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Makinde charges Judicial service commission to fast-track system

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said on Tuesday that his administration would work with the judiciary to bring about the needed reforms that will make Oyo State greater.

The Governor, who stated this while inaugurating the State’s Judicial Service Commission, maintained that the commission had the mandate to fast-track the judicial system in the State by ensuring the quick dispensation of justice and the independence of the judicial arm of government.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde made the declaration at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.

The Governor urged the commission, which had as its members the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Muntar Abimbola (chairman); the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo; the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Eni Esan; Mr. Lateef Adetunji Adedigba; Mr Kehinde Alade; Mr Yusuf Olatunji; Mr Adedigba Wahab and Mrs Medinat Akanbi (secretary), to “get straight to the tasks.”

He said: “I am always delighted to perform ceremonial functions, especially the ones that work to strengthen democracy. For me, the most beautiful part of democracy is checks and balances provided by each arm of the government. So, we are here today to inaugurate and swear in the Oyo State Judicial Service Commission.

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This has just been done. This is in line with the provision of Chapter 6, Section 197, subsection 1(c) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, which states that “there shall be each state of the federation a state judicial service commission”.

The Governor added: “This commission has an important mandate, which borders on activities to ensure the independence of the judiciary and the quick dispensation of justice.

For the benefit of non-legal minds here, we have heardbefore now about a legal maxim which goes thus: justice delayed isjustice denied, which basically means that if a wrong is not corrected within a reasonable time, it may not have been well corrected at all. The Bible also has a version for this and it records that when asentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are
filled with schemes to do wrong.

“These two sayings emphasise the importance of not just dispensingjustice but doing so in a timely manner. A situation where cases drag in court because there are not enough judges to hear the cases is an aberration and a gift to the guilty.

“In fact, in 2017, a civic tech organisation took Oyo State government to court because according to them, about 80 per cent of the inmates in what should now be called Agodi Correctional Centre are awaiting trial. Aside from persons who are in prison, there are also several cases in the judicial system that are being delayed. If these cases are  heard within a reasonable timeframe and pronouncements are made of them, then people will not abuse court processes. “Well, I am not trying to indict the judiciary because an indictment on the judiciary is an indictment on all of us because the various arms of government are a reflection of who we are as a people. So, this is one reason why this inauguration is important.”

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Governor Makinde added that the commission is to appoint judges and to see to the promotion and disciplinary control of judicial and non-judicial staff members, among other tasks.

He said: “The members of the commission are to appoint judges. They are also expected to see to the promotion and disciplinary control of judicial and non-judicial staff members. It is my belief that with this inauguration, members of the commission will get straight to this
task so that we can get our judicial system working faster.

“I am also hoping that working with the Legislature. We can domesticate the Nigerian Correctional Service act 2019 and begin to implement the provision of that act, especially regarding the number of inmate in correctional facilities and the condition under which they are kept. If we say that Oyo State is a Pacesetter State, we should set the pace in having a reformed judiciary.

“I look forward to working with you in bringing about the judicialreforms that will make Oyo State greater.”

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Crime & Court

Just In: Oyo govt. withdraws criminal case against Akinlabi

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A criminal case instituted by the  Oyo State government against Hon. Kamil Akinlabi, a former member of the Federal House of Representative and Chairman, Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) has been discontinued and withdrawn by the State.

 

The suit (Oyo state govt vs Akinlabi) Hoy/5c/2016 which was to be revisited after several adjournments, was on Tuesday dismissed by Justice Iyabo Yerima at court Four of the Federal High Court in Ibadan.

 

The discontinuation was at the instance of the power of the State’s Attorney General, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, who told the court in a letter to discontinue the case which was taken to court in 2016 by a revered traditional ruler.

 

While reacting to the development, Akinlabi, who was appointed by the Seyi Makinde administration as the Chairman, Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) in 2019, said he was happy that justice prevailed on the matter despite that it took a long time.

 

“I must give kudos to the judiciary, you should see the unbiased prosecution of the case from the beginning till it was discontinued, it reaffirmed the fact that the court of law is truly the last hope for the common man.

 

“It is one thing to take an action and it is another thing to be ready to bear the consequence of that action, this I have shown and we are happy that the matter spoke for itself, even when charges were amended about two or three times, but I am glad to tell you today that it is a new dawn.

