22 Apr 2016

OONI OF IFE’S WIFE, OLORI WURAOLA OGUNWUSI GATHERS FRIENDS PRIVATELY TO CELEBRATE BIRTHDAY (PHOTOS)



It was a private but exotic party as the wife of the Ooni of Ife, Olori Adeyeye Wuraola Ogunwusi who added another year few ago marked the millstone with a private party at her husband’s palace in Ile-Ife.

ANOTHER POPULAR SOCIALITE BODE DWAY'S MARRIAGE CRASHES



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Life they say is full of mystery, as some Nigerian celebrities and socialites are getting married, celebrating wedding anniversaries, some others are parting ways with their respective partners regardless of the years spent together.

'SARAH OFILI' ARRESTED, MAY SERVE YEARS IN JAIL



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opular model, designer, beauty blogger and Radio/TV Host, Sarah Ofili is relieved now, as her impersonator has been apprehended by the men of Nigeria police force.
Sometime ago, the model sent out a press release distancing herself from someone who has been impersonating her and demanding money from the general public.

Zahra Buhari Tickles Nigerians With Her Gorgeous New Photos



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Zahra, the amiable daughter of President Buhari, has again tickled Nigerian who love her with some exciting new photos.
The beautiful lady was photographed donning a lovely, flowing ankra gown with hint of sequence. Her beautiful smile added to her panache.
What do you love most about Zahra?

AKON VISITS NIGERIA'S MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT (PHOTOS)



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World famous singer, Singer Akon has taken a step further to fufuil his project.
The crooner visited Nigeria's Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed in New York today, Friday, 22 April 2016 to discuss the Great Green wall project, a pan-African proposal to “green” the continent from west to east in order to battle desertification.

O MASE OO: STAR ACTOR, STABBED ON THE STOMACH



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Our make believe industry is growing so well, with lots of scenes that looks real.
Throwback to how our movies use to be, one would say there is a great improvement.
Overtime the industry has grown and is doing well in the market. The joy of every producer is to invest immensely and produce a top notch movie and also get good turn up and turnover.

Dino Melaye says Saraki must be Senate President for 4 Years



Dino Melaye said the only reason Bukola Saraki will no longer have supporter is unless he [Dino] is dead!

Fani-Kayode Finally Opens Up About The Money He Collected



Once he hears that EFCC is closing in on him, trust Femi Fani-Kayode to release a long statement trying to give details even before he's asked to do so. Lol! Read his defense below:

Billionaire Otedola's Daughter Celebrates Her Birthday In Style



Senior daughter Olawunmi Otedola celebrated her birthday with her popular sisters, DJ Cuppy and Temi as a family. DJ Cuppy flew all the way from New York to London for the celebration. More photos...

Court refuses Obanikoro’s request to restrain Media from publishing ‘Ekiti rigging’ reports



musiliu-obanikoro
The libel suit filed by a former minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, against some media organisations including PREMIUM TIMES, suffered a setback on Friday as court refused his application to restrain the media houses from further publications about him.

Naira was strong until my removal in 1985 – Buhari



Buhari in France
President Muhammadu Buahri on Friday said Nigeria’s currency, naira, was strong during his military regime but lost value after his removal from office in 1985.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries, Mr. Buhari said he resisted the pressure from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to devalue the currency and remove fuel subsidy.

How senior lawyer, Nwobike, paid N750, 000 into Justice Yunusa’s account – Witness



Joseph Nwobike
A witness in the ongoing trial of a senior lawyer, Joseph Nwobike, on Friday, told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere how Mr. Nwobike paid N750, 000 into Justice Mohammed Yunusa’s bank account with Zenith bank.
Mr. Nwobike is standing trial for allegedly bribing a Federal High Court judge.

Buhari refuses to sign 2016 budget, returns document to National Assembly



President Muhammadu Buhari presenting the 2016 appropriation bill to the National Assembly
President Muhammadu Buhari has returned the controversy-ridden 2016 budget to the National Assembly, pointing out areas of concern in the document and demanding adjustment.
The spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdurazaq Namdas, (APC-Adamawa State) confirmed this to journalists on Thursday.

