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Appeal Court Nullifies Metuh’s Trial, Jail Term, Voids Dasuki’s Indictment

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday set aside the conviction of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, on the grounds of bias allegedly exhibited by the trial judge who sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment for money laundering charges in February 2020.

The three-man panel led by Justice Stephen Adah ordered a retrial of the case.

Justice Adah who read the lead judgment ordered that the case file be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and be reassigned to another judge for retrial.

He directed that the matter could be retried by any judge of the Federal High Court but not the former judge, Justice Okon Abang, whom the Court of Appeal adjudged to have, by his utterances in his handling of the case, exhibited “manifest bias” against Metuh and his team of lawyers.

Justice Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on February 25, 2020, sentenced Metuh to seven years’ imprisonment after finding him and his firm, Destra Investment Limited, guilty of charges of money laundering involving the sum of N400m they received from the then National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in 2014 preparatory to the 2015 general elections.

The judge had also convicted and sentenced Metuh for transacting with $2m cash without going through a financial institution in violation of money laundering law.

Justice Abang also, in the judgment, indicted Dasuki for breach of trust and acts of corruption by his action of giving the sum of N400m to Metuh from the office of the NSA’s account without justification.

Metuh, his firm, and Dasuki had filed separate appeals against the judgment, accusing the trial judge of bias and alleging a breach of their rights to a fair hearing by the judge.

They quoted from the records of proceedings of the trial court, the perceived bias comments of the judge criticising Metuh and members of his legal team for allegedly making life difficult for him over his firm handling of the case.

Dasuki, who is standing trial before another court in respect of the handling of the funds of the NSA office ahead of the 2015 general elections, stated in his appeal that without being charged or allowed to defend himself in the case before Justice Abang, more than 10 indicting comments were made against him by the judge.

Although Dasuki, appeared as a defence witness subpoenaed by Metuh in the course of the trial, the ex-NSA said his indictment by the judge was a breach of his right to a fair hearing.

The three-man panel unanimously upheld the appeals on Wednesday.

Justice Adah held that from the records of the proceedings and the judgment produced by Metuh and his firm, “the trial judge has shown to the world by his utterances that he was biased against the appellants”.

He held that a judge “must not only do justice but must manifestly be seen to have done Justice. They must be seen to be fair to all parties and any evil spin of bias will invalidate the integrity of the proceedings,” he held.

He said the bias exhibited to by the trial judge led to a breach of their right to fair trial “and cannot be allowed to stand in order not to set a dangerous precedent

Delivering judgment on Dasuki’s appeal, Justice Adah held that the ex-NSA, not being a defendant in the trial or allowed to defend himself, the “damaging comments” made against him breached his right to a fair hearing.

He dismissed the objection by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir, who argued that Dasuki had no right of appeal in the case as he was not a defendant on record at the trial.

One of Metuh’s lawyers, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), said his team would immediately commence the administrative process of getting the ex-PDP spokesperson released.

Etiaba said although they had wanted the case to be dismissed and not sent back for a retrial, they were vindicated that their allegation that the trial judge was biased was affirmed.

The EFCC’s counsel, Tahir could not immediately tell if the prosecution would pursue an appeal or the retrial ordered by the Court of Appeal.

The Punch

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Police Clampdown on 56 Suspected Cultists, Robbers in Lagos

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The Lagos State Police Command has announced that no fewer than 56 suspected cultists and armed robbers have been arrested by its men in some communities of the state.

In a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, on Sunday, the Police noted that 50 suspected cultists and armed robbers were arrested during raids on their hideouts in the Imota, Igbokuta, Adamo and Emure areas of Ikorodu.

“The police boss in the state re-echoed the command’s readiness to tackle and decimate criminals in the state, while confirming the arrest of 50 suspected armed robbers and cultists in the Imota, Igbokuta, Adamo and Emure areas of Ikorodu during a sting operation carried out by the commissioner’s Police Strike Force between Friday and Saturday, March 5 to 6, 2021.

“The 38 male and 12 female suspects include Oladunni Abiodun, 20; Dosumu Oluwaseun, 22; Segun Adelaja, 29; Gbamila Iyabo, 26, wife of the Number 1 man of the Aiye Confraternity in Igbokuta, arrested with one pump action loaded with eight rounds of cartridges; Salisu Islamiyat, 29, wife of the Number 1 Aiye Confraternity man in Emure, arrested with a locally-made pistol with some live cartridges; Abiodun Abbey, aka, Oju Ogunle, alleged to have killed more than 22 person in the Ikorodu area; and 44 others.

“Other items recovered from them include guns, live ammunition and cartridges, assorted charms, berets with confraternity logos, paraphernalia of office of the confraternity and some weapons,” Adejobi noted

Again, the statement revealed that six suspected cultists were arrested in the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.

“The CP also confirmed the arrest of six suspected cultists in the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state by police operatives attached to the Elemoro Division. The suspects are Adeyemi Hassan; Adesoye Yusuf; Yusuf Sadiku; Isaila Adebanjo, an ex-convict and leader of the Aiye Confraternity; Monsuru Ojo and Tajudeen Ramon.

“The CP has put all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the state on their toes to ensure that the state is rid of cultism, crimes and criminality. He has ordered prompt investigation and prosecution of cases as necessary arrangements have been made by the Lagos State Government to consistently fast-track judicial processes in the state,” the PPRO said.

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Osun Police Mount Intensive Search for Attackers of Ibadan/Akure Road Passengers

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Consequent upon the incident of 6th March 2021 around 7:00pm, where a gang of criminals/hoodlums intercepted and attacked a Toyota Previa commercial Bus with Reg. Ondo KTP 331 RG plying Ibadan/Akure expressway by Egbu Village Ikire, in which unsuspecting commuters were eventually dispossessed of their valuables and the driver and one other abducted; the Police in prompt response, engaged the criminals in firefight which led to the arrest of three (3) suspects, and the rescue of other commuters safely to Ikire Police Division. The arrested suspects are making useful statements.

