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Sowore’s Detention: Judge, Lawyer Exchange Hot Words Over Case-File

Peter Okunoren

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A mild drama played out before the Federal High in Abuja on Monday, as a lawyer representing the detained convener of RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, stormed the court, alleging plot to frustrate his client’s bail application.

The lawyer, Mr. Abubakar Marshal, who is from the Chambers of front-line human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, in the open court, queried why trial Justice Evelyn Maha had since August 28, failed to remit Sowore’s case-file back to a vacation Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo.

It will be recalled that Justice Maha had in a ruling, declined to hear an application for Sowore who has been in custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, since August 2, to be released on bail.

The detained activist who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the last general election, had through his team of lawyers led by Falana, SAN, prayed the court to review the order it made for the DSS to detain for 45 days.

However, when the application was brought to her attention, Justice Maha, said she was not minded to proceed with the case.

She noted that the detention order was issued against Sowore on August 8 by Justice Taiwo.

Relying on past judgments of the Supreme Court, Justice Maha said she was not competent to review or overrule the proceeding and decision of her learned brother.

She stressed that the apex court held that courts of the same coordinate jurisdiction have no power to review the decision of each other.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Sowore’s lawyer re-approached the court, seeking to know why Justice Maha had yet to return the case-file after she withdrew from entertaining the application.

Shortly after the court commenced its proceedings for the day, Mr. marshal stood up and told the Judge that he attended to inquire about the state of affairs regarding the case of his client.

Also read: Alleged N2.5 Bn Theft: Aisha Buhari’s ADC’s Family Confirms Release Of Son

“Your lordship, I am here in respect of the Omoyele Sowore case you remitted back to your learned brother justice Taiwo Taiwo”, he stated.

Irked by the action, Justice Maha accused Sowore’s lawyer of behaving unruly before the Court.

“Yes, is that why you are disturbing my court, grandstanding before me over an administrative matter?” Justice Maha queried.

Not deterred, Sowore’s lawyer continued: “Well your lordship had recused from the said case, I was informed that the case file is still with my lord, thus preventing Hon Justice Taiwo Taiwo’s court from setting the case down for hearing of pending applications to decide same one way or the other”.

At this juncture, Justice Maha explained that delay in the transmission of the case-file was purely an administrative issue.

“I told you that this is administrative, it is not a reason to come and disturb my court”.

Sowore’s lawyer interjected, saying, “I didn’t want to have an exparte discussion with your lordship in chambers, that is why I am here in the open court.”

Before he could conclude his submission, Justice Maha beckoned on the court’s clerk to call a new case.

“Don’t come and disturb my court’s business over such matters again”, she warned Sowore’s lawyer, adding that journalists in court should be mindful that she no longer had a hand in the case.

The DSS had in an affidavit it filed before the court, alleged that Sowore was sponsored by external forces to topple President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

It said in a bid to achieve his mission, Sowore, held meetings with leaders of outlawed groups, and subsequently called for a revolution against a democratically elected government in the country.

However, in a counter process he filed before the court, though Sowore admitted that he had a meeting with the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in the United States of America, he denied receiving any fund to wage war against President Buhari.

Sowore told the court that contrary to the allegation by the DSS, he has never visited Dubai or any other country in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, since he was born, adding that the DSS was not aware that he had a meeting with the IPOB leader till it was published on his online news platform, Sahara Reporters.

He told the court that DSS operatives that investigated both his local and foreign banks’ account details to establish if he received funds to fight against Buhari, said they could not believe that he does not have millions of Naira.

Arguing that he was illegally arrested, Sowore, told the court that he has been idle in detention and requires urgent treatment of ankle injury he sustained on August 2 when he was arrested by DSS operatives.

Sowore said he has never been involved in any terrorist activity “and there is no evidence whatsoever linking him to any terrorist activity”.

He said though the RevolutionNow mass protest took place in many cities across the country on August 5 in his absence, there was no reported attempt to violently topple the government in Nigeria.

 

(Vanguard)

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JUST IN: Lagos Oba, Abiodun Oniru, Dies At 82

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A prominent Lagos King, His Royal Majesty, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru has joined his ancestors.

According to The Lagos Times, Oba Oniru died in Lagos after a brief illness.

Until his death, he was aged 82.

Meanwhile, the source disclosed that the family would officially announce the death of the monarch soon.

