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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EYITAYO JEGEDE’S VICTORY

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has declared Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, as the rightful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the Ondo governorship election billed for Saturday. In an unanimous judgment, the Justice Ibrahim Saulawa led three-man Special Panel of the appellate court, vacated the June 29 judgement of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as PDP gubernatorial candidate for the poll. Jegede had approached the appellate court to challenge the high court verdict which ordered INEC to only relate with the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the PDP. Justice Abang had on October 14, also re-affirmed his decision, even as he warned the electoral body against accepting any candidate nominated by the Senator Ahmed Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP. Acting on the strength of the order, INEC, promptly removed Jegede’s name from the list of candidates for the Ondo gubernatorial poll, and replaced it with Mr. Ibrahim. It will be recalled that whereas Jegede emerged from primary election that was sanctioned by the Markarfi-led NWC of the PDP, Ibrahim on the other hand, secured his ticket from the Modu-Sheriff faction of the party. Meanwhile, in its verdict on Wednesday, the appellate court, held that Justice Abang’s refusal of to grant fair hearing to Jegede, “rendered the entire proceedings before his court a nullity”. According to Justice Saulawu, “Indeed it is obvious from the records that the appellant’s name had been duly published as the governorship candidate of the 11th respondent (PDP) for the November 26 Ondo governorship election” Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim It held that the lower court was in grievous error when it ordered the publication of Ibrahim’s name. It said the decision of the high court was in total breach of the provision of section 36 of the 1999 constitution, which it said forbade any court from denying fair hearing to a party likely to be affected by final decision of the court. Justice Saulawa, said the action of the court violated the legal doctrine of audi altarem partem. “The tenets of natural Justice entails that a party ought to be heard prior to determination of case against them”. The appellate court also noted that Justice Abang ordered INEC to “immediately” recognise Mr. Ibrahim who was never a party in the suit that culminated to both the June 29 and October 14 judgments. “The Court below had no jurisdictional competence to make such order. I have no restriction in the circumstance in resolving the second issue equally in favour of the appellant”. It said that Justice Abang “unilaterally”, raised issues that were not included by the plaintiffs, an action it said amounted to “a violent attitudinal disposition to the rule of law”. Besides, the court said the primary election that was conducted by the State Chapter of the PDP loyal to Modu-Sheriff, which produced Mr. Ibrahim, was a nullity. It said the law was very clear on which organ of a party should conduct governorship primary elections. “It is worth reiterating at this point that any primary election by state chapter of a party, be it the PDP or any other party, is undoubtedly, in the eye of the law, an illegal contraption that carries with it no legal or equitable right at all. It is in its entirety a nullity”, the appellate court held. Prior to delivery of the judgement, Justice Saulawa, said the panel was at a time, “subjected to a very intimidating and brow-beating treatment by counsel the Respondents”. “Most regrettably, the Respondents have deemed it expedient to shoot themselves on the foot. Instead of adhering to the wise counsel of the Court to file brief within the time limit, even the extra day that was granted to them, they refused to do so. “The consequences of the Respondents failing to file their brief by virtue of Order 18 of the Court of Appeal Rules is very obvious and we have made it clear in our judgment”. Justice Saulawa noted that instead of filing their brief of argument, the Respondents insisted that the appellate court had lost its jurisdiction to entertain Jegede’s suit by virtue of the appeal they lodged at the Supreme Court. “I have most critically appraised the preliminary objection by Nwufor, SAN, and I found that it is most grossly lacking in merit and it is accordingly dismissed. “Having effectively dealt with the preliminary objection, I now proceed to determine the appeal on its merit”. The court noted that Jegede filed his appeal on November 11, which raised seven issues for determination. The issues included whether it was proper for the high court to order INEC to jettison Jegede’s name after he had already been nominated by the PDP and his name published. Olanipekun argued that the high court lacked jurisdiction to determine who should be the candidate of a political party. Relying on decided case-law in Lado vs CPC, Olanipekun, stressed that the issue of nomination of candidates for an election is a domestic affair of a political party which no court has the jurisdiction to meddle into. He said Justice Abang was wrong when he held that he had the requisite jurisdiction to determine the matter. The appellate court, in arriving at its decision, said it was necessary that it determined whether or not the appellant was denied fair hearing by the lower court. It consequently resolved all the seven issues in Jegede’s favour. “There is no gain saying that this appeal is grossly meritorious and is hereby allowed”. An initial three-man panel that was headed by Justice Jummai Hanatu-Sankey earlier recused itself from resolving the dispute, following allegation that it collected N350million bribe from Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Nyesom Wike of Ondo and Rivers States, respectively.

