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Court Stops Afe Babalola, Police From Arresting Company Staff Over Supply And Installation Of Medical Equipment

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The Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, restrained the Inspector-General of Police and all police officers in Nigeria, including the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Command, Lagos, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State, the Rapid Response Squad, Ekiti State from inviting or arresting Directors and members of Staff of JNC International Limited over a civil contract for the supply and installation of medical equipment.

The order followed an ex-parte application filed and argued on behalf of the company and its directors by eminent lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegbooruwa, SAN. Specifically, Justice T. Ringim directed all the parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum before the filing of the case in court pending the hearing and final determination of the Motion on Notice. Sued as respondents in the suit are the Inspector-General of Police, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State, the Rapid Response Squad Ekiti State, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, and Aare Afe Babalola, SAN.

In the suit filed on August 8, 2022, the Applicants are seeking amongst others the following reliefs from the court:
A. A DECLARATION that the 1st – 3rd Respondents are not entitled to arrest, detain or in any other manner restrict the liberties of the 1st – 4th Applicants, in flagrant violation of the 1st – 4th Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.

B. A DECLARATION that the arrest and detention of the 1st and 2nd Applicant on August 3, 2022, by the 1st – 3rd Respondents, their agents, servants, officers or otherwise, in lieu or in place of Director(s) of JNC International Limited, the 5th Applicant, are unlawful, illegal and constitute a flagrant violation of the 1st and 2nd Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35, 36, 41 and 46 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6, 9 & 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

C. A DECLARATION that the arrest and detention of the 1st and 2nd Applicants from August 3, 2022, till August 6, 2022, by the 1st – 3rd Respondents, their agents, servants, officers or otherwise constitute a flagrant violation of the 1st and 2nd Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35, 36, 41 and 46 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6, 9 & 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and therefore is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

D. A DECLARATION that the detention, confinement, and incarceration of the 1st and 2nd Applicants from August 3, 2022, till August 6, 2022, by the 1st – 3rd Respondents, their agents, servants, privies, officers, or otherwise howsoever without bringing the 1st and 2nd Applicants before a court of law is a clear violation of the 1st and 2nd Applicants’ fundamental human rights guaranteed under section 34, 35, 36, 41 and 46(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 6, 9 & 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and is, therefore, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

E. A DECLARATION that the issued invitation letter dated 26th July 2022 by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Respondents to the Directors of the 5th Applicant and others subsequent, at the instance, behest and/or instigation of the 4th – 5th Respondents, jointly or severally, in respect of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents, constitutes a flagrant violation of the 3rd and 4th Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 and is therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

F. A DECLARATION that the threat of further invitation, arrest, and detention of the 3rd and 4th Applicants by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Respondents through their agents, servants, officers, or otherwise howsoever at the instance, behest, and/or instigation of the 4th – 5th Respondents, in respect of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents, constitutes a flagrant violation of the 3rd and 4th Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 and is therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

G. A DECLARATION that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Respondents are not entitled to invite and/ or arrest, detain or in any other manner restrict the liberties and freedoms of the 1st – 4th Applicants on account of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents, in flagrant violation of the 1st – 4th Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 35, 36 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6, 7 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

H. A DECLARATION that the 1st – 4th Applicants are entitled to their liberties and freedoms without let or hindrance from the Respondents, in respect of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents, in the exercise of the fundamental rights of the 1st – 4th Applicants guaranteed under sections 34, 35, 36 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Articles 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990

I. A DECLARATION that the 1st – 4th Applicants, jointly and severally, are entitled to decline to participate in any investigative activities, meetings, conferences, dialogues, or forum convened or summoned by the 1st – 3rd Respondents in respect of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents, without any threat to their lives, liberties and freedoms, in the exercise of the 1st – 4th Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 33, 35, 36, and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 6, 7 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.

J. A DECLARATION that any and all undertakings, forcefully extracted under duress from the Applicants by the 1st -3rd Respondents at the behest and instigation of the 4th and 5th Respondents in respect of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents, constitute a flagrant violation of the 1st – 4th Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 33, 35, 36, and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 6, 7 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 and they are therefore illegal, null, void and unenforceable.

