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Justice Abdulazeez Anka of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Wednesday declined to hear a fundamental rights suit filed by suspected kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans.

Evans is seeking N300 million damages for his alleged illegal detention.

Anka said the case file would be returned to the Administrative Judge for further directive.

The judge had earlier heard the case during the court’s long vacation and had adjourned until August 29 for judgment after parties argued it and adopted their addresses on August16.

But the police through its counsel, David Igbodo, said another lawyer, Henry Obiazi, who represented the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Nigeria Police when the case was heard did so without authorisation.

The police prayed the court to set aside all the purported arguments made by Obiazi and to set aside the ruling it delivered on August 16 in which he adjourned for judgment.

When the case came up before another judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor, during the long vacation, he held that the case was no longer urgent.

Obizor then returned the file to the Chief Judge, Justice Adamu Kafarati, for re-assignment to another judge.

The case was subsequently re-assigned to Justice Babs Kuewemi.

However, Evans’ lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, wrote the chief judge informing him that Anka had already adjourned the case for judgment.

Based on the letter, the case was again returned to Anka.

When the case came up before Anka on Wednesday, he expressed displeasure that the case was returned to him when the issue of judgment had been overtaken by events.

The judge said since the police had filed other applications, the earlier adjournment for judgment had become void.

Anka added that even if he had written the judgment earlier, it meant that a new one would be written.

Police Counsel, Chukwu Agwu, accused Ogungbeje of “smuggling” the case file back to Anka’s court.

Agwu said: “The case was re-assigned to Justice Kuewumi.

“How my learned colleague smuggled this case to this court is baffling.

“He did not avail us with a copy of his letter to the chief judge, otherwise we would have reacted.”

But Ogungbeje said his letter was on the premise that since a judgment had already been fixed, it could be delivered by Anka after entertaining the late applications filed by the police.

Meanwhile, Anka held that it was not factual to say that judgment had been reserved “when it’s not”.

He said that the court was obliged to hear the fresh applications by the police.

The judge said the case was not adjourned for judgment but for hearing, adding that Ogungbeje’s claim that the case was for judgment was not the true position.

Ruling, he said: “The case was made for hearing of the motion of first and second respondents.

“The court shall therefore cause a letter to be written to the Administrative Judge to explain the true position of the case, which is for further hearing and not judgment.

“Parties shall therefore await the decision of the Admin Judge, either to re-assign the case or for this court to maintain the case in its cause list.”

Evans has since been arraigned before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court.

While Evans and two others pleaded guilty to the charges, the remaining defendants pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution said the defendants between February 14 and April 12 on Obokun Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, armed with guns and other dangerous weapons captured and detained Duru Donatus.

It said the defendants allegedly collected a ransom of 223,000 Euros to release Donatus.

In his fundamental rights suit, Evans is claiming N300 million against the police as damages for alleged illegal detention and rights violation.

BIG STORY

Pay Me Before You Leave Office!!! Lawyer Demands N600 million Unpaid Legal Fee From Fayose

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A lawyer based in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, Owoseni Ajayi, has written to the state governor Ayodele Fayose to pay him outstanding legal fee amounting to N600 million.

Ajayi, who was Fayose’s lawyer before he was appointed attorney general and commissioner for justice, listed 13 high-profile cases he handled for the governor which have not been paid for.

In a letter to Fayose on Wednesday, he said he demanded N600 million at the rate of N50 million for each of the case listed subject to accruable interest.

He said the cases were not paid for by Fayose because he was financially handicapped at the time but now buoyant enough to make payment.

“You will recall that you never paid our chamber, Owoseni Ajayi & Associates for the services rendered throughout the time because of your financial incapacitation despite numerous demands because you were already out of office at the material time,” Ajayi said.

“It should be stressed that we never acted free because we are legal practitioners working for our legal fee nor offered you ‘pro bono’ service because you were not a pauper to be qualified for such a service,”

“We merely showed understanding up till now because of the prevalent circumstances verily known to you. And now that you have served another term as Governor of Ekiti State, you are financially strong enough to pay the said sum as demanded.”

“Sir, you will agree with us that a labourer deserves his wages. We thank you for your patronage and we also deserve commendation for having discharged our professional responsibility with diligence and without compromise.

“And, also for saving Your Excellency from several legal embarrassments.”

The cases include a defamation case: Ayo Fayose v Independent Communications Network Limited with suit number HAD/8/2004 and the appeal case emanating from the same suit marked CA/AE/58/2010; Federal Republic of Nigeria v Ayo Fayose with charge number FHC/C/179C/2006 which was a criminal case heard both in Lagos and Ado-Ekiti federal high courts until Fayose was discharged and acquitted in October 2014 and Peter Ayodele Fayose v Comptroller General of Prisons Suit Number: FHC/AK/CS/08/2008, which was about Fayose’s ‘controversial’ release from Ikoyi Prisons to face a murder charge in Ekiti.

