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A Lagos based human right lawyer,Chief Malcom Emokiniovo Omirohobo,has dragged the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police, before a Federal high court in Lagos, south west Nigeria over the approval of using Hijab scarf by Police women under their caps.

Join as co-defenders are, Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria,and The Attorney General of the Federation.

In a 60 paragraphs affidavit in support of the originating summons sworn to by Chief Malcom Omirhobo himself, he averred that as a Nigerian Citizen it is his civic obligation and responsibility to defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at all times

That as a Nigerian citizen, he owe his allegiance to his country Nigeria and his country’s Constitution.

He is a stake holder of the Nigerian project and a co-owner of the Nigerian commonwealth.
As a result of the above, he is familiar with the facts of this case.

He pays his taxes, Value Added Tax inclusive other levies imposed on Nigerian citizens by the Attorney General of the Federation
He is bringing this public interest case for the interest of the Nigerian Public especially for the poor, weak, illiterates, uninformed, defenseless and vulnerable ones therein.

The Inspector General of Nigerian Police is the Head of the Nigerian Police Force whose responsibility is to maintain law and order in Nigeria .
The Nigerian Police force is a creation of the Nigerian Constitution and funded with the Nigerian Tax Payers money and the common
wealth of the Nigerian citizens to serve and protect the interest of all Nigerians of different tribes, religions , languages and cultures.
The Nigerian police is a public institution and a national agency portraying the image of Nigeria .

The Nigerian police is a part of or an agency of the Nigerian executive arm of government for the enforcement of law and maintenance of law and order.
The Inspector General of Police being the head of the Nigerian police is subject to judicial review of this Honourable Court .

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is both a multi-ethnic and religious State inhabited by over 200 million Citizens of over 500 ethnic groups who speak over 400 different languages and identified with diverse cultures. Apart from Islam and Christianity being the dominant religions in Nigerian, Nigerians practice other religions such as indigenous religion , African Traditionalists, Buddhist, Judaism, Daoism, Baha’i, Confucianism, Druze, Gnosticism,
Jainism, Rastafarianism, Shinto, Skihism, Zoroastrianism, Eckist, Armocs, grail message, Voodism etc,there are also Atheists in Nigeria .
Nigeria became an independent nation in 1960 and at the point of her independence its founding fathers agreed that the country will be a secular country.
By virtue of the Nigerian 1999 constitution (As Amended), Nigeria is a secular State without any officially recognized religion. The Nigerian police comprises of Nigerian Citizens of different religious beliefs.Nigerian police do not have any official religion,as the Nigerian police is a public institution and not a private organization .

That the equipping, maintaining and funding of the Nigerian police for effectiveness in performing her statutory and constitutional responsibilities is covered by the Nigerian 1999 Constitution .

However the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police with the tacit support of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation approved new dress code for female Muslim personnel which permits them to wear stud earrings and Hijab headscarf under their berets or peak caps as the case may be while in uniform.
The new dress code was unveiled at the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police meeting with Strategic Police Managers on 3rd of March,2022.
The Inspector General of the Nigerian Police has ordered the immediate distribution of uniforms,kits and other accoutrements to it’s Muslim female officers across the country. The defendants are producing or procuring Hijab with public funds/tax player’s money.
Hijab is a traditional scarf worn by Muslim women to cover the hair and neck and sometimes the face. Hijab is a dress code for Moslem women World wide and is associated with Islam and is also synonymous with Islam.

Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty privacy and has no bearing with the performance of our Police Muslim women in the discharge of their statutory duties and responsibilities.

The Nigerian Police Personal as ambassadors of Nigeria goes on international engagements such as peace keeping mission all over the world.
The wearing of Hijab by the Nigerian Police,gives the world impression that Nigeria is an Islamic country.

That by the Nigerian constitution the Attorney General of the Federation or any State Government and by extension any of Its agencies or States in Nigeria shall not adopt any religion as State religion
By virtue of section 10 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution Nigeria is a secular state.
Nigeria is not an Islamic State.

By the Nigerian Constitution no Nigerian citizen of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin
sex, religion or political opinions shall be discriminated upon.
The approved new dress code of allowing Muslim female Nigeria police officers to use Hijab as part of their official uniform is discriminatory to other Nigerian police female Police officers of other religious faiths and beliefs

That the use of hijab is a breach of Section 10 and 42(1)(a)(b) of the Nigerian 1999 constitution ( As Amended) .

