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Court of Appeal dismisses AA petition against Tinubu



Election Tribunal

The Presidential Election Petition Court,PEPC, on Monday summarily dismissed the election petition filed by Action Alliance ,AA, challenging the election of President -Elect Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

Presiding Justice of the five man panel, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani dismissed AA,s petition as the petitioners’ lawyer Oba Maduabuchi SAN, withdrew the petition.

“Consequently, upon the petitioners discontinuance of this petition and the fact that there is no objections to it, this petition is hereby dismissed”, the Court held.

The had listed AA petition as the first in the cause list. But it was mentioned, the petitioner lawyer, Oba Maduabuchi,SAN, announced his appearance for the petitioner. Another lawyer Malachy Nwaekpe made an attempt to announce appearance for same political party.

On enquiry from the presiding Justice, Nwaekpe said that the hearing of the application dated May 3 ,2023 will resolve the dispute on who is representing AA because the petitioners have not instructed Maduabuchi to file the petition.

In response Maduabuchi , SAN, informed the panel that he did not want to drag the court into AA internal leadership dispute that is before the Court of Appeal .

He said that in any case, he had filed an application to withdraw the petition on the instruction of his clients. He prayed the court to dismiss the election petition.

Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, and other lawyers in the matter: Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, for Tinubu and Chief Lateef Fagbemi SAN did not object to the withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the PEPC has adjourned the hearing of Peter Obi and Labour Party petition till Wednesday,May 10, 2023 .

When the petition was mentioned on Monday, the lead counsel in the matter
Livy Uzoukwu SAN identified all the processes the petitioners had filed and served on respondents.

The lead counsel also identified all the responses the team has received from the respondents.

Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, the lead counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission ,INEC, also identified all the processes his team has received and filed in respect of the petition.

Similar process of identification of court processes that were filed and received from the petitioners were also conducted by Lateef Fagbemi SAN lawyer for All Progressives Congress APC, and Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN the lawyer for Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

In a brief ruling the Presiding Justice, Tsammani ordered the lawyers in the matter to meet and identify what they would object and those that they agreed on, in order to make the hearing easy.

He therefore adjourned the petition to Wednesday for continuation of pre-hearing session.

Earlier, on Monday the PEPC had shifted pre-hearing session on Peoples Democratic Party,PDP and Atiku Abubakar’s petition to Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Also shifted to Tuesday is the pre hearing session on the petition filed by Allied Peoples Movement,APM.

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2023 poll fall out: Court fines Keyamo N10m for filing frivolous suit against Atiku



The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday, awarded a N10 million fine against the immediate-past Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo for filing a frivolous suit against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 election.

Justice James Omotosho awarded a N5 million fine each in favour of Abubakar and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), making it a total of N10 million fine against Keyamo in a suit he filed seeking to compel the commission to investigate corruption allegations against Atiku.

The judge on Monday in his ruling described the suit as “frivolous, vexatious and abuse of court processes,” and directed that the fine should be paid “at 10 per cent per annum until the cost is finally liquidated.”

The order followed an oral application by counsel for Atiku, Benson Igbanoi, and that of the ICPC, Oluwakemi Odogun, asking for cost after the suit was dismissed.

Recall that Keyamo was the spokesperson of the dissolved Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), and had while defending his principal in the heat of the election campaign went a step further and initiated the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2023 on Jan. 20.

In the suit, he had sought an order compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to probe and prosecute Abubakar.

Keyamo’s legal action was based on the claims by a former aide to Abubakar , one Michael Achimugu, who alleged that between 1999 and 2007 when Atiku was vice president, he conspired with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to rip off the country using what he termed “Special Purpose Vehicles.”

The ex-minister filed the suit after the 72-hour ultimatum he gave the three investigating agencies elapsed.

He alleged that Abubakar was in violation of Section 18(2) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, and Section 96(1) of the Penal Code, hence, unqualified to contest in Feb. 25 poll.

But Atiku (1st defendant), through his lawyer, filed a notice of preliminary objection, seeking for an order dismissing the suit for being incompetent, lack of locus standi, want of jurisdiction and for non-disclosure of reasonable cause against him.

The EFCC, ICPC and the CCB, in their separate preliminary objections, also challenged the competency of the suit and jurisdiction of the court.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Omotosho held that he had two issues for determination and that was whether the suit was frivolous and whether the relief sought by Keyamo could be granted.

The judge said the jurisdiction of the court was important also the locus standi of the applicant who filed the suit.

“Locus standi is the capacity of a party to institute an action. It interrogates what is the business of the plaintiff with the defendants

“The need for proper locus standi is to prevent busy body from instituting a suit and restraining them from wasting the time of the court,” he said.

He said though the court did not say that the ex-minister did not have a right to write statutory agencies to investigate Abubakar, but that he had not shown why he was affected by Abubakar’s action.

“A citizen of a country has a right to report crime and that cannot be an infraction on fundamental rights of any person.

