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Nigeria’s Judicial Council Recommends Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad As Nation’s Chief Justice To Buhari

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) on Wednesday recommended Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The decision which was conveyed in a statement by Soji Oye, director of information for the group on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oye said, “Subsequently, the plenary of the Meeting presided over by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, recommended to the Governors of Sokoto, Lagos, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba, Kano, and Jigawa states, eight successful candidates for appointment as chief judges and grand kadis for the states”, the statement read in part.

“They are Justice Muhammad S. Sifawa, Chief Judge, Sokoto State High Court of Justice; Justice Kazeem O. Alogba, Chief Judge, Lagos State High Court of Justice; Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu, Chief Judge, Anambra State High Court of Justice and Justice Nwaigwe A. Anselm as Chief Judge, Ebonyi State High Court of Justice.

“Others include Justice Aliyu M. Mayaki, Chief Judge, Niger State High Court of Justice; Justice Filibus B. Andetur, Chief Judge, Taraba State High Court of Justice; Honourable Kadi Tijjani Yusuf Yakasai, Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Kano and Honourable Kadi Isa Jibrin Gantsa recommended for appointment as the Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Jigawa State.

“The newly appointed heads of courts are to be sworn in upon the approval of President Buhari and their respective state governors and confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly, respectively.

“Council at the Meeting commended President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his unequivocal position on the financial autonomy for the States Judiciary and called on the various State Executives to as a matter of urgency, commence its immediate implementation. It posited that this is not only in line with the constitutional dictates but presently the Judicial position.”

Oye added that the council equally considered notification of retirements of Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judges of Gombe, Edo, Niger and Ebonyi States, Acting Chief Judge of Kebbi State as well as those of nine other judicial officers from the Federal High Court and High Courts of Gombe, Delta, Edo, Imo, Benue and Katsina states.

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Law

Court stops ongoing NNPC recruitment

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the suspension of ongoing recruitment of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pending the determination of a suit filed by one Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olajengbesi, a public interest lawyer, had commenced the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights of all potential applicants to set aside the recruitment by the NNPC on the ground that it was discriminatory.

The recruitment had disqualified Nigerians above the age of 28 from applying for the vacant positions.

Olajengbesi had faulted the age criterion placed on the ongoing recruitment of the NNPC, noting that it violated section 3(e)(iv) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure), 2009 which protected the public interest of Nigerians.

He had written to the then Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, on March 26, threatening to drag the organisation to court for placing discriminatory age requirement on qualified Nigerians who would have applied for the jobs advertised by the corporation.

The NNPC had invited applications from candidates for a number of positions including trainees who must not be more than 28 years as of Dec. 31, 2018 and had graduated from a university or polytechnic not earlier than 2014.

At the hearing on Oct. 18, 2019, the applicant prayed the court to ensure that justice was served on the unemployed Nigerians who needed to know their stand in the matter.

“The matter has long been before the court and the rest of the matter is at a stake and under Order 8 Rule 4 of the Article II of the African Charter of Human and People’s Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

“I pray that the matter be heard together with the preliminary objection filed by the respondents in the interest of justice,” the applicant said.

When the matter was called up, the applicant’s counsel informed the court that the respondent filed his counter on Oct. 15, 2019.

In reply, the respondent informed the court that he was sick and had a surgery.

The presiding judge, Justice Muhammed Tsoho (Acting Chief Justice of The Federal High Court) informed the respondents counsel that his counter was not proper before the court and had not been regularised.

The court in considering the urgent nature of the matter granted an adjournment for the respondents to regularise their counter.

Tsoho, however, ordered that parties must maintain status quo pending the hearing of the substantive suit.

He adjourned the matter until Oct. 29, 2019 for hearing.

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Business

Court Orders Wind-up Proceeding Against Aiteo Over N259m Debt

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the commencement of a wind-up proceeding against oil firm, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited, which acquired OML 29 oil bloc in Bayelsa State from Shell Petroleum Development Company in 2015.

The order comes following the company’s inability to pay a debt of N259m owed a Port Harcourt, Rivers State-based firm, Charlietam International Services Limited, between December 2017 and March 2019.

The order of the Federal High Court contained in a document seen by SaharaReporters, was filed by one of Aiteo’s contractors, through its solicitors, Anthony Enyindah, Victor Okezie and Dr Dickson Omukoro of Ntephe Smith & Wills.

The petitioner is praying the court to wind-up the company on grounds of insolvency pursuant to sections 408 and 409(a) of the Company and Allied Matters Act.

In a six paragraph affidavit verifying the petition, Mr Unye Micah, Managing Director of Charlietam International Services Limited, affirmed that between December 2017 to March 2019, his company rendered services valued at ₦265m and was only paid the sum of ₦6m without payment advice, leaving an outstanding balance of N259m.

The petitioner averred that several demand letters, including those from the petitioner’s solicitors were sent to the company’s Abuja and Lagos addresses, but as usual Aiteo refused or failed to respond to any of the letters.

In the said letter, the petitioners demanded to be paid the amount owed and informed Aiteo of an impending legal action.

The petitioner also alleged that Aiteo was indebted to several of its local contractors despite repeated demands.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the petition expected to generate a lot of interest in the local and international oil community.

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Crime

‘Yahoo-Yahoo boys’can be useful to us, says Magu

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Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has said that the agency is planning to rehabilitate young people engaged in Internet fraud popularly known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ in Nigeria because they could be useful to the agency in future.

Magu stated this in Lagos on Thursday while delivering a paper at the third All Administrators National Conference of the Chartered Institute of Administration, according to a report by PUNCH.

While speaking on collaboration between the EFCC and other nations, Magu said the agency had secured collaboration with ECOWAS member-states to aid in prosecution of cross-border crimes.

He said, “So if you carry money from Nigeria and escape to Ghana, we will just call the men in Ghana and say, ‘arrange this man and keep him for me.

“This is what the ‘Yahoo-Yahoo boys’ like to do. But we are planning to rehabilitate them because they can be useful to us in future.”

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