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Aji becomes the seventh female Justice of the Supreme Court

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Justice Uwani Abba Aji has become the seventh female Justice of the Supreme Court.

This comes after the likes of former Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukthar, Justice Olufunlola Adekeye, Justices Mary Peter Odili, Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, Kudirat Keke–Ekun and Amina Adamu Augie.

A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukthar, made history in 2005, when she was sworn in as the first female justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Ajj’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari was recently confirmed by the Senate as Justice of the Supreme Court, after serving 14 years on the bench of the Court of Appeal.

Her confirmation by the Senate came after it considered the report of the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal matters on her nomination.

Chairman of the committee, David Umaru, said the nominee has been screened and satisfied all requirements.

Her elevation to the apex court was mired in controversy following bribery allegations that were made against her.

Specifically, she was under corruption investigation by security agencies for allegedly accepting a bribe from a senior lawyer who is currently facing trial in court.

She was one of the eight judicial officers, who were directed by the NJC to excuse themselves from duties, effective from November 2, 2016 on the request of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) pending the outcome of their investigation by the DSS, on corruption allegation.

She and others were however directed to resume duties on June 7, 2017 on the grounds that no charges were brought against them by the AGF at the conclusion of their investigation.

The National Judicial Council (NJC), had at its 87th meeting chaired by the CJN on October 3 and 4, recommended Justice Abba-Aji, currently the Presiding Justice, Kaduna division of the Court of Appeal, to the President for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

The Yobe State jurist was elevated to the bench of the Court of Appeal on September 22, 2004 along with Justices Mary Peter Odili and Kudirat Keke–Ekun.

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Lagos state to arraign killer cop

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The Lagos State Government on Monday took over the prosecution of dismissed Inspector Olalekan Ogunyemi, who is accused of killing a football enthusiast, Mr. Kolade Johnson on March 31. Ogunyemi will now be tried at the high court following the recommendation of Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

He has been in prison since April 5 following his remand by an Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court pending the DPP’s advice. The remand order was obtained by the police.

When the case was mentioned on Monday, Magistrate A.O. Salawu said the DPP advised that the case be transferred to the high court.
The DPP, she added, advised that Ogunyemi should be prosecuted in accordance with Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

But the DPP absolved the second suspect, Godwin Oji, of complicity in the case and asked that he should be released.

The magistrate adjourned till August 6 for the case to be filed at the high court.

Ogunyemi, of No. 17, Alhaji Ede Street, Igando, was brought before the court on April 6, on a temporary one-count charge of murder.

Prosecuting Inspector Kehinde Olatunde alleged that he committed the offense on March 31, at about 5:10 pm, at Onipetesi Estate, Idi-Mangoro, Lagos.

Olatunde alleged that Ogunyemi, who served in the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command, shot Johnson, a 36-year-old father of one, to death, with his AK47 rifle.

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Onnoghen: NJC hails Buhari

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for accepting the voluntary retirement of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen. It gave the commendation at its emergency meeting yesterday, during which members deliberated on the President’s decision in relation to Justice Onnoghen’s exit from the Bench.

President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had, in a statement on Sunday, said: “President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019.

“The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.”
NJC’s spokesman, Soji Oye, said in a statement that members of the judicial body noted that Buhari’s acceptance of Onnoghen’s retirement was in line with its recommendation to the President on April 3.

The statement reads: “The NJC held an Emergency Meeting today (yesterday) to take formal note of the acceptance of the voluntary retirement of Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON, as Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

“The President’s acceptance of the retirement is in line with the Council’s recommendation to the President on 3rd April 2019.
“Council at the end of its deliberations thanked the President for the acceptance which was in the best interest of Nigeria.”

He claims that Buhari’s acceptance of Onnoghen’s retirement was part of its recommendations creates doubt as to the actual position of the NJC on the issue.

The NJC had, after concluding its investigation of allegations of “financial impropriety and infidelity to the constitution” raised against Onnoghen in a petition by the economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), kept sealed lips on its findings, but announced that it has sent its recommendations to the President.

In their recent response to a suit by the Incorporated Trustees of Malcolm Omirhobo Foundation, challenging Buhari’s appointment of Justice Ibrahim Muhammad as acting CJN, the President and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF) disclosed that the NJC recommended Onnghen’s compulsory retirement.

They stated that NJC’s recommendation that Onnoghen be compulsorily retired preceded his retirement letter to the President on April 4, 2019.

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LPPC queries Malami

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The Disciplinary Panel of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) has summoned the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to appear before it on June 14 over a prejudicial statement made against the detained former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).


The notice read in part: “Take notice that the above matter is fixed for hearing by the Disciplinary Committee of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee of the Office of Registrar Supreme Court of Nigeria Abuja on June 14, 2019, at 11a.m. in the forenoon.”

Malami is expected to face the panel for investigation in a statement credited to him in the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service on July 13, 2018, in which he was quoted to have said that Dasuki would not be released despite all subsisting court orders for his release on bails.

In the audio recording of the interview he granted VOA, Malami had accused Dasuki of being responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 Nigerians during for President Goodluck Jonathan’s era.

In the interview, Malami had said: “Remember, we are talking about a person who was instrumental to the deaths of over 100,000 people. Are you saying that the rights of one person are more important than that of 100,000 who lost their lives?”

A notice of hearing in the petition filed by Dasuki’s family against former AGF indicated that Malami would be interrogated by the committee of the Legal Practitioners at the Office of the Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja.

The Dasuki family had petitioned the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) praying for an investigation and sanction of the minister over his unprofessional conducts and utter disregard to the rule of law likely to cause anarchy in the country through his promotion of disobedience to the lawful order of court by the federal government.

In the petition dated July 23, 2008, and received by the NBA the same day, the family wanted Malami to be investigated in the resolve of the federal government not to comply with any order of court admitting the former NSA to bail and has been unjustly detained for almost four years.

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Education: Okorocha loses in court

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An Imo State High Court has ruled against the Governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha on the demolition of staff quarters of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.


The court presided over by Justice K. A. Ojiako, described the forceful entry, demolition of the staff quarters and rendering of the institution’s pensioners homeless, as “illegal, unconscionable and portrayed the defendants as people that have no respect for the rule of law.”

The judgement lasted more than two hours on Monday.

Justice Ojiako delivered the judgement in a suit HOW/406/2016, instituted by Dr. A. M. Iwuoha and others, against Imo State Governor, the state Attorney General, the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning and others.

The suit was filed by AIFCE retirees challenging to contest, among other things, their forceful ejection from their quarters and destruction of their property, as well as prayed for consequential damages to assuage their losses.

The judge held that the actions of the defendants “clearly negates beliefs and contradicts the rule of law mantra in the often sung Imo Anthem.”

The judge added that what was more intriguing was that the property which the defendants destroyed, do not belong to them.

Ojiako said, “In view of this reprehensible, reckless, atrocious and cruel conduct of the defendants, which also amounts to condemnable self-help, I will award exemplary damages against them.”

Apart from awarding the plaintiffs the sum of N400 million as consequential damages, Justice Ojiako also ordered that the plaintiffs should take possession of all structures built in the area.

“The defendants shall jointly and severally pay the plaintiffs the sum of N400 million only as exemplary damages for the forceful eviction of the plaintiffs and demolition of their properties, subject matter of this suit”, Ojiako said.

The Court restored the possession of the plaintiffs to the property erected in their premises.

He also, “restrained the defendants, their servants, preview, agents, officers from claiming, forcibly ejecting or further ejecting the plaintiffs from the said property, or interfering or further interfering with the plaintiff’s possession and/or occupation of the said property”.

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