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Court Sets Date Hear Nnamdi Kanu’s Fundamental Rights Suit

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Nnamdi Kanu

A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed February, 28 to hear a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo fixed the date after counsel to the Department of State Services (DSS), Idowu Awo, informed the court that his clients had a counter affidavit which had not been served on Kanu.

Awo, at the resumed hearing prayed the court for more time to effect the service of the application on Kanu’s lawyer, Maxwell Opara.

But Opara described the request of the DSS lawyer as an attempt to continue to subject his client to solitary confinement and other inhuman treatments.

He argued that the counter affidavit by the DSS was already filed out of time.

He said even though the application was dated Jan. 28 and counsel to the DSS has his contact, it was not served on him until now.

Also, the lawyer to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Simon Enock, informed that he had filed a motion for an extension of time to regularise their counter affidavit.

The application was neither opposed to by counsel to the IPOB leader, Opara nor the DSS lawyer.

Justice Taiwo, who noted that the matter was coming before him for the first time, fixed the matter until Feb. 28 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kanu, through his lawyer, Opara, had in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1585/2021, sued the Director-General of DSS and the office as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.

He also joined the AGF as 3rd respondent in the suit dated and filed Dec. 13, 2021.

In the originating motion, his lawyer prayed the court to declare that the respondents while carrying out their lawful duties should abide by the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act; as regards the rights of citizens of Nigeria.

Opara also urged the court to declare that Kanu, even though a detainee, was entitled to enjoy his freedom of thought, conscience and religion as guaranteed by the law.

He sought: “A DECLARATION that the applicant, even though a detainee, is entitled to the enjoyment of his right to dignity of the human person as guaranteed under Sections 34(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“A DECLARATION that the respondents action in continuing to keep the applicant in their detention facility, without transferring him to Kuje Correctional Centre, is subjecting the applicant to mental torture given that it is not the place designated for keeping awaiting trial inmates,” among others.

The lawyers then asked the court to make an order directing the respondents to immediately allow Kanu access to facility and material for the practice of his religion and an order directing them to remove him from solitary confinement, among others.

But the DSS, in a counter-affidavit deposed to by Hamza Pandogari, which was dated and filed on Jan. 28, disagreed with Kanu.

Pandogari averred that Kanu was arrested by personnel of the 1st and 2nd respondents upon reasonable suspicion of his engagement in acts of treason and terrorism by propagating violence against the people of Nigeria under the guise of succession.

The officer said Kanu was the leader of the proscribed organisation known as the IPOB.

He stated that he was currently standing tial on a 15-count charge before Justice Binta Nyako.
Pandogari, who said that though Nyako earlier admitted Kanu to bail sometime in April 2017, he jumped the bail but was rearrested to continue his tral.

The officer said contrary to paragraphs 4 (a) and (b) of Kanu’s affidavit, “there is no such order of the court that applicant should have unrestricted access to the medical practitioner of his choice while in

1st and 2nd respondent’s custody.”

He also said contrary to the information, Kanu was receiving adequate and quality medical attention when necessary;

“The applicant enjoys direct and unrestricted access to medical practitioners who are experts in their various fields of medical practice.

He averred that Dr. O. FASAN, Consultant, Cardiologist from the National Hospital, Abuja; Dr, A OHUNMWANGHO, a Consultant Gastroenterologist, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, and Prof. MBAKWE, Consultant CARDIOLOGIST, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, were among list of experts who had been attending to Kanu’s health.

“That apart from the regular routine medical checkup, the applicant gets promptly the required medical attention, upon any request or complaint by the applicant relating to his health,” he said.

According to the officer, the applicant (Kanu) has never missed his trial based on health ground.
He said contrary to the information, the DSS had never tortured Kanu either physically or mentally while in its custody.

“That while in custody, applicant enjoys several privileges including but not limited to entertaining a total number of six visitors of his choice every week, three each on Monday and Thursday, the days set out by the court as applicant’s visiting days ” he added.

Also in a counter-affidavit deposed to by Zekeri Friday, the AGF said he did not violate or infringe on any fundamental right (s) of the applicant on account of the facts giving rise to the application as deposed to in the whole paragraphs of the affidavit in support of the application.”

Friday, who averred that Kanu was not in position to professionally determined. the competency or otherwise of the medical practitioner attending to him in DSS custody said the security agency “has a medical clinic well-equipped with highly trained medical personnel that have been attending to the medical needs of the applicant while he remains in the custody.”

He also denied that Kanu was being detained in solitary confinement. According to Friday, he is being detained in a standard and hygienic facility.

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Politics

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Wins Primary for Second term

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The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has  emerged winner of the state governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress.

In the primary election conducted at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta, five other aspirants contested against the governor.

The aspirants include Olubiyi Otegbeye, Mrs Modele Sarafa- Yussuf, Mr Owodunni Opayemi, Remilekun Bakare and Abdukadir Akinlade.

Of the six aspirants, only Abiodun, attended the primary, while agents of all other aspirants, announced their presence and did what was expected of them.

Giving the details of the  election, that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere,  the Chairman of the Ogun State  APC Primary Election  Committee, Chief Wale Ohu, disclosed that 1,180 delegates, from the 20 local governments, were accredited for the exercise.

Announcing the results, Ohu, said Abiodun scored 1,168 votes, while other aapirants, did not secure any vote, saying that two votes were voided.

