The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed

The previous year 2015 had many legal landmarks. In today’s edition, we present some of the major events that will shape the country’s judiciary and enrich its jurisprudence in the year 2016.

N2.1bn arms deal: Former PDP chairman Haliru to face trial
The Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bello Haliru and his son Bello Abba Mohammed are expected to face trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja following a four-count charges by the EFCC.

Trial of Nyako, Lamido, Ohakim continues

The EFCC will on January 26 continue the trial of former Governor of Imo State Ikedi Ohakim on charges of concealment of properties. Also the trial of former governors of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako; and Jigawa Sule Lamido in separate courts of the Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of money laundering will continue. Nyako was charged with his son and two aides and five companies, while Lamido was charged with his two sons. All the accused persons are on bail.

Trial of former NIMASA boss Akpokolemi begins
On January 29, a Federal High Court in Lagos will hear N3.4billion fraud case involving the former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi and nine others.

Supreme Court rules on Rev. King’s murder case
Nigerians are waiting for the outcome of the judgement of Supreme Court in the appeal by the General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, a.k.a Reverend King, which is coming up on February 26. King is challenging the judgment of a Lagos High Court, which sentenced him to death by hanging.
The Apex Court, presided over by Justice Walter Onoghen, adjourned for judgment after hearing arguments from prosecution and defence counsel.

EFCC fresh probe on Dokpesi AIT owner
The founder of Daar Communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi was on December 9 arraigned and remanded in EFCC custody over allegations of receiving the sum of N2.1 billion for publicity through the office of the NSA. Dokpesi was eventually granted bail of N400 million. But EFCC in its objection to the bail, revealed fresh probe of his receipt of the sum of N8bn FIFA Under-17 TV rights funds. The case is commencing on February 2.

Building collapse: T.B. Joshua appeals coroner’s summons
The Appeal Court Lagos Division will decide the appeal by the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Temitope Joshua following his appeal on the verdict of a Lagos High Court dismissing his objection to the summons by a Coroner’s Inquest over the collapse of a six-storey building in his church premises on September 12, 2014 which resulted in the death of 166 people.

N2.1bn arms deal: Dasuki, Bafarawa trial continues Feb 2
The trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Col. Sambo Dasuki and others in two separate courts of the FCT High Court on allegations of diversion of N2.1 billion arms funds will continue on February 2. Those arraigned with him in the first charge are: Shuaibu Salisu, a Finance Director in the NSA ‎office, Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former GED in NNPC, Acacia Holdings Ltd, and Reliance Reference Hospital. In the second 22-counts charge, those also arraigned are: Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto State, his son Sagir Attahiru; Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of Finance; ‎Dalhatu Investment Ltd, a company owned by Sagir and Shuaibu Salisu, a former director of Finance in the office of the NSA.

MTN action against FG over N1.4trn fine
In February, a Federal High Court in Lagos will hear a suit against Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) challenging the imposition of N1.4 trillion fine on MTN.

DSS continues Ogwuche’s trial
The Department of State Services (DSS)will continue the terrorism against Sadiq Ogwuche, the alleged mastermind of the April 14, 2014 Nyanya Abuja motor park bombing and seven others before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

EFCC continues Oronsaye’s trial for alleged biometric scam
The EFCC on July 12 arraigned former Head of Service, Stephen Oronsaye on 24 count-charges of money laundering and fraud in the biometric enrolment contract for civil servants in the country. He pleaded not guilty and has since been granted bail. His trial will continue in 2016.

Appeal Court decides on election in 30 Lagos LGs
After a High Court in Lagos on October 22 ordered the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct election in all the Local Government Areas of the state within 30 days, the state government went to the Appeal Court to challenge the judgement. Justice Abdulfatai Lawal, in the suit by National Conscience Party (NCP) had declared the appointment of caretaker committees as unconstitutional.

What happens in FG’s illegal arms case against Dasuki?
Following an application by the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to vacate the bail and medical leave granted former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki in 2015, how will the case go? Dasuki is facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering before Justice Adeniyi Ademola. Dasuki’s home was under siege despite the orders made by the judge.

Election Petitions reach Supreme Court
Following the decisions of the governorship election petitions tribunals and the Appeal Court in the cases against the election of Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Darius ishaku of Taraba, and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, the cases are now before the Supreme Court to determine. How they go will unfold this year.

Some of the cases of legislatures also decided by both the election petitions tribunals and the Appeal Courts will also be decided by the Supreme Court.

Kanu’s fate dicey after rejecting judge
The fate of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu in the judiciary remains uncertain. On December 23, Kanu, who was earlier discharged by a Magistrate Court and Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of belonging to an illegal society, refused to be arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High in Abuja on fresh terrorism charges the grounds that it’s a perversion of justice. He was returned to DSS detention.

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