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Legal Status of Nullified Order of Arrest

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Legal Status of Nullified Order of Arrest

Legal Status of Nullified Order of Arrest

 

 

 

The vacation of warrants of arrest, search and commitment to prison on remand against Dr. Akintoye Akindele, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream Company Limited in suit no. CMC/MG/CR/17S/2023 by a Chief Magistrate Court in Nasarawa State sitting at Mararara Gurku is of topical interest.

 

Legal Status of Nullified Order of Arrest

 

The Inspector General of Police was the complainant in the suit. By vacating its own order, the court has provided further proof as to the robustness of the judicial system to resist attempts at pressing it into service as a tool for impunity.

There are instances where the police may arrest a person in circumstances where the arrest ought not have been made in the first instance. Such arrests may be nullified by the same court or by courts of equal jurisdiction.

The question which arises is the legal status of such nullified orders of arrest. The grounds for nullification may include defects in the jurisdiction of the court, non- disclosure and/or suppression of crucial information by the police, et cetera.

This publication seeks to lay to rest the status of the unlawful arrest by the police of such a person.

Introduction
This opinion addresses a pivotal issue:

Can a Magistrate Court in Nasarawa State, for example, lawfully issue warrants and committal orders on the bases of untrue/concealed information from the police concerning alleged offenses committed beyond the court’s jurisdiction?
And, where such orders of arrest are made but subsequently quashed, what is the legal status of the quashed order of arrest?
Jurisdictional authority of Magistrate Courts in Nasarawa State.

The bedrock of the authority of Magistrate Courts in Nasarawa State to issue arrest and search warrants is rooted in the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Nasarawa State.

This legal framework, meticulously detailed in Sections 35, 36, 143, and 144 of the ACJL Nasarawa State, provides a precise avenue through which these courts can empower law enforcement agencies to apprehend suspects and secure crucial evidence.
However, it is crucial to acknowledge the limitations stemming from the territorial jurisdiction of these courts.

For instance, the jurisdictional scope of the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Maraba-Gurku, Nasarawa State, is explicitly defined within the official gazette.

Legal Analysis of the Issue
The key issue for determination is as follows: Do Magistrate Courts possess the capability to extend their arm of authority to issue warrants for offences that transpire beyond the territorial confines of their jurisdiction? This question emanates from the bedrock of Nigerian legal principle on the doctrine of territorial jurisdiction.

The landmark case of REX V. SHODIPO 12 WACA 374 resonates adequately with the geographical limitations on jurisdiction.

Territorial Constraints on the Jurisdiction of Magistrate Courts

It is crucial to acknowledge the limitations that govern the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Court in criminal cases.

This jurisdiction is inherently restricted to the geographical scope of its corresponding state, often defined by delineations within magisterial districts where applicable.
In REX v. SHODIPO 12 WACA 374, the facts, circumstances, and rulings of the West African Court of Appeal vividly demonstrate the profound consequences of errors in jurisdiction.

In this case, an appellant arrested in Lagos for a crime committed in Ijoko, situated within the Abeokuta Magisterial District, triggered a preliminary inquiry that resulted in the appellant’s trial in the Lagos Division of the then Supreme Court.
The charge primarily revolved around fraudulent false accounting, as stipulated under Section 6 of the Criminal Code. Central to the appellant’s argument was Section 64 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, contending that the preliminary inquiry should have transpired within the Abeokuta Magisterial District, rendering the Lagos Magistrate’s proceedings null. The West African Court of Appeal concurred, establishing that the Lagos Magistrate lacked jurisdiction over the preliminary inquiry.  Consequently, all ensuing proceedings, including the Supreme Court trial, were null and void. This fundamental principle of criminal justice administration is further enriched by the 2017 reported case of MATHEW V. THE STATE (2017) LPELR-44072(CA), wherein the Court of Appeal, per FATIMA OMORO AKINBAMI, JCA underscored the essence of jurisdiction as the bedrock of adjudication: “Jurisdiction defines the power of the Court to inquire into facts, apply the law, make decisions and declare judgment. The Constitution and statutes which set up the Courts cloak them with powers and jurisdiction of adjudication which are basically substantive and procedural. Thus, where ingredients of an offence occur outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Court asked to adjudicate over the matter, such a Court will not assume jurisdiction over the offence for apparent lack of jurisdiction.” On this score, it is our opinion and as supported by the order voiding the arrest, that the magistrate, ab initio, lacked the jurisdiction to issue the warrant of arrest as none of the alleged elements of the case occurred within his jurisdiction in Nassarawa State.

Non-Disclosure and Suppression of Facts
The issue of non-disclosure of material facts by the Police to the Magistrate is fatal to the legality of the original warrant of arrest.  Complainants in criminal litigation, bear the obligation of offering forthright disclosure of facts before the court.

