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Court orders CBN to pay German N63.7m for wrongful arrest by NIS

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Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to pay a German, Martin Gegenheimer N63.7 million and $10,000 awarded against the Nigerian Government for his unlawful arrest and detention by the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS.

In a ruling on Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the CBN to deduct the amount from Federal Government’s funds in its custody to settle the debt which arose from a 2021 judgment given against Nigeria by the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

Justice Ekwo rejected CBN’s claim that the Federal Government’s foreign exchange accounts are currently in deficit, thereby making it impossible to pay the entire judgment sum.

The ruling was on a garnishee proceeding, marked: FHC/ABJ/NJR/M/3/2022 filed and prosecuted for Gegenheimer by his lawyer, Daniel Makolo, to enforce the judgment of the ECOWAS Court delivered on March 4, 2021.

Justice Ekwo agreed with Makolo that, as against the contention by the CBN, ECOWAS Court’s judgments do not qualify as foreign judgement in the strict sense of it and could be enforced by Nigerian courts.

The judge said: “Upon a keen perusal of the provisions of the Foreign Judgments Reciprocal Enforcement (FJRE) Act 2004 it cannot be said that the judgement sought to be enforced in this case, is stricto sensu (in the strict sense) a foreign judgement.

“I agree with the learned counsel for the judgement creditor (Makolo) that, by Article 15 of the Reviewed Treaty of ECOWAS, and Article 24 of the 2005 Supplementary Protocol (which amended the 1991 Protocol), the judgement of ECOWAS Court can be registered and enforced in Nigeria by this court without referring to it as a foreign judgement, in the same manner that the judgement of any other court in Nigeria can be registered and enforced in this court.”

Justice Ekwo proceeded to make absolute, the garnishee order nisi he earlier issued against the CBN.

The German, who said he visited Nigeria on a business trip, stated that while returning to Kenya on 23rd February 2020, he was stopped by men of the Nigerian Immigration Service at the boarding gate of the Kenya Airways aircraft after all necessary departure formalities were completed.

He said the NIS officials arrested him, seized his passport and detained him in a jam-packed detention cell between February 23, 2020 and March 4, 2020, despite the COVID-19 protocol and without acceptable food as well as medical care.

He subsequently challenged his arrest and detention before the ECOWAS Court, in a suit marked: ECW/CCJ/APP/23/2020.

In the March 4, 2021 judgment, a three-member panel of the sub-regional court, presided over by the court’s President, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, declared Gegenheimer’s arrest and detention illegal.

The court ordered the Nigerian Government to pay him N53,650,925 as special damages for various losses suffered and costs incurred while under unlawful arrest and detention by the NIS.

The costs, the court said, relate mainly to hotel expenses incurred by the German while under forced detention by agents of the Nigerian Government.

The court further ordered the Nigerian Government to pay him another N10 million in general damages as reparation for all violations and moral prejudice suffered for the violation of his rights, and additional $10,000 being the expenditure incurred by the applicant to secure his bail.

The ECOWAS Court equally ordered the Nigerian Government to remove the German from its watch list and to immediately and unconditionally release his German passport, which was “arbitrarily and unlawfully” seized by agents of the Nigerian Government.

Crime

UNN lecturer caught pants down inside office with student

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A lecturer of University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, has been caught pants down inside his office with a female student.

The man whose name is yet to be ascertained by newsmen is said to be a lecturer in the School of General Studies of the institution.

The victim is alleged to be someone’s wife.

A voice in the viral video said: “We have been following this case from day one. As you can see we have all the chats, voice notes, videos and everything.”

Commenting under the video, a student identified the man in the video, claiming he taught him Peace and Conflict, a course under General Studies, during his time in UNN.

He said: “That is my lecturer in UNN, he taught us Peace and Conflict under GS in my time. We called him or rather, he called himself “The Short Man.” He was very strict with us in class. It’s unfortunate that he was involved in this.”

Another source said: “When he wants to sleep with someone’s wife? Well, it was planned by her husband, UNN security with some students. Even when the lady offered him money he refused. Well, with this, if he still remains, he will never try that again”.

When contacted to speak on the matter, the Public Relations Officer of the institution said he was yet to see the video.

He said he would investigate to find out if it’s true.

Meanwhile, a lecturer, who sought to remain anonymous identified the location of where the incident happened as a GS building. He, however, said he couldn’t disclose the name of the man in the video.

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Crime

Justice served: Two defendants await sentence for motorcycle theft

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In a recent case brought before the Magistrates’ Court in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, the wheels of justice turned decisively as two individuals, John Simon and Yusuf Nikie, found themselves facing the weight of the law for their involvement in the theft of a motorcycle. Their guilty pleas echoed through the courtroom, leading Magistrate Michael Bawa to order their remand in a correctional facility pending further proceedings, with the final judgment slated for May 2.

Simon and Nikie stood accused by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, charged on two counts: conspiracy and theft. The narrative unfolded as Prosecutor Marcus Audu presented the facts to the court. According to Audu, the saga began when Tanko Umaru, the aggrieved party, filed a report at the corps’ office in Kafanchan on April 13, detailing the disturbing incident.

The prosecution outlined the sequence of events, alleging that the defendants brazenly entered Umaru’s residence in Bakin Kogi and absconded with his prized possession—an emblem of mobility and livelihood—a Bajaj motorcycle. Yet, their scheme was thwarted as the long arm of the law swiftly intervened. The diligent efforts of law enforcement culminated in the apprehension of Simon and Nikie during the investigative process, with the stolen motorcycle discovered in their possession, serving as damning evidence against them.

The gravity of their actions was underscored by the legal framework within which they operated. Audu emphasized that Simon and Nikie had transgressed against the provisions outlined in Sections 58 and 270 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, reflecting the severity of their offenses under the jurisdiction of the court.

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Lagos trader jailed 5 years for receiving N2.19m stolen property

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An Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on Monday sentenced a 22-year-old trader, Mohammed Abdulhamid, to five years imprisonment for receiving stolen property worth N2.19 million.

The convict who resides in Ayobo area, Lagos, had pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

The Magistrate, Mrs O. O. Fagbohun, sentenced the convict to Kirikiri Correctional Centre without an option of fine.

Fagbohun noted that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Felicia Okwori, told the court that the offences were committed between June  2023 at 56, Captain Davies Road, Ayobo, Lagos.

Okwori said the convict received stolen property from one Mohammed Awalu, security guard to the complainant, Mrs Omolola Idowu.

She disclosed that Awalu is currently serving his jail term on the same offences.

She added that the convict and others still at large stole the complainant’s property when she travelled.

The prosecutor listed the stolen property to include two gates valued at N540,000, window protectors worth N870,000 and a power generator worth N300,000.

She listed other stolen items as ceiling fan worth N25,000, gas cooker N375,000, and a pumping machine valued at N85,000, all totalling N2.19 million.

According to the prosecutor, the offences contravene Sections 328 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015

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