Connect with us


BIG STORY

Court Restrains Chief Judge, Others From Swearing-in Ogah As Abia Governor

Published

on

uche ogah

A High Court in Abia State has restrained the Chief Judge of Abia State, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal and any other judiciary officer from swearing-in Uche Ogah as the State Governor.

The order was made on Thursday by Justice C. H. Ahuchaogu.

The order reads: “Upon this motion ex-parte pursuant to section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice, after hearing O.O Nkume, counsel to the applicant.

“It is ordered that an order of injunction is hereby made restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“It is further ordered that the 3rd defendant (chief judge of Abia State) or any other judge of the court or any judiciary officer are hereby restricted from swearing-in the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“It is also ordered that this order is hereby made to last for 10 days from today. The returnable date is fixed for the 8th day of July, 2016.

“Furthermore, the condition attached to this order is that the enrolled order must be served along with the motion on notice on respondents, else he order automatically lapses on 8th July, 2016.”

Also, in a motion of ex-parte order, the court also restricted the Independent National Electoral Commission from issuing a Certificate of Return to Ogah.

The order reads: “An order of injunction restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of injunction restraining the 3rd defendant (Chief Judge of Abia State) or any other judge of the court, or any judiciary officer from swearing in the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

Meanwhile, the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has advised Abians to remain calm and law abiding, stressing that he is still their Governor.

The orders were obtained following the issuance of a Certificate of Return to Ogah by the INEC in Abuja on Thursday.

This was sequel to the order of a Federal High Court to INEC to issue Ogah a Certificate of Return and ordered Ikpeazu to vacate office.

But Ikpeazu also on Thursday said he remains the governor of the State despite the Certificate of Return issued to Ogah.

In a statement he personally signed, Ikpeazu said: “I have received with concern, report of the purported issuance of Certificate of Return to Mr. Uche Ogah by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as governor of Abia State, despite the pendency of a notice of appeal and motion for stay of the execution of the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

“Our laws are clear on this matter. No one may be issued with a certificate of return let alone be sworn in as governor, when there is a subsisting appeal and application for stay.

“I want to appeal to Abians to remain calm and law abiding in the face of this provocation. Unless and until the appellant courts have conclusively resolved the appeal, the status quo remains; I am still the Governor of Abia State.”

It will be recalled that Ikpeazu had on Wednesday filed an appeal against Monday’s judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which removed him from ‎office as governor.

The Governor, in a notice of appeal filed by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), raised five grounds of appeal, sequel to which he asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment and orders of the Federal High Court.

The governor said the Federal High Court lacked the power to order him to vacate the seat of Abia State Governor.

The notice of appeal reads: “The trial judge erred in law when he ordered as a consequential order that the appellant vacates his office‎ as the Governor of Abia state immediately when there was no jurisdiction in the Federal High Court to remove, vacate the occupier of the office of the governor of a state or order the removal of such officer after the unsuccessful challenge of the result of the election at the Tribunal and swearing in of the appellant as the governor.”

The governor said that the only power, authority and order exercisable by the Federal High Court was to disqualify the candidate from contesting the election based on section 31(6) of the Electoral Act 2010.

Ikepazu also faulted the judge when he held that he did not pay his tax for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, at when due, when he was a public officer whose tax deduction was under Pay As You Earn scheme where tax deductions were from the source of his monthly salary by the tax authorities who issued all the tax receipts and certificates.

He also said the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue Services that issued him with the tax certificates had not declared the certificates forged and that the trial court did not invite the issuing authorities to give evidence in the course of the trial.

Ikpeazu said Ogah, the plaintiff, was not a staff of the Abia Board of Internal Revenue and did not produce any staff of the board to testify ‎that the tax certificates were forged.

He accused the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, of violating his right to fair hearing by embarking on judicial investigation without giving him (Ikepazu) the opportunity to address the court on the issue.

The notice of appeal also stated: “The learned trial judge erred in law when he held that the appellant presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission by his ingenous meticulous study and investigation of documents filed in courts ‎in the recess of his chambers and thereby violated the right of the appellant to fair hearing.”

The governor said the judge had no duty to investigate the contents of documents dumped on the court in the recess of his chambers with a view to finding for the plaintiff.

“The decision of the judge which arose from the judicial investigation without opportunity to the appellant violated the appellant’s right to fair hearing,” the governor said.

Ikepazu also rejected the decision of the Federal High Court declaring him unqualified to be nominated as the primary election conducted by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, because false information was supplied to INEC‎.

According to him, INEC Form CF001, which the judge relied on, was not one of the grounds of qualification to contest the primary election of the PDP.

He said the judge misconceived the evidences presented by the parties and thereby arrived at a wrong conclusion, which occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice.

Meanwhile, the governor’s party, the PDP, has also rejected the judgment and filed a separate appeal.

The party‎ said the trial court erred in law when it held that it had jurisdiction to hear the suit which was on whether section 24 (f) of the 1999 constitution was complied with.

It said:‎ “The honourable trial court misdirected itself when it construed the provisions of the PDP constitution to the detriment of the appellant without giving the appellant a chance to be heard and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice.”

In the particulars of the error, the appellant said Ukeagbara and Mba, being “the 1st and 2nd respondents in the appeal did not pray the trial court to construe the provisions of the PDP constitution.

“No evidence was led that the said Uche Sampson Ogah participated in the 2015 Abia State gubernatorial elections yet the trial court declared him as winner of the said elections contrary to the express provisions of section 141 of the Electoral Act.”

The PDP urged the Court of Appeal for “an order setting aside the judgment of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/10862014 delivered on the 27th day of June, 2016”.
Justice Abang had‎ on Monday ordered Ikpeazu’s removal from office for giving false information in the form submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission by the PDP, nominating him as its candidate for the April 11, 2015 governorship election.

