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Supreme Court Strikes Out Perjury Suit Against Buhari

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The Supreme Court on Monday struck out the suit seeking the disqualification of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election over alleged perjury.
The suit was filed by Kalu  Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy El-Kuris, all legal practitioners.
Delivering judgment, the Justice Mary Odili-led panel of five justices held that the case was statute barred and therefore dismissed.
The Tide reports that the justices during the introduction of appearances wondered why Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, State Counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice will be representing a private individual.
Abubakar had announced his appearance for the first respondent (General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) in the suit.
They warned him to desist from such act of using public office to defend a private litigation.
Muhammad Dattijo, while addressing the counsel cited the President Bill Clinton’s numerous private cases while in the office.
“Clinton in his numerous private litigation, he never used government organs but rather personally sponsored all his private cases,”.
He warned that his actions contravened the Code of Conduct for public servants which has consequences.
Odili in her judgment said, ‘the court notes the inappropriate appearance of Mr Abdullahi  Abubakar state counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice, representing the first respondent Gen. Muhammad Buhari Rtd in his personal capacity.
“This practice must be discouraged, appeal have been withdrawn is hereby dismissed”, Odili said.
The justices had warned Abubakar
The appellants grievances had arisen from the dismissal of their suit at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on grounds that it was statute barred and as such could not be heard.
They had approached the apex court to nullify the candidacy of President Buhari in the just concluded presidential poll over allegations of perjury.
The appellants specifically wanted Buhari’s nomination and subsequent victory at the Febrary 23 presidential election nullified on the grounds that President Buhari lied on oath in his form 001 that he submitted to INEC for the purpose of clearance for the presidential election.
They asked the apex court for an Order to set aside the judgment of the court of appeal and hear the matter on merit and grant the reliefs sought in the Originating Summons.
Among the reliefs sought are a declaration that Buhari submitted false information regarding his qualification and certifcate to INEC for the purpose of contesting election into the office of the President of Nigeria and that he should be disqualified.
They also prayed for an order of court directing INEC to remove Buhari’s name as a candidate of APC and another order restraining Buhari from parading himself as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election and also APC from recognising Buhari as a candidate.
The Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, had on July 12, held that the singular fact that the suit was filed outside the 14 days provided by the law robbed the court of jurisdiction to entertain the it.
The Federal High Court had in May declined to grant the request of the appellants on the grounds that the suit was not filed within the time allowed by law and therefore sustained the preliminary objection raised by Buhari at the hearing.
The appellants had through their counsel, Ukpai Ukairo, presented 12 grounds for the setting aside of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, amongst which are;
That the “Learned Justices of the Court of Appeal erred in law in relying on a Preliminary Objection withdrawn and struck out by the Court of Appeal in striking out and dismissing the appeal.

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Rivers Community Charges Security Agencies On Kidnapped Victim’s Whereabouts

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Some concerned indigenes of Agwut-Obolo Community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, have called on security agencies to intensify the search for the whereabouts of Elder Otungban Francis, who was recently kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the community.
It would be recalled that some hoodlums recently stormed the community in two outboard engine boats and whisked away their victim after disposing him and his security aides of their belongings.
An indigene of the community who gave his name simply as Mr Brown, described the incident as one too many, stating that the community is now living in fear due to the activities of kidnappers.
Brown stressed the need for the various security agencies to intensify their efforts in search of the old man with a view to rescuing him alive.
Also speaking, another concerned indigene of the community, Taribo Awaji-Inomida Kacham, who described the incident as barbaric, said that kidnapping is now a regular feature in the community and called on the abductors to release him unconditionally.
She also called on the state government and the security agencies to investigate the incessant kidnap incidents in Andoni, maintaining that those found culpable should be arrested and prosecuted.
Similarly, the president, Andoni Youth Federation, Comrade Mike Amachree also condemned the kidnap of Elder Francis Otungban and assured that he has confidence in the government and security agencies in rescuing him alive without any ransom.
Several phone calls made to the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) on the matter were not answered.

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N32.5m Fraud: Pastors Bag Jail Terms In Delta

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Justice F. N. Azinge of the Delta State High Court sitting in Otor-Udu, has convicted and sentenced one Pastor Glory Okeoghene Aberefa and Reverend Vincent Okpogo to 16 and 10 years imprisonment, respectively.
The duo, alongside their company, Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited, were prosecuted by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Under the guise of running a finance company, the convicts defrauded dozens of unsuspecting members of the public of millions of naira, through their fraudulent Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited.
They were arraigned on 16-count charges, bordering on conspiracy to steal and stealing, contrary to Section 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, CAP 21, Vol 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
On June 19, 2017, they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
EFCC legal team members, V. O. Agbaje and K. U. Udus had acted on a petition and investigation which fingered them in the stealing of the sum of N32,516,620.
Pastor Aberefa was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the 16 counts, while the second defendant, Reverend Okpogo was sentenced to one year imprisonment each on count seven to 16.
The sentences are to run consecutively.
The convicts, already in prison, were earlier jailed 17 years by both the Federal High Court, Asaba and Delta State High Court, Warri.
They would now serve a new sentence, which Justice Azinge said would take effect after completion of the extant 17 years imprisonment.

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Rivers CP Tasks Officers On Dedication …Decorates 19 New SPs

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The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, has charged the 19 newly promoted police officers to consider their promotion as a call for more commitment to duty and hard work.
The 19 decorated officers, who were promoted to the rank of Superintendents of Police (SPs) include the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni.
Decorating the promoted officers, Mukan, encouraged them to be diligent in their duties and assured of his administration’s support to ensure that officers of the command carry out their duties efficiently.
The state commissioner of police used the opportunity to commend the Inspector General of Police for finding the officers worthy of the promotion, just as he charged them to ensure transparency and good sense of judgment in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Responding on behalf of the newly promoted officers, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who is currently the public relations officer of the command, assured that they would do all within their reach to justify the confidence reposed in them.

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