 

The allegation was contained in a petition that PDP Chairman in Ondo state, Prince Biyi Poroye wrote against the panel wherein he insisted that they were compromised. Sequel to withdrawal of the Justice Hannatu-Sankey-led panel, the PCA, constituted the fresh panel which Poroye and five other PDP Chieftains from the South West loyal to Modu-Sheriff, also wanted the Supreme Court to disband. In their application that was refused by the apex court on Tuesday, Poroye’s group, contended that the new panel was set up in breach of their right to fair hearing guaranteed under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution. They prayed for an order, returning “case files relating to the appeals and the application for leave to appeal as an interested party (against the decision of the Federal High Court of 14th October 2016 in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/395/2016) – filed by Eyitayo Jegede (factional PDP candidate of the Ondo PDP), to the Registry of the Court of Appeal to take its normal course and turn in the docket of the court.” The appeals that would have been affected by their motion were CA/A/551/2016 filed by Ahmed Makarfi and Ben Obi against Biyi Poroye and 10 others, CA/A/551A/2016 filed by Clement Faboyede and another against 10 others; CA/A551B/2016 filed by the PDP against Biyi Poroye and 9 others and CA/A/551C/2016 filed by Eyitayo Jegede against Prince Biyi Poroye and 10 others. They argued that not only did the PCA acted without hearing from them, they said the case, being a pre-election matter, did not warrant any urgency to require the constitution of a special panel. They added that those who filed the appeals against the June 29 and October 14 decisions of Justice Abang, including Jegede and Markafi, were not joined as parties at the trial court. It was equally their argument that no orders were made against any of those behind the appeals, and that they (the applicants), who were plaintiffs in the suits, were not informed when the PCA acted solely on the request by the appellants to constitute the panel on the grounds of urgency. However, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, cleared the coast for the appellate court to deliver the verdict which it suspended on November 18. The apex court, in a unanimous ruling by a five-man panel of Justices led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, declined to disband the Special Panel constituted by President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to resolve the Ondo PDP dispute. Aside dismissing motions to stay proceedings of the appellate court, filed by the six PDP Chieftains, the Supreme Court, awarded a cumulative cost of N3million to each of the three Justices of the appellate court. Poroye and his group had joined the three appellate court Justices, Saulawa, Igwe Aguba and George Mbaba, as 5th to 7th Respondents in the appeal before the apex court. The Acting CJN, Justice Onnoghen who delivered the lead ruling, ordered that counsel to the appellants, Chief Beluolisa Nwufor, SAN, should personally pay the cost from his pocket. The apex court further ordered the appellants to pay N500, 000 cost to the four other Respondents in the matter among whom included Jegede. Justice Onnoghen held that it was wrong for Poroye and his group to drag the appellate court Justices into the matter knowing that they were only carrying out a judicial duty that was duly assigned to them. “The 6th to 7th Respondents who are Justices of the Court of Appeal were constituted by appropriate authority to hear and determine the case were not parties before the lower court and whatever they did was in their official capacity as judicial officers. “Judicial officers enjoy immunity in the performance of their duties and are not liable to be subjected to this kind of intimidation”, Justice Onnoghen held. He stressed that joining them as Respondents in the matter “was not only an attempt to intimidate and scandalise the judiciary, but to put it in a mild way, an action in bad faith”.

