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JUST IN: Tribunal Adjourns CJN Onnoghen’s Case Till January 22

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The Danladi Umar-led three-man Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday adjourned proceedings involving the charges of non-declaration of assets preferred against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, till January 22.

Umar ruled that the tribunal would hear Onnoghen’s motion challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal at the next proceedings.

The tribunal adjourned the case after the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), conceded that Onnoghen was improperly served with the charges and the summons.

Umar conceded that the CJN was not personally served with the charges and the court’s summons, as required by the law.

He, therefore, requested the three-man tribunal led by Danladi Umar to direct a fresh service on the CJN.

Onnoghen was absent from the Monday’s proceedings.

Upon an inquiry by the tribunal chairman about Onnoghen’s absence from court, the defence team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said the CJN needed not to be present, having filed a motion to challenge the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Olanipekun said he and other defence lawyers only appeared in court in protest against the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

He also said that, from the account given by the court official earlier in the proceedings, the CJN was not served with the charges and and summons personally, but through his aide.

Olanipekun insisted that the law requires that the defendant be served personally.

But the prosecuting lawyer said the law only requires the defendant to be aware of the pending charges, and that it was the CJN’s choice to ask his aide to receive the charges and summons on his behalf.

But after a back-and-forth argument that went on for about 45 minutes, the prosecuting counsel conceded that the service of the charges and the summons ought to have been personally served on Onnoghen.

“By what the registrar has said, although the defendant was the one who directed his personal assistant to accept service on his behalf and what the law says is that he must be personally served.

“We agree that that the service should be properly done. The processes should be served personally on him.

“If, after the service is done, and the defendant is not present, we can then argue whether or not he needs to be present on the grounds that he has filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court.”

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Dino Melaye Regains Freedom, Drags New IGP To Court

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The senator representing Kogi West district in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye has regained freedom after over two weeks in detention.

Melaye’s freedom was sequel to the bail granted him by a high court in Abuja on health grounds.

In his ruling, Justice Yusuf Halilu said Melaye should be allowed to attend to his health as he could not be arraigned on a stretcher or on his hospital bed.

Halilu ordered the senator to present three sureties who reside and have property in Abuja, emphasising that one of the sureties must be the clerk of the national assembly who would provide a letter attesting that Melaye will always be available for trial.

After fulfilling his bail conditions, Melaye filed a suit against the inspector-general of police (IGP), seeking that the police should not arrest him.

More to follow…

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JUST IN: IGP Adamu Disbands F-SARS, IRT, STS, Others

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The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has disbanded the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad as constituted by his predecessor, Ibrahim Idris.

Adamu took the decision on Monday when he met with Command Commissioners of Police and other senior officers of the Force.

He has now reverted to the old order where State Commands have SARS operating under them, with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations) to oversee its overall operations.

For the Force Headquarters unit of the SARS, the DIG in charge of Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department will supervise.

Adamu also disbanded all quasi-investigation and operations outfits, including the Special Investigation Panel, Special Tactical Squad, IG Monitoring Unit, and IGP Intelligence Response Team.

He announced the setting-up of a Special Election Investigation Team tasked with the exclusive function of investigating and prosecuting electoral offenders.

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Buhari Reacts To Obasanjo’s Attack, Says Ex-President Needs A Good Doctor For Good Treatment [Full Text]

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday night lambasted former President Olusegun Obasanjo for attacking and his government.

Obasanjo has compared the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration to that of the Abacha era.

Reacting, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement said: “The sixteen-page letter the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari and released this afternoon is the last push by desperate politicians who can’t handle the President politically and have resorted to subterfuge.

Our first message to the former President is that he needs a good doctor for good treatment and to say to him, “Get well soon.”

As repeatedly said of him, since Chief Obasanjo left office in 1979, he never let every succeeding leader of the country function freely, and this included the one he personally handpicked against all known rules drawn up by the party that put him in the office of the President. But Chief Obasanjo is jealous because President Buhari has more esteem than him and the sooner he learns to respect him the better.

It is a notorious fact that in dealing with any leader that he failed to control, he resorted to these puerile attacks. As the grand patron, more correctly the grandfather of corruption as described by the National Assembly, Chief Obasanjo released today’s letter purely for the reason of rescuing his thriving corruption establishment.

The elections starting in February will be free and fair as promised the nation and the international community by President Buhari.

What Chief Obasanjo and his co-travelers in the PDP should expect is that from the outcome, we will teach them a political lesson that they will never forget. This margin will be much bigger than we had in 2015.

Claims that President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have embarked on the president’s “self- succession project, by recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda, in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count” is not only utterly false, but a copious note from the book on the failed third term agenda of President Obasanjo.

The man, President Buhari who has taken Nigeria’s reputation to a higher level internationally and is working hard to improve on the records of elections he found in place cannot descend to the level that Obasanjo has himself sunk.

As for his attacks of the administration’s records in fighting corruption, what the former President said is no more than evidence that President Buhari’s war against corruption is succeeding. They thought it is all a joke.

A leader who took USD 16 billion “upfront” to supply electric power yet failed to add a single megawatt to the national grid and to date, there is no trace of the money is jittery that he will be called to account. He is a coward.

Chief Obasanjo, manifesting a confused state of mind blames President Buhari for the fall of Libya into a failed state and the unholy alliance between the Boko Haram terrorists and the ISIS, while at the same time calling it an African problem, saying “the struggle must be for all West African, Central African, North African and most East African States,” which really does not amount to saying anything new.

Nigerians looked up to him as a role model and a ray of hope to ethical and clean leadership until President Yar’Adua called him out to explain what happened to the sixteen billion dollars of taxpayer’s money. It is clear that with him sitting on top of the heap of corruption, he is no different from the crowd he leads.

This language of his 16-page letter, likening President Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a man he dreaded and the one who jailed him under military laws is most unfitting from a former President of Nigeria.

The claim that President Buhari has put in place rigging machinery is both outlandish and outrageous. We are unable to get the words to describe a 90-year old liar, except to say that by the publication of this tissue of lies against the President, he Obasanjo, not the President will fall from everyone’s esteem.”

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