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Judiciary

Malabu Case: EFCC Debunks Allegations of Bribery of Its Official, Mulls Appeal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has debunked as false, news making the rounds that one of its prosecutors was offered a bribe over the Malabu OPL 245 fraud case leading to the dismissal of the charges against a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke and others by a Federal Capital Territory High Court.
In statement issued on Friday on its official website and verified social media handles, the anti-corruption agency disclosed that it has commenced a review of developments around the Malabu OPL 245 fraud case, including the dismissal of the charges against Bello Adoke and others by the Court in Abuja.
The review, the EFCC hinted, will entail exploration of the option of appeal and possible change of counsel in view of the Commission’s dissatisfaction with the handling of the case by Offem Uket.
Speaking on the alleged bribing of its official, the EFCC says, its intention to review or appeal the case “has no nexus whatsoever to the spew of speculations imputing compromise by parties to the charge, currently making the rounds in some sections of the media.” It will be recalled that after the decision of the Abuja High Court upholding the no case submission of the defendants in the criminal case, a certain online news outfit had spewed the narrative suggesting that the EFCC accused its prosecutor of compromise by prominent lawyers connected to the case.
In denying the narrative of compromise, the anti-corruption agency further said, the, “EFCC is not obliged to embrace such narratives as it neither accused any of the parties of any unsavoury conduct nor made any conclusive statements about any investigation on the matter.”
The agency also dubbed allegations of compromise as “effusions of mischief makers” and urged the general public to await its next course of actions

Judiciary

Ogun High Court grants relief to Datkem as shocking photos of malicious damage surface

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The High Court of Justice in Ogun State, led by Honourable Justice O. Hassan Oyajinmi, has granted significant relief to Datkem Enterprises Limited, headed by Yeye Olufunke Daniel, in a property dispute against multiple state authorities.
The case (Suit No: HCJ/297/2023) involves allegations of unlawful demolition and trespass by the Ogun State Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development and other defendants.
The claimants, represented by senior counsel A.M. Kutoye, SAN, sought an interlocutory injunction to prevent further trespass and damage to their property.
They also requested an official inspection to assess damages and the removal of unused materials trapped on the property due to the alleged unlawful actions by the state government on September 10, 2023. These materials are valued at N184,435,000.
The defendants, represented by Mrs. Elegbede, filed a counter affidavit and a preliminary objection, challenging the motion on procedural grounds and questioning the court’s jurisdiction.
They argued that the claimants had not exhausted administrative remedies under the Ogun State Urban and Regional Planning Development Law of 2022.
In the Certified True Copy sighted by Freelanews, Justice Oyajinmi granted the claimants’ reliefs, mandating the Chief Registrar to inspect the property, take inventory of the damage, and oversee the removal of unused items.
Specifically, the reliefs sought included:
An Order of Interlocutory Injunction: To restrain the defendants and their agents from further trespassing or negatively affecting the claimants’ proprietary rights.
An Order for Inspection and Inventory: To allow the Chief Registrar or an appointed officer, along with the claimants, to inspect the property, assess the damage, and take inventory of the destruction and unused items.
An Order for Removal of Unused Items: To permit the removal of unused materials purchased for the completion of the property before the invasion and sealing by the defendants on September 10, 2023.
The ruling underscores the court’s role in protecting proprietary rights against unlawful government actions and provides interim relief to Datkems Enterprises, allowing them to mitigate further losses.
Concerning jurisdiction, the defendants’ preliminary objection was dismissed, affirming the court’s competence to hear the case.
The court emphasized the necessity of adhering to statutory conditions while ensuring timely justice.
The upcoming expedited hearing will further address the substantive issues, potentially setting a precedent for similar disputes in the future.
The claimants are represented by A.M. Kotoye (SAN) and O.T. Are Esq., while the defense team includes O.T. Olaotan (S.G), F.I. Ameh (A.D.P.P), A.B. Elegbede (S.S.C.), and M.L. Deinde-Dipeolu.
Recall that DATKEM initiated the suit via a Writ of Summons on December 4, 2023, citing various grievances against the Ogun State government’s agency, including failure to respond to letters of complaint regarding an alleged unlawful ‘Notice to Quit’ and subsequent violent invasion of the property.
On September 10, 2023, at approximately 3:00 AM, the 3rd defendant, with the assistance of armed policemen and other agents, forcefully entered and vandalized the property.
Yeye Daniel, the former first lady of Ogun State and wife of the senator representing Ogun East District at the national assembly, asserted that this invasion resulted in significant damage and left numerous materials and items, valued at N184,435,000, trapped within the property.
These items, intended for the property’s completion, have since been rendered unusable.
However, a source close to happenings informed Freelanews that Justice Oyajinmi has recused himself from the case, being the second judge to do so since the commencement of this trial over alleged intimidation.

