Democracy Day: Protest begins in Lagos amid tight security (Photos) – Newstrends
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Democracy Day: Protest begins in Lagos amid tight security (Photos)

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Democracy Day: Protest begins in Lagos amid tight security (Photos)

Protesters, on Wednesday morning, stormed the Ikeja Underbridge in Lagos as the country marks the 2024 Democracy Day.

There is, however, a heavy security presence, as policemen and officials of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps are sighted at the venue.

Protest begins in Lagos

The protesters, in their number, chanted solidarity songs as they wielded placards and banners.

Some of the placards had inscriptions like: ‘President Tinubu, let the poor breathe’, ‘For another general strike with mass protest now’, ‘Payment of living wage to all Nigerian workers now.”

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PUNCH Online reports that some civil society groups, including the Take It Back Movement, the Education Rights Campaign, the Coalition for Revolution and the Socialist Workers League, are spearheading the protest.

Democracy Day: Protest begins in Lagos amid tight security (Photos)

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Another Chibok girl rescued with two children

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Another Chibok girl rescued with two children

The joint task force in the Northeast, Operation Hadin Kai, has rescued another Chibok girl from Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

Theatre Commander, Maj General Waheed Shuaibu, made this known while handing her and her two children over to the Borno State Government at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri on Monday.

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According to him, Ehi Abdul, 27, was married to a notorious terrorist, Abu Dada who abandoned her in Gwoza in 2014 and fled to Senegal.

Ehi and her two children were rescued by sector one of Operation Hadin Kai in Sambisa forest during an operation.

Another Chibok girl rescued with two children

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Abuja property: Court strikes out Abacha family’s N500m suit

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Abuja property: Court strikes out Abacha family’s N500m suit

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit instituted against the federal government by the family of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, challenging the revocation of the property of the former military ruler located in the Maitama District of Abuja.

Justice Peter Lifu dismissed the suit in a judgement on the case filed nine years ago in which the Abacha family members are demanding the return of their father’s mansions located at Osara Close in Maitama and N500M compensation.

In the judgment, Justice Lifu predicated the dismissal on various grounds, among which are that the suit had become statute-barred at the time it was filed in 2015 and that those who initiated the case have no locus standi (legal power) to do so.

The suit was filed by Mohammed Sani Abacha, the eldest surviving son of the former military ruler, and the widow, Hajia Maryam Abacha, on behalf of the executors of the estate of the late military general.

Listed as 1st to 4th Defendants in the suit are the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (MFCT), Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Salamed Ventures Limited.

The new dismissal of the suit marked the fourth time the family would lose legal battles on the property in court, having lost twice at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and once at the Court of Appeal in Abuja on grounds of jurisdiction.

Upon shifting the battle to the Federal High Court, the Abacha family, among others, prayed the Court to nullify and set aside the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the property of the late General Abacha.

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The grouse of the family was that the Certificate of Occupancy marked FCT/ABUKN 2478 covering Plot 3119 issued on June 25, 1993, was illegally and unlawfully revoked by the defendants on January 16, 2006, in breach of Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 28 of the Land Use Act.

In their statement of claims, the Abacha family said the FCT under Nasir El-Rufai had, between 2004 and 2005, instructed them to submit the Certificate of Occupancy in their possession for re-certification.

They claimed that the 2nd plaintiff, Mohammed Sani Abacha, promptly complied with the directive by delivering the Certificate of Occupancy to the FCDA, and an acknowledgement copy was issued to him.

While waiting for a new Certificate of Occupancy to be issued to them, the plaintiffs asserted that Mohammed Abacha received a letter on February 3, 2006, notifying them that the Certificate of Occupancy had been revoked without any reason adduced in the letter.

Besides the failure to give any reason for the revocation, the Abacha family alleged that adequate compensation was not paid.

The family, therefore, asked Justice Lifu to declare as unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, null, and void, the revocation of the property and also sought an order setting aside the revocation and holding that their Certificate of Occupancy is valid and subsisting.

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The plaintiffs asked for an order of injunction prohibiting the defendants from taking any further steps on the disputed property and to also compel the defendants to pay them N500M as damages.

However, the defendants, in their separate counter-affidavits and preliminary objections, asked for the outright dismissal of the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2016.

Specifically, the 4th defendant, Salamed Ventures Limited, represented by James Ogwu Onoja SAN, argued that the suit, at the time it was instituted, had become statute-barred, having not been filed within three months of the cause of action allowed by law and thus, robbed the court of jurisdiction.

Onoja SAN submitted that the suit was caught by the provisions of the Public Officers Protection Act and had become a mere academic exercise and asked the Judge to dismiss it for being frivolous and lacking in merit.

The senior lawyer said that Salamed Ventures Limited became the owners of the disputed property upon its purchase from the federal government at N595M and issuance of Certificate of Occupancy number 181dw-3adcz-721r-15a8-10 of May 25, 2011.

