Tribunal Fines Multichoice N150m For Hiking Subscription Rate

Mohammed Shosanya

A three-man panel of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal,
led by Thomas Okusu, on Friday ordered Multichoice Nigeria to pay a fine of N150m for disobedience to court order.

Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DSTV and GOTV pay TV operators was sanctioned for wilfully disobeying an order restraining DSTV and GOTV from hiking their subscription rates.

The tibunal also ordered the company to provide Nigerians with a one-month free subscription to its DStv and GOtv packages for raising objection on the court’s jurisdiction.

The tribunal upon a suit filed by one Barrister Festus Onifade challenging the arbitrary increase, had previously restrained Multichoice from increasing the subscription fees of DSTV and GOTV without adequately notifying customers.

Onifade had claimed that the the digital satellite TV company was wrong by giving subscribers only 8 days before increasing the subscription rate.

Onifade had sued Multichoice alleging that the Pay-TV firm, unjustly increased subscription fees without one month prior notice to customers.

However, counsel for Multichoice argued that previous rulings had settled price regulation issues, while Onifade based his motion on notice on the inadequate notice rather than the price hike itself.

The tribunal affirmed it’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, and ruled against the Pay TV company.

Contempt: Court Orders Arrest Of Ex-Nigeria Goalie, Dosu Joseph, Others

Mohammed Shosanya

Justice Rasul Olukolu Of Osborne division of Lagos High Court, has ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, to arrest and prosecute a former Nigeria goal keeper, Mr. Dosu Joseph and 12 others, for disobeying several court orders stopping election of Lagos State Football Association.

Others ordered to be investigated and prosecuted by the Commissioner of Police are: R. A. Taiwo; Adeiloya F. O; Alil Lukman Sonibare; Atoun Dele; Dr. Osondu Martins; Hon. Olabode Babaington; Ajiroba Oluwasegun; Oyekan Oluwatobi; Emmanuel Osiaron O.; Benjamin Amiame; Danny Nazzal and Osahon Emokpae.

Olukolu made the above orders, while ruling on Form 48 and 49 filed before the court by Fuad Oki, the applicant in the suit marked LD/10997GCMW/2024, against all the contemnors.

Justice Olukolu held that “there are controverted Affidavit evidence before the Court on the continuous flouting of the Court’s Order “by all the defendants in this suit. This Court granted an interim Order dated March 21, 2024, and was flagrantly flouted by the defendants, when they went ahead to conduct the scheduled meetings which the Court sought to present by the said order. Again, this Court granted a status quo Order on April 8, 2024, there were reports that the defendants flouted the Order as if Nigeria is a Banana Island with no law and Judicial system.

“This Court, again ordered in the last two proceedings that the defendants, should appear before the Court, again, the orders were flouted with the concurrence of their Counsel, Mr. Honvu.

“This Court needs to maintain the sanctity and the integrity of Court and the judicial system. However, i countenanced the fact that by a disobedience to a Court Order is a contempt, which is committer exfacie curiae (out the Court), and this court cannot be a Judge in its own cause (nemo judex in causa sua).

“This has been the position as stated by the appellate courts for instance, In Alake V. Attorney General, (1987) 11 SC 153, the Supreme Court held that: “the position therefore is that generally, contempt’s of Court are either dealt with by trial summarily, particularly when the contempt is in curiae facie without the process of trial, but where the contempt is ex facie curiae, it should be tried by another judge. A judge should not try a contempt in which he is involved. See also The A G. Edo State and Anor V. Churchgate Industries Limited (2016) LPELR-41439CA, and Banwat and Anor V. Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Management (2018) LPELR-45275 CA. 4

“It is for ths reason that the contempt aspect of this suit shail be referred to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, to investigate and prosecute any erring defendants and Counsel through the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of Lagos State. I so order.”

The court’s orders were sequel to a suit filed by Fouad Oki, chairman, Lagos State Football Association, against all the defendants/contemnors over the election of the association.

Oki,in an affidavit in support of the suit, states that in defiance of the Order of Court and to make an unjustifiable mockery of the jurisdiction of the Court, the defendants/applicants had gone on to dissolve all the Standing Committees of the Lagos State Football Association.