Other cases listed include Peter Ayodele Fayose v EFCC appeal marked CA/I/144/2011, Peter Ayodele Fayose v the State marked HAD/16/2007 to stop his arraignment for murder by the Segun Oni administration, the appeal case that arose from it marked CA/14C14/2007 and the Supreme Court that emanated from it still pending marked SC449/2011; Peter Ayodele Fayose v EFCC and Inspector General of Police with Suit No: FHC/A14CS/85/2006 following his illegal removal from office and the appeal case that followed it IGP & AG Federation v Peter Ayodele Fayose marked CA/B/44/2007.

The last case mentioned was E-Eleven v Peter Ayodele Fayose and 2 Ors filed to frustrate his swearing-in to the office after winning the 2014 governorship election.

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BIG STORY

Why We Paid Constables, Others ‘Huge Amounts’ For Osun Poll – Police

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigeria Police on Wednesday offered explanations on why it paid policemen deployed for Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State what was considered to be a huge amount of money.

The explanation was offered by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood.

Moshood in a statement said the amount paid to the policemen were their Duty Tour Allowance for 10 days.

Reacting to a story on the payment, which some have termed as inducement, Moshood said: “It is imperative and incumbent on the Force to set the record straight and educate the writers of the story that the payment of allowance to Officers and Men of the Force and that of other Security and Safety Agencies complementing the Nigeria Police Force in election security is statutory and transparent in line with the Financial Regulations and Public Service Rules as it has to do with Duty Tour Allowance.

“To further disabuse the minds of members of the public who must have read the report and correct the mischief by the writers of the story, the following is the breakdown of the Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) entitlements paid to Police Officers and Men deployed for election duty in Osun State and other previous Gubernatorial elections held in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and Ekiti States.

“Ranks and File (Constable to Sergeant) – N5,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N50,000

“Inspector to Chief Superintendent of Police – N12,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N120,000

“Assistant Commissioner of Police – Assistant Inspector General of Police – N16,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N160,000

“Deputy Inspector General of Police – N20,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N200,000

“Consequently, either due to outright ignorance or deliberate mischief, the writers rushed to the press for purposes best known to them without a thorough check of what the Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations provide for every police personnel deployed for special duty, Election Duty and other ad-hoc duties as Duty Tour Allowance (DTA).

“The Force will continue to hold the media in a very high regard and as veritable partner in ensuring the protection of lives and property of all Nigerians, however, the Nigeria Police Force implores them not to allow the pages of their esteemed Newspapers to be used to publish unverified, misleading, mischievous and beer palour gossip.

“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to disregard, discountenance the story as untrue, misleading and misinformation.”

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BIG STORY

Ex-Kebbi Governor Writes Tinubu, Seeks Forgiveness For Ambode

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Former Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Adamu Aliero, has called on the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to allow Akinwunmi Ambode continue in office as the governor of Lagos despite the perceived political crisis between them.

Aliero, in a letter he personally signed and addressed to Tinubu, pleaded with the APC chieftain to allow Ambode retain the party’s ticket ahead of next year’s governorship election.

Aliero, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, while commending Tinubu for his immense contributions to the nation, the South West region and APC, also pleaded with him to give Ambode a second chance, adding that Lagos State and indeed the entire South West is crucial to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming general elections

According to Aliero: “I am writing this letter out of concern for the odious, concerning news in the media about your relationship with your protégée, Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State.

“I have known you for ages – long before you assumed the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. You and I have, over the years, had cause to discuss Nigeria on many occasions; never have you, at any time, left any iota of doubt about your love – indeed, passion – for this great country and your desire to make optimal contribution to its growth and development…

“Lagos is growing faster than Nigeria because of your commanding and purposeful leadership. It would therefore not be too much for me to ask you to allow Ambode to retain the ticket of the party. No reward should be bigger for you than the victory of the APC at the forthcoming general elections.”

Continuing, Aliero, who hailed Tinubu’s leadership qualities and ability to spot, groom and nurture brilliant leaders, urged him not to pick a quarrel with Ambode, but rather use his image and status to secure victory for the party at the forthcoming general elections:

He said: “Our dear Asiwaju, knowing who you are – a visionary leader with a distinctively outstanding ability to identify and work with brilliant, focused and hardworking young men and women, I know of no endeavour that would have denied you your standing and image in the Nigeria of today. In view of your giant status as the undisputable leader of our great party and considering the times in which we are, I am certain that you will not, without good reason, pick a quarrel with Governor Ambode.

Lagos State, indeed the entire southwest, is crucial to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming general elections. It is in the same spirit that I want to plead with you not to spare any sacrifice that is necessary for the stabilization of the ship of our dear party in Lagos State.”

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