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PMS: Court picks Jan 18 for judgment in Contractor, Oyo govt. suits

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An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has fixed January 18, 2021 for judgement in a suit filed by a contractor, Mr Olufemi Oniyide of Moxharley Nigeria Limited against the state government over alleged intellectual property theft with respect to the Park Management System (PMS) in the state.

Justice Munta Abimbola fixed the date for judgment  after parties adopted their written addresses and processes as their arguments in the matter.

Mega Icon Magazine reports that Mr. Olufemi Oniyide through his counsel, Olamiji Martins Esq, had earlier written the Oyo State Governor,  Engr. Seyi Makinde  

sometimes in February 2019 alleging that the Park Management System (PMS) currently in use by the state government was his idea which he submitted to the office of the Governor through his Chief of Staff, Chief Luqman Oyebisi Ilaka.

According to Oniyide , when the state government refused to look into the merit of his case, he took the matter to the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan.

The matter with suit number I/421/2020 was filed on 14th May 2020 by Olamiji Martins Esq. and heard by Justice Munta Abimbola sitting in Court 1.

Oyo State Government, Attorney General of Oyo State, Chief Luqman Oyebisi Ilaka, Commissioner for Public Infrastructure and Transportation and Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue were sued as Defendants.

On the first day the matter came up in court, which was 21st May 2020, Justice Abimbola called the case ‘a novel matter’

On 10th August 2020, Oniyide’s lawyers, Olamiji Martins Esq. and Aborisade Adedayo Victor Esq. amended their Writ of Summons, Statement of Claim and Oniyide’s Oath. In the amended process, Oniyide through his lawyers alleged that the Oyo State government is liable under the Common Law Tort of Passing-Off, breach of contract and retroactive ratification under the law of agency having launched the unregistered proposal submitted by Oniyide as if it were that of Oyo State.

The Defendants were initially represented by the Director of Civil Litigation, Oyo State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. F. B. Segun-Olakojo Esq. who filed a memorandum of appearance on 3rd of June 2020.

However, Olakojo Esq. was replaced by another lawyer, Banjo Aiyenakin Esq. who is from Ondo State.

In open court, it was mentioned that Olakojo Esq was debriefed by the Attorney General of Oyo State, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo SAN because the matter is a political matter. Aiyenakin Esq filed the Defendants’ Amended Joint Statement of Defence on 23rd September 2020.

On 23rd September 2020 Olamiji Martins Esq. opened the case for the Claimants and called Olufemi Oniyide who was the single witness.

Aiyenakin Esq. for the Defendants also called a single witness, Engineer Abayomi Oluwarotimi Atunbi, a Director at the Ministry of Public Works and Transports.

It was the case of the Claimants that the submission of the proposal to the Defendants constitutes an offer in law.

The launching of the same proposal constitutes an acceptance by conduct irrespective of the change in name.

He relied on the case recently won by the late Ibadan Billionaire, Chief Harry Akande against Shoprite Checkers Limited at the Court of Appeal, Lagos division.

Although , the Defense lawyer, Aiyenakin Esq argued that the Park Management System (PMS) was the idea of Governor Seyi Makinde, adding that the governor  brought the idea from Europe. He maintained that the governor had the Park Management System (PMS) in the pipeline when he was campaigning in 2019.

Meanwhile, Justice Munta Abimbola called back the parties on 2nd December 2020 and 16th December 2020 for further address on the issue of jurisdiction as raised by the Defendants. He asked counsel to the Claimants whether the Oyo State High Court has jurisdiction to entertain a matter bothering on Passing-Off.

In his arguments, counsel to the  claimants, Olamiji Martins Esq. responded by citing the Supreme Court case of Ayman Enterprises Limited v. Akuma Industries Limited to the effect that since Oniyide’s proposal as submitted to the Oyo State government wasn’t registered, a fact admitted under cross examination, passing-off right of action didnt arise from the infringement of any federal enactment and therefore the Federal High Court would not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter but Oyo State High Court.

Defendants’ lawyer, Aiyenakin argued that the Oyo State High Court doesn’t have jurisdiction to entertain the matter and placed heavy reliance on Section. 251(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) adding that the Federal High Court is conferred with the jurisdiction to entertain matter related to copyright, patent, trademark and passing-off.

He, therefore urged the court to strike out the matter.

