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Kogi CJ cautions judges against delay in determination of cases

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Josiah Majebi has called on judicial Officers to guard against unnecessary delay in dispensation of criminal cases for personal gains and avoid all forms of negative conduct in the discharge of their duties.

Justice Majebi made the call at a Valedictory Court Session in honour of retiring Hon. Justice Esther Onuche Haruna who bowed out as a Judge of the Kogi State High Court on Thursday in Lokoja.

The Chief Judge decried situations where criminal cases are unnecessarily delayed to attract possible advantage and personal gains saying such cases should be dispensed with utmost despatch and due diligence.

Majebi described Justice Esther Onuche Haruna as an incorruptible judge who performed various assignments given her with utmost sense of responsibility.

According to him, the retiring judge was of impeccable character, humble disposition, unblemished record of service in Kogi State and Nigeria adding that she would be greatly missed.

Speaking at the occasion, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) who represented Body of Senior Advocates, described Justice Esther Onuche Haruna as a Judicial Amazon who had continued to serve a role model to upcoming Judicial Officers.

Okutepa tasked judges to remain apolitical and exhibit their aloofness and high sense of patriotism and integrity while performing their duties.

In his message to the occasion, Governor Yahaya Bello promised government’s continued partnership with the judiciary to achieve set goals.

The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Chief Edward David Onoja, expressed appreciation to Justice Esther Haruna for her selfless service to her fatherland and wished her the best in retirement.

In his goodwill message, Barrister Iliayasu Alhassan, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Lokoja Branch, solicited more attention for welfare of Magistrates in Kogi State.

In her valedictory speech, Justice Esther Onuche Haruna attributed her achievement to God’s grace and support of her husband adding that judicial icons like late Justice Alhassan Idoko, James Ogebe and Justice Umaru Eri also played vital roles in her journey in the Judiciary.

She equally expressed appreciation to the State Chief Judge, Justice Josiah Joe Majebi, other High Court judges as well as other Heads of Courts for thier unflinching support during her years in service.

She appealed to judicial Officers to remain fair and just in the discharge of their duties by avoiding acts inimical to judicial procedures.

Justice Esther Haruna was appointed as Magistrate II in 1986, Judge of Kogi state High Court on 28th December, 2005 and retired after attaining the statutory retiring age of 65.

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Judiciary

Appologise or face court action, Nwoko tells senator Abbor over Bribery allegation

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Former lawmaker who represented Adamawa North in the Senate, Senator Elisha Abbo has been directed to apologize to the Appeal Court President, Justice Chioma Iheme and the entire judiciary over the allegations of bribery or be prepared to face court action for false allegations.

Senator Abo, had accused the President of the Court of Appeal, Monica Dongban-Mensen, of collecting bribes.

He said the Court of Appeal has become a “cash and carry point” while calling some judges “judicial bandits.”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former Attorney General of Akwa Ibom state, Uwemedimo Nwoko, insists that the former senator must either be prepared for court action to establish his bribery allegations or tender apologies for making unsubstantiated allegations.

He further notes that the former lawmaker has not produced any evidence to substantiate his allegations of bribery against the judiciary.

On 1st February Abbo in at a press conference accused the President of the Court of Appeal and others of taking bribes in the judgment that ousted him from the Senate.

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Judiciary

Fubara: Clark expresses excitment, says he could not sleep even with sleeping pills

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Chief Edwin Clark
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Elderstates man and leader of the Ijaw nation Edwin Clark has reacted to the Supreme Court judgement that affirmed Siminalaye Fubara as duly elected Governor of Rivers State.
Speaking in Abuja on Thursday he said his joy knows no bound to hear that the Governor has been affirmed.
“I could not sleep on Wednesday even with my sleeping medicines when it was announced that the judgment on Rivers State Governor election will be on Thursday, we thank God for the judgment and victory, I had expected it to be this way.

“You can imagine my joy, many years ago some of us practicing Lawyers we almost lost confidence in the Judiciary as the cases were going but I always believe that once there is a good leadership in the Supreme Court.
“Our Supreme Court is one of the best in the World.
“Cases of interference and so on. There may be some but they are not many, they are very few. So last night when it was announced that Rivers State Supreme Court judgement would be given today, I tried to sleep but couldn’t. And I took my normal sleeping tablets I couldn’t, then I knew something was worrying me.
“So this morning I stayed in bed waiting for the judgement to be announced. 10am there was nothing but not long after that, they said Tonye Cole petition has been dismissed for lack of evidence so I jumped up and shouted Halleluia but I knew he was going to win because almost every petitioner had withdrawn his case except the APC candidate chief Toye Cole.
“It was not easy to convince him, he was thinking he could win but God makes governors, God makes Presidents. God has made Fubara the Governor of Rivers State for the first four years and he will be re elected for his second term to complete his 8years.
“He has won, Nigerians like him, I listened to all commentries, even though he knew that it was unconstitutional going against the voice of the people and court process in order to brocker peace, he made series of sacrifices which he should not have made.
“He took an oath to keep the constitution of Nigeria
However, it is all over now. The 27 members of the Rivers state House of Assembly who lost their their seats when they moved to APC, their seats remain vacant until INEC conducts another set of elections and if they want go and face it they would be defeated because they are not sincere, they are not patriotic, they are not original in their minds.
“27 persons being pushed around by an individual, what a shame.
It is unconstitutional because a Governor cannot sign a budget and go to represent that budget before people who have been disqualified as members of the House.
In another statement he personally signed he said,
“With a grateful heart to God Almighty, and on behalf of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), I congratulate His Excellency, Siminalaye Fubara, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, on his victory at the Supreme Court today, 25th January, 2024.
“Now that all legal tussles are settled, it is my prayer and hope, that the Governor Fubara will settle down to carry out the task of governance in Rivers State, which the people has elected him to. I implore him to extend the olive branch to all opponents.
“On a lighter note, with full authority now to sign with the red pen, I sincerely hope that he will not disappoint his supporters, all who stood for him and all Rivers State people; that he will also bring together every one, for the good and best interest of the State.
“May the good Lord bless him and give him the courage and understanding he will need to perform his duties to the satisfaction of the people of Rivers State and indeed to Nigerians.
In the same vein, he also congratulate Agbu Kefas, the Executive Governor of Taraba State, on his victory at the Supreme Court, today”

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Judiciary

Abdullahi Sule wins at Supreme Court as Nasarawa Governor

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Abdullahi Sule
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The Supreme Court has upheld the election of the Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule.

The state election petition tribunal had sacked the governor and declared David Ombugadu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), the winner of the March 18, 2023 election.

But the Appeal Court reversed tribunal judgement that sacked Sule insisting that the tribunal wrongly relied on the evidence of eight of the PDP witnesses, whose statements on oath were not front-loaded alongside the petition.

Reading the lead judgement, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun held that the appeal lacks merit.

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