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My husband attempted to pour acid on me – Woman tells court

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Tawakalitu Olayiwola, an Ibadan-based trader, on Wednesday, asked a Mapo Grade A Customary Court in Ibadan to dissolve her 20-year-old marriage on the grounds of theft and battery.

Olayiwola said that she decided to call it quits with her husband, Ganiu Olayiwola because her life was under threat due to constant high blood pressure.

She said that Ganiu had been battering her since 2003 at any slightest provocation.

“He even attempted pouring acid on me, and this is the reason why I became hypertensive.

“Ganiu had never been a responsible husband to me and father to our three children.

“My Lord, he usually gives the three children and me N1,000 as feeding allowance for six months.

“Due to his lack of care, I worked very hard to keep the home going, especially the children, but Ganiu was unhappy with me.’’

She said, “in fact, I started denying him sexual intercourse because I used to be too tired when he made advances to me at night.

“As a result, he labelled me an adulterer and unleashed mayhem on me.”

Olayiwola further explained how her husband stole her television, money and mobile phone.

“I got Ganiu arrested by the police, and he was interrogated for stealing some of my property, but he denied it.

“However, I saw the same mobile phone he denied stealing with him when we got home from the police station.

“Ganiu has become a bad influence on our first child because the latter now displays his bad character,” she added.

The respondent, who did not oppose the suit, however, conceded that he truly beats his wife for constantly returning home late in the night.

“I was patient with Tawakalitu and warned her for three years, but she remained a disobedient wife.

“In fact, if she feels like discontinuing with me, Olayiwola is free,” Ganiu said.

In his judgment, the court’s President, Mrs S.M. Akintayo, held that there was no marriage to be dissolved in the first place between Olayiwola and Ganiu.

Akintayo explained there was no valid customary marriage between them based on the evidence available to the court.

She awarded custody of the three children in the union to the petitioner and ordered the respondent to take up the responsibility of feeding, schooling and medical needs of the children.

The president also gave an order restraining Ganiu from harassing, intimidating and interfering with the personal life of Olayiwola.

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Judiciary

S’Court ruling :LG chairmen no longer have excuse for non-performance — IPAC

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The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Lagos State says there is no more excuse for non-performance by  local government chairmen with the Supreme Court’s ruling on local government autonomy.

The State IPAC Chairperson, Mrs Temilola Akinade, said this in an interview.

The Apex Court on Thursday ruled in favour of full  financial autonomy for  the 774 local government councils in the country.

In the landmark judgment, the court ordered the Federal Government to immediately start  direct payment of local governments’ funds to the councils’ exclusive accounts.

Reading the lead judgment, Justice Emmanuel Agim decried  the decades-long refusal of  state governments to allow  financial autonomy for local governments in their respective states.

Justice Agim noted that the 774 local government councils in the country,constitutionally,  should have the freedom to manage their funds themselves.

Reacting , Akinade, who noted that President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to LG autonomy was commendable ,said the verdict would ensure delivery of more dividends of democracy to people at the grassroots.

Akinade said: “That is the best way to go .Our expectation now is that LGs having full autonomy will help the council chairmen to do more in the various local government areas.

“If they do not see this autonomy as a way of  enriching themselves the more,it is expected they will do more to impact the people.

“It is high time the citizens questioned their council leaderships on how they spend resources meant for them.

“With this, I don’t think there should be  more  stories  by  local government chairmen. They need to do more for the people.”

The IPAC boss commended the President for  approaching the Supreme Court to ensure   councils  have autonomy.

The ruling followed  a legal action instituted by the Federal Government  against the governors of the 36 states of the federation at the Supreme Court over what it called their interference in the administration of local councils in their respective states.

The suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, sought  full autonomy for all local government councils  in the country.

In the  suit, the Federal Government specifically prayed the court to issue an order, prohibiting state governors from embarking on unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders.

The suit also asked for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the Federation Account, in line with the provisions of the constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

FG also prayed the Supreme Court for an order stopping governors from further constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

It equally applied for an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the federation account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.

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Judiciary

Nigerian Governors lose as supreme court rules on local government autonomy

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By Matthew Denis

The Supreme Court has declared it unconstitutional for state governors to withhold funds meant for Local Government (LG) administrations.

In a ruling on Thursday, 11 July, 2024, Justice Emmanuel Agim stated that LG allocations from the Federation Account should henceforth be paid directly to the local governments.

The court’s decision follows a longstanding issue where state governors have refused to grant financial autonomy to local governments, effectively withholding funds intended for them.

Justice Agim said that all 774 local government areas (LAG) in Nigeria must manage their own finances independently.

The ruling dismissed preliminary objections from the state governors, backing the suit filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef
Fagbemi. The Federal Government’s suit sought to prevent governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils, among other issues.