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“The Ministry of Justice came in today and withdrew the charges, the reasons, best known to them, but we thank God and whoever was behind the decision and this has given me the opportunity to accept that this is the period when the rule of law is held sacred.”

 

Akinlabi further urged government to improve the facilities in the law courts so as to make the judicial system better in its service to the people.

 

He lamented that Justices still write judgments with long hands when technology could be deployed for such, averring that introduction of modern technology would help hasten cases in law courts.

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Crime & Court

Ibadan: Couple Arraigned For Allegedly Stealing N2.7m From Bank

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office on Tuesday, arraigned an ex-banker, Akinwole Oluwaseun Dosunmu, alongside his wife, Motunrayo Olanike Dosunmu before Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan.

The duo were accused of stealing the sum of N2, 740,300.92 (Two Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Thousand, Three Hundred Naira, Ninety-Two kobo) from the Sterling Bank Plc.

According to the available information, Akinwole was a staffer of the bank, while his wife was a customer and a beneficiary in the bank’s Third Party Acquirer Scheme.

The bank had initiated the scheme as a marketing strategy through which relatives and friends of their marketing agents are awarded commission for bringing new customers to open and operate new accounts with the bank. Akinwole, also a marketer with the bank, was appointed to coordinate the scheme.

Apart from the commission on account opening, the referral also enjoys certain percentage on the saving made through the accounts every month.

It was, however, alleged that while reviewing activities under the scheme in 2016, the bank discovered that most of the accounts appropriated to Motunrayo as a third-party acquirer were fraudulently tagged to her by her husband.

The investigation allegedly further revealed that the accounts were never sourced by neither of the couple, but by other third-party agents.

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According to the petition filed by the bank, the couple had benefited a total of N2, 740,300.9292 as commission fraudulently paid to Motunrayo through the scheme.

It was on account of the allegation and further investigations by the EFCC that the couple were arraigned on a 16-count charge of stealing on Tuesday.

The offence is contrary to Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Laws CAP 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

Count one of the charge reads: That you, Akinwole Oluwaseun Dosunmu and Motunrayo Olanike Dosunmu between the months of July 2015 and April 2016 at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, did commit an illegal act, to wit, stealing of the aggregate sum of N1,280,554.38 (One Million, Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Four Naira, Thirty-Eight Kobo) property of Sterling Bank Plc under the guise that the account of one Odediran Oluwafemi and An Nee was generated by Motunrayo Olanike Dosunmu and thereby committed an offense.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

In view of their plea, counsel to the EFCC, Ifeanyi Agwu, applied for a date for trial.
However, the defense counsel, J. B. Olaoye, informed the court that he had filed applications for bail on behalf of the accused persons.

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Justice Akintola has adjourned till Friday, February 21, 2020, for hearing of the bail applications.

The judge ordered that they be remanded in the Agodi, Ibadan custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS, pending the adjourned date.

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Crime & Court

Ibadan: EFCC Foils Man’s Attempt To Smuggle In Hard Drug For Detained Son

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a 60-year-old fish-farmer, Muyiwa Otuyalo, for attempting to smuggle in substance believed to be hard drug for his son, Damilola Otuyalo, who is currently in the custody of the commission’s Ibadan zonal office.

The older Otuyalo was at the premises of the EFCC in Ibadan on Monday, February 17, 2020 supposedly to visit his son. But while discussing with the son, an officer noticed that he brought out a sachet of tablets and handed same to him. The officer subsequently raise alarm which led to the confiscation of the drug.

When the in-house nurse was called upon for assessment of the content, it was revealed that the said item was Rohypnol, a tranquilizer used under strict prescription for treatment of severe insomnia and assist in anesthesia.
The drug is said to possess high sedative effect and is rarely used except when prescribed by licensed medical officers.

The younger Otuyalo was recently arrested after a criminal case of money laundering detected in the United Kingdom was reported against him. The case which involved £45,000 was a fragment of a wider one involving about £500,000 for which he has been declared wanted by the London’s Metropolitan Police. He has been on the wanted list of the International Police, Interpol, before the petition was filed at the EFCC, Ibadan zonal office.

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Officers of the Nigerian Interpol were already in contact with the commission in respect of the said case before the suspect’s father attempted to smuggle in the hard drug for him.

Further investigations are ongoing, even as the commission intends to hand him over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for possible prosecution of the suspected narcotic case.

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