Prior to the commencement of the process, Ohu, announced to the delegates and all the leaders of the party that attended the event, that all required agents, were present.

Ohu took time to read out names of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials of the APC officials that were sent from the National Secretariat.

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Lagos Security: Ifalade Host Corp Superintendents, Harps on Preparedness

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Ifalade Ajasa with His Men

The General Manager of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency LNSA; Prince Dr. Ifalade Ajasa Oyekan has advised Corp Officers to remain focused as politics goes full swing in preparation for the 2023 general elections across the country.

Ifalade said this while speaking to Corp Superintendent from the 57 LGAs and LCDAs at a special briefing held at the Corp headquarters, Oshodi.

At the meeting, He advised Corp Superintendents to raise their level of preparedness through regular drills and security advocacy with officers of the agency.

Dr Rasak Balogun, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund paid a surprise visit to the Agency and also enjoined officers to imbibe the culture of Multitasking in the face of the expected challenges officers will confront in view of the forthcoming Elections amid other security issues.

Prince Oyekan on behalf of the Agency, thanked Dr. Rasak Balogun for his usual support while assuring the general public of the Agency’s readiness to meet the challenges expected from the high octane politics, and sundry safety and security issues.

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Zenith Bank: Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe Releases Certified True Copy (CTC) of her Judgment, Call Out Fake and Junk Journalist

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Contrary to the widely reported fake news by some faceless online news platform that Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of the Ikeja Special Offences Court in his recent judgement allegedly accused foremost financial management in Nigeria, Zenith Bank of fraud and bribery, the astute judge who is bitter with such report have released the original certified True Copy. 

 

In the original certified True Copy, it was confirmed that the respectable Justice never said something of such while delivering her judgement.

 

According to Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe, all what the online media platforms said she delivered, were all fake and wondered how and where they got their own reports.

 

The certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment is now in the open for anyone to see.

 

These online platforms had reported that the Justice accused Zenith Bank Plc of bribing both the judges and lawyers for 11 years to pervert justice, with several online media outlets alleging that Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe made the claim on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 while delivering judgment in a suit marked LD/ADR/186/2014 between Real Integrated and Hospitality Limited as claimant and Zenith Bank Plc and State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) as first and second defendants respectively.

 

One such publication quotes the judge as saying “My recommendation is that Zenith Bank is a fraud and people must be very careful in their dealings with the bank.”

 

Some of the other quotes read: “Zenith Bank bribed the lawyers in the matter.

 

“This they have done for 11 years. So many lawyers and judges have been bribed in this matter just perverting justice. What is more embarrassing, the current governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele was the one who came to navigate and begged for the deposit. He has not been able to do anything to Zenith Bank because he was the managing director of the bank at the time of this transaction.”

 

However, nowhere in the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment that was made available to credible news platforms showed that the Judge did not make such statements.

 

While the Judge did make a scathing criticism of the bank, Justice Fadipe did not accuse Zenith bank of bribing judges and lawyers for 11 years to fraudulently alter the course of justice, as claimed by the online mediums.

 

There was also no mention of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele in the CTC of the judgment.

 

The judge’s comments, as contained in the judgement, include: “The 1st defendant has been the beneficiary of the malevolent game of chess it plunged both claimant and the 2nd defendant into, holding the sum of N872,780,552.84 in its custody without paying interest thereon from 17th February 2011 until 2nd February 2016 when the Court ordered that the money be paid into an interest yielding account in the names of the claimant and the 2nd defendant pending determination of the suit, which order was curiously varied by the consent of all the parties on 20th September 2016 so that the money remained in the 1st defendant’s custody without interest.

 

“The act of the 1st defendant was unconscionable and detrimental to the goodwill of the claimant and its trade credit with its customers. It was a deliberate and malicious act against the interest of the claimant and the 1st defendant continues to enjoy the largesse in bad faith. Exhibits C4 and C5 clearly state that the funds to be transferred were to offset part of the claimant’s indebtedness for the importation of dictionaries, but the 1st defendant was impervious to this need. I therefore find and hold that the claimant is entitled to substantial damages against the 1st defendant for the injury caused to it.”

 

The judge made the comments while granting the claimants four reliefs.

 

The reliefs are that the 1st defendant (Zenith) was in breach of contract when on 7th October, 2011 it refused the claimant to draw from its account No. 1012465427 “despite the fact that the said account was in enough credit to cover the withdrawals sought to be made on the said date.”

 

The judge further restrained the bank “from disturbing or refusing the claimant from operating its account No. 1012465427 in the 1st defendant’s bank or from honouring the claimant’s transfer or payment obligations to third parties from the said account as long as same is in credit.”

 

It granted an “interest of 15% per annum on the sum of N872,780,552.84 from 7th October 2011 when the 1st defendant denied the claimant access to the funds in its account which was in credit at that date till judgment.

 

“Interest on the judgment sum at the rate of 10% per annum from judgment date till final liquidation thereof.

 

“Costs of this action in the sum of N2.5million.”

 

Of a truth, Zenith Bank has had a record of open and transparent operations, this earned the organization four SERAS CSR Africa Awards that include “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa”.

 

In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2021, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, and Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 and 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine and the Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards 2020 and 2021.

 

Zenith Bank has continued to distinguish itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service offerings, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. The bank remains a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions.

 

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