Legal Headline News 09/05/2016

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Vanguard: The Panama Papers scandal promises to deepen around the world on Monday when a journalists’ group with access to the digital cache of documents is to put many of them online. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is to release the documents in a searchable database at 1800 GMT on Monday accessible to the public at offshoreleaks.icij.org.

BBC: A white South African judge has sparked a racism row after she purportedly said on social media that rape was part of the culture of black men. Judge Mabel Jansen said the gang-rape of babies, girls and women was seen as a “pleasurable” past-time. A petition has been launched to demand her removal as a judge. She said her comments had been taken out of context.

The Nation: Some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials have been summoned to the agency’s Abuja headquarters in connection with the alleged N23.29billion bribe the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is probing. The EFCC has quizzed 16 top INEC officials, including 10 directors, over the scandal. Those invited are two Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and an administrative officer.

Jurist: A UN human rights experts on Saturday said that detainees in Sri Lanka are still experiencing torture as a tactic used by criminal and terrorism investigators seven years after the country’s civil war ended. The comments were made after a nine-day trip to the country where Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture, conducted interviews with former detainees, and forensic tests were able to confirm the stories. Continue reading “Legal Headline News 09/05/2016”

Legal Headline News 07/05/2016

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BBC: A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer has been arrested, in the latest government move against critics of a recent decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Malek Adly is accused of plotting a coup and spreading false information, he is among a group of lawyers who filed a lawsuit against a deal signed by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia over the islands.

The Nation: The 2016 “Budget of Change” which was signed into law yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari has a capital outlay of N6.06 trillion, N200 billion short of the N6.08 billion originally proposed by the executive.

Jurist:  UN top official Stephen O’Brien on Thursday called for the immediate investigation of recent airstrikes in Syria which may amount to war crimes for intentionally targeting civilians.

Vanguard: Thousands of South Africans took to the streets of Cape Town on Saturday demanding a relaxation of drugs laws to allow medicinal and recreational use of cannabis.  Continue reading “Legal Headline News 07/05/2016”

Legal Headline News 05/05/2016

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The Nation: The Senate yesterday resolved to enact a legislation prescribing  the death penalty for kidnappers. The resolution followed the submission and consideration of the report of the Joint Committee on Police Affairs, National Security and Intelligence on the “unfortunate recurrence of kidnapping and hostage-taking in Nigeria.”

BBC: Two men who say Kenyan police forced them to undergo anal examinations to prove they had had gay sex have launched a court case, calling for the tests to be declared unconstitutional. In a statement, campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has called for a global ban on the practice, said: “Under international law, forced anal examinations are a form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment that may amount to torture.”

Vanguard: The Benue State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday, lodged a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, over alleged killings and wanton destruction of property in the state by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The Nation: Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Thursday said that the controversial National Grazing Reserve Bill should be considered dead on arrival. The Land Use Act, she said, is unequivocal that all land is vested in the hands of governors to hold in entrust for the people. She insisted that any such law, promoted for compulsory acquisition or confiscation of land, will undoubtedly be unconstitutional and therefore void. Continue reading “Legal Headline News 05/05/2016”

Legal Headline News 28/04/2016

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The Guardian: The Obama administration is pressing individual states to join its mission to cut back on the use of solitary confinement in US prisons, in the hope of reining in a practice that is still widespread despite having been denounced as potentially amounting to torture. There are as many as 100,000 people in segregated cells in the US, a number that sets the country apart from most of the rest of the world and exceeds the entire prison population of countries such as the UK, France and Germany. Many have condemned solitary confinement as a practice that could amount to torture, including the UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez,who has called for the global ban in all but exceptional cases. Scientific research has revealed the adverse psychological effect of locking away prisoners in segregated cells, with some individuals suffering serious depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, hallucinations and paranoia within a matter of days.

