The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to give full protection to the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hon Leke Abejide from any arrest or detention by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the court barred the DSS, Police and Bello in separate orders, from inviting, arresting, detaining, or threatening the life and properties of the governorship candidate pending the hearing and determination of a suit instituted against them by the politician.
The judge issued the restraining orders on Wednesday in Abuja while ruling in an ex-parte application argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Sammie Somiari on behalf of the governorship candidate.
In the order signed by Justice Mohammed, the DSS, Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps were ordered to protect the properties of the politician in Abuja, Kogi State and in any parts of the country while the orders last.
The governorship candidate in the ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1248/2023 had sought for enforcement of his fundermental rights to life, dignity of person, personal liberty, fair hearing, peaceful assembly and association.
He also sought for his rights to freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination as enshrined in sections 33, 34,35,36,37, 38,40,41,42 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws on human rights.
He complained that since he emerged governorship candidate and his campaign booming, governor Yahaya Bello had allegedly become jittery and threatened and opted to get him arrested and caged to keep him out of circulation.
Abejide who was recently in the House of Representatives from Kogi West side of Kogi State alleged that the ultimate aim of the Governor is to harass, intimidate, threaten and get him out of the November 11, 2023 governorship election at all cost to pave way for his anointed candidate in the All Progressive Congress (APC).
After listening to arguments of the senior lawyer along with tendered exhibits, Justice Mohammed issued the restraining orders against the respondents to the effect that the applicant must not be arrested, detained or harassed pending the resolution of his substantive suit.
“An Order is hereby made restraining the respondents, their agents, servants and anybody acting through or under them from arresting, inviting, detaining or threatening the applicant’s life and properties pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An Order is hereby made compelling the 2nd – 8th respondents to immediately provide maximum security to the applicant in Abuja FCT, Kogi State and elsewhere in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”, the judge held.
The Judge ordered the applicant to serve all processes in respect of the suit on the respondents.
The respondents in the suit are the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Commissioner of Police (Kogi State), DSS, Director General of DSS, Director DSS (Kogi State) and the Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Judge thereafter, fixed September 20 for hearing of the substantive suit.
It will be recalled that the same Court had on July 13 ordered security agencies in the country to provide maximum protection for another governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the November governorship election in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka following similar complaints of threat to life.
In the substantive suit filed on his behalf by Ogwu James Onoja SAN, the ADC governorship candidate prayed the Court for declaration that hounding, harassment, intimidation, threat to arrest, kill, detain by Kogi Governor, using armed officers, militias and thugs to stop him from participating in the November 11 election is a violation of his rights to life and dignity of his human person.
He also wants the Court to declare that the threat by Governor Yahaya Bello to attack, invade and destroy his motor vehicles, houses and offices so as to kill, arrest and detain him is a violation of his rights to peaceful assembly and association, freedom to life, dignity and personal liberty.
Abejide applied for an order of the Court restraining the respondents whether by themselves, their agents or privies from arresting, abducting, detaining, or further harassing, intimidating, shooting, threatening him and his properties.
The ADC governorship candidate also sought another order on Governor Yahaya Bello to pay him N2Bn for the alleged gross violation of his fundermental human rights in addition to tendering public apology.
In a 27-paragraph affidavit he personally deposed to in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff averred that the agents of the Kogi State Governor have allegedly laid siege on his house in Abuja since he became a front runner in the Kogi State Governorship election.
He claimed that his protest and complaints to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) did not yield fruitful results, hence, his decision toapproach the court for protection for his life and properties.
Oil theft: FG commends Tantita Security Services for pipeline protection
The Federal Government on Saturday expressed gratitude to the management of Tantita Security Services Limited for their efforts in pipeline protection in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, gave this commendation while answering questions from reporters during his tour of oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
Lokpobiri who was accompanied on the tour by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, among other Government officials, said the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration is determined to stop all forms of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the country.
