As the judiciary prepares to resume for the New Year, 2022, thousands of cases that were adjourned in the previous year will get substantive hearing.
Many such cases have attracted the attention of Nigerians. Some of the cases are presented below:
Judgment on Executive Order 10
The judgment of the Supreme Court in the originating motion by governors of the 36 states of the federation challenging Executive Order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2020 granting financial autonomy to states judiciary and legislatures, which was reserved for judgment, is expected to be delivered in the early part of 2022.
Trial of IPOB leader
The trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is expected to be accelerated this year. At the last hearing of the matter on December 2, 2021, the presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, while fixing January 18, 2022, for the trial, also ordered an accelerated hearing in the matter.
$418m Paris Club case
A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed February 15, 2022, for hearing of the suit by 36 states governors seeking to stop deductions of $418 million Paris Club refund debt.
Justice Inyang Ekwo had directed the lawyers to exchange their documents to enable the main hearing of the suit at the adjourned date.
The governors are contending that they were not parties to a suit in which judgment approved the deduction of the $418 million for payment of contractors and consultants in the Paris Club refunds.
But the office of the Attorney General of the Federation had contended that the refunds are part of judgments delivered at various times in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019, while two of the judgments were consent judgments based on terms of settlement entered into by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in 2017 and 2019.
An appeal challenging Buhari’s election
The Court of Appeal in Abuja had on October 13, 2021, fixed February 22, 2022, for hearing in the appeal seeking to nullify President Muhammadu Buhari’s election and swear in Abubakar Atiku as president.
The appellate court had ordered the appellants in the matter, the Incorporated Trustees of the Civil Society Observatory for Constitutional and Legal Compliance (CSOCLC) to regularise and serve the process to defence lawyers to President Buhari to enable them to respond to the claims before the adjourned date.
Judgement in Evans case
Alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike (alias Evans) and five others charged with conspiracy and kidnapping will know their fate on February 25, 2022, as an Ikeja High Court has fixed the date as judgment day.
Evans’ co-defendants are Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba. The defendants are accused of kidnapping Mr Donatus Dunu, the Managing Director of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd on Feb. 14, 2017.
Contrary to false viral online reports, this is the first judgment to be fixed in any of the five kidnapping cases currently involving Evans in the high courts of Lagos State.
Super TV CEO murder trial
The trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, a 300 level Mass-Communication student of the University of Lagos, charged with the murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super Television, Mr. Usifo Ataga, is proceeding before the Lagos High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).
Apart from Chidinma, others standing criminal trial before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, are one Adedapo Quadri and Chidinma’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu, found in possession of Ataga’s iPhone 7.
The case has been adjourned till Feb. 14, 2022, for the continuation of the trial. The three defendants were arraigned on October 12, 2021, on a nine-count criminal charge of conspiracy, murder, stabbing, forgery, making of bank statements and stealing.
Dasuki’s trial in various courts
The trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, charged with misappropriation of $2.1 billion arms purchase funds in 2015, will make progress in 2022.
The case, which has been the administration’s anti-corruption symbol, is pending before both the Federal High Court and the FCT High Court, while the fundamental rights enforcement order by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice awarding N15m is yet to be enforced.
Diezani’s forfeiture and extradition trials
This year will also witness the continuation of hearing over the corruption charges on a former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, whose extradition trial from the United Kingdom has stalled and an order for forfeiture granted by the court.
Madueke is being charged with 13-count charges of money laundering by the EFCC before the Federal High Court at Abuja and Lagos Divisions.
Atiku’s nationality suit
The suit before Federal High Court in Abuja challenging the nationality of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar will be heared this year.
The suit was filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA) contending that by the provisions of sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the Nigerian constitution and the circumstances of his birth, Atiku is not eligible to contest for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Fani-Kayode, Usman trial
The money laundering trial involving a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, which is still pending before the Federal High Courts in Lagos and Abuja, will make progress this year.
The trial has suffered several adjournments due to several factors including the strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), EndSARS protest, court vacation and transfer of judges. The ex-minister recently denied reports of his involvement by the EFCC.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Esther Nenadi Usman; Danjuma Yusuf, and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited on a 17-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft, and money laundering.
Cases of ex-governors
The cases of several ex-governors in Nigeria pending before the courts are expected to proceed fast in the New Year after suffering delays in previous years.
Some of the cases are the ongoing trial of embattled former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, pending before a Federal High Court in Lagos; Sule Lamido of Jigawa State before a Federal High Court in Abuja; Senator Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State before a Federal High Court in Enugu; and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Others are the cases against Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State before a Federal High Court in Abuja; Gabriel Suswam of Benue State before a Federal High Court in Abuja; and Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State before a Federal High Court in Dutse.