Justice Onnoghen also noted that the appellants (Poroye and his group), had also petitioned a previous panel of Justices of the appellate court that handled the case. “If the applicants are allowed to continue with this prank, there will be no end in sight and it will not augur well. In the circumstance, there is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed”. While concurring with the lead ruling, another member of the apex court panel, Justice Kumai Akaahs, held that action of the appellants was “capable of bringing anarchy”. Nevertheless, the apex court panel fixed Thursday to hear the substantive suit challenging leave that was granted to Jegede to appeal the high court judgement that recognised Mr Ibrahim as PDP flag-bearer for the election. The Appellants had lodged 14 different appeals before the Supreme Court. Their counsel, Chief Nwufor, SAN, on Tuesday, withdrew 10 motions that forced the appeal court panel to suspend further proceedings on the Ondo PDP crisis. Nwufor said his decision to withdraw the applications was to enable the apex court to hear the substantive suit challenging the competence of entire appeals before the Justice Saulawa led Special Panel. In its ruling dismissing motions for stay of proceedings at the appellate court, the Supreme Court awarded N250,000 against the applicants in each of the 10 withdrawn motions. The applicants were directed to pay a cumulative N2.5m to the respondents. The six PDP chieftains had among other things, urged the apex court to determine whether the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Bulkachuwa, was right when she constituted a special panel to hear cases filed against Justice Abang’s judgement, by Jegede, Senators Markarfi and Obi. Poroye and his group contended that the panel had in a ruling it delivered on November 16, okayed Jegede’s appeal, despite being aware that the Supreme Court was already seized of the facts in dispute. The Justice Saulawa-led panel had on November 18, adjourned sine-die (indefinitely), further hearing on the matter. The panel handed-off the dispute, barely 48 hours after it reserved judgment on Jegede’s appeal. Justice Saulawa said the panel took the decision after it was served with a motion from the Supreme Court for the proceeding at the appellate court to be suspended. “We were served a motion in suit No CA/A/551b/2016, which was filed in the Supreme Court on November 17”, he stated. He said the motion had among other things, prayed the apex court to invoke its disciplinary powers against the appellate court panel. The Poroye led group, who are Respondents in Jegede’s appeal, further prayed the apex court to not only set aside proceedings of the appellate court, but to also restrain the special panel from further adjudicating on the dispute. Besides, they equally applied for an order disqualifying/recusing all members of the special panel on the ground that they betrayed there Oath of Office by their refusal to be bound by laid down judicial principle of staris-decisis. Determined to stop the appellate court from delivering its verdict, the group asked the Supreme Court to halt further proceeding at the lower court. While dismissing the motions after they were withdrawn, Justice Onnoghen directed the appellate court panel “to continue its proceedings forthwith”. The appellate court panel had initially refused to hands-off the Ondo PDP dispute, even as it allowed Jegede’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, to adopt his processes in the appeal to enable it to deliver judgment on the matter. Olanipekun had argued that the court had a constitutional responsibility to do justice in the case, saying the appellate court would be abdicating its duties should it allow itself to be stampeded into handing-off the matter. The panel had on September 8, suspended hearing on two other cases relating to the Ondo governorship crisis, following appeals also pending before the Supreme Court. The two cases were filed by members of the PDP, Benson Akingboye and Ehiozuwa Agbonayiwa. Nwufor, SAN, had insisted that allowing the appellate court panel to hear either Jegede or Markafi’s appeals would amount to an act of “judicial rascality” since the matter was already before the apex court. He argued that in line with the legal principle of lis-pendis, the appellate court ought to hands-off the case to avoid a situation where it would conduct a parallel proceeding with the Supreme Court on the same subject matter. “In view of the unchallenged facts brought to the notice of this court that an appeal against the ruling granting leave to the appellant to appeal the high court judgment, which this court made on November 10, is already before the Supreme Court and has been entered. “It is therefore our position that this court has lost its jurisdiction to continue with this matter. By order 5 Rule 11 of the Supreme Court Rules 1985, as amended, the Supreme Court is now seized of the whole of this proceeding as between the parties herein. “It is also an undisputed fact that a motion on notice for staying of all further proceedings and further hearing in this appeal is pending at the Supreme Court and has been drawn to the notice of this court. “We thus maintain that this panel cannot entertain further proceedings until that motion is decided by the apex court, one way or the other. “Proceeding to hear this appeal will amount to an effort in futility. It will amount to judicial rascality and judicial impertinence. “I submit that this court should not conduct parallel proceeding with the Supreme Court regarding the same case, but should allow the apex court, in line with the dictates of the hierarchy of courts established by the constitution, which places the Supreme Court above this court, to take a decision regarding the pending motion for stay of proceedings already before it. “I urge you to follow your own earlier rulings in CA/A/402/2016 and CA/A/402a/ 2016, delivered on September 8, concerning this same Ondo PDP crisis”, Nwufor submitted.