He also stated that the defendants notwithstanding the order of the court caused to be made several publications online in full advertence of the subsistence of the order of court.

He added that the defendants/applicants were served the Order of this Court not to mention that the order was conspicuously posted on the Notice Board of the LSFA which is at the entrance to the office of the Secretary to the Lagos State Football Association, same venue where the defendants/applicants held several meetings and location where the ECG congress ordered not to be held by the court.

He also stated that from many publications caused to be published and released online the defendants/applicants and all the defendants knew of the existence of the order of the court but continued to defile same with confidence by carrying out actions and activities that are ordinarily reserved for the claimant.

The deponent also stated that: “I know very well that should the Honourable Court grant their application without them purging themselves, the defendants/applicants will become roguishly emboldened using the judicial system to advance their recalcitrance.

“That I state again that the defendants/applicants are not entitled to the leave of this Court when they continue to act as if the Honourable Court spoke into a void. And that I know the Honourable Court is capable of exercising its coercive powers against a party who constructively disobey the of Order of this Honourable Court and makes acting contrary to its orders.

“That I deposed to this affidavit in good faith, believing same to be true and correct and in accordance to the Oaths Law of Lagos State.

Debt: GTBank Gets Court’s Nod To Take Over Afex  Exchange’s Assets

Mohammed Shosanya

A Lagos Federal High Court, has permitted the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) in the interim, take over the funds and assets of Afex Commodities Exchange, following its the company’s failure to pay the sum of N17, 808, 452, 467.107 billion, of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Loan debt.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted GTBank an interim Global Standing Instruction (GSI) injunctive relief, following the bank’s application on May 27, 2024.

Aneke made the order after while granting an ex-parte motion marked FHC/L/CS/911/2024, filed and moved by GTBank’s counsel, Chief A.A. Aribisala and Ade Adedeji, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who led the dou of A. O. Olaleye and M. A. Aribisala.

The N17,808,452,467.107 billion debt, as contained in GTB’s Exparte motion, comprises N15, 766, 475, 417.06 billion, being the amount outstanding and unpaid, as of April 17, 2024, on the loan facilities (with the accrued interest) granted by the bank to the Afex Commodities Exchange.

The exparte motion further stated that “Pre-judgement interest on the N15, 766, 475, 417. 06 billion, at the prevailing rediscount rate of 28 per cent per annum approved by the CBN from April 18, 2024, when the plaintiff’s letter of demand dated April 17, 2024, was delivered to the defendant until judgment is delivered in this suit.

“Post-judgement interest on the said sum of N15, 766, 475, 417.06 billion and “Cost of recovery and incidental expenses in the sum of N2, 041, 977, 050.047 billion.”

GTBank is the sole plaintiff/applicant in the suit, and Afex Commodities Exchange, is the defendant/respondent, while 27 commercial banks and all money deposit banks were listed as nominal respondents.

GTB,in a 285 paragraph-affidavit in support of the motion exparte, deposed to by one of its staff, Ifeoma Esemudje stated that the tenor of the facility was nine months, intended to finance small holder farmers registered under the CBN Anchor Borrower’s program.

The deponent further states the followings: “the source of the repayment was to come from the sale of the Maize produced while the maturity date for the loan was April 22, 2021.

“But, according to the plaintiff, the defendant did not fulfil its end of the deal.The plaintiff, through its lawyers, then approached the court for an interim Global Standing Instruction (GSI) injunctive relief.

“Our correspondent reports that the GSI, launched in July 2020, by Nigerian banks and the CBN, authorises a creditor bank to recover its debt from any or all other accounts held by the debtor with other financial institutions in case of default by the debtor.

“Before GSI, borrowers who defaulted on their loans to a particular financial institution were still able to maintain their bank balances in other institutions, even if those balances were sufficient to repay their debt.”

In granting GTBank’s prayer, Justice Aneke ordered a “Place a No Debit” on all monies standing to the credit of Afex Commodities Exchange as of the day the order was served on the 1st to 28th Respondent Banks.

