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N’assembly inauguration: Court restrains EFCC, DSS from detaining Yari

N’assembly inauguration: Court restrains EFCC, DSS from detaining Yari
June 05
18:21 2023

A federal high court in Abuja, on Monday, restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) from detaining Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara state.

Giving the order on an ex-parte motion filed by Michael Aondoakaa on Yari’s behalf, Donatus Okorowo, the judge, also stopped the Department of State Services (DSS) from detaining the senator-elect, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Okorowo 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,” the judge ruled and adjourned the matter until June 8.

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Through his team of lawyers led by Aondoakaa, former minister of justice, Yari had filed the ex-parte motion marked FHC/ANJ/CS/785/23 asking the court to restrain the EFCC, ICPC and DSS from arresting him.

In the motion dated and filed on June 2, Yari sued the EFCC, ICPC and DSS as 1st to 3rd defendants respectively.

He prayed the court to stop the three agencies from arresting and/or threatening to arrest and detain him to prevent him from participating in the proclamation of the 10th senate by President Bola Tinubu on June 13.

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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 in accordance with the 1999 constitution (as amended), and pursuant to the senate standing orders 2022 (amended).

He said his aspiration to contest the position had received overwhelming support from the public and senators-elect irrespective of party affiliations.

The former governor said the support he has continued to garner across party lines has drawn consternation from some members of his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said the unnamed members have allegedly resorted to using the respondents and their agents to harass, threaten to arrest and detain him on trumped-up charges for the period leading to the first sitting of the senate when nominations and election of presiding officers would be constituted.

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“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 motion reads.

“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.”

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

In May 2022, the EFCC arrested Yari over alleged fraud relating to the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme (SURE-P).

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The former Zamfara governor was also arrested in connection to the fraud allegations levelled against Ahmed Idris, the suspended accountant-general of the federation.

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