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Judgement Day: Oyetola, Adeleke In Final Battle At The Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court will today (Friday) give judgment in the four appeals filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

A seven-man panel led by Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad had, after hearing the appeals on June 17, 2019 fixed July 5, 2019, for judgment.

Adeleke and the PDP are, by their four appeals, marked: SC/553/2019; SC/554/2019; SC/555/2019 and SC/556/2019, challenging the May 9, 2019 judgments of the Court of Appeal, Abuja which affirmed the election of Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Governor of Osun State.

The Court of Appeal also set aside the majority judgment of the election tribunal which had allowed Adeleke’s petition and declared him winner of the election.

By agreement of lawyers in the appeals, the court on June 17, 2019 took arguments from Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), for the appellant, and Wole Olanipekun (SAN), for the 1st respondent (Oyetola), in respect of appeal marked: SC/553/2019.

The court said its judgment in the main appeal – SC/553/2019 – will be applied to two other similar one, filed by Adeleke against the Court of Appeal’s decision in relation to the appeals filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC,marked: SC/554/2019 and SC/555/2019.

The court also took arguments from Ikpeazu (for the appellant), Yusuf Alli (SAN) for INEC; Bode Olanipekun (SAN) for Oyetola and Olumide Olujinmi, for APC in relation to the fourth appeal, marked: SC/556/2019.

In their arguments, lawyers to the respondents – INEC, Oyetola and the APC faulted the appeals and prayed the court to dismiss them for lacking in merit.

The respondents prayed the court to uphold the judgments as given onMay9, 2019 by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which affirmed Oyetola of the APC as the winner of the governorship election held in september 2018.

In relation to the first set of appeals – SC/553/2019; SC554/2019 and SC/555/2019, ikpeazu urged the court to set aside the judgements of the Court of Appeal and restore the majority judgment given in his client’s favour by the election tribunal.

In a counter-argument, Wole Olanipekun, Alli and Olunijmi faulted the competence of the appeals and urged the court to dismiss them for lacking in merit.

They prayed the court to uphold the May 9 judgments given in favour of the respondents by the Court of Appeal.

In arguing the fourth appeal: SC/556/2019, Ikpeazu urged the court to set aside the two concurrent judgments of the election tribunal and the Court of Appeal, in which both courts rejected Adeleke’s request to void the supplementary election held after INEC declared the Osun governorship election inconclusive.

Ikpeazu said his client’s contention was that INEC lacked the powers to have cancelled elections in some pooling units and order a rerun.

He argued that the supplementary election was unnecessary because his client had won the election and met the constitutional requirement to be declared winner.

Ikpeazu prayed the court to set aside the Paragraph 44 of the INEC’s Guideline,on which basis the supplementary election was held,on the grounds that it conflicted with the Constitution.

Olanipekun’s son, Bode Olanipekun (SAN) argued the fourth appeal for Oyetola, urged the court to disregard Ikpeazu’s contention that the supplementary election was unnecessary.

He argued that Paragraph 44 of INEC Guidelines was not in conflict with the Constitution.

Olanipekun, who noted that Section 178(4) of the Constitution provides that the entire state is the constituency for a governorship election.

He argued that “where elections have not held in the entire state, the appellant cannot contend that he won the election, as against the 2nd respondent (Oyetola), who won the election as conducted across the whole of the state,” Olanipekun said.

He urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.

Lawyers to INEC and the APC argued in similar vein, with Alli (for INEC) arguing that Ikpeazu’s submission on reliefs 8and 9 of his client (Adeleke’s) petition,overlooked the fact that election tribunal are special tribunal with limited jurisdiction to determine whether somebody was properly returned in an election.

“The quarrel of the appellant is against a concurrent findings of two lowers courts. There is no compelling reason to make this court interfere with the concurrent findings of the two lower courts,” Alli said.

Olujinmi urged the court to be guided by its earlier decision in the case of Faleke v. INEC 2016 8 NWLR, prt 1543 pg 61, in which this court affirmed the limited scope of the jurisdiction of the election tribunal.

He noted that even though Adeleke and his party, the PDP are aware of this court’s decision in that case (Faleke case), but have failed to approach the court for departure on its position on that issue.

Other members of the panel that heard the appeals Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Kumai Aka’ahs, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Amiru Sanusi, Paul Galunmje and Uwani Abbah-Aji.

(The Nation)

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Kidnappers Abduct Police DPO, Demand N50m Ransom

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Mubi North divisional police command in Adamawa state, Ahidjo Mohammed, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen at around 7 pm, Tuesday.

The officer was said to have been kidnapped at around 7 pm while returning to Mubi from Yola, where his mother has been receiving medical attention.

The kidnappers were said to have made contact with some persons demanding fifty million Naira from the family of the victim for the ransom of the law officer.

Similarly, another resident of Mubi, a trader, Alhaji Mahmudu Mbilla from Mbilla village has also been kidnapped, Monday night and the kidnappers are said to have also been demanding for five million Naira from the family of the kidnapped victim.

Speaking to the PPRO Adamawa state police command, Usman Nguroje confirmed the kidnap and said the Adamawa state police command has policed personnel including the IG anti kidnap squad to rescue the kidnap office.

Nguroje said, “We have set everything in place to ensure that no man in Adamawa is kidnapped.

“The officer was kidnapped at the Mararaba Mubi following a sporadic gunshot and before the police in the area could reach the area, they found the vehicle carrying him abandoned with his identity card left behind.”

On whether the kidnappers have made any financial demands, the PPRO said, “I am not aware of that.”

Some residents of Mubi expressed I’ve got the rising spare of kidnap in the area and told Daily Sun that there is apprehension in the land as a result of the kidnap of a law enforcement officer.

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DSS, Naval Officer, Three Retired Police Officers Arrested Over Lion Found In Indian Residence In Lagos

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Three retired Senior Police, Navy and DSS officers have been arrested alongside a security guard over the illegal possession of a lion in a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street, on Victoria Island, Lagos.

The two-year-old lion named ‘Kiara’ believed to be owned by a yet-to-be-identified Indian man was discovered and taken to a zoo in the state.

In an exclusive chat with Channels Television, Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and special offenses, Olayinka Egbeyemi, explained that the three retired officers, who double as Chief Security Officer to the cat owner, said they were aware of the presence of Kiara within the building since it arrived.

Although the Indian owner is yet to present himself to the authorities for questioning, the four arrested have been transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Depart (SCIID) in Yaba for further investigation and possible charges.

Kiara in stable condition

Meanwhile, the lion is in a stable condition after regaining consciousness and has acclimatized to its new environment.

The lion was tranquilized and taken to a zoo on Monday.

In a short video obtained exclusively by Channels Television, Kiara is seen reacting to its strange vicinity, while being served a meal.

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How Yahoo Boy,H-Money, Serving 24-yr Jail Term, Pulled Off $1m Scam From Kirikiri Prison, Attends Parties, Bought Properties

Peter Okunoren

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A convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos is again, the subject of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for being the alleged mastermind of a mega scam to the tune of over $ 1,000, 000.

He allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of the targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.

The immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.

Preliminary investigation revealed that that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to the internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.

Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.

The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements are already being investigated by the EFCC.

For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, the investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with two of Nigeria’s leading banks.

He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.

The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.

Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes, Lekki for N48million.

Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in the closing weeks of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off. The indigene of Okene, Kogi State had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia.

But the Commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrowhead of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.

When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery.

He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.

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