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Court Stops EFCC, ICPC, DSS from Detaining Yari

Yari said if the order was not given, his rights would have been breached by the respondents.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), from detaining the Senator-elect for Zamfara West, Abdul’aziz Yari, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Justice Donatus Okorowo, who gave the order in a ruling delivered on an ex-parte motion moved by Michael Aondoaaa on Yari’s behalf, also stopped the Department of State Services, DSS, from detaining the senator-elect.

Justice Okorowo, therefore, ordered the respondents (EFCC, ICPC, DSS) to show cause in the next adjourned date on why the prayers sought on the motion ex-parte should not be granted.

“The respondents are however restrained from detaining the applicant until the return date for the order to show cause,” he ruled.

The Justice consequently adjourned the matter until June 8 for the respondents to show cause.

There were reports that Yari had through his team of lawyers which included Abdul Kohol but led by 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.

The former governor prayed the court for an order, restraining the respondents, their officials, whosoever and howsoever described from arresting and/or threatening to arrest and detain him in order to prevent him from participating at the Proclamation of the 10th Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on June 13.

Yari, who gave 15 grounds on why the application should be granted, averred that he was desirous of contesting the position of the president of the Senate of the 10th National Assembly in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and pursuant to the Senate Standing Orders p2022 as (amended).

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.

He said the support which the applicant has continued to garner across party lines has drawn consternation from some members of his political party, the APC, who had allegedly 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.

“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.

Meanwhile more senators-elect have continued to rally behind Yari as the preferred candidate of the newly elected and returning legislators ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. 

Yari is reported to be commanding the support of most of the Senators-elect as well as the ranking legislators in the APC and across other parties ahead of the proclamation of the parliament, where the senators-elect would elect a Senate President by simple majority.

Yari is believed not just to be in the contest for the Senate Presidency, but the man to beat as the equation is said to have changed drastically. A former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, is his main rival.

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