Saraki rejects Omolori as Clerk to the National Assembly



Bukola Saraki
The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has requested the National Assembly Service Commission to reverse the appointment of Mohammed Sani-Omolori, as the Clerk to the Assembly, to allow further consultations.

Buhari’s govt. will go down if he confronts me — Fayose

Ayodele Fayose, Governor of Ekiti state
In this first part of a no-holds-barred interview with PREMIUM TIMES’ Josiah Oluwole in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, speaks about his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari, and other matters.
PT: You have been in office for over one year now? How has it been? What difference have you made in the lives of Ekiti people?

Bukky Wright Shows Off Her First Son Who Is In The US Airforce



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Veteran Nollywood actress, Bukky Wright took to Instagram to show off her grown son who is in the American airforce.

'I stood over him and stabbed him a few times... my voice was laughing'

Fairweather showed the officer how he jumped on top of  and repeatedly stabbed him in an attack lasting two minutes

'I stood over him and stabbed him a few times... my voice was laughing': Killer aged just FIFTEEN who murdered two strangers - including a Saudi student in a hijab - reveals how he attacked one of his victims in chilling police interview 

Photos: Beautiful Clarion Chukwura marries the third time at 51!



51-year-old Nollywood actress, Clarion Chukwura is officially married for the third time. The Anambra state-born actress who is the mother of top  Nigerian music video director Clarence Peters, took to her official Facebook page hours ago to share pictures of her third union. She captioned it ‘Just married…Anthony and Clarion Boyd.’
See photos below:

3 REASONS BEHIND ACTOR, OGOGO’S ILLNESS



Taiwo Babatunde Hassan popularly known as Ogogo was ill years ago and fully recovered from the illness in 2014. There were various comments and opinion over the actors illness as he last weight that made him look like a shadow of

Woman catches her husband cheating, what happened next is barbaric! (photos/video)



The woman
A video showing a woman who decided to catch her husband red-handed while cheating on her has surface online.

Murray-Bruce In ‘Trouble’ Over Remark On Abacha’s Loot




For social media activists, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce’s tweet on the alleged loot of the late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, was too insensitive for a joke, which, perhaps, the lawmaker had in mind.

Woman gives birth to Siamese twins in Ibadan



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According to report, a set of conjoined twins were recently born in Ibadan.
The Siamese twins were delivered at Amuloko City Hospital in Ibadan on April 19 via caesarean section. They are said to be both girls.

WEIRD: Fish eats up man's body at Elegushi beach (photo)



It was a gory sight when the dilapidated body of man’s body was washed ashore recently at Elegushi.
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According to reports, the young man got drowned in one of the Lekki beaches. His body was recovered days later by coast-guards with parts of his body eaten up by fishes. So sad!

What popular broadcaster said about Toyin Aimakhu will surprise you



Cool FM OAP Freeze gives two cents on Toyin Aimakhu's break up sagaAce media personality Freeze weighs in on lingering break up issues between Toyin Aimakhu and ex-lover Seun Egbegbe – The radio host believes the actress deserves an apology from Seun for the embarrassments she’s suffered  Popular radio host Freeze has given his two cents on the lingering issues between

Photos: Nigeria will never benefit from naira devaluation – President Buhari



President Buhari received retired permanent secretaries at the State House in Abuja – He insisted that Nigeria derived no benefit from previous devaluations of national currency

Six years on, 10 Dagrin songs that have remained on Nigeria’s playlist-VIDEOS



Just a day to his performance at the return of Sigma Club’s Havana Concert at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan in 2010, Oladapo Olaitan ‘Dagrin’ Olaonipekun died from injuries he sustained in a ghastly motor accident about a week earlier.
He died on April 22, 2010. He was just 22 years old, but his unique style of rap music was already very popular.
In the early hours of April 14, 2010 Dagrin had been involved in a lone accident, colliding with a stationary articulated vehicle in front of Alakara Police Station, off Agege Motor Road, Mushin, Lagos.
Before he gave up his ghost, He had first been treated at Tai Solarin Hospital, Mushin but was later transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, where doctors declared him dead after efforts to save his life failed.
Though he lived a short life, his style of rap is still influencing the music scene. Artistes like Olamide, lil Kesh, Phyno, Reminisce and many others are some of the best examples of Dagrin’s influence on the Nigerian rap scene.
Here are some of Dagrin’s songs that have remained on people’s play list six years after his death…
1. Pon Pon Pon