That the religion of police officers is a private and personal matter to them and not of public concern.
By virtue of Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Defendants and the Nigerian police are to be neutral in religious matters.
The 1999 constitution of Nigeria is the supreme law of Nigeria and has binding effect on all the Defendants and members of the Nigerian police force.
This action is for this Honourable Court to interpret Sections 1 (1), 10, 42(1)(a)(b) and 214 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (As Amended) and give judicial pronouncement and/or decision on the propriety of the Defendants’ approving, producing , issuing and distributing Hijab to female Muslim police officers as part of their official dress code.
Unless the Defendants are restrained by this Honourable Court they will continue to violate the constitution of Nigeria and the status of Nigeria as a secular State will continue to be under played and undermine. In no distant time the Army , Navy , Air Force and other para military organizations like the Customs , Correctional Center, Immigration, Civil Defence, Road Safety Corps will join and in the use of Hijab for their Muslim female officers as dress code and thereby polarizing our entire security public officers on religious line .
The Honourable Court has the jurisdiction to entertain public interest litigation for the benefit of the Nigerian Public, the Defendants will not be prejudiced if this application is granted and it will be in the overall interest of justice that this application is granted
Consequently, Chief Malcom Omirhobo is seeking the following reliefs from the court

A declaration of the court that by the true interpretation and/or construction of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) it is improper , illegal , unlawful and unconstitutional for the IGP with the tacit support of the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation to use public funds to approve, produce and/or procure, issue and distribute to
Nigerian female police officers throughout Nigeria Hijab for use as part of their official dress code while on duty?

A declaration of this court that the defendants approval of Hijab as part of the official dress code for Nigerian Police officers amounts to the adoption of Islam as state religion in Nigeria and therefore a flagrant violation of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended)

A declaration of the court that true interpretation and/or construction of Section 42(1)(a)(b)of 1999 Constitution (As the Amended) the defendants approval of the use of Hijab as part of the official dress code for Nigerian female of Muslim police officers with public funds without approving dress code for other Nigerian female police officers of other religion is discriminatory and therefore illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

A declaration of the court that by virtue of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) Nigeria is a secular State .

An order of the court annulling and /or cancelling the use of Hijab as part of the official dress code for female Muslim Nigerian police officers for being at variance and inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 1(1)(3), 10 , 42(1)(a)(b) and 214 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) and therefore improper , illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
An order of the court restraining the defendants from further violating the provisions 1(1)(3), 10 , 42(1)(a)(b) and 214 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended), through their act of permitting the use of Hijab as part of the official dress code for Nigerian female Muslim police officers .

7. An order of the court compelling the defendants to stop forthwith the production,issuance, distribution and use of Hijab as part of the official dress code for Nigerian female Muslim.

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Police launch manhunt for Sterling Bank staff for Stealing customers’ N300m

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The Delta State Police Command on Sunday says it has begun search for a female staff of Sterling Bank in Effurun Branch, Delta State for allegedly disappearing with customers’ money to the tune of N300 milion.

 

Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Bright Edafe who confirmed this to our correspondent, said that the suspect, a female staff (name withheld) allegedly defrauded customers of the bank she works in the sum of N300million, adding that the police were seriously looking for her.

 

DSP Bright Edafe said that the female banker was said to have approached some account owners to grant her permission to be using their money for business while she would be giving the customers certain percentage every month, adding that this was not to be as it was discovered last week by one of the customers that the woman stopped coming to work and an attempt to reach her on phone was unsuccessful as her lines were switched off.

 

It was gathered that on getting to her house around Living Faith Church at Water Resources, Effurun where she lived, it was alleged that she had also absconded as one of her colleagues said that the female banker did business with customers’ money with their consent while it backfired when many people she gave money to refused to pay back, a situation that had kept her hiding from the people.

 

Edafe said that the police will do everything possible to arrest her, disclosing that her co-workers denied her whereabouts when the incident happened upon police investigation, adding that there has been palpable tension laced with threats to sack her co-workers who assisted her to ensure that she was allowed to be using the funds when they pleaded with the owners of the money.

 

He also revealed that her husband had been invited for questioning.

 

Kontongs Bello, Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed this to journalists, said that the suspect is wanted for many cases that bothered on robbery, stealing among others, adding that the police will do everything possible to smoke him from his hideout.

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Oriental Energy in 4m Dollar Debt Mess

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The Federal high court sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria has adjourned till 28 of September,2022, when hearing will commence in a case of debt recovery of USD4,143,856.70 filed against Oriental Energy Resources Company by Borr International Operation drilling company,being an alleged outstanding approved and unpaid invoices for the drilling services rendered in accordance with Contract for the provision of Jack-Up Drilling Unit and Drilling Rig Services rendered in the Defendant’s Ebok Field in OML 67.

 

 

The drilling company in a suit filed by its lawyer, Barrister,Gabriel Uduafi is also praying the court for interest on US$ 4,143,856.70 million based on the current London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), one month interest rate increased by 5 percent and calculated pro data on a daily basis from 6th October, 2021, till the date of liquidation of the judgement debt.