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Access Bank, Barclays, Others Launch Global Principles For Responsible Banking

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Nigeria’s sustainability champion, Access Bank Plc., today launched the Global Principles for Responsible Banking as one of the Founding Signatories alongside other global banks. This is a further commitment to strategically align its business with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

By signing the Principles, Access Bank is demonstrating its commitment towards using its products and services to support and accelerate positive changes in both local and international economies as well as promote lifestyles necessary to achieve shared prosperity for both current and future generations.

Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc., stressed the need for continued collaboration and long-term approach to sustainability, recognizing the benefits of sustainable banking and the positive effect it has on the Bank and society.

“There is a greater need now, more than ever, to promote sustainability in the global financial sector. This is, therefore, the right time to launch the Global Principles for Responsible Banking. At Access Bank, we are committed to setting standards and engendering innovative solutions that address social, economic and environmental challenges. We believe that the Sustainable Development Goals will be better achieved if we can work together, using these Principles as a guide,” he said.

As expressed in the Global Principles for Responsible Banking, Access Bank is convinced that humans and businesses can only thrive in an inclusive society founded on human dignity, equality and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The official launch of the principles which marked the beginning of the most significant partnership to date between the global banking industry and the UN held at the start of the United Nations General Assembly.

“The UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy. The Principles create accountability that can realize the responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action,” said UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

With increasing concerns about climate change leading to a shift in the perception of climate risk among financial institutions and investors, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) urged financial institutions to adopt adequate risk management planning, saying:

“A banking industry that plans for the risks associated with climate change and other environmental challenges can not only drive the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, but it can also benefit from it. When the financial system shifts its capital away from resource-hungry, brown investments to those that back nature as a solution, everybody wins in the long-term.”

The Principles for Responsible Banking will provide Access Bank with an effective framework to systematically identify and seize new business opportunities created by the emerging sustainable development economy, while at the same time enabling the Bank to effectively identify and address related risks.

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Three Soldiers, Students, Others Arrested During Cult Initiation [VIDEO]

Peter Okunoren

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Three soldiers of the Nigerian Army were among 18 persons arrested during their initiation into a cult group in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, on Saturday.

According to available information, the soldiers have been tried in line with military rules, dismissed and handed over to the Nigeria Police for prosecution.

This was disclosed on Saturday in a statement by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Ado Isa, in a statement.

Isa said others arrested included persons who claimed to be students of the University of Maiduguri.
He said all of them have been handed over to the police for prosecution.

He said the suspects are suspected to have engaged in armed robbery and kidnapping in Maiduguri and its environs.

Isa said in the statement: “Following credible information received from well-meaning individuals, a gang of suspected cultists, who are suspected to engage in armed robbery and kidnapping in Maiduguri and environs were arrested today Sunday 22 September, 2019 by troops of the Nigerian Army Super Camp 1 Molai, in line with the Super Camp Concept of the Counterterrorism efforts Of Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD). The feat was achieved in conjunction with other security agencies and local hunters in the general area.

“The alleged cultists were about to perform an initiation rite on some new members into their confraternity, when the troops, other security personnel, and local hunters stormed their hideout in Maiduguri. The cultist’s attempt to flee and escape arrest was unsuccessful as they were effectively overwhelmed and rounded up by the troops in conjunction with other security agencies.

“The general area was cordoned off and 18 members of the cult group, comprising civilians and alleged students of the University of Maiduguri were arrested at the initiation scene. Three serving personnel of the Nigerian Army were also arrested. Those arrested were all handed over to the Nigeria Police Force Borno State (Maiduguri) Command for further investigation/necessary action.

“While the arrested soldiers were immediately interrogated and tried in line with the military justice system by 7 Division Military Police, in conjunction with their Units. Consequently, the soldiers were dismissed and handed over to the Borno State Police Command for further action.

“The Theatre Commander OPLD Major General OG Adeniyi, the Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General AK Ibrahim, the Commissioner of Police, and Director of State Security Service (SSS), as well as other heads of security agencies in Borno State visited the scene for on-the-spot assessment of the area/ situation .

“Intensive joint patrol by troops of OPLD, and other security agencies have been intensified within Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and it’s environs.

“While we continue to intensify the fight against insurgents and other criminals, members of the general public are once again enjoined to continue to support the security agencies with information that could assist in dealing with the criminals.

“The Theatre Command OPLD also appeals to the public to be on the watch out for fleeing terrorists from the Lake Chad area.”

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