2. Kondo

3. Thank God

4. Ghetto dreams
5. If I die
6. Dagrin on Jimmy Jump Off
7. Efimile

8. Moti gboro

9. Everyday

10. Mercies of the lord

Police inspector accused of working with robber dismissed



Festus Omotosho, aka Ijaya, the police inspector with Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos State Police Command, has been fired by the leadership of the force for his alleged connivance with a suspected robber, Akeem Popoola.

The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, confirmed Ijaya’s dismissal on Wednesday to PUNCH Metro, adding that he had been transferred to the Ogun State Police Command, which arrested Popoola, for criminal investigation.

The decision of the force came after a series of exclusive reports by PUNCH Metro on Popoola’s mention of Ijaya as his boss, which led to the interrogation and detention of the ex-policeman by the Lagos command.

Twenty-one-year-old Popoola, a carpenter, had told our correspondent how Ijaya gave him phones to sell to unsuspecting members of the public, adding that minutes after the sales, he (Ijaya) would handcuff him, take him to the buyers and claim that the phones were stolen items.

He said each of their victims had to part with between N120,000 and N150,000 to avoid being charged with buying stolen property. He said Ijaya gave him N5,000 after each operation.

Popoola, who was arrested for robbery and burglary, said he had participated in three operations with Ijaya before he was nabbed on April 6 in the Giwa area of Agbado, Ogun State.

He had said, “In November 2015, one of my father’s tenants and I fought. When my daddy came back home on that day, she reported me to him and he handed me over to Inspector Festus (Omotosho) at the state police command headquarters, Ikeja. He told him I was too troublesome and wanted him to discipline me. But he (Ijaya) did not. He took me to a beer parlor at Alakuko and gave me N5,000.

“Two days after, we met at another beer parlour around Agbado, where I was made to swear an oath. He gave me a mobile phone and drove me in his Toyota Camry to POWA Complex in Ikeja.

“He told me to sell the phone inside the complex which I did for N20,000. After an hour, he handcuffed me and took me in his car with his boys – Abbey and Aluko – to the man that bought the phone. He arrested the man and told him to pay N200,000 if he did not want to be taken to the station. The man raised N150,000 among his friends in that complex and gave him.

“When we left there, he removed the handcuffs and gave me N5,000 and we departed.”

On Wednesday, the Lagos CP, Owoseni, said Ijaya’s dismissal was a demonstration of the resolve of the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to reform the force.

Owoseni said, “It is the policy of the Inspector-General of Police and the Nigeria police that all bad eggs in the force be exposed and made to face the law. Ex-Inspector Omotosho, alias Ijaya, has been dismissed. I said ex-Inspector Ijaya because he is no more a policeman. We were alerted to the alleged crime through your (PUNCH) publication. We searched, identified him and interrogated him before he was dismissed. It is the court of law that will now determine his culpability. We have handed him over to the Ogun State Police Command, where his co-accused is being detained.”

In a related development, four policemen attached to the State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, Lagos State, have been dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force for their alleged participation in armed robbery on Saturday in the Okokomaiko area of the state.

Our correspondent learnt that the policemen – identified only as Inspector Durojaiye, Sergeant Omorokai and two unidentified others – were dismissed on Tuesday.

PUNCH Metro had reported on Tuesday that the Lagos State Police Command arrested four suspects – including Sergeant Omorokai – for allegedly stealing a 20-feet container, which was heading for the Sagamu area of Ogun State.

It was reported that Omorokai and three other policemen, had on Saturday, waylaid and robbed the driver and the conductor of the truck conveying the container.