The Independent: Forced oral sex where the victim has passed out after drinking cannot be considered rape in the eyes of the law, a US appeals court has ruled. Five senior judges at the Ottawa Court of Appeals agreed unanimously that the state’s laws did not cover an “intoxication circumstance” for forcible sodomy – rape involving the mouth or anus of the victim. Judges had been asked to consider the case of a 17-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl after driving her home following a session of drinking at a park in Tulsa. The boy told police he had engaged in oral sex with the girl, but that it was consensual and her idea. The girl said she remembered nothing after being at the park. The Tulsa County District Court dismissed charges against the boy first of rape and later of forcible oral sodomy, after establishing that unconsciousness and intoxication are not part of the definition of the latter crime. Continue reading “Legal Headline News 28/04/2016”

Legal Headline News 25/04/2015

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Sahara Reporters: According to SR, Agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have discovered more damning evidence that Rickey Tarfa SAN, currently undergoing trial for alleged bribery to a judge, transferred huge sums of money to several other judges, including a female member of the Court of Appeal, Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, who reportedly received N8 million from Mr. Tarfa. Justice Abba-Aji played a key role in election petition cases in the hotly contested states of Delta and Akwa Ibom after the 2015 general elections.

BBC: Police in Australia have charged a 16-year-old with preparing an act of terrorism, saying they believe he was plotting to target Anzac Day services, he was denied bail and is due to appear in a children’s court today. If convicted he faces life in prison.

Sahara Reporters: Baker Hughes Group has approached a Federal High Court in Lagos with a petition seeking an order to wind up Belbop Nigeria Limited, an oil company said to be owned by Nigerian businessman, Mike Adenuga. Baker Hughes Group claims that Belbop is indebted to it to the tune of $12, 092,531.66 which is the payment due to it for the services it rendered to Belbop for the development and operation of an oil block.

Vanguard: Jose Mourinho has signed a contract with Manchester United to become their next manager with an announcement expected before the end of the season. Continue reading “Legal Headline News 25/04/2015”

Legal Headline News 22/04/2016

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The Jurist: The treatment of activists has been a constant human rights issue throughout the world, the High Court in Gambia’s capital of Banjul on Wednesday charged 40 people with offences related to recent protests. More than 50 people were arrested after a demonstration last Thursday by members of the opposition United Democratic Party calling for free speech and an electoral forum.

ThisDay Newspaper:  Security operatives attached to the convoy of the Controller General of Prisons, Dr. Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu, on Wednesday evening allegedly assaulted a female lawmaker, Hon. Onyemeachi Mprakpor, for overtaking his convoy within the premises of the National Assembly.The petition was brought before the House of Representatives at plenary Thursday by the Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor.

BBC: Bike couriers in London launch legal fight over worker’s rights. Four bicycle couriers are taking their companies to a tribunal in a bid to get employed workers’ rights, including paid holidays and the minimum wage. If successful, the case could have a huge impact on the growing number of workers who are being wrongly categorised as self-employed. The couriers are considered self-employed contractors despite working for one firm for about 50 hours a week. The courier companies say the tribunal claims are unfounded.

Continue reading “Legal Headline News 22/04/2016”

Legal Headline News 21/04/2016

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BBC: The Canadian government will introduce legislation next year that would make the sale of marijuana legal, its health minister has said. If enacted, the move would make Canada one of the largest Western countries to allow widespread use of the drug.

Jurist:  Margarethe Vestagar,  the Commissioner of Competition for the EU, on Wednesday opened a probe into the international business practices of Google concerning the tech giant’s relationship with other Android developers. Vestagar stated that Google’s practice of requiring mobile phone producers to pre-load Google applications on new devices could hinder innovation and might violate international antitrust law.

The Sun: The Chairman of the Code of Conduct (CCT) Tribunal, Danladi Umar today asked security operatives to throw out Raphael Oluyede, one of the lawyers representing Senate President Bukola Saraki, for talking back at him. Umar also “threw away” an application by Saraki asking him to withdraw from his trial.

The Nation: “There is no evidence to try  Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Chairman Justice Danladi Umar for alleged corruption”, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said yesterday. The commission said there were no facts yet to prosecute Justice Umar, who was accused by a former Customs officer, Mr. Rasheed Taiwo , a retired Deputy Comptroller General, that he collected a N10 million bribe. Continue reading “Legal Headline News 21/04/2016”