 

 

BY: AKOGUN LANREWAJU COLE

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Wema Bank Emerges Best Performing Bank in Half year 2022

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Nigeria’s most innovative bank, Wema Bank Plc, has emerged the best performing bank in the first half of year 2022 financial year with a weighted average score of of 2.83 points, beating 12 other bank’s.

 

According to a special report on the Nigerian banking performance in the first half of 2022 prepared by Nairametrics, Wema Bank ranked first in one category, second in three categories and third in one category. Stanbic IBTC and First Bank came second and third respectively..

 

The key metrics considered in the report are total asset growth, loan book growth, profit growth, cost-to-income ratio movement, and return on average equity.

 

The 13’reviewed banks which are listed on the Nigerian Exchange posted a net profit of N1 trillion in 2021 from N887.1 billion recorded in 2020.

 

The 13 reviewed banks are Wema Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, FCMB, GTB, Jaiz Bank, Access Bank, and Stanbic/IBTC. Others are UBA, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, and Fidelity Bank.

 

During the first six months of 2022, the thirteen banks posted an aggregate of N501.1 billion as profit after tax, representing an increase of 13.1% compared to N443.17 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021

 

The banks grew their bottom line despite headwinds ravaging the global economy as the energy crisis triggered a significant surge in the operational costs of businesses operating in the country, while some banks were forced to ration their operating hours in a bid to manage the rise in the cost of operation.

 

Wema Bank came first in the category of

Leading bank’s by customer deposits growth . The bank recorded ±30.2 percent customer deposit growth during the review period, followed by Fidelity Bank and Access Bank with +13.1 percent and +12.8 percent respectively.

 

Wema Bank came second in three other categories – total assets growth rate (+13%), loan book growth rate (+19.9%) and profit after tax growth rate {+47.8%}.

 

Stanbic IBTC , the second place winner, ranked first in total asset growth rate and leading bank’s by cost to income ratio growth rate

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Again! FCMB Lands IN Serious Trouble Over False Claim…… As Court Orders Bank To Pay N540m Damages.

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First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is in hot soup as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has ordered the bank to pay N540.5 million in damages to Pastor Emmanuel Omale of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry and his wife, Deborah over false claim that they laundered N573 million for former chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

Delivering judgement in the suit, Yusuf Halilu, the judge, held that the bank breached its “duty of care to the claimants,” the Omales and their church.

The judgment was on the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV2541/2020 filed by Mr. Omale, his wife and the church.

The judge held that the evidence before the court showed that the bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU of entries in the account of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry which was accused of laundering money on Mr. Magu’s behalf.

Mr. Halilu also said the bank claimed that the purported N573 million was wrongly reflected as credit entry in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account by its reporting system, which it recently upgraded.

The judge held that FCMB admitted the error, which brought incalculable damage to the reputation of the claimants both within and outside the Nigeria – depleting their church’s membership.

Mr. Halilu said the claimants provided sufficient evidence to establish case of negligence against FCMB.

Consequently, the judge awarded N200 million as aggravated damages; N140.5 million as specific damages and N200 million as general damages.

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More Troubles For Dangote Cement As Kogi Govt Demands 10 Per Cent Share, Orders Immediate Seal Off

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However, Dangote Cement is facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

To make the claim possible, Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the management of Dangote Cement company to provide all necessary documents that have to do with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company owned by Kogi state government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the Company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement as the acting chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to the State Revenue Boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.

He added that despite the billions of Naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.

Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000 Investment in Amazon
Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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