It was gathered that the policemen had allegedly taken the container to the Okokomaiko area to get a buyer.

It was reported that the policemen allegedly exchanged fire with the police teams that came after them, during which three of them escaped, while Omorokai and three suspects were arrested.

On Wednesday, the CP, Owoseni, said the policemen involved in the robbery had been dismissed from the force, adding that the fleeing ex-policemen would soon be arrested.

Owoseni added that investigation was ongoing into the matter.

He said, “We are looking for those on the run. The normal police disciplinary procedure has taken place and the policemen involved remain dismissed. They are now ex-policemen.”

Pupil drowns in well, mother demands probe



A civil servant, Oyeniyi Adenike, has called for investigation into the death of her two-year-old daughter, Rachael in the Egbeda area of Lagos State.

It was learnt that the victim was living with her mother in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where she was attending kindergarten.

Court jails 70-year-old chief for raping pupils



An Osun State High Court sitting in Ilesa has sentenced a septuagenarian, Chief Moses Adeniyi, to seven years’ imprisonment for raping two teenage pupils.

The judgment is contained in a statement issued by the Information Officer of the Osun State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Opeyemi Bello, in Osogbo on Thursday.

Adeniyi, who is the Loja, Araromi Otokobo, was arraigned in court on March 28, 2011, and charged with rape and indecent assault.

The prosecution team from the Ministry of Justice comprising Tijani Adekilekun and Folasade Adekomi told the court that the convict offered a free ride to the girls, who were coming back from the school, and he drove them to his hotel where he raped them.

The team told the court that the two offences were contrary to the provisions of sections 358 and 360 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, vol.11, Law of Osun State.

Justice Kudirat Akano held that the prosecution counsel proved beyond reasonable doubt that Adeniyi unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the two girls and thereafter sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment.

The statement explained further that Adeniyi was a former neighbour of the victims’ parents, adding that the two girls, aged 13 and 14 respectively, were pupils of St.Margaret Girls School, Ilesa in May 2010, when the incident happened.

It said, “After defiling them, he wiped their private parts with a piece of white cloth and threatened them that anyone who disclosed his action would die.

“But one of the parents of the victims was said to have been told that her daughter was given a free ride by a man and she went to inquire from the school who the man was.

“The girls were said to have initially refused to disclose what Adeniyi did to them for fear of death. They were given an assurance that nothing would happen to them before they narrated their ordeal.”


Ogun lawmakers dissolve AMORAN executive, okada riders protest



Scores of commercial motorcycle riders (okada riders) on Thursday protested in Abeokuta, Ogun State, against alleged interference in their affairs by the state House of Assembly.
The okada riders, operating under the Articulated Motorcycle and Riders Association of Nigeria, said the Assembly dissolved the current state executive of the association and replaced them with a caretaker committee, retaining only the state secretary, Adedayo Eleku.
The riders, who gathered at their Adatan car wash association’s office, displayed  placards with different inscriptions, some of which read, ‘Don’t dissolve our state executive’, and ‘Don’t spoil the good work of our governor.’
Eleku, said the members disagreed with the action of the assembly.
He stated that they preferred the current executive to continue in office, saying there were some strange names among the caretaker committee members.
He said, “Our members are holding this peaceful protest to register our displeasure with the state House of Assembly for dissolving the state executive of AMORAN.
“They said they wanted the dissolved executive to continue in office. What we want is for the Assembly to allow us to conduct our own election and elect our officers.”
However, the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Mr. Isreal Jolaosho,  said the state executive of AMORAN remained dissolved.
He said the assembly took the action following a letter brought before the House by the union’s Board of Trustee.
He said AMORAN executive had been in office since August 2011, adding that the law that established the union only stipulated a  three-year tenure.
Jolaosho said the House of Assembly had the power to investigate and regulate the activities of the union because it was the House that passed a resolution which established it.
He said, “When you were sworn in, you promised to maintain law and order, if any of you do something contrary, you shall be dealt with accordingly.
“All the property of the union should be handed over to the caretaker committee immediately.
“Tickets from the Ogun Internal Revenue Service should no longer be given to the dissolved members, but should henceforth be given to the caretaker committee.”
The deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, who is a member of the board of trustee of the union also said the executive had completed their tenure.
He said, “It is the caretaker committee that will conduct election for the new state executive to emerge. That is what the constitution of the union says.”

