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Posts tagged ‘History of criminal justice’

Ibori’s Kangaroo Judge Retires-PM News, Nigeria.


 

Marcel Awokulehin
By Akin Kuponiyi

Justice Marcellus Idowu Awokulehin, the judge who gave former Delta State Governor, Onanefe James Ibori clean bill of health in the corruption charges file against him, has  retired. He retired Thursday.

In a well attended valedictory service held in Lagos in his honour by judges, lawyers, past chief judges of the Court Justice, Awokulehin thanked the judges and offered his gratitude to the late Bola Ige who recommended him for the post of a judge.

On 17 December, 2009,  Justice Awokulehin in his ruling quashed all the 170-count criminal charges filed against Ibori by  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Ibori was however extradited to the United Kingdom where he was convicted and jailed for the same offence Wokulehin set him free in Nigeria.

Justice Awokulehin was born  16 January, 1949,  in Otan Aiyegbaju in Boluwaduro Local Government Area of Osun State. He started his early education at Holy Cross Primary School, Lagos from 1955-1960 and St.Mary’s Primary School, Lokoja from 1960-1962. From there he gained admission into St. Thomas’s School Kano from 1962-1964.

He later continued his secondary education at the Hussey College, Warri from 1964-1968.

Awokulehin was admitted into the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos as part time student from 1971-1973 and full time student from1973-1975 .

He later proceeded to the City of London Polytechnic from 1975-1978 for his Modular Law and from 1978-1979 and  obtained his Master’s degree having completed a post graduate course in business law. He was called to the Nigerian  Bar in 1982.

He did his National Youth Service with the Federal Ministry of Justice from 1982-1983. He was later made permanent staff from1985-1987.

Between 1987 and 1993, he was Senior State Counsel, Legal Adviser to the Department of Customs and Excise, Chief Legal Adviser Department of public prosecution, Marina, Lagos from August 1998-March 1999.

Awokulehin was the lead Counsel to the Oputa panel during its sitting in Lagos in 2001

He was appointed as Federal High Court Judge on 7 January, 2004 and served five divisions of the court, namely Asaba, Benin, Lagos, Lafia and Kaduna.

In a well attended valedictory service held in his honour by judges, lawyers, past chief judges of the Court Justice, Awokulehin thanked the judges and offered his gratitude to the late Bola Ige who recommended him for the post of a judge.

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Sotomayor Criticizes Prosecutor for Racial Remark.


Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday publicly criticized a federal prosecutor for what she called “a racially charged remark” during a drug trial.

The comment came as the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Bongani Charles Calhoun, who said during his 2011 trial he didn’t know a group of men he was with at a hotel were preparing for a drug deal.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Ponder asked him in open court, “You’ve got African Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money. Does that tell you — a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, ‘This is a drug deal?'”

Calhoun was convicted and sentenced to prison on drug conspiracy and firearm charges. He appealed his conviction, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn the convictions and sentence.

Sotomayor agreed with the decision not to hear the case, but said in a statement that she wanted to be sure that denial wasn’t thought to “signal our tolerance of a federal prosecutor’s racially charged remark.”

Sotomayor criticized the prosecutor, saying the statement was “pernicious in its attempt to substitute racial stereotypes for evidence, and racial prejudice for reason. It is deeply disappointing to see a representative of the United States resort to this base tactic more than a decade into the 21st century.”

“By suggesting that race should play a role in establishing a defendant’s criminal intent, the prosecutor here tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation,” she said, in a statement along with Justice Stephen Breyer.

She closed with: “I hope never to see a case like this again.”

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

ABC OTUS News

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