Justice Agim asserted the AGF’s right to protect the constitution by instituting the suit, ultimately directing that LG allocations should be disbursed directly from the Federation Account.

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Judiciary

Judge who freed Emefiele from DSS detention, 21 others inaugurated as Appeal Court Justices.

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By Matthew Denis

On Wednesday, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who had on January 8 this year voided the detention of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and ordered his release was among 21 others judges that were inaugurated as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.0

The Judge who also imposed N100M fine on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for detaining Emefiele beyond the period allowed by law was sworn in to Appeal Court bench along with 21 others by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

Justice Adeniyi had on January 8 barred the federal government and any of its agencies, notwithstanding Emefiele’s current trial, from re-arresting, detaining and harassing him over any alleged offence without first obtaining a warrant of arrest from a court of competent jurisdiction.

The judge had issued the order after declaring the detention of Emefiele for over five months by the Department of State Service (DSS) and EFCC as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

At the inauguration ceremony performed at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the CJN charged the new Justices to be upright in their justice delivery to Nigerians without fear or favour.

The CJN said ‘My Lords, you have just taken the oath to pledge your allegiance to the dictates of the Almighty God and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is a solemn pledge and commitment to good conduct in the course of your adjudication, especially as senior judicial officers in the appellate court.

‘The number of Justices that we have just sworn-in today is quite unprecedented in the recent history of the Court of Appeal. The last time we had a large number like this was on Monday, 28 June, 2021, when 18 Justices were sworn-in. That was preceded by that of Monday, 5th November,2012 when 12 Justices were inaugurated.

“Today’s ceremony is an indication of the perilous times that we are currently in, which has resulted in an upsurge in litigation.

“Several unfathomable crimes are being committed in the country, aside from the usual political matters that have made litigations to go on alarming rise.

“No Court in the land is spared of this litigation deluge, as it were. We are constantly on our toes and the dockets are ever increasing in response tO the challenges of the time.

“This underscores the Tact that Nigeria is fast emerging as a frontline crime-infested country that we all have to urgently curtall.

“The enormous task of cleaning the Augean stable rests squarely on Your Lordships. So, you must hastily fasten your belt and roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on. In other words, you should hit the ground speeding at a supersonic velocity; and not just running.

“You must redouble your pace to catch up with the expectations of the sprawling community of litigants. As judicial officers, you have a divine mandate on earth that you must discharge with unveiled honesty and sincerity. You must give good account of yourselves to justity your elevation to the Court ot Appeal.

“In the next couple of months, we shall be having two governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, respectively. As usual, the Courts will be besieged with Plethora of petitions. It is our statutory duty to hear all matters that come before us and adjudicate according to the laws of the land.

“We must not falter; and we must not tread the path of infamy. Yes, it is true that we cannot please everyone through our actions and work, but with the right application of the law and the Constitution of the land, which we all have collectively pledged to uphold, we can go a long way to do those things that our conscience will be very proud ot; and the generality of the Nigerian citizens will equally be happy about.

“Every position we attain in life always avails us that unique opportunity to do something novel and impactful, especially if there was any previous act of wrongdoing or misapplication of discretion.

“With Your Lordships’ elevation to the higher Bench today, you have to be very mindful of the enormous confidence the public is now reposing in you vis-a-vis theis expectations.

“Like we often say, to whom much Is siven, much is expected. Your Lordships must not rest on your oars, as the onus now lies more heavily on you to discharge your judicial duties more dispassionately, discretionally, and transparently.

“So, you must, individually and collectively, guide your loins to do more to earn lasting trust and integrity. Your conduct and disposition must tally with the yearnings and aspirations of the generality of the citizenry.

“I have made it known at different fora that we have been treated to an unpalatable cocktail ot misleading and conflicting judgments as well as trivolous interlocutory orders emanating from courts of coordinate jurisdictions, which have literally attempted to make a mockery of our judicial system and flagrantly desecrate the revered Temple of Justice.

“Several cases of such abound across the length and breadth of the country. This is, largely, an embarrassment to our jurisprudence, and we win never handle it with levity. Punitive measures must detinitely be meted out to such erring Judges.

“We have already activated the process of reining-in such errant Judges with a view to making them face the consequence of their despicable and odious conduct.

“As Judicial Officers, we have to continually remind Ourselves the fact that we are not occupying our respective positions to serve ourselves, but the Nigerian masses; and the best way we can serve them is by doing what will make them feel safe in our hands and also trust us to always deliver the right judgments that will not be tainted by sentiments, emotions or other clandestine considerations.
congratulate

“Your Lordships for making the list and wish you the best that you can achieve in this strategic position you now occupy”, the CJN said.

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