Monday, October 6, 2014

Army extends travel ban on embattled Borno, Yobe

Ekiti State Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose
Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria- Norrisom Quakers and M.J. Onigbanjo- have dragged the Peoples Democratic Party and Ekiti State-governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, to the National Human Rights Commission over alleged violation of their rights to practise as lawyers.
In a petition   dated September 29 and jointly signed by them, they claimed that the September 22 and 25 attacks on the Ekiti High Court by some suspected political thugs constituted   threats to their lives.
Quakers and   Onigbanjo, who are the lawyers to the litigants   challenging Fayose’s eligibility to contest in the June 21 governorship election, addressed their petition to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe.
The National Judicial Council had at its emergency meeting on September 16 asked the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abbah,to investigate the attacks on the court and prosecute those behind it.
The Nigerian Bar Association had also said it would send an investigative team to the state to unravel those behind the incident and bring them to justice.
In their petition,   Quakers and   Onigbanjo urged the rights commission to use its wherewithal   to investigate the attacks on the court.
They said the NHRC should unearth “those behind this shameful display of banditry and gross violation of human rights with a view to prosecuting and bringing them to justice.”
The petitioners accused the PDP of organising the political thugs that invaded the high court premises on September 22 and attacked Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi.
The attackers reportedly regrouped on September 25 to disrupt   the hearing of a petition challenging the election of   Fayose.
Quakers and Onigbanjo described the   September 22 incident as “barbaric and barefaced violation of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the claimants (litigants), claimants’ counsel, the judge and other officers of the court by thugs who were organised by the PDP.”
Part of the petition reads, “We are therefore apprehensive for our safety and that of our legal team’s lives, the dignity of our human persons, our right to practise our profession and our clients’ rights as citizens of Nigeria to seek redress in the court of law.
“All the foregoing rights mentioned above   clearly violated by the instigated mob, whose objectives included ensuring that the court did not deliver its scheduled ruling at 12 noon and or conduct any other business thereafter and to bully, intimidate and instill fear in the court in an attempt to obstruct justice to the point where the court would be too apprehensive to subsequently hear the case prior to the swearing in of Fayose on   October 16,2014.
“Should this unfortunate display of desecration of the hallowed temple of justice which is supposed to the last hope of the common man be allowed to persist unprosecuted, we all would be recorded for posterity as the people who sat with arms folded while miscreants and hooligans took over and controlled the administration of justice and overall balance of the society.”
PDP writes CJN over Ekiti crisis
Meanwhile, the PDP in Ekiti State has accused the Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, of plotting with Governor Kayode Fayemi to stop the   inauguration of Fayose.
The party made the   allegation in a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar.
The letter titled, “Another judicial coup plotted to avert the swearing in of the governor-elect of Ekiti State,” was signed by the state Secretary of the   PDP, Dr. Tope Aluko and the   Publicity Secretary, Kola Oluwawole.
But Fayemi described the allegation as another tissue of lies by the PDP.He therefore   challenged the PDP in the state to prove its allegation.
In the letter   the PDP   claimed that it was aware of plans   by Daramola to give accelerated hearing to some suits challenging the eligibility of Fayose for the June 21 governorship election despite the notice of appeal and the stay of proceedings filed in respect of the suits.
Fayose had challenged the assumption of jurisdiction by Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi of an Ado-Ekiti High Court on the matter. He   also sought a stay of proceedings on the hearing of the substantive suit.
The   letter to the CJN read,   “On   September 28, 2014, the governor-elect of Ekiti State personally wrote a letter to you,   raising fears about the attempts of the CJ of Ekiti State to frustrate his inauguration.
“This was done in view of Section 185 (2) of the 1999 Constitution   (as amended), which empowers only the CJ of Ekiti State to inaugurate the governor-elect as the new governor of the state, as Ekiti State presently has no Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal, or the President of the Customary Court of Appeal that can perform similar function, in case the Chief Judge decline to do so.
“To our knowledge, you are yet to react to that letter. Meanwhile, we are authoritatively informed of another desperate move to obtain a “black market injunction” from an Ekiti State High Court, restraining the CJ from inaugurating the governor-elect on   October 16, 2014.
“Our source authoritatively informed us that the E-11 case in suits   HAD/51/2014 and HAD/52/2014 are to be given accelerated hearing between Wednesday, 8/10/14 and Friday, 10/10/14, or thereabout, in a way that a “black market injunction” will be secured to restrain the CJ from inaugurating the governor-elect, after the court might have been re-opened following the NJC directive.
“The outgoing governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and Justice   Daramola had finalised arrangement to actualise this diabolical plan.”
The PDP therefore called on the CJN to call Daramola to order and allow due process to be followed in all the cases before his court.
It said, “These two cases or any other case that may be concocted are not time bound or perishable items that injunction would be necessary to preserve ex-parte or otherwise, before the swearing-in of the governor-elect on October 16,2014.’’
“The law allows appeal from one court of first instance to the Supreme Court. Why before the inauguaration?
“There is no doubt that this dangerous game if allowed to germinate into fruition will cause a constitutional crisis, and indeed, anarchy in the already volatile state.”
But the state Commissioner for Information, Tayo Ekundayo, said it was another lie by the PDP.
He said, “We don’t control the judiciary. The three arms of government have their role to play without interference. I do not know how the governor will ask the CJ to scuttle the inauguration. It is not in our character.
“The PDP has been telling a lot of lies, accusing us of so many things. There is nothing they have said in the last three months that is true. It is just another of their lies. We are not in any discussion with the CJ on how he runs the judiciary.”
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Army extends travel ban on embattled Borno, Yobe
Nigerian army extended by 24 hours, yesterday a travel ban imposed on Borno, the restive northeastern state worst hit by Boko Haram attacks.
 Military men on the streets of Kokori, Delta State, after Kelvin's arrest
Both Borno and neighbouring Yobe state had on Friday imposed a travel ban through the Muslim Eid holiday weekend to Monday to guard against Boko Haram attacks.
But now the “embargo on all vehicular movement in 7 Division area of responsibility has been extended till 7.00am (0600 GMT) on Tuesday, 7th October, 2014,” said the army statement, without giving further details.
The army’s 7 Division covers Borno and its surroundings.
When it announced the initial weekend travel ban, the military had said a security report indicated that Boko Haram militants have made plans to launch “multiple bomb explosions” in Maiduguri and other major towns in the state during the Muslim festival.
They planned to use motor vehicles, tri-cycles, among others, and their main targets include Muslim praying grounds, markets and other public places, the army said.
The two states and Adamawa have been under a state of emergency since May last year because of the Boko Haram conflict and the Islamists have typically carried out strikes on Muslim holidays.
The militants are thought to be in control of more than two dozen towns and villages in the northeast, but the military insists that lost ground can be regained.
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