In his judgment, Justice Lifu agreed with Onoja SAN that the cause of action arose on February 3, 2006, when the Certificate of Occupancy was revoked, while the case was filed in May 2015, years after the revocation and far more than three months it ought to have been filed.

Besides, the judge held that the plaintiffs lacked locus standi to file the case upon their failure to present as exhibits their letters of administration to the estate as required by law and as proof of their claim as the administrators.

Justice Lifu also agreed with Salamed Ventures that the Abacha property was lawfully revoked upon breaches in the covenants in the Right of Occupancy by erecting structures without first obtaining building plans.

The judge then dismissed the suit and ordered the Abacha family to pay Salamed Ventures N500,000 as the cost of litigation.

(DailyPost)

Abuja property: Court strikes out Abacha family’s N500m suit

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A’Court upholds death penalty passed on Dane who killed Nigerian wife, daughter

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A’Court upholds death penalty passed on Dane who killed Nigerian wife, daughter

The Appeal Court Lagos Division has affirmed the death penalty handed to Denmark national, Peter Nielsen, for killing his Nigerian wife, Zainab and daughter, Petra Nielsen.

The appellate court dismissed Nielsen’s appeal for lack of merit and upheld his conviction by the trial court.

During court proceedings on Friday, Mr Adebayo Haroun, leading Jubril Kareem, announced his appearance for the respondent, while Mr A.D Taiwo Nsirim with Tochukwu Amaefule, appeared for the appellant.

Delivering the judgment, the appeal court held that the respondent (Lagos State) proved the offence of murder against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

It resolved the appeal in favour of the respondent and dismissed the appellant’s case.

The appellate court held, “The corroborative evidence of DNA also strengthened the circumstantial evidence against the appellant.

“There was no proof of breaking into the apartment as suggested by the appellant.

“The missing exhibits as a result of the #EndSARS attack on the court do not affect the defence of the appellant as he had ample opportunity before the attack on the court. The findings of the forensic examiner corroborate the evidence of the children.”

Nielsen was found guilty and convicted of the murder of Zainab and Petra, by Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile,(retd.), of the Lagos State High Court, at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

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Okikiolu-Ighile, in her judgment delivered on May 20, 2022, held that Nielsen smothered Zainab and Petra Nielsen to death.

She ruled, “He was the one who killed Zainab, and Petra Nielsen. Zainab had already predicted her death when she told their driver that this man would kill her. She told her stepfather, Chris Madaki, when she went to Abuja that this man would kill her.”

The judge also held that the evidence of the sixth prosecution witness (PW6) that on April 5, 2018, at 4:10 am, she saw Peter Nielsen beating and hitting Zainab’s head on the floor collaborated with the oral evidence of Prof John Obafunwa (PW4).

She held that Prosecution Witnesses (PW5 and PW6) testified that they heard Zainab calling Mimi (one of the girls living with the couple) for help and they heard Zainab telling Nielsen to check her phone but he kept hitting her head.

“The act of Nielsen shows that he suffocated his wife and daughter.

“Nielsen has always domestically abused his wife which was shown in the police extract from the Ikoyi Police Station.

“She didn’t know that her marriage to the convict was void abi nitio because Peter was already married in Denmark.

However, on the issue of the nightgown worn by Zainab on the night she died, the judge expunged the evidence.

She said that the pathologist who analysed the DNA on the nightgown was thoroughly examined and cross-examined by the defence.

The judge, however, said that on October 20, 2020, the High Court of Lagos was vandalised and burnt, during the #EndSARS protest which affected the nightgown, a jumpsuit, towel and pants worn by Zainab and Petra.

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The judge, however, said that the contention of the convict was not for cross-examination but for them to take the items for DNA examination for their case.

“It is trite law that all documentary evidence must be scrutinised but the defence argued that the convict didn’t have the opportunity to produce his examination.

“The defence made an application to expunge such items from the evidence.

“I have considered the application, exhibits, PWN (Zainab’s nightgown, Petra’s jumpsuit, towel and pants) is hereby expunged,” she said.

But dissatisfied with the judgment Nielsen approached the appeal court to challenge his conviction.

Nielsen was arraigned on June 13, 2018, on two counts of murder.

He pleaded not guilty, to the two counts of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, following which trial commenced.

The Lagos State Government accused Nielsen, now 57, of smothering Zainab and their daughter Petra Nielsen, to death at about 3:45 am, on April 5, 2018, at No. 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Tower, Banana Island, Ikoyi.

When the trial commenced, the prosecution called nine witnesses and closed their case on September 20, 2019.

The defence opened its case and also called nine witnesses with the convict as the ninth witness.

A’Court upholds death penalty passed on Dane who killed Nigerian wife, daughter

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