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Doctor’s strike: Court fixes Friday for ruling as parties agree to negotiation

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By Gistflash News

Sept 15, 2021

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has fixed Friday for ruling in a suit between the  striking members of  Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors ( NARD) and the Federal Government, as they agreed to negotiation.

The judge, Justice  Bashar Alkali  fixed the date, after listening to the  parties counsel make their submissions which bordered on court jurisdiction and contempt proceeding.

The judge in addition said before the next adjourned date parties should return to negotiation table as stated by the  counsel.

  When the matter which was slated for hearing of applications came up, the claimant’s counsel, Tochukwu Maduka, SAN,  informed the court that subject to its convenience,  they were ready to take their motion on notice, which had been filed with motion ex-exparte.

The defendant’s counsel, Femi Falana,  SAN,  in his response said that the claimant came behind his client’s back to approach the court for accelerated hearing in the matter which was initially adjourned until Sept. 22.

He added that the application was granted and hearing of motion on notice and pending applications were  therefore set to be taken.

In addition, he said  that they had filed and served an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

He argued that the application should take top priority before any other application.

He also said  that the application should be taken since the claimant did not challenge the application served on them by way of counter-affidavit in a written address.

Maduka however, objected that although applications were slated to be taken, he informed the court that there was contempt proceeding for committal  filed on Sept.14 before the court that ought to be taken before any other application.

 He said that the committal proceeding application was for the refusal of the claimant to obey  court order.

He said that where issue of contempt is raised in law,  it ought to take top priority before the issue of jurisdiction. .

 He added that the law stated that  in any  suit commenced by way of originating summon , the issue of jurisdiction should be taken together with the substantive suit.

He further submitted that they had not been served with the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

 The court said that the proof of service was before the court dated Sept. 1.

Maduka at this point therefore urged the court to give them time in order to respond to the defendant’s preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

Falana in his response said that there was no committal application before the court, he stated that what the claimant’s counsel was referring to as committal proceeding should be Form 86 which is for refusal to obey order.

Falana said  Form 86 ought to be followed by Form 87 which will be for a party to appear before the court to show cause why they should not be committed to prison for contempt in Order 86, Rule 2 and 3 of the court.

 In concluding his argument, Falana prayed the court to make an order to direct the parties to return to the negotiation table, in line with the previous order as granted by the court ordering parties to cease all forms of hostilities.

Maduka however, stated that parties had been to Arbitration Panel but however, the negotiation fell.

According to him,  that despite court order that parties should cease hostilities, that the defendant had refused to return to work. He further stated that they were opened to negotiation. 

Falana on his part assured the court that his client was ready to cease hostility and return to negotiation table.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the claimants, Ministry of Health and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour had earlier  approached the court through an ex-parte motion praying for some order of the court.
The claimants had sought for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining members of the respondent in all States of the Federation from further continuing with the industrial action embarked on Aug. 2.
Another order as sought by the applicants was for an order of interlocutory injunction compelling all members of the respondent in all States of the Federation to suspend the said industrial action it commenced on Aug. 2.
The court therefore on Aug.23 granted an order directing parties to cease all forms of hostilities and adjourned until Wednesday to take motion on notice.
NAN
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Judiciary

Court fixes Nov. 17 suit challenging jurisdiction in Okorocha’s suit against Imo Govt

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By Gistflash News

Sept 22, 2021

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed Nov. 17 to hear application challenging its jurisdiction in the suit filed by former Imo Gov., Rochas Okorocha, against the state government and others.
Justice Mohammed fixed the date after Okorochas’ counsel,  Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, moved for an adjournment on the ground that the head of the staff in his chamber, Emeka Okoye, died recently. 
 
