Respite came the way of the governor-elect of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Wednesday, as the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, declined to nullify his election.
The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, deported a suit that sought to invalidate Soludo’s election on the allegation that he supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, had in their suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, alleged that Soludo lied in the affidavit (Form EC9), which he submitted to INEC.
They alleged that Soludo, in the said affidavit attached to his appointment form, revealed that he was contesting the Aguata 2 Constituency seat, when, in fact, he was contesting the governorship seat.
More so, they told the court that an affidavit Soludo’s running mate and Deputy Governor-elect, Onyeka Ibezim, also submitted to INEC, contained false particulars considering that he stated that he was vying for Awka 2 Constituency seat.
Cited as Defendants in the suit were the INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Soludo and the Deputy Governor-elect, Ibezim.
The Plaintiffs, through their lawyers, , A. O. Ijeri and Kelvin Okoko, argued that having indicated the wrong seat on the form, Soludo, violated extant legal provisions and ought to be disqualified.
“The constitution has made a state a constituency in relation to the governorship election, but in this case, the third defendant (Soludo) named Aguata 2 as the constituency he is contesting.
“The cause of action in a pre-election matter, by the provision of Section 285(9) of the Constitution, is determined by the date of the occurrence of the event, a decision or action complained about in the suit by the Plaintiff.
“And in the instant suit, the cause of action of the Plaintiffs arose on July 6, 2021, when the 3rd Defendant’s (Soludo’s) Form EC9 was submitted by the political party (the 2nd Defendant)”, they argued.
However, counsel for APGA and Soludo, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, queried jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter which he maintained was statue barred.
Aside from contending that the suit was filed outside the 14 days period stipulated by the Constitution, Ikpeazu, argued that error in an affidavit could not be a basis to disqualify a candidate from an election.
He argued that the false information claimed by the Plaintiffs was not among the grounds stated in the 1999 Constitution for the disqualification of a candidate.
“False information, as envisage in Section 31 of the Electoral Act is criminal in nature. Section 31 does not deal with error, but a deliberate effort to steal a match and to misrepresent”, he added.
On its part, INEC, through its lawyer, Bashir Abubakar, said it would leave the issue to the discretion of the court.
Meanwhile, in his judgement on Wednesday, though Justice Taiwo dismissed the preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit and jurisdiction of the court to hear it, he however held that the Plaintiffs, failed to establish that they had a reasonable cause of action.
Justice Taiwo held that the Plaintiffs failed to convince the court on how the alleged false information both Soludo and Ibezim supplied to INEC, misled them.
The court held that since the allegation by the Plaintiffs were also criminal in nature, it ought to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
It held that the suit was filed in bad faith and a good example of cases that are not geared towards strengthening of the tenets of democracy in the country.
“I am yet to come to terms on the purpose for which this suit was filed. I am saying this because I am not convinced that this action is reasonable”, Justice Taiwo added.
Consequently, the court awarded N2million cost against the Plaintiffs, in favour of the APGA, Soludo and Ibezim.
Breaking: Sterling Bank Shares Crashes
Sterling Bank shares reportedly dipped drastically in the 2021 financial year which marked a bank run for investors.
Bennievibez gathered that the dipped dropped investors’ investment in the bank by 28.10 percent.
According to report by Naija News, Sterling Bank shares kicked off trading on January 4, 2021 at N2.10 but later sold at N1.51 at the close of business on December 31, 2021.
According to report by Naija News, Sterling Bank shares kicked off trading on 4th of January, 2021 at N2.10 but later sold at N1.51 at the close of business on December 31, 2021.
It was learned that investors lost 21.50 percent of their investment in the bank in 2021.
Investors have however gained 2.61 percent this year as Sterling Bank’s equity has gone up from N1.53 on January 4 to N1.57 at the close of the market on January 18.
According to financial experts, this may be one of the reasons investors were unwilling to invest in its equity last year. It paid just 5 kobo as a dividend in the 2020 fiscal year.
In a 26.55 percent improvement to the N7.37 billion declared in September 2020, Sterling Bank posted N9.47 billion post-tax profit in the same period in 2021.
The bank disclosed that N156.89 billion was raked in as gross revenue in the third quarter of 2021, 6.85 percent higher than the N146.84 billion it made in the same period in 2020.
Meanwhile, Sterling Bank’s income growth was due to the 65.30 percent and 104.02 percent rise in net fee and commission income and other operating income respectively.
Net Operating Income went up by 19.4 percent to N67.9 billion, which was attributed to the growth in credit loss expenses.
BREAKING Court Declares Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest As Illegal, commands Nigerian Government To Pay Him N1billion
Justice Benson Anya of the Abia State High Court has ruled that the invasion of the security agents to the residence of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in 2017 was unlawful and an infringement on his human rights.
The judge on Wednesday also ruled that his kidnaped and forceful return to Nigeria was “illegal” under local and international laws.
Anya also ruled that the Nigerian government should pay Kanu a sum of N1billion as a compensation for the violation of his fundamental human rights.
Recall that Kanu’s Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor filed the lawsuit against the Nigerian government on August 27, 2021 before the Abia court.
Bennievibez earlier reported that the judge rejected the challenge by the Nigerian government on the jurisdiction to hear Kanu’s case.
Ejimakor had argued that the Kanu could not be tried in Nigeria as there was no crime he had committed known to both Nigerian and international laws.
