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

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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

Abia lawmakers pass bill to set up House of Assembly Service Commission

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The bill to establish Abia State House of Assembly Service Commission, has been passed into law by the leadership of the current 7th house.

The passage of the bill took place during the State Assembly plenary sitting on Wednesday, after it (Bill)had been subjected to all necessary legislative procedures.

The Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, who presided over the sitting, pointed out that the bill if signed into law by the Executive arm of government would strengthen the democratic structure of the State.

He listed other merits of the bill if it becomes a law to include, granting the State House of Assembly financial autonomy and creating more job opportunities among Abians.

Meanwhile, the Speaker, Orji, has assured that the current 7th leadership of the house will pay serious attention to their oversight functions in order to aid the workings of the State government.

The Speaker gave the assurance, while addressing his colleagues during the plenary session of the Assembly, opining that the recent constitution of Adhoc Committees to probe some of the Abia government agencies and Boards were not designed to witch-hunt or blackmail anybody, as it has been hinted in some quarters.

He said, “No amount of blackmail will stop the house from giving legislative backing to support the Governor of Abia state in improving the lives of Abians.

“We, as members of the legislative arm of government will not allow anyone intimidate us in the discharge of our duties”.

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Crime

Father to court: I defiled my daughter to test if she is virgin

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A 37-year-old security guard, Wasiu Orilonise, has confessed to defiling his 15-year-old daughter after being arraigned before Oyo State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ibadan.

The suspect was arraigned on one-count of having unlawful carnal knowledge of his daughter with Charge‎ No. Mi/271c/2019.

He, however, begged the court for forgiveness as he claimed to have committed the said offence because he wanted to test the virginity of his daughter to protect her.

The prosecutor, Mr. Sunday Ogunremi, told the court that the accused, in December 2018, at Omo Village, Agbofieti, Ibadan, in the Ibadan magisterial district, did rape one Orilonise Adenike.

Ogunremi‎ said the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 34, Subsections 1 and 2 of the Child Rights Law of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2006.

No plea was‎, however, taken during the arraignment.

However, when the Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Olaniran, sought to know from the accused what could have pushed him into defiling his biological daughter, Orilonise said that since he lost his wife a few years ago, he had been taking care of Adenike and others siblings.

He further told the court that he committed the act in an attempt to protect his daughter and check if she had lost her virginity.

“The incident happened as I was trying to ascertain if Adenike had lost her virginity,” he said.

Upon discovering that she was still intact, he started having sex regularly with her both in the morning before she leaves for school and at night.

‎The magistrate criticised fathers who were fond of sexually abusing their daughters and other under-aged girls.

He thereafter ordered that the accused be remanded in Agodi Prison pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and adjourned the case till July 30, 2019.

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Buhari

HURIWA to Buhari: Continuous detention of El-Zakzaky, Dasuki is an act of treason

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, HURIWA, has described the continuous detention of the leader of Shiites Islamic movement, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and erstwhile National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd.) as an act of treason.

In a statement on Thursday, the civil rights group called on global leaders to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to release on bail the duo “who have languished in underground jails for over three years extralegally”.

Citing section 36(5) and section (6) of the Nigerian constitution which states: “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty; provided that nothing in this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes upon any such person the burden of proving particular facts”, Huriwa expressed disbelief that world leaders could fold their arms and watch as President Buhari “unleashed venoms and vicious attacks on its citizens”.

“It is the view of the human rights platform that the continuous detention and duplication of charges against the duo by President Muhammadu Buhari is an act of treason against the constitution just as HURIWA stated that it is necessary that they are not allowed to die in detention following reports of their deteriorating health conditions,” the statement added.

The group also reacted to the recent order issued by the Inspector General Police, Mr Adamu Mohammed, on the restriction of public protests in certain locations in Abuja.

It will be recalled that the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, gave the order on Wednesday.

According to Huriwa, the order by the IGP is “illegal” as it is “against the clear provisions of the constitution in chapter four and provisions of the constitution guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms of movement and peaceful assembly, including the binding Appellate court’s verdict clearly stating that police don’t have any legal right to stop protests and against the most cherished values of constitutional democracy built around the tripod of freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement which are even guaranteed by a plethora of global human rights laws.”

The group added that they were shocked that whilst constitutional democracy gradually dies away in Nigeria due to deliberate whittling down of respect for human rights by the current administration, world leaders in the US and UK simply don’t care but pretend to be unaware of the global consequences of a deluge of refugees from Nigeria should democracy collapsed under the heavyweight of tyranny and totalitarianism of the current administration.

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