Where complainants, including the Police hide, distort and or obscure the facts from the Magistrate in order to secure a warrant by such deceit, there are legal consequences for such underhand tactics.

In the case of non- disclosure leading to a remand order, the complainant’s failure to disclose pivotal facts—such as the residence and business activities of both the nominal complainant and the defendant(s) casts a shadow of doubt on the veracity and legality of the proceedings.

This concealment assumes the character of a foundational flaw, jeopardizing the structural integrity of the legal process, and ultimately rendering all acts, proceedings, and orders of the court a nullity.
As upheld by the Supreme Court, per Dr. I.T. Muhammed, JSC in DINGYADI &? ANOR V. INEC & 2 ORS (No. 2) (2010) 18 NWLR (PT. 1224), where it stated:

“The law regarding the position of any judgment or order of court which is a nullity for any reason whatsoever, is that the court in its inherent jurisdiction is entitled ex debito justitiae to have that judgment or order set aside on application of an affected or aggrieved party or even suo motu by the court itself.”

The Court’s Authority to Rectify Its Own Errors
In the final analysis, the law is clear that the courts have the inherent jurisdiction to nullify warrants which it had earlier issued in error.

The case of INTERMARKET NIG. V. ADEROUNMU (1998) 12 NWLR (PT. 576) 131 AT 145 stands as a testament to the court’s ability to undo orders erected on shaky foundations.  Furthermore, the court’s capacity to set aside its own decisions upon the emergence of concealed material facts is substantiated in cases like ANAEKWE V. MASHASHA (2001) 12 NWLR (PT. 726) 70 AT 91 PARAS D-F and UNIVERSAL TRUST BANK LIMITED & ORS V. DOBMATSCH PHARMACY NIGERIA LIMITED [2008] 156 LRCN 197 AT 216 ZJJ TO 217AK. Embedded within legal doctrine is the principle that a court, upon recognizing concealed material facts that would have significantly influenced its decision, possesses the prerogative to overturn the earlier order.

The potency of concealed facts in corroding the legitimacy of proceedings is underscored by the case of BELLO OGUNDELE & ANOR V. SHITTU AGIRI & ANOR (2009) 12 SC PT 1, 135.
In this pivotal case, the court rendered the judgment of the lower court null and void due to the concealment of crucial facts.
In the words of the court: “The respondents falsely misrepresented the proceedings of Ila Native Court in Suit No HOS/1/79 by concealing the final judgment of that Court, which led to the judgment delivered by the Honorable Justice S.A Oloko in 1981. Consequently, the Judgment of the Lower Court is hereby set aside.”

Similarly, in ANAEKWE V. MASHASHA (2001) 12 NWLR (PT.726) 70, the court observed that: “This court has always the jurisdiction to set aside its own null judgment, or decision… See Chime V. Ude (1996) 7 NWLR (pt. 461) 379 at 438. Where it was held that if the court had acted under misapprehension of facts, the court had the power to set aside its own decision…”
Thus, by implication, when a court corrects its errors by setting aside a judgment or orders made, it is interpreted that such proceedings, judgment, or orders never existed– a total reversal to the circumstances prior to the order made.

In IBRAHIM v. OJONYE (2011) LPELR-3737(CA), the court held that: “It is a cardinal principle of law as submitted by the Appellant’s Counsel, that a judgment remains valid until set aside. However, it is worthy to note that a judgment can be set aside whether it has been executed upon or not. By setting aside a judgment, the said judgment becomes ineffectual and nugatory that nothing can cure it. In that circumstance, both the Court and the parties would revert to or return to their former position before the said judgment was delivered…”

Conclusion
It is evident that when a magistrate court issues orders founded upon concealed facts and pertains to offenses occurring beyond its jurisdiction, the entirety of the proceedings is rendered null and void.
Where such a nullification order has been made, the legal status of the nullified order is that it never existed in the first instance.
The subsequent nullification of such orders underscores the fact that, in the eyes of the law, those orders were as if they were never made.

Therefore, the very act of a Magistrate Court issuing these orders and warrants stands fundamentally illegal, and devoid of legal validity from its inception. As to the defendant, the pathway to seek redress from the complainant, in this case, the Inspector General of Police, for substantial reputational damages and financial losses suffered as a fallout of his detention, is wide open.  Depending on how the case plays out in court, it may become a reference point for raising standards of police transparency when seeking a warrant.

Prof. Ikechi Mgbeoji is of Blackfriars LLP, a law firm in Lagos.

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Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

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Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Remo Progressives Leaders have joined friends, family, and political associates to celebrate the Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola FCA (YAYI), as he celebrates his birthday anniversary.