I conveyed guns to Lagos APC campaign venues – Cultist



A self-confessed cultist, Muhideen Ibrahim, who was arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, has said he conveyed guns to the All Progressives Congress campaign venues during the 2015 electioneering on the Lagos Island.

Ibrahim, 29, from Kwara State, added that he took two pump-action rifles to the governorship primaries held at the Tafawa Balewa Square in the Onikan area for the “protection of my gang’s  candidate”.

However, the state APC denied knowing him, adding that Ibrahim could be a mad man. The party advised the police to bring him to justice.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the Denton Police Division arrested Ibrahim on Tuesday from a hideout in the Ijora Badia area.

It was gathered that a locally-made pistol and two expended cartridges were recovered from him.

Our correspondent learnt that Ibrahim, aka Oginni, had been on the police’s watch list since last year for his alleged involvement in the murder and violence on the Lagos Island.

It was learnt that another suspected cultist – Sodiq Kolade – had earlier been arrested by the police for alleged possession of guns.

He was said to have denied the allegation, but confessed that he knew those who had guns.

Kolade was said to have led the police to Ibrahim’s hideout where he was arrested.

Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Ibrahim, who confessed that he joined the Eiye Confraternity in 2007, said the guns his gang took to campaign venues were not for violence, but for protection of their governorship candidate.

He said, “I live in the Ijora Badia area, and I am known as Oginni. One of the boys in the area, Sodiq (Kolade) was the one who brought policemen to my house. I had a friend called Dagbe, and he lived with me in Ijora.

“He and I belonged to the same gang. During the last general elections in the Onike, Yaba area, we had guns. Anytime there was campaign on the island, they would contact me and other members of my group. We belonged to the APC. In the governorship primaries, we had our candidate.

“Dagbe had two pump-action guns. I conveyed guns to campaign venues three times. It was not for violence. It was just to protect ourselves and our candidate. I was paid N5,000 for each trip.

“I joined the Eiye Confraternity in 2007. The person who initiated me has travelled. He is now in Malaysia. His name is Sammy. So, we used the guns to only protect our candidate. I still belong to the party. I work at the council level to collect tolls from okada and Keke Napep riders in Ijora.”

On the other hand, Kolade, who lived on Kano Street, Oyingbo, told our correspondent that he led policemen to Ibrahim’s hideout when the policemen insisted that he (Kolade) had guns.

He said, “I know Oginni because he used to move with my elder brothers. When the police arrested me, they insisted that I had guns. I told them I did not have guns, but I could take them to someone who had guns. So, I took them to Oginni’s place. I belong to Dagbe and Soko’s boys.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the command would not relent in ridding the state of criminals.

He said, “He is one of the leaders of a notorious cult in Ebute-Meta. He and six others were nabbed by the police. Some are still on the run, but they will be arrested too.”

The spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Joe Igbokwe, however, said the suspect’s mental state should be examined, adding that the party did not breed hoodlums.

He said, “We do not know this hoodlum. We do not know what he is talking about. We do not know whether he is a mad man. You also do not know his mental state. Let the suspect face the law. We are not part of this. Our party is not made up of hoodlums.

“Did he show you his APC membership card? He has to produce a proof of membership. Please, ignore that man.”