The order included “all such monies that may be credited into the defendant/respondent’s account afterwards until the defendant/respondent’s entire indebtedness to the plaintiff/applicant in the sum of N17, 808, 452, 467.107 billion, is fully liquidated. pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed by the plaintiff/applicant in this suit.”

The judge also directed all banks in Nigeria to move/transfer all monies standing to the alleged debtor’s credit (in the said debtor’s account domiciled in any of the banks) into the debtor’s account domiciled with GTBank with Account Number 0425755319 until Afex Commodities Exchange’s “entire indebtedness to the Plaintiff/Applicant in sum of N17, 808, 452, 467.107 billion is fully liquidated…”

The court also ordered the debtor to furnish it and GTBank’s lawyers, the debtor’s current statement of account, within 7 days of being served with the order.

Justice Aneke restrained the defendant/respondent and its agents from obstructing or interfering with GTBank’s right to enter into Afex Commodities Exchange’s 16 warehouses across seven states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oyo, Ogun, Kwara, Kano, Taraba and Benue.

The judge further made an order of mandatory injunction compelling the defendant/respondent to allow the plaintiff to appoint its appointed agent to take over the commodities/produce stored by the defendant in the 16 warehouses across the seven states.

Justice Aneke also granted an order directing the police and Civil Defence Corp to assist GTBank in securing and dealing with the commodities/produce stored by the defendant in the 16 warehouses across the seven states.

Certificate Forgery: Ekiti Oba-Elect Gets Bail

Mohammed Shosanya

The Oba-Elect of Araromi-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Babalola Babatunde, who was arraigned for forgery at the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State, has been granted bail.

In an application filed by the counsel to the defendant before the court, Attah Paul, he prayed that he should be released on self-recognition.

His request was supported by an 18-paragraph affidavit, praying that the defendant/applicant has never been arraigned or convicted in the past.

But the prosection counsel,Itunun Osobu, in the paragraph seven of his counter-affidavit, pointed out that the defendant/applicant failed to honour the invitation of the police until he was arrested.

Presiding judge,Justice O.O. Owoeye granted the suspect bail with sum of N3million and two sureties in the like sum.

The sureties must have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge ordered that the suspect should be kept in the police custody till he meets the bail conditions.

The court adjourned to June 27, 2024 for hearing of the substantive matter.

Babatunde was arraigned on Monday, May 20, 2024 at the Federal High Court sitting in Akure with two- count charge.

The charge reads: “That you Babalola Babatunde on or about the 15th day of January, 2008 at the University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make and uttered a forged University of Ibadan Result which you knew to be false and with intent that it may be used or acted upon as genuine by the University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti to offer you a job and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

“That you Batalola Babatunde on or about the 15 day of January, 2008 at the University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make and uttered a forged National Youth Service Corps Certificate which you knew to be false and with intent that it may be used or acted upon as genuine by the University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti to offer you a job and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1[2](c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.”

Court Declares Rivers LGA Chairmen,Councilors’ Tenure Elongation Unconstitutional

Mohammed Shosanya

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has declared as unconstitutional the amended Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024,which extends the tenures of local government chairmen and councilors by an additional six months after the expiration of their stipulated three years.

Justice D. G. Kio, also struck out a suit marked PHC/1320/CS/2024, instituted by Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Ors against the Governor of Rivers State & others, which sought the court’s interpretation of the amended state law.

Delivering judgment, Justice D. G. Kio declared that the amended law was inconsistent with the provisions of the 1999 constitution and section 9 (1) of Rivers State Law No 5 of 2018.

The court also affirmed that the lawful tenure for Local Government Chairmen and Councilors remained three years, as stipulated by the Rivers State Law No 5 of 2018 and the 1999 constitution and section 9 (1) , stressing that any attempt to extend the tenures was not only unlawful, but also violated their officials’ oath of office.

A faction of the state assembly, led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, said to be pro-Wike in March 2024,had passed the local government amendment bill into law despite the refusal of the Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara to give his assent.

