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Lawyers urge FG to deduct Judiciary funds from June FAAC

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By Gistflash

June 10, 2021

Some Lawyers in Osun on Thursday urged the Federal Government to deduct funds meant for state judiciaries from the June 2021 Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

They made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 64-day-old strike, the longest industrial action in the Nigerian judiciary was suspended on Wednesday, following a meeting between officials of the union and the National Judicial Council (NJC) led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.

NAN reports that courts are to re-open on June 14.

Mr Jimmy Jones,  a lawyer commended the union for calling off the strike , adding that it was a right step in the right direction .

He also urged the NJC and CJN to speed up financial autonomy for the judiciary.

”The implementation should start with the disbursement of the June FAAC to the judiciary.

“The terms and conditions reached at the meeting should be respected by all parties’

” I salute the Federal Government,  represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige , for bringing all stakeholders together toward reaching such agreement .

” I just want the governors not to breach the terms of agreement for JUSUN not to go back to the street again ,” Jones said .

Mr Okobie Najite , a lawyer also praised the Federal Government  for taking into consideration,  the Executive Order 10, the proposals from all sides and distilled them with the resolve to finally implement it.

NAN reports that the union JUSUN had begun a nationwide strike on Tuesday, April 6, when the union directed all its members across the federation to shut down all courts after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum earlier given over the failure of the government to implement the law.

NAN reports that a verdict of the Federal High Court in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, had in January 2014 held that financial autonomy for the judiciary is a constitutional provision that must be complied with by the executive branch of government.

NAN reports that on May 23, President Buhari signed into law the Executive Order to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the country.

The order also mandates the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from source amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.

The Attorney General of the Federation Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 made it mandatory that all states of the federation should include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.

According to the AGF: “A Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).”

NAN reports that the Nigeria Governors Forum said it will start implementing financial autonomy for the judiciary latest by May ending, a pledge that indicated that an end to the ongoing strike that has crippled the nation’s judiciary may be in sight.

The governors also called on striking members of the JUSUN to call off their two weeks old strike then.

The Chairman of the NGF, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, gave this assurance in an interview with journalists after meeting with “stakeholders” from the state judiciary and legislature at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Fayemi said the modalities for the implementation were worked out at the meeting held at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, the meeting, chaired by the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari, was attended by the Solicitor-General of the Federation, representatives of the judiciary, Conference of Speakers and House of Representatives.

The first line charge status, which is being respected by the Federal Government in respect of the federal judiciary, entitles the state judiciaries to get funds due to them directly from the Federation Account.

NAN

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Judiciary

JUSUN strike: Supreme Court waives default fees, others

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By Gistflash

June 17, 2021

The Supreme Court on Thursday announced its decision to waive default fees, computation of time in respect of cases affected by the strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

Dr Festus Akande, Director of Press and Information of the apex court said the decision was a set of fresh practice directions issued by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

“The practice directions to be cited as: “the Supreme Court of Nigeria computation of time and payment of default fees (JUSUN strike period exemption) practice directions, 2021,” is to be effective from June 15 this year.

The CJN said the intention is to alleviate the effect of the strike on litigants and their lawyers.

Part of it reads: “Whereas the period of JUSUN strike will have negative effect on the computation of time and payment of default fees by litigants and their counsel, who file processes in the Supreme Court.

“Whereas it is imperative to have practice directions to alleviate the financial burden of litigants and their counsel when filing processes affected by the period of the JUSUN strike,

“In the exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 236 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Order 10 Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1985 (as amended) and by virtue of all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, hereby issue the following Practice Directions.

“Commencement: These practice directions shall commence and come into effect on the 15th day of June, 2021.

“Objective and guiding principle: The purpose of these practice directions is to alleviate the financial burden of litigants and their counsel when filing processes affected by the period of the JUSUN strike.

“Applicability: These practice directions shall, save to the extent and as may otherwise be ordered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, apply to computation of time for the purposes of filing of processes and payment of default fees or doing any act or taking any step that is time-bound in respect of any case before th Supreme Court in both civil and criminal matters affected by the JUSUN strike.

“Computation of time and payment of default fees: Notwithstanding any provision in the Supreme Court Rules, 1985, or any previous practice directions or instrument on computation of time for filling of. court processes or doing any act or taking any step as provided by the Rules or the Practice Directions or the Instrument and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period of the JUSUN stnke, starting from the 6th April, 2021 to the 14th June, 2021 shall be exempted.

“Citation: These practice directions shall be cited as the Supreme Court of Nigeria Computation of Time and Payment of Default Fees (JUSUN) strike period exemption) Practice Directions, 2021, made at Abuja June 15, 2021.”

NAN

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Judiciary

Couple in court for allegedly stabbing neighbours

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By Gistflash

June 16, 2021

Chidi Ucheonye, 38, and his wife, Chioma, 36, on Wednesday appeared in Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ado-Ekiti for allegedly stabbing their neighbours with a knife.
The police charged the couple with of breach of peace and assault.
The Prosecutor, Insp Johnson Okunade, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on June 13 at about 8.30 p.m in Ado-Ekiti.
Okunade alleged the defendants stabbed their neighbour Rabiu Aliu and his wife, Bukola.
The prosecution also alleged that the defendants conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by pouring a liquid, suspected to be a”spiritual concoction” into the house of Aliu and his wife.
The offence, he said, contravenes  the provisions of sections 249(d) and 355 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
The prosecutor asked the court for an adjournment to enable him study the case file and present his witnesses.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
Their counsel, Mr Abiola Gboyega, prayed the court to grant the defendants bail in the most liberal terms.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Adedayo Oyebanji, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N50,000 and one surety each in like sum.
He adjourned the case until July 15 for hearing.
NAN

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Judiciary

Forex trader in court for allegedly defrauding POS operator

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By Gistflash

June 16, 2021

A foreign exchange trader, Bulama Abba, on Wednesday appeared in an Upper Area Court in Zuba, FCT,for allegedly defrauding a POS operator of N70,000.

The police charged Abba with criminal conspiracy and cheating.

The Prosecution Counsel, Chinedu Ogada, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on May 25 , at 10 a.m. at Tasha II,  Abuja.

Ogada told the court that the complainant Joy Abalaka a POS operator in Tasha II, Abuja, reported the matter at the Gwagwa police station on June 6.

He said that the defendant and one Yahaya Mohamned  criminally conspired and defrauded the complainant of N70,000

He said the complainant gave the defendant 70, 000 cash  but till date her account has not been credited with the said amount.

Ogada said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 97 and 322 of the Penal Code.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The judge, Garmbo  Garub, admitted Abba  to bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety in like sum.

He ordered that the surety must own a land or house within the court jurisdiction.

Garub adjourned the case until July 7 for hearing.

NAN

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