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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

Lagos Taskforce Carries Out Late Night Raids In Ikeja, Goes All Out On Street Trading

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In the interest of environmental decorum and maintenance of Lagos State’s Mega City  status, the Lagos State Taskforce has expelled illegal Street traders from Alade Avenue, Orishe Street and Johnson Street, off Obafemi Awolowo Way which had been converted to mini markets and restautarants thereby causing serious human/vehicular traffic obstructions and serious environmental pollution along those routes and adjoining streets.
The two-days raid which was led by the Chairman of the Agency, CSP Adetayo Akerele took place at dusk which it usually the period when the illegal street traders erect make shift shops and place barricades which occupy parts of the road and cause traffic impediments to vehicles trying to access those roads. Their activities have also been noticed to seriously flout laid down environmental laws of the State through indiscriminate disposal of waste and solid materials into the gutters which end up clogging up canals and drainage systems in the Metropolis.
CSP Akerele described the raids which will be a continous exercise as a step made in the interest of the citizenry who have longed for solutions to the menace of street trading which also encourages criminality. Some of these locations serve as safe haven for criminals and they enjoy the proceeds of their criminal activities there. The flooding experienced in some parts of the State is also a result of improper disposal of waste that end up clogging the drainage channels.
“The activities of street traders at Johnson Street, especially at night is repugnant at all levels. They sell drugs indiscriminately there which is counter-productive to the society and they also contribute immensely to traffic build-up on Awolowo Road during rush hour at night when workers who have spent all day at work still shave to spend hours in traffic on Awolowo road just to get home. It is unfair to residents of this area and we will ensure that it is reduced to the barest minimum.”
Akerele reiterated the stand of the State Government on Street Trading and assured that all hands will be on deck to ensure that street trading is a thing of the past. He disclosed that the Agency is collaborating with other sister Agencies to ensure that the environment is preserved as prescribed in the THEMES PLUS agenda of the State Government.
The Chairman appealed to all other recalcitrant street traders and vendors to relocate their stores to designated outlets designed for trading and vacate the streets and inner roads. He assured them that the Agency will visit every nook and cranny where activities of street traders have impeded the flow of traffic and inconvenienced residents one way or the other.
He urged residents who have useful tips concerning street blockages by illegal traders or any other useful information on illegal environmental activities to contact the Agency through thee  social media handles or come forth with them to the Headquarters of the Agency at Bolade Oshodi.
“We will continue to do our job in line with THEMES PLUS agenda of the State Government and the directives of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade  mni, psc.”
All suspects arrested were carefully screened and those with genuine business were allowed to go while others will be charged to court.

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Appeal Court Affirms Dethroned Magodo Monarch’s Jail Term Over Fake Kidnap

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The Court of Appeal in Lagos has upheld the conviction of Mutiu Ogundare, the former Baale of Shangisha in Magodo, Lagos State, for staging his own abduction.

On September 27, 2022, Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja sentenced Ogundare to 15 years in prison. However, Ogundare appealed the decision, seeking to overturn the conviction.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal heard the case, with Mr. Jubril Kareem representing the respondent and Mr. Kayode Ojo representing the appellant. In a judgment delivered by the lead Justice, Peter Bassi, the three-man panel upheld the lower court’s decision on counts one and two but overturned count three. The other justices on the panel, Bayero and Folashade Ojo, concurred with the lead justice.

While the appeal was partially successful, the court reduced Ogundare’s sentence from 15 years to 12 years. This means that Ogundare will serve a reduced term for his role in faking his own abduction.

The court, however, held, “The appellant is to serve 10 years imprisonment, for count one and two years for counts two, respectively.”

On the third count, the court upturned the sentence in respect of false representation to release a kidnapped person.

The convict was first remanded on July 16, 2017, in Kirikiri Prison, by an Ogba Magistrate’s Court, for allegedly faking his kidnap.

Ogundare was prosecuted alongside his wife, Abolanle and brother, Opeyemi Mohammed.

They were arraigned on three counts bordering on conspiracy, breach of peace and fake kidnapping, preferred against them by the Lagos State government.

Justice Oshodi, on June 15, 2022, convicted Ogundare and his brother Opeyemi Mohammed and reserved judgment till September 27, 2022.

Before their conviction, Ogundare’s  counsel Olarewaju Ajanaku, in his allocutus pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

Ajanaku told the court that the convict had turned a new leaf and that he did not think through his actions when he committed the offence.

The second defence counsel, Dr. Olayinka Owoeye, also in his allocutus prayed the court to temper justice with mercy adding that the convict (Mohammed),had learnt his lessons.

The said kidnap took place on July 5, 2017, but Ogundare later confessed to security services that he staged the kidnap to blackmail the state government.

He was allegedly abducted by three men along the Centre for Management Development Road, Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area.

The Baale was said to have received a phone call from alleged developers, who had indicated an interest in a landed property within his domain.

The callers told him where to meet them, prompting Ogundare to drive to the address with one of his brothers, Mohammed.

On arriving at the location, the three men appealed to the Baale and his brother to join them in their White Toyota Venza so that they could go and see the land.

It was stated that on their way, the Baale’s brother noticed one of the men had a gun with him and he raised alarm and the suspected kidnapper pushed the Baale’s brother out of the vehicle and sped off with the Baale.

In the same month, the former governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, ordered the removal of Ogundare as the baale of Shangisha.

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BREAKING: CBN Raises Interest Rate To 26.75% Amid Soaring Inflation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has once again increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), a key indicator of interest rates, by 50 basis points.

The MPR has risen from 26.25% to 26.75%, a move aimed at tackling the escalating inflation and surging food prices in the country.

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, made the announcement following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

This decision reflects the CBN’s efforts to curb the rising cost of living and stabilize the economy, as inflation continues to pose a significant challenge to the country’s economic growth.

 

More to come…

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