The lawmakers said the aim of the amendment was to ensure that LGA elections are conducted before the expiration of the outgoing administration.

Ganduje: Court Stops Kano Probe Panels

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal High Court in Kano has granted an interim order restraining the two commissions of inquiry established by the Kano State Governor from conducting further proceedings.

The court issued the order in response to a suit filed by Dr. Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, the former Governor of Kano State and current National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Simon Amobeda ordered an interim injunction restraining the 4th and 5th defendants/respondents (Hon. Justice Farouk Lawan Adamu and Hon. Justice Zuwaira Yusuf) from performing executive functions assigned to them by the Governor of Kano State, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The respondents were been given five days from the date of receiving the court order and documents to file their response.

The court fixed May 28, 2024, for the hearing.

Court Convicts Woman For Forging Late Abba Kyari’s Signature

Mohammed Shosanya

A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gwagwalada,Abuja has found guilty and convicted one Mrs. Ramat Mercy Mba, a mother of five children guilty of forging the signature of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, the late Abba Kyari.

Demola Bakare, Ag. Director, Public Enlightenment and Education/Spokesperson for the
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),conveyed this in a statement on Monday.

The statement disclosed that the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Mohammad deferred the sentencing of the convict till Thursday, 16th of May, 2024 but directed that she should be remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had arraigned Mba in June, 2022 on a 5-count charge bordering on cheating, fraud and forgery contrary to Section 13 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 200 and Sections 320 (b), 366 of the Penal Code Cap 89 laws of Northern Nigeria.

One of the counts read: “That you RAMAT MERCY MBA (F) sometimes in the month of October, 2019 or thereabout at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently induce one Mr. Ismail Adewole Oladipupo, an unsuspecting job seeker and collected the sum of Seven Hundred Thousand Naira only N700,000.00 from him which sum was paid into your private account under the guise of securing employment for him at the National Space Research and Development Agency. (NASDRA), AND you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(b) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria.”

During the trial, ICPC’s Prosecutor, Mr. Hamza Sani, Esq. led evidence before the court on how the convict dishonestly induced her victims in the guise of securing employment for them with government agencies like Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Besides,the documentary evidence tendered shows that the convict fraudulently forged a letterhead paper of the Office of the Chief of Staff to former President Muhammad Buhari, Abba Kyari and his signature.

The letter, addressed to the Chairman of ICPC was a request for the recruitment of three individuals by the Commission.

But,the late Chief of Staff, in a written correspondence that was also tendered in court as exhibit distanced himself or his office for authorising the letter.

In his verdict,Justice Ibrahim Muhammad convicted the mother of five children on counts 1, 2, 3 and 5 that deal on cheating and forgery while she was discharged on count 4 that deals with felony.

Alleged Defamation:Court Summons Two Bloggers For Circulating Nude Photo Of Socialite

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chief Magistrate Court,Wuse Zone 6, has summoned two social media users for criminal defamation of a socialite,Dorcas Adeyinka.

In the court summons dated May 9, 2024,the Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna ordered the two defendants — Tolulope Adeoye aka Abike Jagaban and Tolulope Odegbami aka Olowosibi — to appear in person before the court on June 4, 2024, to answer the charges levelled against them by the complainant.

In a criminal complaint filed by the complainants’ lawyers led by Pelumi Olajengbesi of Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, the complainant accused the defendants of sharing her nude photo on social media and ridiculed her.

“On the 5th of March 2022, Abike Jagaban shared the complainant’s nude pictures on Youtube, directing her followers to different online platfoms where the complainant’s pictures were/are shared and ridiculed the complainant in the process.

“The video is captioned: ‘Abike Jagaban on Dorcas Adeyinka, aka TMS Blog’. These actions have exposed the complainant to contempt, hatred, and detestation as some people can be seen making disparaging remarks against the person of the complainant in the comment section of the above referenced post. Abike Jagaban has also bullied the complainant in another video titled, ‘How Abike Jagaban Bully Dorcas Adeyinka’.