But, when asked to reply by Justice Abimbola, counsel to the  claimants, Martins Esq argued that the Constitution didnt suggest that an unregistered proposal is at the sole jurisdictional prerogative of the Federal High Court.

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Crime & Court

Osogbo: 32-year-old Man Jailed 14 Months for Defrauding American of N19.6m

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Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of one Oteyowo Akinkunmi Samuel over internet-related fraud.

Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State pronounced the 32-year-old, who claimed to be a graduate of civil engineering, guilty of a one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation on Monday, and handed him fourteen months custodial sentence.

The crime offends Section 22(2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the same Act.

He was charged for defrauding one Warren Doht, an American, of a total sum of N19,664,128.50 (Nineteen Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira, Fifty Kobo).

The convict had, however, approached the Commission for a plea bargain agreement which formed the basis for the amended charge with which he was arraigned and convicted of on Monday.

After pleading guilty to the amended charge, prosecution counsel Murtala Usman urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Apart from the jail term, the court also ordered Oteyowo to restitute the N19,664,128.50 to the victim of his crime.

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Crime & Court

#EndSARS: Oyo judicial panel to begin public sitting next week Tuesday

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The 12-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to look into petitions of police brutality and victimisation in the state will begin public hearing next week Tuesday.

The Panel, after concluding preliminary analysis of complaints/petitions submitted by victims of police brutality/victimisation, will begin the public hearing on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan from 9.00 a.m. daily. 

According to a public notice signed by the Secretary to the Panel, Mr. H.T. Salami, all petitioners and respondents had been served with hearing notices and they are expected to appear before the Panel on the date contained in their respective hearing notices.

The panel, which warned members of the public coming to the hearing to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, asked members of the public who might have enquiries to direct same to the The Secretary of the Panel through Phone Number 07014868686 or via email address: [email protected]

The notice read: “The general public is hereby informed that His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has graciously approved the constitution of a twelve (12)-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to look at the petitions submitted by victims of police brutality and victimization in the State.

“The Governor inaugurated the Commission on Tuesday , 10th November, 2020 with the following Terms of Reference: to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings; to evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; to recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

“The Panel has, therefore, concluded the preliminary analysis of the submitted complaints/petitions and the public hearing of the Panel will commence on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021, at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan from 9.00 a.m. daily. 

“All the petitioners and the respondents have been served with hearing notices and are expected to appear before the Panel on the date contained in the respective hearing notices.

“All enquiries are to be directed to the The Secretary of the Panel through Phone Number 07014868686 or via email address: [email protected]

“Please, note that all members of the public coming to the hearing are expected to adhere strictly with the COVID-19 pandemic protocols and guidelines.”

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Crime & Court

Barman in Ibadan gets 8 years jail term for illegal withdrawals from employer’s account

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A 35-year-old bartender, Godwin Job, was on Tuesday sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally withdrawing the sum of N1,079,290 (One million, Seventy Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety Naira) from a Fidelity Bank account belonging to his boss, Olufemi Joseph Odusanya.

Job was convicted by Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court in a two-count charge bordering on stealing, filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office.

Following an investigations into a petition from his estranged boss, the Commission arraigned Job on August 17, 2020 to answer for the criminal allegations against him.

The charges are: “Godwin Job (a.k.a Nifemi) “M’ sometime in August 2019 or there about, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this court did steal an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card, property of Olufemi Joseph Odusanya, and thereby committed an offence Punishable under Section 390 (9) Criminal Code, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State 2000.”

“Godwin Job (a.k.a Nifemi) “M’ sometime in August 2019 or there about, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this court did steal the sum of One million, Seventy Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety Naira (N1,079,290), the property of Olufemi Joseph Odusanya, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 (9) Criminal Code, Cap 38 Law of Oyo State 2000.”

The boss had accused Job of stealing his Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card through which he withdrew cash and made Point of Sales (POS) transactions totaling N1,079,290.

In the course of investigation, the Commission discovered that Job made 14 transactions within two hours to evacuate the said amount from the victim’s account.

Though he pleaded not guilty upon arraignment, the judge held that the prosecution was able to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt that the accused indeed committed the unlawful act.

He then found him guilty as charged and sentenced him to four years in prison in each of the charges, which will run concurrently from the day of conviction.

He also ordered that Job refunds the money stolen to his victim.

                                                

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