House summons minister over assault on female Rep



The House of Representatives on Thursday summoned the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau(retd.), and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Mr. Peter Ekpendu, over an alleged assault on a female member of the House.
The incident took place on Wednesday close to the exit gate of the National Assembly, when the female lawmaker from Delta State, Mrs. Onyemachi Mrukpor, was driving out of the premises.
Security aides attached to the convoy of Ekpendu allegedly descended on her and slapped her for overtaking the convoy of the CG.
The CG was said to have visited the National Assembly and was driving out of the legislative building when the beating took place.
Lawmakers claimed that Ekpendu, a very senior government official, merely sat in his car and watched as his aides pummelled the female member. They alleged that he did nothing to stop his aides.
A motion on the incident, which was moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Leo Ogor, was unanimously endorsed by members at Thursday’s session, presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
The House noted, “The member was battered under the watch of the CG of Prisons. Her offence was that she overtook the convoy of the CG within the premises of the National Assembly.
“The CG of Prisons is invited to explain why he should not be committed to prison in violation of Section 16 of the Legislative Houses, Powers and Privileges Act.”
The law stipulates a penalty of N400,000 fine or a prison term of six months on conviction for an attack on a legislator within the premises of a legislative house.
The resolution was later amended to include Danbazzau, who was asked to appear before the House Committee on Interior.
The Ministry of Interior supervises the Nigerian Prisons Service.
The committee, which is chaired by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kaduna State, Mr. Adams Jagaba, is to produce a report on Tuesday next week.
The House Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, while contributing to the debate, informed the House that Mrukpor called him immediately the alleged  assault took place to make a report.
“She called me and she was crying. I have not seen a thing like this before.
“This is the time we need to rally behind her not just as a member but as a woman.
“This is a clear, straight case; that the attacker is guilty of assault. He is guilty of battery. There is vicarious liability in this case,” Gbajabiamila added.
In addition to Danbazzau and Ekpendu, the House summoned the unit heads of all security agencies posted to the National Assembly to explain the conduct of their men, who reportedly watched as the member was attacked without intervening.

