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Wednesday, May 15

Court stops fresh probe of Saraki by EFCC, Police, DSS, CCT, others

A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained 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.

Also to be affected by the restraining orders issued on Tuesday by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, are the Department of State Services (DSS), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Justice Taiwo gave the orders in two rulings delivered two ex-parte motions filed by Saraki along 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 righst suits by Saraki.

Arguing the ex-parte motions, Saraki's lawyer, Sunday Onubi, said unless restrained, the respondents would cause irreparable damages to the applicant's rights before the substantive suits were heard.

Onubi prayed the court "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

Onubi said he also filed another 37 paragraphs affidavit of urgency, with four exhibits.

He made similar argument in relation to the other ex-parte application.

In his fisrt ruling, Justice Taiwo 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 its exercise of its discretion judicially and judiciously applied by the law and statues.

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