Law & Human Rights

Ex-minister, others allegedly collected N650m on Diezani’s instruction – witness

By Innocent AnabaAn investigator, Usman Zakari, who appeared as the second prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, narrated to the court how former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide and others allegedly took delivery of a cash sum of N650m March in 2015. Akinjide and two others are being prosecuted by the EFCC over alleged fraud.According to Zakari, Akinjide and two others collected the N650m cash at the Dugbe branch of new generation bank in Ibadan, Oyo State on the standing instruction of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. The witness said his investigation revealed that the N650m was part of a total sum of N23bn wh...

Court seizes Diezani Alison-Madueke’s penthouses

A judge in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the confiscation of two multi-million-dollar penthouses in the latest seizure of assets linked to Nigeria’s former oil minister. Ex Petroleum minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke Diezani Alison-Madueke — who was also the first female president of OPEC — served under former president Goodluck Jonathan until 2015. She has been linked to a string of money laundering and bribery cases and investigations in several countries. Judge Mojisola Olatoregun, sitting at the Federal High Court in the city, said she had “no hesitation in ordering the final forfeiture of the properties to the federal government”. Alison-Madueke was arrested in London in October 2015 as part of a British investigation into international corruption and remains on b...

Alleged N650m fraud: Akinjide’s out-of-court settlement rejected, says EFCC

Lagos – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday told a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday it rejected an offer for an out-of-court settlement by a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide. Olajumoke Akinjide Akinjide was charged along with former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is said to be at large, a former Senator, Ayo Adeseun and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Olarenwaju Otiti. They were accused of conspiring to directly take possession of N650 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act and without going through a financial institution. Justice Muslim Hassan had adjourned at the last proceedings to enable bo...

Chibok girls’ kidnapper, Haruna Yahaya’s defence lawyer “pleaded for leniency”

A man involved in the 2014 kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in northeast Nigeria has been jailed for 15 years, the government confirmed on Tuesday. Haruna Yahaya The conviction of Haruna Yahaya, 35, is the first in relation to the mass abduction, which triggered global outrage and sparked a worldwide campaign for the girls’ release. A total of 276 students were seized from the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town in Borno state on the evening of April 14, 2014. Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath. Since May 2016, a further 107 have escaped, been found or released after government talks with the jihadists, leaving 112 still in captivity. Justice ministry spokesman Salihu Isah said Yahaya admitted to being involved when he ap...

FG resumes prosecution of Boko Haram suspects

ABUJA—The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has ordered the resumption of prosecution of suspected Boko Haram insurgents detained in various locations of the country. Justice Binta Nyako and some Boko Haram suspects Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the AGF, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, who disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, said the second phase of the trial would commence at Kainji detention facility in Niger State today. According to him, the resumption of trial arose from the conclusion of investigation of over 1000 suspects as ordered by the court during its proceedings of October 2017 by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. He explained that it was expecte...

The Thrills and Frills of Christmas III

By Awa Kalu, SAN In the previous installments of this piece, we have seen that very often, a simple journey by bus or indeed, any other means of transportation, may lead to a result that carries varied legal consequences. Again, great reliance will be placed on our imaginary journey in an akpuruka bus. The presumption is that that grade of bus is quite often, not in a road-worthy condition and it would, in our hypothetical context, be fair to assume that putting such a bus on the highway in the busy season of Christmas will amount to negligence. *Awa Kalu, SAN As Anderson B. noted in the leading case of Blyth v. Birmingham Waterworks Co. (1843 – 60) All E.R. Rep. 478, “Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon those considerations w...

Colony/ranch: SANs, others speak on FG’s land request

By Bartholomew Madukwe As the Federal Government is working on how to bring about lasting peace on the killings and maiming of innocent souls arising from clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country, some senior lawyers and rights activists have concluded that it is only mutual understanding and cooperation between the government and the people that can ensure the much sought tranquility. President Buhari Under the Land Use Act, the governor is responsible for allocation of land in all urban areas to individuals resident in the state or to organisations for residential, agricultural, commercial and other purposes while similar powers with respect to non-urban areas are conferred on the Local Government. In essence, the Act altered the existing land laws in ...

Set me free in line with Section 158 of the Constitution, Justice Ngwuta asks CCT

Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta of the Supreme Court has asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to dismiss the 8-count criminal charges on the alleged false declaration of assets preferred against him by the Federal government since last year. Justice Ngwuta Justice Ngwuta in a fresh motion on notice he filed at the Tribunal is claiming that CCT has no jurisdiction to entertain his trial and that the charges brought against him by the Federal Government were incompetent in the face of the law. In a motion on notice brought pursuing to Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution and filed on his behalf by his lead counsel Mr. Kanu Agabi, Justice Ngwuta is claiming that the charges against him were incompetent because they were never referred to the National Judicial Council a...

Winnie loses battle for Mandela’s rural home

A South African court on Friday struck down a long-running effort by late president Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to claim ownership of his former rural home. Winnie Mandela The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal against a lower court’s ruling that she was not the rightful owner of the property in his childhood village. Mandela, the country’s first democratic president, spent much of his early years in Qunu in the Eastern Cape province after being born nearby. He regularly returned to the village after his retirement and was buried there in 2013. In his will, the anti-apartheid icon left the house to his family trust, but Madikizela-Mandela claimed it belonged to her under customary law because it was bought in 1989 while they were still ...

We stored Ex-NNPC boss, Yakubu’s N3bn loot in iron boxes, EFCC tells court

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ABUJA – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, told the Federal High Court in Abuja that it stored over N3billion loot that was recovered from former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, in iron boxes. Yakubu The anti-graft agency which made the revelation at the resumed trial of the former NNPC boss on charges bordering on money laundering, said the boxes were also sealed with iron rods. Testifying as the third prosecution witness, PW-3, a lead investigative officer from the Kano zonal office of the commission, Mr. Ahmed Yahaya, said the iron boxes were kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for safe-keeping. Yakubu who was GMD of the NNPC between 2012 and 2014, was accused ...

Trump calls US court system ‘unfair’ after ‘Dreamers’ ruling

President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at the US judicial system as “broken and unfair” after a judge blocked his decision to end a program that protects so-called “Dreamers” from deportation. Trump Earlier, the White House had called the ruling Tuesday by US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco “outrageous,” coming the same day Trump met lawmakers from both camps on the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. “It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,” Trump said in a tweet. The DACA program, instituted by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama in 2012, protects from dep...

Atiku threatens to sue Unongo, demands N200bn damages

..denies sponsoring Miyetti-Allah cattle breedersBy Ikechukwu NnochiriABUJA – Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, threatened to drag a chieftain of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Mr. Paul Unongo to court for alleging that he is a financier of the association of cattle breeders, Miyetti-Allah. Unongo and Atiku The erstwhile Vice President, in a letter that was signed by his lawyer, Mr. Mahmud Magaji,SAN, asked Unongo to immediately retract the allegation which he said was ” blatant and malicious falsehood”, or face legal action within seven days. Atiku insisted that the said retraction must be published in all the national dailies in Nigeria. Specifically, the ex-VP who made particular reference to a publication he said was on page 3 of the Punch of Janua...

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