K. A DECLARATION that the forceful invasion of the office and property of the 5th Applicant situate at 30, Raymond Njoku Street, Off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State on August 3, 2022, by the 1st -3rd Respondents, their agents, servants or associates, and the threat of occupation thereof and disruption of the interest of the 5th Applicant in the property, constitutes a flagrant violation of the 5th Applicant’s fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 14 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP 10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and is therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

L. A DECLARATION that the 4th – 5th Respondents, jointly and or severally, are not entitled to set the law in motion against the Applicants, through the use, employ and recruitment of the 1st – 3rd Respondents, their agents, servants, officers, or otherwise, to harass, intimidate or in any manner whatsoever violate the fundamentals rights of the Applicants as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

M. A DECLARATION that the constitutional and statutory duties of the 1st – 3rd Respondents do not cover or extend to intervention in commercial/ civil transactions willingly entered into by citizens and therefore are not entitled to a forceful invasion of the premises and property of the 5th Applicant, or to invite, arrest or detain the 1st – 4th Applicants on account of the 5th Applicant’s civil transactions/ dispute with the 4th – 5th Respondents.

N. AN INJUNCTION restraining the 1st – 3rd Respondents, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers, or otherwise howsoever from further arrest and detention of the 1st and 2nd Applicants.

O. AN INJUNCTION restraining the 1st – 3rd Respondents, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers, or otherwise howsoever from compelling the 3rd and 4th Applicants, either by the threat of arrest, arrest, detention, or prosecution to attend any meeting, interview or honor any invitation whatsoever in any manner hindering the full exercise of the 3rd and 4th Applicants’ personal liberties and fundamental rights as guaranteed under Sections 35, 36 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 6, 7 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 on account of the 5th Applicant’s civil transactions/ dispute with the 4th – 5th Respondents.

P. AN INJUNCTION restraining the 1st – 3rd Respondents, whether by themselves, agents or servants, or otherwise from invading the premises and property of the 5th Applicant at 30, Raymond Njoku Street, Off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, on the behest of the 4th – 5th Respondents.

Q. AN INJUNCTION, restraining the Respondents whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies, or otherwise howsoever, from enforcing, executing, implementing, or in any other manner deploying or giving effect to any and all undertakings, forcefully extracted under duress from the Applicants by the 1st -3rd Respondents at the behest and instigation of the 4th and 5th Respondents in respect of commercial and/ or civil transactions/dispute between the 5th Applicant and the 4th – 5th Respondents.

R. AN INJUNCTION restraining the 4th – 5th Respondents whether by themselves or their agents, solicitors or otherwise howsoever from instigating the 1st – 3rd Respondents and any law enforcement agencies in Nigeria against the Applicants in respect to the 5th Applicant’s civil transactions/ dispute with the 4th – 5th Respondents.

S. AN INJUNCTION AN INJUNCTION restraining the Respondents, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers, or otherwise howsoever from further violating the Fundamental Rights of the Applicants through invitation, arrest, the threat of arrest, detention, invasion of property, or in any manner whatsoever on account of the 5th Applicant’s civil transactions/ dispute with the 4th – 5th Respondents.

T. AN INJUNCTION restraining the Respondents, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers, or otherwise howsoever from carrying out any acts or omission which may result in the contravention or likely to contravene the fundamental rights of the Applicants.

U. ONE BILLION NAIRA ONLY being general, aggravated, special and exceptional damages against the Respondents, jointly and/ or severally for the violation of the fundamental rights of the Applicants.

V. ONE HUNDRED MILLION NAIRA ONLY against the 4th – 5th Respondents being the cost of instituting and prosecuting this suit.