He had added that the government of Nigeria collaborated with Kenya to abduct him and rendition him to Nigeria.
BREAKING: Nnamdi Kanu’s trial postponed See New Date
The trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been postponed till Wednesday the 19th day of January 2022.
Just In: Nigerian Agency, NDLEA Grills Socialite Obi Cubana Over Alleged Drug Links To Malaysia, India
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Thursday grilled socialite, Obi Iyiegbu, famously known as Obi Cubana, for his alleged link to the illegal narcotic business.
According to Punch, Iyiegbu, who is the Chairman, Cubana group of companies, was grilled for about 5- hours at the Abuja headquarters of the NDLEA before he was granted bail and asked to return at a future date.
Impeccable sources said that suspicious payments were made into Cubana’s account by 3- convicted drug dealers from Malaysia, Nigeria and India.
Operatives of the NDLEA and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have now widened the probe into Cubana and his business network based on the premise that he may be involved in the drug business.
“Obi Cubana arrived at the NDLEA office around 9am and responded to questions for some hours before he was granted bail at 2pm. There are suspicions that he may be a drug kingpin. Some convicted drug dealers paid funds into his account.
“We have been able to establish three of such payments. One of the persons that paid money into his account was convicted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; another one that was convicted in New Delhi, India; also paid money into his account while a third person that was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and convicted in 2017, also paid money into Cubana’s account,” said a source.
The socialite was allowed to go home in order to get some documents which would be presented to the NDLEA.
Cubana who has been in the nightclub business since 2006, grabbed international headlines last July when he organised a lavish funeral for his mother, Ezinne Iyiegbu, in Oba, the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The event attracted several entertainers and renowned politicians from across the country including embattled Nigerian super cop, Abba Kyari.
Other entertainers that graced the event included Davido, D’banj, Kcee, Poco Lee and Ubi Franklin/ The guest list also had Nollywood stars and early callers like Kanayo O. Kanayo, Alex Ekubo and Williams Uchemba.
But the highlight of the event was the ostentatious display of wealth as evidenced by the donation of about 400 cows to Cubana as well as the ‘naira rain’.
In what seemed like a bid to outdo one another, Cubana’s associates sprayed him with bundles of new naira notes. In one of the videos that went viral, two guests were seen having a playful cash fight as they threw wads of money at each other, while other guests laughed.
AFCON: Controversial referee in Mali vs Tunisia game suffered sunstroke -Report
Janny Sikazwe, the referee who blew up early for full-time twice during Mali’s win over Tunisia at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, battled sunstroke, according to reports.
Sikazwe was immediately rushed to the hospital after the match, according to French newspaper L’Equipe.
“Amid these chaotic scenes, Janny Sikazwe was taken to hospital having suffered from sunstroke – which could explain his baffling decision making.
“It would also explain why the fourth official was set to take charge of the remaining minutes of the match, had it been resumed,” part of the report read.
Sikazwe was previously suspended under allegations of corruption in 2018, due to the manner in which he handled a CAF Champions League match between Espérance Sportive de Tunis of Tunisia and Primiero Agosto of Angola.
Responding to the controversy that surrounded the game, the Confederation of Africa Football said, “In relation to the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations match between Tunisia and Mali played in Limbe on 12 January 2022, CAF is gathering all the necessary reports from the officials at the match.
“CAF is forwarding these documents to the competent bodies of CAF.
“At this stage, CAF is not in a position to make further comment until the responsible bodies indicate the way forward.”
The PUNCH had reported that the AFCON match between Mali and Tunisia on Wednesday ended in confusion amid bizarre scenes as the Tunisian team complained that the referee had blown the final whistle too soon.
Zambian official Janny Sikazwe signalled the end of the match and a 1-0 win for 10-man Mali in the coastal town of Limbe first at 85th minute and later at 89 minutes and 47 seconds when the game restarted.
Just In: NDLEA paraded 22-years-old popular IG comedian De General with tramadol and Weeds. (Photos)
BennievibezBlog earlier reported that Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in the early hours of Wednesday 12th January apprehended a skit maker, Sunday Joshua, famously known on social media as De-General, following the raid of a notorious drug joint at Orchid Estate, Lekki area of Lagos state.
A statement by issued the Director Media and Advicacy, Femi Babafemi said, “Acting on credible intelligence, narcotic officers stormed the drug joint in the estate, where three suspects were arrested with illicit drugs including 200 sachets of 225mg Tramadol and 1.5kilograms of cannabis sativa.
“In the course of the operation, some persons including the suspected dealer ran away with bags suspected to contain exhibits.
“A trail showed they ran into a house located at 2B Saula Akinlolu way, Orchid estate, which is the residence of 22-year-old Sunday Joshua (aka De General).
“The young men began to make noise to prevent a search. The operatives introduced themselves as officers of NDLEA and submitted themselves for search before entry. This was done and a search was conducted.
“The search led to the recovery of drug exhibits including cannabis sativa; Tramadol 225mg, and some paraphernalia for drug use.
“This was after the suspect had requested to record on video the search, which the officers out of sense of civility allowed.
“The video trending on social media was the moment the suspect and his friends decided to disrupt the bid to conduct a search of the house.
“In his confessional statement in custody, the suspect admitted ownership of the drugs recovered from his house.”
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