 

In its statement of claim, the Plaintiff stated that by the relevant provisions of the contract, the Drilling Operations, which the Plaintiff was engaged to carry out was required to be done within the Firm Term of 120 days.

 

It stated that going by the relevant provisions of the Contract, there was no fixed-or set target that the Plaintiff was obligated to achieve, as the Contract was not a turnkey but a day rate’ contract; and to this effect, Clauses and Schedule of the Contract explicitly set out the various rates to include Operating Rate, Standby Rate, Repair Rate, . Force Majeure Rate, Redrill Rate, Moving Rate and Zero Kate.

 

The plaintiff stated that the Lump Sum payments under the contract are the Mobilization cost of $450,000 and the

Demobilization cost of $250,000, a sum Which become due and payable upon the completion of the contract.

 

However,following the default in making payment as stipulated under the Contract, the plaintiff wrote to the Defendant both by mail and letters, demanding for the payment of the outstanding and approved invoices and that the Defendant wrote replies raising issues and points that are completely alien to the Contract as its reason for not making the payment.

 

The Plaintiff contended that in setting up a completely ridiculous claim, the Defendant claimed spread cost for nonproductive time (NPT) in the total sum of US$3,437,500.00 where there is no provision in the Contract to support such claim.

 

The Plaintiff added that following series of engagement , it was compelled to instruct its lawyers to issue a demand for the payment of the invoices, and by a letter dated 19th January, 2022 the Plaintiffs Solicitors delivered a formal demand for the payment of some of the outstanding invoices in the sum of US$2,533,749.12 net of taxes.

 

Rather than simply honour its payment obligation under the Contract and credit the Plaintiff with the value of the invoices, the Defendant caused its Solicitors to reply the Plaintiff’s formal demand by the letter dated 26th January, 2022 by which the Defendant now seeks to claim the sum of $10,511,754.00 as spread cost for non-productive time (NPT) and consequential loss, as against the sum of US$3,437,500.00 initially set up by the Defendant in its earlier engagement with the Plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff added that in accordance with the provisions of the Contract, the same came to completion on 10th October, 2021 when the Plaintiff’s Drilling Unit left the Defendant’s Ebok Field OML 67.

 

Plaintiff avers that by the Completion Date, the lump sum Demobilization Rate of US$250,000 became due and payable.

The reasons given by the Defendant in refusing to honour its payment obligation under the Contract are flimsy, frivolous, vexatious and ultra vires, the provisions of the Contract between the Parties, and having approved the invoices, the defendant is obligated to make the payment within the stipulated 30 days under the Contract.

Consequently,excuses given by the Defendant in failing to honour its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff are simply provocative, as same are not supported or derived from the Contract.

The Plaintiff is being denied of the payment due to it in respect of the services rendered to the Defendant

as a result of which the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune of US$4,143,856.70 as stipulated under Clause 11.2 of the Contract.

It will be in the interest of justice to grant all the reliefs claimed in this suit adding that except the Court intervenes and grant the reliefs sought, the Defendant will continue to default in the payment of the invoices which have been duly approved for payment by the Plaintiff.

In its defence, Oriental Energy Resources Limited stated that the company is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the manner alleged in it’s claim or in any manner whatsoever as the invoices upon which the alleged debt purportedly arose are disputed by the defendant.

 

The Defendant stated that the Plaintiff misled it into agreeing to the mobilisation of the drilling rig to commence the contract, by fraudulently misrepresenting to the Defendant that its drilling rig, Borr Natt, was suitable for the Defendant’s Drilling Programme.

 

In an affidavit deposed to by Abraham Faga, a Well Engineering Manager in the Defendant company, he stated that the Defendant is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the way and manner alleged in its claim or in any way and manner whatsoever as the Defendant is disputing the invoices upon which the purported debt arose.

 

He averred that without the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentations, the Defendant would never have commenced the contract and approved mobilisation of the drilling unit, hence the issue of Plaintiff’s invoices which were issued within the contract would never have arisen.

 

He added that the Defendant would, be claiming for a refund of all payments it has so far made to the Plaintiff as the payments were fraudulently obtained.

 

He claimed that due to the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation, the purported execution of the contract was completely appalling with non-productive time of over 25 days attributed to rig related repairs which is unprecedented in the industry for drilling operations.

 

He stated that the Plaintiff hastily commenced this suit under undefended list to mislead the court into believing that the Defendant has no defence to its claims.

 

The deponent further stated that Justice will be better served if the Defendant is allowed to defend the suit.

 

He urged the court to transfer the suit to Ordinary Cause List for a complete and holistic determination of all issues in controversy.

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