 

 

 

Remo Progressives Leaders Celebrate Senator YAYI At 55

 

 

 

 

A statement made available for publication by the Group Acting Secretary, Otunba Adekunle Zaccheaus Owosina. on Thursday, July, 25 2024, read: “Happy 55th birthday anniversary to distinguished Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, YAYI.

 

 

 

“A very distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ogun West Liberator, Senate House Chairman Committee on Appropriation, the Unifier, and Leader of High Repute that is worthy of emulation, we are celebrating you based on your impact in Lagos West before ascension to Ogun West which we believe you will make Ogun state great as our Governor come 2027.”

 

 

 

“High ranking legislator, you’re indeed an exemplary to many upcoming actors in public spaces. You made politics look practical, and you simplified it as it’s not rocket science.

 

 

 

“We join leaders and families, political associates and admirers to wish you a happy birthday, long life and more prosperous years.

 

 

 

“We are indeed proud of you for a better representation of where you ascended because you have demonstrated it while with us.

 

 

 

“Once again, congratulations, sir.”

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How Adron Homes Transform Shimawa into Ogun State Premier Real Estate Hub

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How Adron Homes Transform Shimawa into Ogun State Premier Real Estate Hub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Shimawa, a once tranquil and little-known town in Ogun State, has emerged as the premier real estate location in the region, thanks to the transformative efforts of Adron Homes. This metamorphosis has redefined the town’s identity, making it a beacon of modern living and investment opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

How Adron Homes Transform Shimawa into Ogun State Premier Real Estate Hub

 

 

 

 

Adron Homes’ strategic initiatives have played a central role in Shimawa’s transformation. By developing numerous estates with state-of-the-art amenities, Adron has set new standards for residential living. These estates are equipped with modern infrastructure, including well-paved roads, reliable water supply, and efficient drainage systems, enhancing the quality of life for residents. The real estate has sold out four estates in shimawa over 10 years and is currently selling five different estates in shimawa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of Adron Homes Estates In Shimawa

 

Treasure Park and Gardens Estate Phase 2 (City of David)

 

Treasure Park and Gardens Estate Phase 3 (Capetown)

 

Treasure Park and Gardens Estate Phase 3 Extention (Jerusalem City)

 

Treasure Park and Gardens Estate Phase 4 (Jerusalem Extention)

 

Treasure Park and Gardens Estate Phase 5 (City of God)

 

 

 

 

 

Adron Homes has introduced a range of affordable housing solutions that cater to different income levels. This inclusivity has attracted a diverse population, fostering a vibrant community. The availability of affordable, yet high-quality housing options has made Shimawa an attractive destination for both first-time homebuyers and seasoned investors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The influx of new residents and businesses has spurred economic growth in Shimawa. Adron Homes’ developments have created numerous job opportunities in construction, real estate management, and ancillary services. This economic activity has not only improved the standard of living for many but has also positioned Shimawa as a hub for business and commerce in Ogun State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adron Homes’ commitment to sustainability is evident in its eco-friendly initiatives. Green spaces, parks, and recreational areas have been incorporated into the estates, promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. These efforts have not only beautified the town but have also contributed to the well-being of its residents.

 

 

Shimawa’s transformation has caught the attention of investors, both local and international. The town’s strategic location, coupled with Adron Homes’ high-quality developments, has made it a prime investment destination. This influx of investment is set to further accelerate Shimawa’s growth and development.

 

 

Adron Homes places a strong emphasis on community building. Regular events, social gatherings, and initiatives to foster a sense of community have been integral to the company’s approach. This focus on community has created a welcoming and cohesive environment, making Shimawa not just a place to live, but a place to thrive.

 

 

The transformation of Shimawa into Ogun State’s best real estate location is a testament to Adron Homes’ vision and dedication. By providing affordable housing, fostering economic growth, promoting sustainability, and building a strong community, Adron Homes has set Shimawa on a path to continued success and prosperity. As a model of modern urban development, Shimawa stands as a shining example of what strategic planning and investment can achieve.

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Corruption: The Paradox of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Nigeria

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Confusion as EFCC names ex-Kogi Gov in amended corruption allegations perpetrated before he became Governor

 

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

 

 

A proclamation by the pigs that control the government in the novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell has reared its ugly head. The sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the absolute equality of their citizens, but give power and privileges to a small elite. This nauseating development has come to fruition in one of the most discussed issues in our dear nation Nigeria where the Kano State High Court has ruled that the trial of the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, and others accused of bribery and misappropriation will continue even in their absence.

The Kano State Government, on Thursday, arraigned immediate-past governor Abdullahi Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat, son, Umar and six others for alleged $413,000 and N1.38bn bribery. The defendants, who were absent from court, were arraigned in absentia.