As a result, the Commissioner of Police, CP Olawale Olokode immediately combined a strong reinforcement of Police Tactical units, JTF, Local hunters, and Vigilantes with the Police teams on ground, to embark on search/rescue operation; combing the bush for the two missing persons, and possible arrest of all other fleeing criminals.

He further reiterates his resolve that, all forms of criminal incendiary will be checkmated in all nook and crannies. He Also warns criminals to have a rethink, as the Command has declared total war on unscrupulous elements.

Finally, the Commissioner of Police enjoined members of the public to support, co-operate, and collaborate with the Police in fighting crime to bring it down to the barest minimum, by providing us with creditable and prompt information.

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Food for Living: A Solid Relationship Precedes Success

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Relationships are very vital for our success.  It is rather unfortunate that many people don’t understand the rationale behind, as well as the influential nature of having a dynamic relationship. It is imperative to note that we are all products of relationships. We relate with our spouses, children, friends, family, colleagues, and humanity in general. It is often advised to be civil to all, social to many, and familiar to few. However, having the ability to nurture these relationships is very important in life. But of more important is being able to decipher how to relate to each, and knowing the exact persons you admit into a relationship. Note that a wise man once said “be careful who you let into your ship because some people will sink the whole ship just because they can’t be the captain”. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.

Notwithstanding, we are not unaware that relationships are very important in our lives. We are all products of relationships. We are created as relational beings. We live for relationships. Little wonder when God wants to bless us, he uses people. Of course, when the devil wants to mess us up, he also uses people. Relationships will either make or mar us, so it is wise to ensure that we don’t allow toxic relationships, and we don’t take beneficial relationships for granted.

Before you relate to anyone, you must relate with yourself. You can never relate cordially with others if you cannot relate with yourself. A better relationship with yourself begins with understanding yourself. If you cannot relate to yourself, you will find it difficult to relate with others. Many people don’t understand themselves and therefore, find it difficult to relate with others.

Every relationship is literally different. Just as our faces look different, our attitudes, behaviours, character and instincts are different. Every relationship needs different ingredients to thrive. A business relationship needs trust, discipline, understanding and honesty to thrive, while a marital relationship needs romance, honesty, tolerance, understanding, communication, compromise, trust, sacrifice, and compatibility to thrive.

Just to let you how powerful a relationship is, in some social parlance, it is often said that if God wants to bless a man, he sends a man and if he wants to destroy a man, he sends a woman. Relationships come in different ways; your relationship with your wife can make or mar you. If you marry the wrong person, your life will take a different route, but if you marry right, he/she will attract opportunities, blessings, and a good support system for you.

In business, the ability to meet your clients and customers where they are is critical to your success. People will do business with you if they trust and like you. Building relationships doesn’t entail relating only with the high and mighty in society. It does not mean relating with only productive people. Yes, these sets of minds are very resourceful and should be generally used for evaluation, but do you know that a good relationship with a security officer, cleaner, cook, artisan, and the low class in the society can be the icing on your cake that will change the course of your life. This is because they may have access to your potential investor.

In order to have a fruitful relationship, it is important to study emotional intelligence because it will go a long to manage the vicissitudes of life in addition to letting you know if the relationship is for you or not. Emotional intelligence deals with self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, social management, and then empathy. These are very important for a successful relationship, and need to be well managed.

As human beings, we are products of two major factors 1. Nature – how we were born and 2. Nurture – How we grow (parents, environment, school, friends, experiences, etc.). These two factors put together determines our make and personalities. Emotional intelligence will help you to nurture your relationship.

We all desire to have a fruitful relationship, no doubt. It can be in our personal or professional capacity. However, it is important to note that there’s no formula or script for any successful relationship; one needs to be deliberate and intentional to make it work. A relationship is simply like a gift that’s yet to be open. No one sees the full picture of a gift, the same is applicable to a relationship. You can hardly tell the surprise character or attitude your partner can spring up during your relationship. Therefore, an individual’s level of emotional intelligence will determine a lot. Good emotional intelligence will help you to be aware and manage your partners’ emotions, creating a room to accommodate mistakes and learning to forgive.

In order to have a successful marital relationship, here are some bullet points to avoid

1.          The urge to control your spouse, partner, people, etc. Resist this urge nor matter how hard it tries to raise its ugly head. For instance, if you are the provider for the family and you are a female, resist the urge to control or manipulate your spouse. Any form of manipulation is witchcraft.

2.          Avoid the need to always be right at all costs. Generally, in marriage, there’s no winner and loser. You either win together or lose together. The best way to approach this issue is by applying the best interest judgment. Both parties must hear each other and select the best point.

 3.          Resist the temptation to retaliate and not forgive. Avoid the habits of digging up past hurts and wounds to retaliate. In marriage, you are bound to hurt each other, the ability to tolerate is very vital to the success of your marriage.

 4.           Resist the urge to criticize far more than you encourage: Marriage needs appreciation and support to grow. However, if you are to criticize, you must do it constructively. If you are criticized objectively, two things are possible; if it is untrue, ignore the urge to be irritated, but if it is true, it is not a criticism, it’s a lesson; learn from it.

 5.           Communicate how you feel. Communication is the life wire of any marital relationship. Without communication, the marriage dies just like a plant dies without water. Communication works in different forms for different people. Communication helps to build intimacy in marriage.  Words are very important in marriage, in fact, they can ignite a fire that can lead to the dissolution of a marriage if the wrongly used.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a mindset coach and public speaker. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

 

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