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Entertainment

Breach of Contract: Tunji Afolayan gives Kunle Afolayan a seven day ultimatum

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Tunji Afolayan, an award winning Art Director through his legal representatives, Osifowora & Co. has berated the Managing Director of KAP Productions Limited, Kunle Afolayan over what he termed a “breach of contractual terms”.

In the letter signed by the firm’s lead counsel, Olatubosun Osifowora, Tunji accused Mr Kunle Afolayan of making a deliberate attempt to undermine his creative input and relevance on the movie, ‘Ijogbon’.

The letter to KAP Productions and Netflix stated that Mr Tunji was contracted by one Mr. Segun Akintunde, a Line Producer at KAP Productions Limited, to work as Art Director for the movie ‘ljogbon’. His deliverables, and remuneration as Art Director, were well spelt out in the contract. The letter noted that the contract was signed on January 11, 2023 between Mr Tunji and KAP’s Production Executive/Representative in the presence of Kunle Afolayan.
 “Our client stated also that the executed copies of the contractual documents were kept by the management of KAP Productions Limited and his copy was never given to him to date after signing.Upon completion of the project ‘Ijogbon’, the movie was released on Netflix- a streaming platform, and to our Client’s consternation, there was an omission of his name and title as Art Director for the movie ‘Ijogbon’,” the letter reads.

The letter further stated that Mr. Kunle was instead credited as the Art Director for the Movie ‘Ijogbon’m While accusing the management of KAP Productions Limited of deliberately and consciously portraying Mr Tunji as ‘Set Designer’ instead of his role as the Art Director, which he was originally contracted.

“Our client is appalled at this grave omission and therefore regards this as a breach of contractual terms in the contract with KAP Productions Limited. This is further viewed and taken, as a deliberate attempt to undermine our client’s creative work and relevance for the movie titled ‘Ijogbon’.

“In view of the above, it is our client’s demand that his name and role for which he was contracted and worked, be restored and properly credited in the Movie ‘Ijogbon’ as the Art Director,” Osifowora wrote.

He further demanded, on behalf of Mr Tunji Afolayan, that the retraction be done within seven days of receipt of the correspondence before the next line of action is taken.

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Judiciary

Supreme Court Set to Hear PDP, App’s Motion for the Enforcement of its Judgement Disqualifying APC in 2019 Imo Guber Poll