The Governor Abba Yusuf-led government had since April filed the charges against Ganduje and others, but efforts to serve them the charges had proved abortive. At the previous hearing on June 5, the prosecution obtained an order to serve the charges on them by substituted means, through newspaper publication.

The Kano State Government assembled 15 witnesses to testify against the defendants, immediate-past governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, his wife Hafsat Umar; Abubakar Bawuro; Umar Abdullahi Umar; Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Limited, Safari Textiles Limited, and Lasage General Enterprises Limited to face eight counts of alleged bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds amounting to billions of naira. During the last hearing on April 29, 2024, the court was set to rule on a motion for substituted service, but the defendants had not yet been served.

The charges span a series of alleged corrupt activities. Ganduje was accused of receiving $200,000 from a contractor in exchange for government contracts between January 2016 and February 2017. The second charge claims he collected an additional $213,000 as a kickback from the Kantin Kwari textile market-remodelling project.

Ruling days back, Justice Amina Adamu-Aliyu dismissed the state government’s application for a bench warrant against the defendants.

“The trial of the defendants continues even in their absence,” she stated.

It is imperative to provide jurisprudential insights herein, as the court had previously, on June 5, granted an order to serve Ganduje and the other defendants through substituted service.

The prosecution counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) informed the court that the defendants had been served, and an affidavit of service was filed on June 6.

He noted, “My lord, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th respondents are not in court nor represented, only the 6th respondent”.

Adedipe requested the court to enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of the absent defendants, citing section 278(1)(2) of the Kano State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2019.

“The court should enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendants who refused to answer the complaint in the charge,” Adedipe argued.

He also urged the court to issue a bench warrant of arrest pursuant to Section 388 of the Kano State ACJL, stressing, “The essence of an arrest warrant is for the sanctity and urgency of the court because an order has been made for the defendants to appear before it and they refused”.

However, counsel for the 6th respondent, Nureini Jimoh (SAN) contended that service had not been properly affected on his client.

“We filed a notice of preliminary objection on the competency of the entire charge. The court does not have constitutional power on any of the count charges,” Jimoh stated.

He also mentioned that an application for a stay of execution had been filed before the Court of Appeal, “restraining the prosecution from publishing any charges against the 6th respondent”.

Jimoh urged the court to dismiss the prosecution’s application for a warrant of arrest and to refrain from entering a plea of not guilty on behalf of the 6th respondent.

Justice Adamu-Aliyu has adjourned the case until October 23 and 24 for the hearing of the preliminary objection and the main charge.

This development portends grave danger in the scheme of affairs with questions begging for an answer that is the ruling party helmsman immune to scrutiny and forensic investigations by the anti-corruption body, EFCC? In hindsight, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf pontificated in public domain that his predecessor, Ganduje has a case to answer as his government will stop at nothing to bring him and his co-travellers to book over his eight-year’s tenure characterized by corruption.

It’s beyond beggar’s belief that such an infringement has been swept under the carpet, as a similar case that involves the immediate-past Kogi State governor; Yahaya Bello is hugging the headlines indefinitely. The confluence sub national entity stated earlier in public domain that GYB has no case to answer, but the EFCC states that reverse is the case.

The Governor in his reaction regretted that Ganduje who was supposed to cover his face in shame over cases of corruption and political violence hanging around his neck shamelessly spoke about non-existent failure in the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) led government in the state.

According to the statement, “Governor Yusuf insisted that Ganduje presided over two unproductive tenures characterised with, inability to cater for the needs of Kano’s population and nepotism.

“Our eight months in office has remarkably outweighed Ganduje’s eight wasted years of political caricature and maladministration by all standards,” Governor Yusuf stated.

He advised the acting National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the immediate-past Governor of the state, Abdullah Umar Ganduje to rather buckle up in defence of his battered image at the court, instead of further exposing his impunity on the media space.

Furthermore, to gain helicopter oversight on this thorny issue that’s a sore thumb that constitutes leprous fingers was highlighted by Muhuyi Magaji, chairman of the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCCAC), where he stated inter alia that the agency has traced N51.3 billion allegedly diverted by Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of the state.

Magaji spoke during an interview on Arise TV. He said the funds traced by the anti-corruption commission were half of the over N100 billion meant for LGs in the state.

“The monies were channeled to different local government accounts. They then met with local government staff to create false expenditure with a payment voucher and then diverted the money through a third party,” he said.

“We traced a lot of the diverted funds to various individual accounts at the single market and subsequently took the money in cash to the state government house with someone stationed with a counting machine.”

The trajectory where ignominious allegations that involve perceived associates of the ruling party and levers of power are overlooked, while entities in the bad books of the system are subjected to vice like grip treatment leaves a sour taste in the mouth that could be equated to dystopian locomotion in a democracy.

Ayoola Ajanaku is a Communications and Advocacy Specialist based in Lagos, Nigeria….

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