Nov 18, 2019
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Judiciary Archives - Daily Mail Online

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October 18, 201960

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, arraigned one Muhammad Dangana, a staff of the ECOWAS Commission, before the Federal High Court in Abuja on a 15-count money laundering charge.

Dangana, who was identified as an Executive Assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Abuja, was alleged to have criminally diverted about N587.7million from coffers of the establishment.

The anti-graft agency alleged that he used part of the looted funds to purchase land in the Federal Capital Territory.

He was docked before trial Justice Okon Abang alongside his alleged accomplices, Aliu Sesay and Saleh Dangana, even as EFCC told the court that others involved in the said fraud are currently at large.

However, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge that bordered on criminal diversion of funds, misappropriation and money laundering.

Sequel to a request by the prosecution counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, trial Justice Abang remanded them in prison custody.

The court further fixed November 11, 12, 13 and 14 for trial.

One of the counts in the charge read: “That you Muhammad Dangana, male adult, being the executive assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Abuja, sometime in 2016 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did launder the sum of N200,000,000 you dishonestly diverted from ECOWAS Commission funds, entrusted in your care and management by using same to purchase a plot of land, being Plot 36 Guzape District, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 11 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Additional reports from agencies 

 


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October 14, 201970

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the Nigerian government to pay a soldier, Barnabas Eli, N10 million as compensation following his dismissal from the Nigerian Army for the loss of his rifle in 2012.

The court also ordered the government to pay Mr Eli, a private, the arrears of his salary and other entitlements from March 2015 to the date of his release from detention.

Following the loss of the rifle, the soldier was sentenced to two years imprisonment by a court martial without recourse to the confirming authority before enforcement.

Delivering a default judgment under Article 90(4) of the Rules of the Court following a motion filed by the applicant on October 10, 2018, the court also held the government in violation of the applicant’s right to be heard within a reasonable time.

In determining whether the decision of the court martial required confirmation by the appropriate authority before enforcement, the ECOWAS Court relied on the provisions of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20, which stipulates the punishment for the loss of public or service property.

The law however said the punishment required that the decision of such a court martial must be transmitted to a confirming authority for the confirmation of the finding and sentence.

The ECOWAS Court held that although the arrest, detention and trial of the applicant were validly done, the conviction not having been confirmed by a higher authority was ‘null and void.’

Consequently, the court ruled in its judgment on October 11 ‘that the detention in prison of the applicant was arbitrary and consequently a violation of his rights to liberty contrary to Section 6 of the African Charter.”

However, the court rejected the applicant’s request to hold the government in violation his right to equality before the law; equal protection before the law; right to non-discrimination; right to life and to protection from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as punishment on the grounds that evidence were not to support these claims.

In suit No. ECW/CCJ/APP/…/2016, the applicant said that in 2012, in the course of his official duty, a rifle belonging to the Nigerian Army was stolen at his duty post in Sector 7, Riyom in the country’s Plateau State.

He was consequently arrested, detained, tried and dismissed from the army.

He then approached the court to adjudge that his arrest, detention, trial, conviction and subsequent dismissal by the army is illegal, ultra vires, null and void, as it contravenes the provisions of Article 6 African Charter and other human rights instruments.

The Nigerian government did not put up a defence in rebuttal to the claims of the applicant during the trial.

On the panel of the court for the case were Gberi-Be Ouattara, (Presiding) Dupe Atoki and Januaria Costa. (Premium Times).

 

 


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September 30, 201980

A federal high court in Abuja has remanded Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement, in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The activist has been in detention since August 3 when he was arrested in Lagos.

A court had earlier granted him bail but the secret police refused to release him.

On Monday, he was arraigned on a 7-count charge of felony brought against him and Olawale Bakare, his co-defendant, by the federal government.

The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, had ordered the remand of Sowore and Bakare pending Thursday when she would hear their application for bail.


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September 29, 201970

A lawyer, Stanley Okwara, has sued the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, at the Federal High Court in Kano. The lawyer wants the court to sack Mr Fowler from office for allegedly overstaying his tenure.

The suit with number FHC/KN/CS/141/2019, was filed by the plaintiff’s counsel, Johnmary Jideobi, on September 18.

Mr Okwara asked for an order barring Mr Fowler from further parading himself as the chairman of FIRS unless he is re-appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Joined in the suit as the second defendant is the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The lawyer in the Originating Summons posed two questions of law and asked the court to determine, “Whether in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Ogbuinyinya & Ors. vs. Obi Okudo & Ors. (1979) All N.L.R. 105 and having regard to the combined provisions of Sections 3(2) (a), Section 4(a) and Section 11 (a) of the Federal Inland Revenue [Establishment] Act, 2007, the 1st Defendant [who was appointed on the 18th August, 2015] has not ceased to hold office as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service after the 18th day of August, 2019?”

Another issue for determination is, “Whether the continuous stay of the 1st Defendant as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service after the 18th day of August 2019 is not illegal in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Ogbuinyinya & Ors. vs. Obi Okudo & Ors. (1979) All N.L.R. 105 and having regard to the combined provisions of Sections 3(2) (a), Section 4(a) and Section 11 (a) of the Federal Inland Revenue [Establishment] Act, 2007 especially when the 1st Defendant was appointed on the 18th day of August 2015?”

Upon determination of the questions, Mr Okwara sought, “A declaration that in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Ogbuinyinya & Ors. vs. Obi Okudo & Ors. (1979) All N.L.R. 105 and having regard to the combined provisions of sections 3(2) (a), 4(a) and 11 (a) of the Federal Inland Revenue [Establishment] Act, 2007, the first defendant (who was appointed on the 18thAugust, 2015) has ceased to hold office as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service after August 18,2019. (Premium Times)



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