Law & Human Rights

We need bi-partisan approach to solve Nigeria’s problems ——Onofiok

*Mr Luke Onofiok, Speaker, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly By Innocent Anaba Mr  Luke Onofiok is the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. He was honoured recently  by  Eket branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, for his contributions to the development of the state. In this interview, he speaks on the challenges of law-making, how to address the challenges facing Nigerian youths, the face-off between the executive and the legislature at federal level and sundry national issues. Excerpts: How would you describe your experiences as the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly? I will start by giving glory to God Almighty for the grace that He has made available to me to be able to pilot the affairs of my state’s House of Assembly for the past three years. ...

Any abuse of judicial process in Kashamu’s extradition?

By Abdulwahab Abdulah One of the challenges facing smooth and speedy administration of justice in Nigeria is filing of diverse applications and duplication of same processes before the court of concurrent jurisdiction which often is deemed frivolous and a waste of court’s time. Many cases had faced this difficulty and had suffered unnecessary delay as a result of perceived abuse of legal process. One of such is the extradition application against Senator Buruji Kashamu, a senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District of Ogun State, which has been argued before different judges for years. Sen. Buruji Kashamu The case which commenced on May 27, 2015 when the ex-Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, applied to a Federal High Court sittin...

Election: Crisis looms in NBA

By Aikhunegbe Malik The date for the election of a fresh set of national officers to take over the running of the affairs of the Nigerian Bar Association is almost upon us. By now, the administration of A. B. Mahmoud, SAN, should be preparing its end cue. Expectedly, activities on the lawyers’ political landscape are at fever pitch, albeit one hears constantly monotonous warning refrain: “ban on campaign has not been officially lifted.” I wonder whether there was a ban in the first place to warrant the avowal. Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day. But whether the “ban” is lifted or not, the blind can see and the deaf can hear that all the candidates have in several clever ways, intensified campaigns and solicitation for votes. So true that since men have learnt ...

Insight: Jailing of Dariye, Nyame proves that EFCC not selective

The conviction of two prominent members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye in quick succession by a Federal Capital Territory High Court has put a lie to the often repeated charge by critics and cynics that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is lukewarm in prosecuting chieftains of the ruling party for corruption. Pictures of Senator Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau State, who was convicted and sentenced today June 12, 2018 by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court, Gudu, Abuja, to 14 years imprisonment for criminal breach of trust and 2 years imprisonment for misappropriation of public funds. Nyame and Dariye, both former two-term governors of Taraba and Plateau State respectively, were convicted and sentenced to 14 yea...

The judiciary, the fight against corruption and the democratic process

By Awa U. Kalu, SANIT is not contestable, that this country disentangled itself from military rule in 1999 having witnessed military participation in politics from 1966 through 1979 and then again from 1984 until 1999 as earlier stated. Military rule has had its consequences on the nature of politics in Nigeria. It is also not in doubt that the disentanglement arose from the enthronement of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) over and above all other laws. Justice Ademola and his wife, Olabowale at Abuja court recently. The preeminence of the extant constitution raises the presumption that all acts of organs and agents of government, whether Federal, State or Local would be in accordance with the letters and spirit of the Law and the Constitution itself. I...

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 ...

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