In two separate judgments, Justice Abang ordered Ikpeazu to vacate the office of the governor of Abia State.

The judge also directed INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the plaintiff in one of the two suits, Uche Ogah, who was the first runner-up in the governorship primary conducted by the PDP on December 8, 2014.

He had ordered that Ogah’s full entitlements be restored to him as Governor of Abia State.

The judge made the orders after disqualifying Ikpeazu as the candidate of the PDP in the April 11, 2015 governorship election on the basis that he committed perjury by giving false information in the Form 8C001 and the documents accompanying it, which he and the PDP submitted nominating him to INEC as the party’s governorship candidate.

BIG STORY

[VIDEO] Herdsmen Kill Bus Conductor In Lagos Over Cow’s Death

Published

on

Persons identified as herdsmen have stabbed a bus conductor to death for killing a cow in Lagos.

This happened in the early hours of Monday and became public in a viral video from the scene of the accident.

According to one of the videos making rounds on social media platforms, the incident occurred at Mowo on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, close to President Muhammadu Buhari Estate.

The commentator in the video said the bus conductor, who fled after the accident that led to the death of the cow, was killed close to a police checkpoint.

The driver, who was said to be heading to Badagry from Mile 12, was said to have fled as soon as he sensed danger.

This made the herdsmen go after the conductor of the bus with registration number: FKJ 756 XH.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Olukayode Ariwoola To Be To Sworn In As Acting CJN

Published

on

Report has it that plans are underway to swear in Olukayode Ariwoola as a tentative replacement for the former CJN, Tanko Muhammad so as to leave no vacuum.

Ariwoola is the next highest-ranking justice of the supreme court and he is expected to take over in an acting capacity from Monday.

According to the procedure for the appointment of the CJN, the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) shortlists two or three most senior judges among the supreme court justices and sends their names to the National Judicial Council (NJC) which then selects one candidate and forwards it to the president before it goes to the Senate confirmation.

But to leave no vacuum, an acting CJN must be appointed.

ABOUT OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA

Ariwoola was born in Iseyin, Oyo State, on August 22, 1958. He had his primary education at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole, in his hometown between 1959 and 1967. He then moved to Muslim Modern School in the same town from 1968 to 1969 before graduating to Ansar-Ud-Deen high school, Saki area of Oyo, for secondary education.

He earned his law degree at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1980 and a year later he was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled as a solicitor and advocate of the supreme court.

He kicked off his career as a legal officer in the Oyo state ministry of justice and stayed in the role until he moved into private practice in 1988.

Ariwoola spent less than four years in private practice before he was whisked back into public service.

Between 1988 and July 1989, he was a counsel in-chambers of Ladosu Ladapo before moving to establish his own legal firm named “Olukayode Ariwoola & Co”. Three years later, he was called to the bench.

Ariwoola was back in public service by 1992 when he was appointed a judge of the superior court of record in Oyo.

He was named the chairman of the Oyo state armed robbery tribunal between May 1993 and September 1996.

In 2005, he then rose to the position of a justice of the court of appeal and he held the position before he was appointed a justice of the supreme court of Nigeria in 2011.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Ekweremadu: Immigration Dismisses Organ Donor’s Underage Claim

Published

on

The Nigeria Immigration Service has stated that it followed due process in issuing a Nigerian passport to Mr. David Nwamini, who was allegedly trafficked to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting by former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

David had allegedly claimed to be a minor after he arrived in the UK where he was to donate his kidney to Ekweremadu’s daughter.

However, photos of his Nigerian passport, making rounds on social media, showed his date of birth to be October 12, 2000, placing him at 21 years old.

Making comment on the controversy surrounding David’s age, Mr. Idris Jere, the Comptroller General of the NIS, at a press conference on Sunday, said Nwamini is indeed 21 according to his record in the possession of the NIS, discarding claims that the Service didn’t thoroughly vet the documents provided by the applicant.

Jere said, “The fact of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, is that Mr. David Ukpo Nwamini applied and paid for the e-passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the passport office in Gwagwalada, FCT Abuja, on November 2, 2021, for his interview.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamini presented all necessary documents required including his birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission, showing October 12, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identification Number, issued by NIMC corroborating the date of birth; a Certificate of Origin issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison office in Abuja, and a guarantor’s form duly signed.

“NIS relies on documentation supplied by other agencies and we are not under any obligation to go to those agencies to verify those documents. What we do is that we look at the documents and applicants physically. Once that is done, we go ahead to process.”

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has told Nigerians not to hastily pass judgment against Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.

Dickson said this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, ‘The Ekweremadu I know will not traffic an underage boy for organ harvesting.’

Dickson said, “I am sure from the beginning when this story broke that the Ekweremadu I know could not have taken an underage and underprivileged young man, smuggle him out to harvest organs for whatever purpose.

“The circumstances surrounding this will fully come to light in the cause of investigation.

Also reacting, the Ebonyi State Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, in Abakaliki, on Sunday urged the UK authorities to exercise caution in the investigation of circumstances leading to the arrest and eventual trial of the senator and his wife.

The statement read, “Ebonyi State Government is following up the turn of events and twists that followed the medical intention of the former Deputy Senate President’s family.

“While we urge the UK Government to act progressively and meticulously and critically look at the intention (Mens rea) and the minds of the detained family and please give them the benefit of the doubt, we enjoin the public, especially those with shades of opinions and surge of anxieties to remain calm as we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“The state government is reaching out to the family of David Okemini Ukpo from Ebonyi State, whose information to the Metropolitan Authority of UK orchestrated the criminal charge against the senator and his wife. The state government stands with Senator Ike Ekweremadu at this trial moment and hopes that the truth and nothing but the truth shall guide the outcome of the matter.”

Continue Reading

Most Popular