“But the complainant is to complain to the statutory agencies and not to drag the 1st defendant with the agencies to court to seek an order to compel the agencies to investigate the suspect,” he said.

Justice Omotosho held that Investigating authorities had the discretionary powers to investigate any case and to know if such case would warrant any prosecution or not, citing previous cases to back his decision.

“The law is that the court cannot compel investigating agencies to perform their discretionary powers,’ he said.

The court was disappointed that the plaintiff would give the anti graft agency 72-hour ultimatum to investigate Atiku Abubakar and that he filed the action immediately after the 72 hours elapsed.

“The question is, is 72 hours sufficient for the investigation and conclusion of action of this nature. The answer is no,” he said.

The judge said that the plaintiff case was frivolous and an abuse of court process adding that “the plaintiff who is supposed to be a lawyer would think that a suit compelling a statutory body will success giving 72 hours?

“The plaintiff should know that these agencies are at liberty on when to investigate and when to conclude,” he said.

He said Keyamo acted as if he was “an errand boy.”
But Keyamo said in a statement on Monday that he will appeal the judgment.

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Police arrest two suspects for murder of commercial tricyclist in Niger State



Two suspects, Sunday Paul and Bali Joshua, have been arrested by operatives of the Niger State Police Command.They were arrested over the murder of a commercial tricyclist in Suleja area of the state.Spokesperson of the the command, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, in a statement on Friday, June 2, 2023, said the suspects alongside an accomplice, Zingfa Selchak, who is presently at large, connived and killed the victim, Boniface Chinanwa, after luring him to a deserted road. According to the PPRO, Selchak had deceitfully contracted the deceased to convey some goods for him with the intention of stealing his tricycle. The suspects strangled Chinanwa to death with a cable, dumped his body by the roadside and made away with his tricycle, phone and other valuables. “On 23/05/2023 at about 2030hrs, based on a tip-off, Police operatives attached to ‘A’ Div Suleja arrested the following two suspects; Sunday Paul aged 22yrs of Timber-shed, Suleja and Bali Joshua aged 33yrs of Kwamba area, Suleja,” the PPRO stated.”The suspects were arrested in connection with the culpable homicide of one Boniface Chinanwa aged 45yrs of Morocco road, Suleja”During interrogation, the suspects confessed that on 17/05/2023 at about 1900hrs, they were invited by one Zingfa Selchak of the same address but presently at large. He briefed them on his intention to snatch a tricycle and that he needed their assistance to perpetrate the act.”He took them to somewhere along Kwamba road, opposite Timber-shed, and told them to wait for him, shortly he appeared with a tricycle rider whom he deceitfully contracted to convey some goods for him.”They jointly moved to a nearby corner with the rider pretending to start packing the goods into the tricycle. Suddenly, the said Zingfa placed a cable on the neck of the rider from the rear, tightly drawn and strangulated him till death with the help of Bali while Sunday tied the hands of the victim”The suspects also searched the victim, stole his phone and other valuables in his possession, while Zingfa drove the tricycle to an unknown destination, both Bali and Sunday dropped the body of the deceased by the roadside, where it was discovered the following morning “The suspects have been transferred to SCID Minna for further investigation, as effort is being intensified to arrest the fleeing Zingfa and to also recover the tricycle with other valuables stolen. The exhibit recovered is the cable tied to a spanner used to strangulate the victim.”

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Again, Court admits exhibits in 6 more States against Tinubu’s election.



The Presidential Election Petition Court PEPC on Friday admitted exhibits from the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi in additional six States in his quest to establish riggings and other electoral malpractices that led to his loss in the February 25 presidential election.

Obi and the Labour Party had on Thursday tendered exibits in six States comprising Rivers, Benue, Cross River, Niger, Osun and Ekiti States.

However, at Friday’s proceedings, the presidential candidate and his party tendered exhibits in six other states including Adamawa
Bayelsa, Oyo, Edo, Lagos and Akwa Ibom.

The exhibits comprising forms EC8A used in the February 25 presidential election and certified by the National Electoral Commission INEC as true copies of the original were admitted as exhibits.

Breakdown of the fresh exhibits showed that forms EC8A were admitted in 21 Local Government Areas of Adamawa, 8 in Local Government Areas of Bayelsa, 31 Local Government Areas of Oyo, 18 Local Government Areas of Edo, 20 Local Government Areas of Lagos and 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom.

The winner of the election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress APC as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC that conducted the election hinted the Court of their intentions to object to the documents at the final stage of address.

At the close of Friday’s proceedings, Peter Obi through his counsel, Mr Peter Afoba SANinformed the Court that they have exhausted documents at their disposal for the day.

Afoba applied to the Court to consider the admitted documents as read but the request was opposed by all respondents in the matter.

Meanwhile, further hearing in the petition petition has been shifted to Monday June 5 by the Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani.

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