The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has set for November 9, 2021 the re-arraignment of two lawyers accused of alleged manipulation of the 2018 election of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which produced Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) as president of the bar. .
The two lawyers who will be reincarcerated are: Sarah Ajibola and John Demide.
On December 10, 2020, the two lawyers were brought to justice before Judge Chuka Obiozor, on 14 counts of conspiracy and cybercrime-related offenses.
They pleaded not guilty.
Judge Obiozor was subsequently transferred to another division of the court, requiring a rearrangement before another judge in the court.
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When the hearing of the charges against the two lawyers resumed today before Judge Tijjani Ringim, there was no legal representation for the prosecution, the EFCC.
The two defendants were however represented.
Due to the absence of the prosecution and the fact that the case is coming to court for the first time, Judge Ringim adjourned the case until November 9 for the re-arrest of the two lawyers.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claimed that Ajibola and Demide had manipulated the elections in favor of the outgoing president, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, who was elected 29th president of the NBA in 2018.
Mr. Usoro won 4,509 votes to defeat his other candidates, Okafor Obi and Ernest Ojukwu, who received 4,423 and 3,313 votes in the election.
One of the candidates, Mr. Ojukwu, condemned the election, saying it was characterized by fraud.
On May 5, the agency filed a 14-count charge against the defendants.
EFCC lawyer Bilikisu Buhari Bala told the court that the defendants committed the offenses in August 2018.
The attorney also alleged that they conspired and altered personal information, including the email addresses and telephone numbers of approximately 1,004 eligible voters for the election, with the intention that such inauthentic data would be considered genuine when of said election.
Some of the voter names that were allegedly falsified were: Gabriel Abijo Oladipo with Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) # 043280; Uthman Adeleye Oluwaseun with SCN 088449; David Anakor SCN # 015233; Chiagoziem Bethel Aninilu, N ° SCN 114439 and Bankole Isaac Toyin with N ° SCN. 024643.
The two lawyers allegedly used a smoke model on the IP address 126.96.36.199 to commit electoral fraud.
The offenses, according to the prosecutor, contravened and were punishable under Articles 27 (1) (b), 13, 22 (2), 22 (3) of the 2015 law.
Ajibola and Demide have pleaded not guilty.
Their lawyers, NE Ogeibe and Deborah Ogundele have asked the court to admit them on bail “on the most liberal terms”.
They told the court that Ajibola was a seasoned lawyer over 15 years old and would not waive the bond or alter the prosecution’s evidence.
In a court ruling, Judge Obiozor admitted that each defendant posted a bond in the amount of 500,000 naira with one bond each.