The prayer for adjournment was not opposed by counsel to defendants in the suit, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
 
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okorocha, Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/558/2020 filed on May 28, 2020, had urged the court to restrain the EFCC and others from probing him.
While the EFCC is the 1st respondent, the 2nd to 48th respondents are the Attorney General (AG) of Imo and members of the seven panels set up to probe previous administrations in the state.
NAN also reports that Okorocha had, on June 29, urged the court to make an order setting aside the seizure and sealing of some of his property by the state government.
Okorocha also asked the court to restrain the defendants from investigating him or implementing the recommendations of the seven panels set up to probe him while he served as the state governor between June 2006 and May 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Meanwhile Eze Duri-Ihuoma, SAN, who is 44th defendant and appearing for himself in the matter, told the newsmen shortly after the case was adjourned that the suit filed by Okorocha did not disclose any reasonable cause of action, hence, the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it.
According to him, the subject matter jurisdiction is not there in the suit and that the application is alien to the law.
“The applicant is claiming that because the EFCC is investigating him, the state government should fold his hands and not probe him.
“That is alien. Some of us had also argued that the former governor was simply saying, ‘extend my immunity.’
“But his immunity ended when he left office and he wants that immunity extended,” he said
The lawyer said he was hopeful that the suit would be dismissed because it lacked merit.
NAN
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Judiciary

Love scam: Court orders forfeiture of 1 iPhones, car, $1,500 to FG

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By Gistflash News

Sept 21, 2021

A Kwara state High Court on Tuesday ordered the forfeiture of one iPhone, 1,500 dollars and vehicle to the Federal Government coffers.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Tunde Olagunju, Hassan Olanrewaju, 29, and Ojo  Adewale, a Bricklayer with crime bordering on love scam and cybercrimes.

Delivering judgment, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye said:”I have carefully considered the facts and circumstances of the matter, most especially the charges.

“I have also considered the plea of guilt entered by the defendants, evidence tendered without objection and the confessional statements of the defendants.

“There is no justiciable reason for the court to free the defendants off the hook.

“In the circumstance, the court finds the defendants guilty of the offence,” he said.

Oyinloye sentenced Olagunju to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N650,000.

Similarly, the judge sentenced Olanrewaju to one year imprisonment on count one, with an option of fine of N250,000 and another one year on count two with the same option of fine.

“The custodial sentences will run concurrently. But if the convict prefers the option of fine, he shall pay the fine of N500,0000.

The court also ordered the forfeiture of the defendant’s Silver color Toyota Camry Car, 2009 Model, with registration number LSR 431 GV and Gold Iphone 12 pro and 200 dollars which he acquired with the proceed of unlawful activities to the federal government.

Also, Adewale was sentenced to one year imprisonment with option of fine of N300,000.

The judge said that the convict should forfeit the Iphone XR, recovered from him, at the point of arrest to the federal government.

NAN

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Judiciary

My husband beats me, says I eat too much – Woman tells court

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By Gistflash News

Sept 20, 2021

A 23-year-old woman, Firdausi Sulaiman on Monday dragged her husband, Haruna Haruna, before a Sharia Court sitting in Magajin Gari, Kaduna State, seeking divorce on grounds that he beats her and says she eats too much.

In her petition, Suleiman, who lives in Rigasa in Kaduna, also told the court that her husband, Haruna, locks up the kitchen in the night.

”In our seven years of marriage, I have not spent a complete year  with out him sending me back to my parents house.

“I was forced into marrying Haruna when I was 16 by my father.

”He banned me from receiving visitors in our marital house. He also beats me.

”When I got fed up, my parents got tom know about what I have going through and reported the matter to his mother, His mother told me that he was possessed by evil spirit,” she said.

She prayed the court to terminate the marriage and give her custody of their one daughter.

In his defence, Haruna, a civil engineer through his counsel, M. K Mustapha,  said his client is mentally okay and is  not possessed.

”My client doesn’t look like someone who has evil spirits or has mental problems. In fact, he is currently in Katsina State executing some projects”, he said.

The Judge, Nuhu Falalu, after listening to both parties, adjourned the case until Oct. 4.

He ordered Haruna’s counsel to invite the couple’s parents or guardians to explore an amicable solution.

NAN

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