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Supreme Court will hear the motion of the Peoples Democratic Party and Action Peoples Party respectively which applied to the apex Court to give effect to its judgment delivered on December 20, 2019, disqualifying Uche Nwosu from the Imo governorship election on the ground of double nomination on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023.
The apex court had in a judgment delivered on December 20, 2019 found that Nwosu was nominated by both Action Alliance (AA) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and consequently nullified his nomination.
A political party is not capable of sponsoring two candidates for the same office in the same election.
This informed the decision of the PDP and APP to file different applications at the Supreme Court seeking that the PDP candidate, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha be declared the winner of the election since APC is precluded from sponsoring two candidates in the Imo State governorship election.
In an affidavit filed in support of the application which was deposed to by a legal practitioner, Adedamola Farokun, working in the Legal Department of the PDP, he averred thus: “The third Respondent/Applicant (PDP) is neither in any way seeking a review of the valid, subsisting and well considered judgment of this court delivered in this appeal nor seeking a review of the judgment of this court delivered on 14th January 2020 in SC/462/2019 but humbly seeking that this court give effect to its judgment delivered on 20th December,2019.
“That this court has the constitutional, inherent powers and jurisdiction to grant the reliefs sought and give effects to its judgment.“That it is in the interest of justice for this court to exercise its wide discretionary powers in favour of granting this application as prayed.”
In the application, PDP is asking the court to declare that the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma was not the candidate of the APC based on the court’s judgment that Nwosu was nominated by both the APC and the Action Alliance.
PDP is also asking the court for an order enforcing or otherwise directing the enforcement and or giving effect to the judgement of the court in the case delivered on the 20th December 2019 wherein the court held that Nwosu was nominated by both APC and AA and consequently declared his nomination a nullity.
PDP is asking the Supreme Court to hold that “both the Action Alliance (AA) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) did not sponsor and/or field any candidate for the governorship election held in lmo State on 9th March, 2019 in view of the double nomination of the Appellant/Respondent by the two political parties aforesaid, and his subsequent disqualification as their gubernatorial candidate, as found by this honourable court in the judgment delivered on 20th December, 2019.”
The party asked the court for an order sequel to the above that Senator Hope Uzodinma was not a candidate by himself or of any party at the Imo State Governorship election held on 9th March, 2019.
PDP also asked the court for an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Senator Hope Uzodinma.
It asked the court “for an order further directing the 4th respondent to issue a certificate of return to the gubernatorial candidate of the 3rd Respondent/Applicant, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ehedioha in the lmo state Governorship election held on 9th March. 2019 as the duly elected governor of Imo state, having scored the second highest number of votes in the said election sequel to the judgment of this court in Appeal No SC/1462/2019 Hope Uzodinma & Anor vs Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha & Others delivered on 14th January, 2020.”
The party further sought an order sequel to the above, directing that the said gubernatorial candidate of the 3rd Respondent/Applicant in the lmo state Governorship election held on the 9th March 2019 Rt. Hon. Emeka lhedioha be immediately sworn in as the governor of lmo State.
PDP stated the grounds for the application thus: “The court found that the Appellant/Respondent was nominated by both APC and AA as their gubernatorial candidate for the lmo state governorship election and conclusively held that he was disqualified by the provisions of S. 37 of the Electoral Act (as amended), for double nomination.
b. That after the said election, the governorship candidate of the 3d Respondent/Applicant Rt. Honourable Emeka lhedioha, was returned by the 4th Respondent as the winners of the election and consequently sworn into office.
That subsequently, the return of the governorship candidate of the 3rd Respondent/Applicant was challenged up to this court by one Senator Hope Uzodinma who claimed to be the gubernatorial ‘candidate of the APC.’
That the Supreme Court in its judgement delivered on 14th January, 2020 held that it was the said Senator Hope Uzodinma and not Rt. Honourable Emeka lhedioha that scored the highest number of votes in the election and ought to be returned as the duly elected governor of lmo State.
That by the clear terms of the judgement in this appeal, neither the AA nor the APC fielded any candidate for the lmo state governorship election held on 9th March 2019 and as such the said Senator Hope Uzodinma could not have been returned as the winner of the lmo State Governorship election as a candidate of the APC.
That APC could not have substituted the appellant with a view to further nominating the said Senator Hope Uzodinma as their candidate because that right was not available to the party under the Electoral Act.
That Senator Hope Uzodinma could not have been a candidate in the election as an independent candidate as such right is not available to him.
That the 3rd respondent Applicant, PDP, as the main beneficiary of the judgment ought to enjoy the fruits of the said judgement.
That Rt. Honourable Emeka lhedioha, who is the candidate nominated by the 3rd Respondent /Applicant, and who scored the second highest number of votes after Senator Hope Uzodinma, from the judgment of this court ought therefore to be issued a certificate of return by the 4th respondent and sworn in accordingly.
That it will advance the cause of justice to grant this application particularly as none of the parties will be prejudiced by its grant.

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