with the police to fight crime in the state.
Stanley who noted that the 43-inch television would go a long way to assist journalists in their job.
He promised that the union would continue in its partnership with the police to achieving the set security goals in the state.

 

By: Enoch Epelle & Lady Godknows Ogbolu

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Law/Judiciary

Court Remands Man, Friend For Defiling Step Daughter

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An Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court yesterday ordered that a 50-year-old man, Paul Nnadi, 50 and his friend, be remanded in Kirikiri Correctional Centre, Lagos for allegedly raping his 15-year-old stepdaughter.
The police charged Nnadi and his friend Ayobamidele Olaiya with conspiracy and defilement.
Chief Magistrate P.E. Nwaka however did not take their plea.
Nwaka ordered the police to return the case file to the Lagos Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.
Consequently, Nwaka adjourned the case until Sept. 17, for mention.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Christopher John, alleged that they  committed the offence sometime in  2019 and May at No. 6, Ibitoye St., Ajegunle, Lagos, were  charged with rape at the court.
John alleged that Nnadi, who is the victim’s step-father and  Olaiya his friend, took turns on her.
John said that the case was reported at an Ajegunle police station and the defendants were arrested.
The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 260 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, which prescribed up to life imprisonment on conviction.

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