A Federal HighCourt, Abuja has extended the order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and Department of State Services (DSS) from detaining Sen. Abdul’aziz Yari.
Justice Donatus Okorowo extended the order on Thursday after Yari’s counsel, Michael Aondoaka, SAN, made an oral application to the effect.
The development occured following a plea for an adjournment moved by lawyer to the EFCC, Gloria Ogbason, and her counterpart representing the ICPC, Kemi Odogun, to enable them file their responses to Yari’s motion.
Upon resumed hearing in the matter, Aondoaka, informed that all the respondents had been served as directed by the court.
Ogbason, who acknowledged receipt of Yari’s processes on June 5, said they had yet to file their response.
“Therefore, we will be asking for a date since we are still within time to file my lord ” she said.
Corroborating Ogbason’s submission, Odogun, who said the ICPC was served on June 6, also sought an adjournment
“In accordance with the rules of this court, we are still within time to file and we intend to show cause my lord,” she also said.
Aondoaka said though he was not opposing their intention to respond to his application, he said: “We will only be asking for an order extending the order made on June 5 because the order was given by the court to abridge the time to show cause.”
The senior lawyer also informed that there was a proof of service of their application on the DSS, the 3rd defendant in the suit, though it was not represented in court.
Obasun and Odogun did not object to Aondoaka’s application for extension of the order.
Justice Okorowo, who adjourned the matter until June 27, barred the EFCC, ICPC and DSS from.detaining Yari until they appear to show cause in the next adjourned date.
The 10th National Assembly will be inaugurated on June 13 after a proclamation by President Bola Tinubu.
Yari, the two-term ex-governor of Zamfara, had indicated interest to vie for the position of the Senate president of the 10th assembly.
Yari had, through his team of lawyers led by Mr Aondoaaa, filed the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ANJ/CS/785/23.
In the motion dated and filed on June 2, Yari sued the EFCC, ICPC and DSS as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.
In the application, the former governor prayed the court for an order, restraining the respondents, their officials from arresting, detaining and preventing him from attending or participating at the Proclamation of the 10th Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on June 13 pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice.
In a 15-ground of argument given by the senator-elect, he said his aspiration to contest the position of President of the Senate had received overwhelming support from the general public and amongst distinguished senators-elect irrespective of party affiliations.
According to him, the support which the applicant has continued to garner across party lines has drawn consternation from some members of his political party, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC).
The party, he alleged , has resorted to using the respondents and their agents to harass and threaten to arrest and detain the applicant on trumped-up charges for the period leading to the First Sitting of the Senate when nominations and election of presiding officers shall be constituted.
“The respondents and their agents have threatened to violate the applicant’s rights as enshrined in the Constitution by unlawfully threatening to arrest and detain the applicant up to the period of the First Sitting of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 13th June, 2023, without a warrant of arrest and informing him in writing the reasons for the arrest and detention.
“The respondents and their agents violated the applicant’s fundamental human rights as enshrined under Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The respondents and their agents are mandated to operate within the ambit of their establishment laws, and to respect the fundamental human rights of the Applicant as enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.
Yari said if the order was not given, his rights would have been breached by the respondents.(NAN)
Edeoga Heads to Appeal Court over Enugu Guber Tribunal Verdict
From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu.
The Edeoga/Nwokeabia campaign organization has said it would challenge the outcome of the Judgement delivered by the Enugu Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on September 21, at the Court of Appeal.
This was disclosed in a statement sent to the Journalists by the spokesperson of the Edeoga/Nwokeabia campaign organization, Engineer George Ugwu.
Ugwu said that the campaign organization was prepared to challenge the tribunal judgement that uphelds the victory of Governor Peter Mbah of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) at the court of appeal and to all extent as permitted by law.
He urged their supporters across the state and in other parts of the country to remain calm, law abiding and go about their businesses without fear or hindrance.
He further added that “we retain belief in Justice and will go the full extent legally possible in ensuring that the hopes of Enugu people, who turned out in their numbers to vote for Labour Party candidate on March 18, 2023 are realised”
Enugu Tribunal Declares Peter Mba Duly Elected
From Sylvia Udegbunam Enugu
The Enugu State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal has declared Governor Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as duly elected in the March 18, governorship election in Enugu State.
The tribunal chaired by Justice Kudirat Murayo Akano also dismissed Edeoga/Labour Party’s petitions of over-voting, bypass of BVAS in the election.
The court ruled that Mbah was duly elected as governor by majority of lawful and valid votes cast at the election.
The Tribunal had earlier dismissed the allegation of Edeoga/LP that Governor Peter Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) discharge certificate was forged.
It held that Mbah did not submit his NYSC certificate to INEC in aid of his qualification to contest for office of governor, since he was already qualified without NYSC certificate.
The Tribunal further rejected Edeoga’s witnesses, and ruled that the LP governorship candidate did not present any admissible evidence to prove that Mbah’s certificate was forged.
The tribunal also held that to prove the issue of forgery, the petitioner must provide the original certificate and the forged one.
The panel also resolved the issue that Mbah was not elected by majority of votes cast against the petitioner.
It averred that witnesses called by the petitioners could not specify the polling units where the elections did not hold nor the results of same.
The panel further held that the petitioner failed to prove that the Mbah did not possess the minimum requirement to stand for election, which is school certificate or its equivalent.
It, therefore, said there was no evidence to support the claim that Mbah was not qualified to stand for the election.
On the issue of plea bargain by Mbah, the tribunal averred that the exhibits presented by the petitioners did not show any plea bargain by the respondent.
The court said there was an evidence presented by Mbah to the effect that he was acquitted of the charges.
Ogun Govt. to set up special Court to try cultists
Ogun Govt. to set up special Court to try cultists
Gov. Dapo Abiodun says a special Court is to be established by the Ogun Government to try cult-related cases.
Abiodun spoke after a joint security meeting, held at the Governor’s Office, in Abeokuta on Wednesday.
He said that the state government would also set up a Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force comprising all major security outfits, with the mandate to rid the state of the menace of cultism.
The governor said that the state was also proposing an amnesty programme for cultists who might wish to renounce cultism and surrender their weapons.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Abiodun had on Tuesday hinted that his administration would enact a law that would pronounce the death penalty on anyone caught engaging in cult activities in the state.
NAN reports that the governor had spoken during a visit to the Palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, following days of cult-related clashes in Sagamu, which left many dead and others injured.
The governor said that the joint security meeting focused on providing adequate measures to eradicate cultism in the state.
“During the meeting that took place today (Wednesday), we engaged in fruitful discussions regarding the implementation of measures aimed at combating cultism in the state.
“Our primary focus was on establishing a special court, forming a joint operational force comprising various security agencies, and implementing a death penalty for cultism offences.
“In addition to these measures, we also deliberated on the possibility of introducing a period of amnesty.
” This would allow individuals who wish to surrender their weapons and renounce their affiliation with any cult-related groups and activities the opportunity to do so without fear of prosecution.
” We are dedicated to providing the Special Court and Joint Anti-Cultism Security Task Force with the necessary logistics and tools to support their operations effectively,” he said.
Abiodun said that the overall objective of the meeting was to address the issue of cultism through a multifaceted approach.
He added that the approach would include legal and enforcement measures, rehabilitation efforts, and community engagement through our respected traditional leaders.
“In conclusion, we are determined to tackle the menace of cultism in our state head-on.
“This is by employing a combination of legal frameworks, law enforcement strategies, rehabilitation initiatives, and community involvement, we believe we can bring about lasting change,” he said. (NAN)
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