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Why We Can’t Beg Buhari To Release Sunday Igboho -Afenifere

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Why We Can't Beg Buhari To Release Sunday Igboho -Afenifere

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has revealed that it can’t beg President Muhammadu Buhari for the release of embattled activist Sunday Igboho.

While reacting to the recent visit by some Igbo leaders to the president at the State House to request the release of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, Afenifere said Igboho had committed no offense. Hence, it couldn’t find a basis to appeal for his freedom.

The Igbo leaders, under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, had appealed to the president to ensure Kanu’s release.

General-Secretary of the group, Sola Ebiseni, stated:“We do not have to beg the President to release Sunday Igboho. Sunday Igboho did not commit any offence whatsoever; that’s our position. Those who went to invade his house were terrorists in Nigerian security uniform and they have no right whatsoever and that has been tested in a court of competent jurisdiction. Igboho has been absolved and the government was visited with N20bn worth of damages.

There is no basis for the Yoruba people to beg the Federal Government to release Sunday Igboho.

In spite of the impunity of the Buhari government, we insist that Nigeria shall not be governed except by the rule of law.

The deep night invasion of Sunday Igboho’s house with the aim of killing him which resulted in killing of two of his companions and wanton destruction of his property is already adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction as a most barbaric act of state terrorism with the sum of N20bn in damages.”

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Legal Reprieve for Landlords -By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN

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Landlords

On Friday, February 5, 2021, the Supreme Court brought joy to many landlords across the land when it delivered a landmark judgment which buried the ago-long antics of some tenants who hide under the technical rules of justice to frustrate landlords from reaping the fruit of their sweat and investment over many years. It is the case of Pillars (Nigeria) Ltd. v. Desbordes (2021) 12 NWLR (Pt.1789) 122. It has become almost established in Nigeria to have situations whereby tenants deploy legal gymnastics to battle their landlords, either against lawful ejection from a building or from collecting the rent due to them from their occupation of the said property. Especially in urban cities like Lagos where the courts are heavily congested, landlords who dare to sue their tenants before any court are made to ‘forfeit’ their buildings temporarily. There are cases that last for as long as ten years in court, with one preliminary objection or the other, filed by the tenant as land mines to frustrate the landlord. These objections will be escalated to the Court of Appeal if overruled by the High Court, and thereafter to the Supreme Court.

The technical issues that have plagued landlord and tenant cases are those of proper issuance and service of quit notices. Lawyers and judges have always laboured under the regime of appropriate notices. In some very disturbing cases, the tenant would acknowledge receipt of the quit notice but still proceed to challenge its validity on the ground that it was not properly issued and on that ground alone, he would remain in the property for as long as the case lasts, without paying any rent whatsoever. Of course there are landlords who operate as shylocks, using every occasion to extort money from the hapless tenant, in the name of providing accommodation. These ones are not the focus of this piece this week, but rather the tenants who delight in exploiting the systemic rot in the judiciary to punish their landlords.

How has the Supreme Court brought reprieve to landlords? No doubt, yes. The facts of the case of Pillars v Desbordes supra as narrated in the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports is typical of many cases pending in our courts across Nigeria. There was a contract of lease in respect of a plot of land lying and being at Plot B, Sabiu Ajose Crescent, Surulere, Lagos. The contract of lease was completed on 24/10/1977 when the respondent as lessor entered into a 26-year developer’s lease to erect a building within two years on or before 1979 on payment of annual rent payable in advance. The suit was initiated by the respondents as lessors on 13/5/1993, to recover the property due to non-compliance with the leasing terms of erecting a building on the land. The trial High Court (Akinsanya, J of blessed memory) on 8/12/2000 entered judgment in favour of the lessor, the landlord. The lessee, the tenant, filed an appeal against the judgment of the High Court before the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on 8/5/2009, having found that the appellant, the lessee, breached the terms of the lease, whereupon the lessee appealed further to the Supreme Court, which delivered its final judgment on 5/2/2021, about eleven years after the appeal was filed in the Supreme Court. The portion of the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered by Ogunwumiju, J.S.C. that has buried the dirty and unethical games of technicality reads as follows:

“The justice of this case is very clear. The appellant has held on to the property regarding which it had breached the lease agreement from day one. It had continued to pursue spurious appeals through all hierarchy of courts to frustrate the judgment of the trial court delivered on 8/2/2000, about twenty years ago. After all, even if the initial notice to quit was irregular, the minute the writ of summons dated 13/5/1993 for repossession was served on the appellant, it served as adequate notice. The ruse of faulty notice used by tenants to perpetuate possession in a house or property which the landlord had slaved to build and relies on for means of sustenance cannot be sustained in any just society under the guise of adherence to any technical rule. Equity demands that wherever and whenever there is controversy on when or how notice of forfeiture or notice to quit is disputed by the parties, or even where there is irregularity in giving notice to quit, the filing of an action by the landlord to regain possession of the property has to be sufficient notice on the tenant that he required to yield up possession. I am not saying here that statutory and proper notice to quit should not be given. Whatever form the periodic tenancy is, whether weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc., immediately a writ is filed to regain possession, the irregularity of the notice, if any, is cured. Time to give notice should start to run from the date the writ is served. If for example, a yearly tenant, six months after the writ is served and so on. All the dance drama around the issue of the irregularity of the notice ends. The Court would only be required to settle other issues if any, between the parties. This appeal has absolutely no merit and it is hereby dismissed.”