In a 74-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the Managing Director of JNC International, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, she narrated how Afe Babalola University approached the company for the supply and installation of medical equipment for the use of the College of Medicine of the University, and the said equipment was imported and installed but because the university could not guarantee constant electricity supply to power it, an issue of proper maintenance arose, which the company rose up to and resolved, even at great costs to it. She stated further that in line with the sale agreement between the parties, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN through his law firm gave the notice to commence arbitration and an arbitrator was indeed appointed, however, the issues were subsequently resolved and the arbitration was called off. However, the company was shocked to receive an invitation letter from the Rapid Response Squad of the Ekiti State Police Command at the instigation of Afe Babalola University, leading to the forceful invasion of the company premises by policemen and officers of the university on August 3, 2022, in commando style, whereupon two members of the staff of the company were forcefully driven away from Lagos to Ekiti in the dead of the night. On their way to Ekiti, the police convoy ran into armed robbers around 2 am resulting in a fierce shootout the two members of staff of the company were caught in the firepower, and all pleas to allow them to lodge in a hotel in Osun State were rebuffed and they were forcefully driven to Ekiti State and kept in custody at the instigation of Afe Babalola University and Aare Afe Babalola, SAN.
The police in Ekiti kept the members of staff of the company in custody as a ransom for the appearance of the directors of the company and they were told that they would only be released upon the directives of Aare Afe Babalola, until late Saturday, August 6, 2022, when they were eventually released. The company expressed the fear that unless the court intervenes urgently the police will still carry out its threat of invading the office of the company and may arrest and detain its directors upon a purely civil matter for which Aare Afe Babalola, SAN himself had previously initiated arbitration proceedings. The applicants claimed that Aare Afe Babalola, SAN was instigating and using policemen to torment the Applicants and to force them into giving undertakings under duress.

The case was subsequently adjourned to 18th August 2022, for a hearing of the Motion on Notice.

BIG STORY

Project Lead Africa Announces 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards, Tagged “Rewarding Tenacity”

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Organizers of Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards have annouced November 13th for the 2022 maiden edition of Lead Awards. It was also revealed that the prestigious event will hold at the Dome International Conference Center, Akure, Ondo State.

Addressing a cross section of journalists over the weekend in Lagos, the Executive Director, Abiola Alaba Peters AAP, said the evening promises to be a gathering of captains of industries, government officials and prominent traditional rulers as far as Ondo State is concerned.

“It is our pleasure to announce to the general public, particularly the good people of Ondo State, that all is set for the 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards. This announcement was necessary after several months of consultation and planning, the event will be live at the Dome International Conference Center, in Ondo State capital, Akure”

“The date is November 13th 2022, It’s going to be a cooperate night, an evening of glitz and glamour, we have put in so much into making this maiden edition a memorable one. And that is why we have also taking time to design the concept of the theme of this year ceremony, REWARDING TENACITY. We believe it’s time to celebrate the individuals and organizations who have put in their best in making our dear state what it is today”

“It’s promises to be a gathering of some of the biggest names in Ondo State, from politics, business, entertainment, among others, our traditional rulers are not going to be left out, we are also expecting guests from neighboring states. Alaba Peters concluded.

Giving further details on the event, the Media and Publicity Director, Adewoye Solomon, said although activities, such as nominations and voting has kicked off since January, the award ceremony will hold on a Sunday in the month of November 2022.

In his words, “Let me start by saying that, the process and activities for the award started in January this year, the award presentation will hold in Akure, on a Sunday, the second week of November 2022. Let me also add that, two months ago, we closed the voting process. We have about 25 categories of awards, which includes the special recognition category”.

“A total of 15 categories will be decided by general public, while the remaining 10 will be decided based on the panels’ decision. We received a good number of quality entries from across the state for this debut edition. We have our final shortlists of winners, which we are confident embody the excellence the awards stand for.”

Lastly, let me also add that, this is a strictly by Invitation event. We are introducing an electronic invites by next month. We also have some top celebrities coming in from Lagos. We will make some major announcement in the month of October, do well to follow us on all our social media pages for updates. Thank You “

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JUST IN: FG Makes U-Turn, Withdraws Order To Reopen Varsities

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The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, Monday afternoon, withdrew its circular which ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors, and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

It was reported earlier that a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice-chancellors; pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

But in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which the Director, Finance also signed, and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

Though it did not explain why. The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022, on the above
subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors, chairmen of governing councils, and vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards”

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Retired Soldiers Stage Protest In Abuja Over Pay Discrepancies [PHOTOS]

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Some retired soldiers on Monday in Abuja protested salary and pension gaps among the ranks of serving and retired military personnel.

The protesters were seen with mats and banners demanding that the federal government rectify the discrepancies.

One of the banners they carried, said, “Review the wide disparity in pay and pension across the ranks of servicing and retired personnel”

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