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Green Energy: Court insists on peace talk, charges parties

By Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja has directed two aggrieved directors of Green Energy International Limited and its Chairman, Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe, to explore out-of-court settlement in the matter brought before it. Justice Bolaji Olajuwon gave the directive at the resumed hearing on Monday.

This medium recalls that the directors, Dr Bunu Alibe and Mr Ayodele Olojede, have locked horns in a legal battle with Adegbulugbe over the ownership of the oil and gas company.

While Alibe and Olojede are the petitioners in suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1390/2020, Green Energy International Limited is the respondent in the matter.

At the Monday proceedings, counsel to the respondent, Bembella Anichebe, SAN, informed the court that he filed a motion by notice of withdrawal on March 3.

“The said motion by notice of withdrawal supersedes the earlier motion. The processes have been filed and we are ready to proceed,” he said.

Olajuwon then asked Anichebe what the development was after her advice on the last adjourned date that the parties should work toward reconciliation.

She said on Thursday, Vincent Ohor, who held the brief of Etigwe Uwa, SAN, counsel to the two directors, told the court that the first peace move broke down because what was offered to Alibe and Olojede was unacceptable.

The judge recalled telling Ohor to tell their clients to open up on the terms of settlement they wanted.

Olajuwon asked Anichebe if there had been any headway since the last adjourned date.

The senior lawyer said that he spoke with Uwa, counsel to the directors, with a view to meeting and reviewing the earlier meeting held.

Earlier, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who was presiding before she was transfered to Calabar Division of the court, had given the parties the leave to explore reconciliation option.

Anichebe told the court that he and Uwa could not meet physically and only spoke on phone on the matter.

Responding, Uwa confirmed that the two counsel spoke on telephone after the last sitting.

“It is also correct that we tried to meet but when I called the learned silk, he was in a meeting,” he said.

He said though they had planned to meet last week, he could not come to court.

“If I had come to court, we would have spoken. And now, we could not meet till the proceeding began,” he said.

Uwa, however, restated the commitment of his clients to settling the issue.

He said being oil assets involved, the figure the other party offered to give his clients was almost two per cent which he considered too low.

“So to that extent. it is not my attitude to fight unnecessarily.

“The only reason we could not settle last time was that the valuation they came with was so low,” he said

Uwa, who said since the case was an oil-related matter, there are specific laws that guide the sector and called for independent valuers to do an evaluation.

He then asked that in order to explore the opportunity given by the court, the day’s proceeding should be put off.

The judge has therefore given the parties the last chance to explore out-of-court settlement

Meanwhile, the presiding Judge has fixed March 23 for report of settlement.

17.55Kg Cocaine saga: Kyari deserves no bail, NDLEA tells court

By Olalekan Awojodu
Abuja

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High court in Abuja has again adjourned ruling on the bail application filed by the former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Commander of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Force Intelligence Bureau, Nigerian Police Force, DCP Abba Kyari and his co- defendants to March 28, 2022

The court fixed the date on Monday after taking arguments of both the prosecution counsel and the defendants.

The presiding Judge, Justice Nwite has subsequently ordered that Abba Kyari and his co-defendants be further remanded in the detention facility  of the NDLEA till the adjourned date.

In his bail application which was moved by Mr Mahmud Magaji, SAN,
Abba Kyari pleaded the court to grant him bail on Liberal conditions, stating that the charges against him were bail able offences.

Lead counsel hired by the former DCP, former Attorney-General of the Federation, Kanu Agabi, SAN led four other SANs argued that the Constitution stated that he must be accorded every facility to adequately prepare for his defence.

He cited Sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as Section 164 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015 in his arguments.

Abba Kyari referencing the amended 1999 Constitution, prayed the court to use it’s powers as given in the constitution to handle his matter with favour

However, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) in a 21 paragraph counter affidavit argued that kyari should be denied bail as he posed a flight risk and could be unavailable for trial if granted bail

Justice Nwite adopted the counter-affidavit presented by Mr Joseph Sunday, the NDLEA Director, Prosecution & legal services, who argued that kyari has the capacity to interfere with witnesses if granted bail

The other Defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022, were four former members of the Police IRT, ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu, as well as two drug traffickers that were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Chibunna Patrick Umeibe and Emeka Alphonsus Ezenwanne

The 2nd, 4th and 5th Defendants, through their respective lawyers, pleaded with the court to grant them bail pending the determination of the case against them while the 3rd Defendant, applied for time to respond to a counter-affidavit the NDLEA filed in opposition to his bail request.

The NDLEA urged the court to deny all of the Defendants bail request and instead, accelerate hearing of the case.

The two drug traffickers, Umeibe 6th defendant and Ezenwanne 7th defendant already pled guilty to the crime they were charged for on the 7th of March, 2022 and Following an application by the NDLEA, Justice Nwite, fixed March 28 for the review of the facts of the case before sentencing the two Defendants

The other Defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022, were four former members of the Police IRT, ACP Sunday J. Ubia, ASP Bawa James, Insp. Simon Agirigba and Insp. John Nuhu, who were the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants respectively

NDLEA, said it was no longer willing to retain the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants in its custody due to their unruly behaviour as they were causing a lot of disturbances and they do not wish to keep them in their custody any further except they take an undertaking to be of good behaviour

To retain their clients in the NDLEA custody, lawyers to the three Defendants, took turns to take an undertaking before the court, pledging that their clients would be of good behaviour onwards

Justice Nwite warned that all three Defendants would be moved to Correctional facility if any unruly behavior complaints should  come to him again about them

Suspended DCP Abba Kyari and four other police officers who are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Defendants in the case were said to have unlawfully tampered with 21.25kg worth of cocaine that were seized from the two apprehended drug traffickers, Umeibe and Ezenwanne.

Kyari and his police  counterparts were said to have committed the offence between January 19 and 25, 2022, at the office of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) IRT, Abuja, together with one ASP John Umoru (now at large), contrary to section 14(b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Kyari was said to have attempted to bribe a senior officer of the NDLEA with $61, 400. 00 at a restaurant in Abuja to prevent the testing of part of the cocaine that was seized from the two arrested drug pushers.

While the NDLEA alleged that Umeibe and Ezenwanne, conspired with one IK who is currently at large, to import 21.35kg of cocaine into the country without lawful authority and knowingly possessed same, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11(d) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

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