There is no better way to say it than as My Lord has put it so eloquently. In this way, the ends of justice can be served in ensuring that what litigants get on paper is not just the empty judgment that is bereft of any modicum of remedy but rather a satisfactory reward for trusting the legal system as an effective route to justice. The case of Pillars v Desbordes supra is reminiscent of what happens in our courts day in day out. This case took 28 years from 1993 when it was filed in the High Court to 2021 when the final judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court. It was in the High Court between 1993 and 2000 (seven years), in the Court of Appeal between 2000 and 2009 (nine years) and in the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2021 (twelve years). This is how the judiciary works in Nigeria, where litigants who file their cases in Court are not sure that they will still be alive when the case is finally decided. By default, the courts serve the interests of the defendant, in this case the lessee who must have remained in the property for the duration of the cases, for 28 years from the High Court to the Supreme Court, perhaps without paying rent. This is why impunity practitioners taunt their victims to go to court, knowing that the system is damn too slow to deliver real justice to most people. And to imagine that this could have been a commercial transaction where time is of the essence. Which investor would commit his money into an economy where it takes twenty-eight years to resolve an issue as simple as breach of a lease agreement? This is why something needs to be done urgently to address the rot that is currently plaguing the judiciary across the States and even in the federal judicial sector.

Lagos State Government attempted in 2011, to address these lapses through the promulgation of the Tenancy Law now reproduced in the 2015 Laws of Lagos State. In section 13 of the said Tenancy Law, the length of the notices to be issued was specified in detail. In section 13 (4) of the said law, it is stated that “notice to tenants … need not terminate on the anniversary of the tenancy but may terminate on or after the date of expiration of the tenancy”. However cases still linger on in the courts due to the wrong interpretation of this section. What is required now is for the Houses of Assembly of the States to study the decision of the Supreme Court in Pillars v Desbodes supra and proceed to amend their tenancy laws to conform with the judgment and thus remove all the technical jargons that tenants and their lawyers latch on to, to deny landlords of the reward of their sweat and labour, over the years. Property has become more of an investment for retirement in the latter part of life, so you can imagine how it feels for one to be denied such a benefit when it is needed most.

Source: Barristerng

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Why APC Has A Lot Of Crises -Founding Member Osita Okechukwu

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Why APC Has A Lot Of Crises -Founding Member Osita Okechukwu

Osita Okechukwu, a founding member of the ruling-All Progressives Congress (APC), has stated there are a lot of crises ongoing in the party because everyone has interests.

In an interview with Arise TV monitored by Newsrand, Okechukwu explained that everyone wants to have a roof on their wall at the party, and because of that people disagree a lot.

We truly run a multi-party system. But within a multi-party system, we have two dominant political parties, which are the APC and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). And the former being the leading one, has captured everyone’s interests, such that they all want to own their territories by all means,” he stated.

Exemplifying his point, the APC chieftain said the issue of APC is synonymous to the reality of the Nigerian football team (Super Eagles).

According to him, even though the team can only accommodate 23 players at once for any tournament, thousands of people jostle to secure a post there.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the APC had scheduled Saturday, February 26, 2022, as the day to host the much-awaited national convention of the party.

Chairman of its Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Governor Mai Mala Buni disclosed this development on Tuesday, January 18.

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2023: Tinubu Promises To Make WASSCE Fees Free For Students

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2023: Tinubu Promises To Make WASSCE Fees Free For Students

Former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu has promised to make West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees free for students.

Tinubu, who had informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his interest to contest the highly-anticipated 2023 presidential election, stated that should he be elected to succeed the latter, WASSCE fees would become a thing of the past for Nigerian students.

So that no one, no matter how poor, is a setback. The symbol of my party is a broom, and that of mine, is breaking the shackles of poverty, we are committed to breaking the shackles of ignorance as well,” he stated.

Continuing, he explained that if he becomes Nigeria’s President, he would ensure his administration establishes and maintains peace by all means.

“We need stability in this country; we need peace. The stoppage of banditry is extremely important. This is because, without peace and stability, we cannot build a nation as rapid as we would want,” he added.

As reported on Newsrand, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain recently donated N50 million to victims of banditry in Zamfara State.

While presenting his donation to Governor Bello Matawalle of the state, Tinubu expressed confidence that the lingering insecurity challenge in the country would soon be historical.

I could offer prayers for the people from anywhere, but coming in person is important.

The enemies of knowledge, Boko Haram, and other criminal elements will be defeated through commitment in humanity.

We pray for the entire country to be stable and if the enemies refuse to stop the carnage, we shall eliminate them.

We believe in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ability to restore law and order and bring back our country to stability and tracks of development,” he added.

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