A Federal High Court in Abuja has extended the order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, and Department of State Services, DSS, from detaining Senator Abdulaziz Yari.
Justice Donatus Okorowo extended the order on Thursday after Yari’s counsel, Michael Aondoaka, SAN, made an oral application to the effect.
The development occurred following a plea for an adjournment moved by the lawyer to the EFCC, Gloria Ogbason and her counterpart representing
ICPC, Kemi Odogun, to enable them file their responses to Yari’s motion.
Upon the resumed hearing in the matter, Yari’s counsel, Aondoaka, informed that all the respondents had been served as directed by the court.
Ogbason, who acknowledged receipt of Yari’s processes on June 5, said they had yet to file their response.
“Therefore, we will be asking for a date since we are still within time to file my lord, ” she said.
Corroborating Ogbason’s submission, Odogun, who said the ICPC was served on June 6, also sought an adjournment.
“In accordance with the rules of this court, we are still within time to file and we intend to show cause my lord,” she also said.
Aondoaka said though he was not opposing their intention to respond to his application, “We will only be asking for an order extending the order made on June 5 because the order was given by the court to abridge the time to show cause.”
The senior lawyer also informed that there was proof of service of their application on the DSS, the 3rd defendant in the suit, though it was not represented in court.
Obasun and Odogun did not object to Aondoaka’s application for an extension of the order.
Justice Okorowo, who adjourned the matter until June 27, barred the EFCC, ICPC and DSS from detaining Yari until they appear to show cause on the next adjourned date.
Yari, a two-term ex-governor of Zamfara, had indicated interest to vie for the position of the Senate president of the 10th assembly.
Through his team of lawyers led by Mr Aondoaaa, Yari 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.
In the application, the former governor prayed the court for an order, restraining the respondents and their officials from arresting, detaining and preventing him from attending or participating in the Proclamation of the 10th Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on June 13 pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice.
In a 15-ground argument given by the senator-elect, 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.
Yari claimed the support which the applicant has continued to garner across party lines has drawn consternation from some members of his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party, he alleged, has 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 up to the period of the First Sitting of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 13th June 2023, without a warrant of arrest and informing him in writing the reasons for the arrest and detention.
“The respondents and their agents violated the applicant’s fundamental human rights as enshrined under Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“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.