Saraki faces fresh charges before conduct tribunal



The Federal Government has amended the charges of false asset declaration preferred against Senate President Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.
With the amended charges, which were filed on Monday, Saraki will be facing two fresh counts in addition to the 13 originally preferred against him.
The original 13 counts comprise false asset declaration and maintaining of offshore account while serving as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.
The additional charges include allegation that Saraki continued to receive salaries and emoluments as governor of Kwara State after the expiration of his tenure and at the same time, and from the Federal Government, as a Senator between June 2011 and October 2013.
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 6(a) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. CAP. C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and as incorporated under paragraph 2(a), Part I of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
It is said to be punishable under Section 23(2) of the code of conduct bureau and tribunal act as incorporated under paragraph 18, Part I of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.
The other additional charge is that Saraki failed to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office as Governor of Kwara State in 2003, his leasehold interest in the property at 42 Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja, Lagos.
He was said to have acquired the property in December 12,1996, through his company, Sky View Properties Limited which the firm purchased from First Finance Trust Limited.
Earlier at the tribunal on Thursday, a heated argument between the CCT chairman, Dandali Usman, and a new lawyer in the Senate President’s legal team, Mr. Raphael Oluyede, had threatened to disrupt the proceedings of the day.
The turmoil, which was characterised by a hot verbal exchange between the tribunal chairman and Oluyede, started when the lawyer was introducing a motion in which he asked the judge to disqualify himself from further presiding over the trial.
The situation degenerated to the level when the judge threatened Oluyede with imprisonment and ordered police to take him away from the courtroom.
The lawyer, in response, accused the judge of being biased in his handling of the trial due to the “cloudy relationships” between him and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
There was confusion in the courtroom while the situation lasted as lawyers, including the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), pleaded with the tribunal chairman to be calm, while on the other hand, counsel in the defence team asked Oluyede to cease fire.
At the commencement of the proceedings on Thursday, after lawyers had announced appearances, Jacobs informed the tribunal that the business of the day was further cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas.
Mr. Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), the lawyer, who initially led the defence in the absence of the leader of the team, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), obtained the tribunal’s permission to allow Oluyede to make some comments about the motion.
The application filed by Oluyede asked Umar to disqualify himself from further handling the trial on the basis that he (Umar) was allegedly under criminal investigation by the EFCC.
Oluyede also argued in the motion that Umar would likely be biased in conducting the trial because the EFCC was allegedly leading the prosecution of Saraki before the CCT.
He is the lawyer, whose suit, seeking to stop the trial before the CCT, was dismissed by Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday.
The lawyer was introducing the motion when Jacobs interrupted by saying the business of the day was not for hearing of any motion but for further cross-examination of the prosecution witness.
He said he had declined to accept service of the motion because Oluyede was still a stranger in the case as of the time he filed it on Wednesday.
Jacobs added that he decided not to accept the service because Agabi had confirmed to him that he was not aware of the motion and that he did not authorise its filing.
He said, “The business of the day is for cross-examination. Yesterday (Wednesday) he (Oluyede) attempted to serve me a copy of this motion and I declined.
“As of the time he filed this motion yesterday, he had never appeared in this case. He appeared for the first time yesterday. He filed the motion on his own right as a lawyer.
“So, I said I would not accept the motion based on Section 349 (7) and (8) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.”
According to Jacobs, by virtue of the law, a new lawyer can only appear in a criminal case after the former one, seeking to quit, has given notice to the court at least three days before the next hearing date.
Umar, who was at that point visibly angry, passed the EFCC letter exonerating him of the alleged N10m bribery scam, which was the basis for the fresh motion, to Jacobs.
Describing the motion as rubbish, Umar faulted Adelodun’s decision to yield the floor to Oluyede to speak on the motion.
He said, “How can you allow such rubbish thing to happen when you know that he (Oluyede) filed it as his own right and not with the approval of the lead counsel?
“A motion filed by a mere busybody is not accepted by this tribunal.
“As far as this tribunal is concerned, that motion has not been filed and it is thrown away.”
But in his response, Adelodun insisted that it was within the right of the defence to yield the floor to any member of its team.
He added that it was elementary in law that lawyers had the right to file any motion no matter how frivolous and the judge was duty-bound to rule on it.
Attempts by Oluyede to speak again were refused by Umar, who repeatedly asked the lawyer to “sit down”.
Oluyede, however, thundered back, “I will not be browbeaten not to speak. There are too many cloudy relationships between you and the EFCC and that is why you have been biased in this case and that is why we are asking you to disqualify yourself.”
The judge, who became angrier, threatened to send Oluyede to prison.
“I will commit you to prison for committing contempt. This is a contempt committed in the face of the court.
“Where are the police? They should come and take this man away,” the judge said.
Oluyede flared back,  “You will commit me to prison for doing my job?”
About five policemen approached Oluyede, but instead of arresting the lawyer, they tried to calm down the counsel, who had, by then, resumed his seat.
With peace restored in the courtroom, Jacobs urged the tribunal chairman to be patient, as he reiterated that the EFCC had since March, 2015, cleared him (Umar) of the allegations referred to in the motion while the charges against Saraki were only filed before the CCT in September, 2015.
Jacobs added, “My lord, be patient as you have always been. The application is based on a false premise. The EFCC has cleared you since March 2015. This charge was only filed in September 2015.
“We will handle the application as we effectively did at the Federal High Court. We will expose the frivolity of the application even to the person who filed it.”
A defence counsel, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), who later took over as the leader of the team, walked in as peace was restored in the courtroom.
Without making any reference to the drama that took place before his arrival, Usoro simply informed the tribunal that the defence was ready to continue the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness.
However, in the middle of the cross-examination of the witness by Usoro, Agabi walked in and apologised for what had transpired in his absence.
He confirmed that Oluyede was a member of the defence team and urged the tribunal chairman “to accommodate” him.
Agabi added, “More and more people are coming to make you angry. Are you going to commit all of them to prison?”
Umar said if not for the intervention of the other counsel, Oluyede would have been imprisoned.
The judge said, “The motion was filed for mischievous reasons.
“If not for the intervention of the other counsel, he should have been cooling his feet in prison. We have a cell here and he could be transferred elsewhere later.”
Our correspondent learnt on Thursday,  shortly after Saraki’s ongoing trial before the CCT was adjourned till April 27 for further cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, that the Federal Government might further amend the charges before they will be read to the accused person.
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