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Court stops EFCC, Police, DSS, CCT from probing Saraki

Federal High Court in Abuja has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and three others from proceeding with their renewed probe of Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The Department of State Services (DSS), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) are also affected by the restraining orders.

Justice Taiwo gave the verdict on Tuesday following two ex-parte motions filed by Saraki with two fundamental rights enforcement applications, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/507/2019 and FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2019.

The orders, according to the judge, are to subsist pending the hearing and conclusion of the two fundamental rights suits by Saraki.

Earlier, Saraki’s lawyer, Sunday Onubi, arguing told the court that the respondents would cause irreparable damages to the applicant’s rights if not restrained before the substantive suits were heard.

Onubi prayed the court that, “for an order directing the respondents, by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or officers to stay all actions in connection with the subject matter of this suit, pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice.”

He said the motion was supported by 37 paragraphs affidavit, deposed to by the applicant (Saraki), with four exhibits attached, marked ABS 1, to ABS 4

Justice Taiwo in his ruling said: “There is no doubt that the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 is a special proceeding with its stated rules and procedure.

“By the provision of Order 4(3) of the Fundamental Rights-Civil Procedure Rules, 2009, the court may, if satisfied that hardship may be caused to the applicant before the service of an application where liberty or life of the applicant is involved, hear the application ex parte upon such interim reliefs as the justice of the application may demand.

“There is no doubt that, in making the interim reliefs or orders, the court is guided, even in the exercise of its discretion judicially and judiciously applied by the law and statues.

“Here comes in the rules and of course, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“One of the considerations, which is paramount, is the hardship the applicant may go through, between the service of the processes and the hearing of the main motion, amongst others.

“I have gone through the affidavit in support of the ex parte application particularly paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35.

“I also duly considered the averments in the affidavit of urgency and all the exhibits attached.

“I am of the view, after due consideration of the aforesaid averments, that this court ought to make the order being sought by the applicant pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice.

“To do otherwise and not to restrain the respondents by asking them not to stay actions will result in the court being faced with a fait accompli.

“I further come to my conclusion that the applicant is entitled to this order in view of the trite law that once the court is seized of a matter, parties are bound not to do anything that will make nugatory any order of the court by staying action.

“This is akin to ordering that parties maintain the status quo. However, the court must make a positive order.

“Therefore the application made ex parte pursuant to the law, succeeds. The respondents are hereby directed, either by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or officers to stay all actions in connection with the subject of this suit pending the hearing and determination of the origination motion on notice.

“I further order that the respondents shall be served fort with the originating processes and they shall file, within five days of being served, their responses.

“The hearing is fixed for May 23.”

Justice Taiwo made a similar pronouncement in relation to the second motion.

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Law

‘Yahoo Yahoo’ – Naira Marley remanded in prison pending ruling on bail application

Nigerian musician, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley was, on Monday, arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos over an alleged credit card fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him with 11-counts of the offence before Justice Nicolas Oweibo.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to him.

The judge then adjourned the case until May 30 for the hearing of his bail application.

Justice Oweibo ordered that the musician be remanded in prison until his bail application is determined.

Marley risks seven years in jail if found guilty in accordance with Section 33 (2) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

EFCC had arrested Naira Marley in connection with an alleged advance fee fraud known as ‘yahoo yahoo’ in the Nigerian parlance.

Following his arrest, the anti-graft agency filed an 11-count charge against him.

The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 were filed before a Lagos High Court.

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Arewa

Nigerian newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Monday morning

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. A former Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to say more things he knows about Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and the alleged plot to Islamise Nigeria. He said Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger Nigeria is in and what lies ahead. He also attacked former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, for attacking Obasanjo and defending President Muhammadu Buhari.

2. The Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, on Sunday, slammed the minister of transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over his declaration that Ndigbo should forget 2023. In a statement by its National Secretary, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the OYC said Amaechi was now the chief promoter of injustice. Okwu said it was an insult of the highest order for Amaechi to arrogate to himself the powers he does not have.

3. Former Governor of Jigawa state and Peoples Democratic party chieftain in the country, Sule Lamido has tackle former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statements on insecurity in the country. Lamido while responding to the statement said Obasanjo was becoming a bigot due to his disappointment against the sitting president.

4. Staff and students of Kwara State Polytechnic have threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the appointment of a new Rector by the outgoing administration in the state. Mr. Kayode Rafiu, the leader of the students, said this in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday. Rafiu said the protest would commence on Tuesday, May 21. He said the protest became necessary due to the alleged “shabby process in the appointment of a new rector for the institution by the outgoing administration.’’

5. Nigeria international striker, Asisat Oshoala has become the first African to score in a UEFA Women’s Champion League final. The Super Falcons attacker came in as an 87th-minute substitute in Saturday’s final. With Lluis Cortes’ side trailing 4-0, the 25-year-old scored in the 89th minute. Her goal was, however, not enough to inspire her team’s fight back.

6. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday reacted to claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that its 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was plotting to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. However, spokesperson of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the claim was a sign of desperation by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to hold onto power. Ologbondiyan alleged that APC was plotting to fabricate security accusations against the PDP and Atiku.

7. A senior Pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Dankade, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Rev. Zakariah Ido has been kidnapped. Reports claim that the Pastor and 16 others among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.

8. At least, fifteen persons have been allegedly killed and some beheaded by suspected cultists in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State in a fresh cult clash in the area. Rampaging armed cultists invaded the community, raiding the home of rival cult members, and killing at random.

9. The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers. DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempt to escape when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

10. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has assured that the additional four Emirates have come to stay, insisting that, they were created in good faith without any disdainful treatment to anybody or group of individuals. He said this on Sunday while insisting that the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi is no longer the only first-class monarch in the state.

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Arewa

Gov. Tambuwal blows hot over ‘plot to stop his second term inauguration’

The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has vowed to resist any attempt to stop his inauguration for second term in office.

In a statement yesterday by his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Alhaji Yusuf Dingyadi, the governor alleged of plots to cause political chaos in the state.

He said that certain individuals were spreading lies and creating confusion that the court was going to remove him from office and give power to the APC.

Tambuwal added that his posters along Birnin Kebbi Road, Maiduguri Road, Airport Road and some other areas within the metropolis had been removed and replaced with those of the APC governorship candidate.

Tambuwal stressed that only legal means could stop his government.

The statement reads, “Election is over, we have won the election and we have offered a hand of fellowship, we asked them to come so that we develop Sokoto State, they refused and went to court, why can’t they allow the court to pass its verdict?

“You can’t take your case to court and start making political noise and telling people lies when even the court has not started its own assignment.

“We are still in the process of pre-hearing, we didn’t even get to the time witnesses are called to testify on the election manipulation they alleged, yet they have started going round telling people lies, especially in the rural areas, they want to show that government is coming to them.”

The governor advised the opposition to allow the court to their work.

He continued, “PDP in Sokoto is not looking for any backdoor judgement. You allow the court to do what is needful, we have confidence in court because we won election with divine intervention.”

He called on law enforcement agencies in Sokoto to stop what he described as political rascality in Sokoto State.

“We don’t want any political crisis, we don’t want any tension in Sokoto, Sokoto people are peace-loving, we call on security agents to investigate and find out the sponsors of the political rascality in the state,” he said.

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