“The defendants have also circulated publications on social media, alleging that the complainant is responsible for the death of an individual named Folusho Asimiyu, also known as ‘Iya Ibeji’, whom the complainant had previously supported financially through her non-governmental organisation. These allegations have been made without any evidence or connection linking the complainant to the demise of Folunsho Asimiyu,” the complaint read.

The complainant said the alleged actions of the defendants constitute criminal defamation and contravened Sections 391 of the Penal Code.

In the suit number CR/93/2024 with Motion No: MN/140/2024, Magistrate Iyanna ordered the complainant to serve the defendants with the criminal summons and all other subsequent processes of the court via their social media handle or pages @Tolulope Omolara Ghaba (Favebook) and @Princess Tolulope Ajike Olowosibi (Facebook).

Court Stops PDP From Removing Damagum As Acting National Chairman

Mohammed Shosanya

Justice Peter Lifu of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, has restrained the Peoples Democratic Party from suspending their national chairman, Ambassador Umar Illiya Damagum from office.

After hearing M. O. Onyilokwu Esq., counsel for the Plaintiff/Applicant, who moved in terms of the motion paper, Justice Lifu granted an order that the defendants/respondents are hereby restrained in the interim, from appointing, selecting, nominating any person to replace Amb. Umar Illiya Damagum as National Chairman or Acting National Chairman of the 1st defendant/respondent pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed which is herein fixed against the 14th of May, 2024.

“The defendants/respondents by themselves, agents, privies or by any proxy, are hereby in the interim, restrained from according recognition to any person other than Amb. Umar Illiya Damagum as Acting National Chairman of the 1st Defendants/Respondents or giving effect to or acting upon any document purporting to be signed by the National Chairman or Acting National Chairman of the 1st defendant without the name and signature of Amb. Umar Illiya Damagum pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed in Court in the instant suit.

“The applicants are herein ordered to enter into a fresh undertaking to pay damages to the Respondents (to be assessed by the Court) if at the end of the day it is discovered that this order ought not to have been granted or that the Honourable Court was misled into granting same”.

The court gave the order in a motion exparte filed by Sen Umar El-Gash Maina and Alh. Zanna Gaddama, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2024.

Respondents in the motion dated and filed on the 2nd day of May, 2024, are the PDP, National Working Committee of PDP, National Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Earlier, the plaintiff/applicant had no prayed for
“an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st 4th Defendants/ Respondents, their agents, privies by whatsoever name called from appointing, selecting or nominating any person to replace Amb. Umar Illiya Damagum as National Chairman or Acting National Chairman of the 1st defendant/respondent pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the 5th defendant/respondent, its agents, officers or privies from according recognition to any person other than Amb. Umar Illiya Damagumaas Acting National Chairman of the 1st Defendant/Respondent or giving effect to or acting upon any document purporting to be signed by the National Chairman or Acting National Chairman of the 1st defendant/respondent without the name and signature of Amb. Umar Illiyan Damagum as the Acting National Chairman pending the hearing and a determination of the motion on notice.

Libel: Edo APC Deputy Governorship Candidate Demands N2bn Damages From PDP Spokesperson

Mohammed Shosanya

A member Representing Ovia Federal Constituency and the All Progressives Congress, APC Deputy Governorship Candidate, Rt.Hon Dennis Idahosa has demanded for a total sum of N2 billion as cost of damages from the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Olu Martins over a libelous statement.

In a writ of summons dated May 3, the claimant demanded for N2 billion as general, punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages against the defendant.

Idahosa further demanded for N15 million only being the cost of the action.

In the seven point demand of the claimant against the defendant, he demanded for a perpetual retraining order against the defendant and his agents from further writing, printing publishing online or causing to be written, printed or published online the same article or similar words that tend to defame the claimant.

An order directing the defendant to cause the withdrawal and removal of the article authored by him from the various social media outlets.

In the writ from the West-Idahosa SAN & Co law firm, the claimant also demanded for the retraction of the said article and a public apology acceptable by him to be published in the same media outlets he (Defendant) used.

Martins had written an article which tend to portray the claimant as a fraudstar.

The writ of summons had given the defendant fourteen days to appear in court or as the court may decide.