Lokpobiri said: “We’re here because of the problem of pipeline vandalization and illegal bunkering that is going on in the Niger Delta.
“I believe that, it has become an existential problem and we need to fight them. We need to fight these criminals to submission.
“What is happening here is so bad that we cannot even know the implications unless maybe when people start dying in their numbers that is when people will know that a few persons were profiting from this crime are here to wipe all of them out.
“So as a responsible government we have decided that we are going to put a stop to it.
“We are going to work with stakeholders to ensure that we stop all this nonsense in our society. We are not going to allow them.
“I want to also use the opportunity to express our gratitude to Tantita that has been commissioned by the NNPCL to be able to do some work but we are going to do a lot more.”
On his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu said the Federal Governor will sustain its partnership with Tantita Security Services Limited, to curb the crime of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He added that the Federal Government will soon take additional measures to ensure that things change for the better in pipeline security.
Ribadu said: “We have done very well to get to where we are now. We are certainly going to take more measures. So far, things are beginning to change. Give us little time and you will see things change for the better.”
Akpabio worries over NASS invasion by hoodlums, security of lawmakers
The President of the Senate, Godswill Obot Akpabio has raised the alarm over the invasion of the National Assembly complex by hoodlums who lay siege on senators, stressing that lawmakers now feel threatened by their presence.
He said as the 10th NASS settles down for legislative activities, hoodlums and people who do not have any business in the premises, stand or wait around without purpose at the Senate and Reps wings, begging and constituting security nuisance against lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly.
Akpabio spoke when he received in audience members of the National Assembly Service Commission, who paid a courtesy call on him at the NASS complex, in Abuja.
The Senate President’s lamentation came after the remarks by the Chairman of the NASC, Ahmed Kadi Amshi, who presented the challenges faced by the Commission and other issues to him.
Reacting to the issue of staff allowances raised by the Commission’s Chairman, Akpabio said he was aware of enormous resources channelled towards staff comfort, adding that everything was not about the welfare of staff.
While expressing displeasure over the infrastructural decay, filthiness and insecurity at the complex, the Senate President said there were cases of lawmakers being dispossed of their telephones and other valuables by the hoodlums who position themselves at strategic places and in front of offices.
He also raised concern aver the infrastructural rot and untidy environment in which the 10th Assembly operates.
Akpabio said, “we are aware that the entire complex is under renovation. We must also look after the environment. It is not all about the staff, we will like to see a cleaner environment and a secure complex.
“A lot of Senators have lost their telephones because of the influx of people into the complex”.
He reiterated the fact that the National Assembly remains the symbol of democracy, stressing that the 10th Senate is poised to make history through legislation.
Earlier, Amshi congratulated the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President, saying they were experienced public officers.
He appealed to lawmakers to send the list of their legislative aides for documentation.
“By September let us finish the issue of legislative aides” Amshi said.
Frank asks FG to probe attempted Boko Haram attack on Atiku
***Demands security beef up around ex-VP
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has asked the Federal Government to urgently investigate attempted Boko Haram attack on the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Frank also asked the Federal Government to beef up security around the former Vice President, even as he drew the attention of the international community to the development in Nigeria.
The political activist disclosed that some suspected Boko Haram members made attempt on the life of Atiku Abubakar on Sunday at his residence in Yola, Adamawa state.
In a statement released Monday in Abuja, Timi Frank said the arrested suspect confessed to Police a grand plot to plant bomb at the Modibbo Adama Central Mosque, the residence of the Atiku as well as the American University in Yola.
The statement reads: “Security information reaching us earlier today has it in authority that about 4 Boko Haram members all the way from Danboa, Borno State made their way at about 9:45pm local time yesterday (23/07/2023) to the Yola residence of His Excellency, the Waziri Adamawa (Atiku Abubakar) and identified themselves upon confirmation of the residence as to their mission in Adamawa.
“Reacting swiftly, the Dougirei Police command was immediately tipped off as the ring leader was promptly arrested with the rest fleeing from the premises.
“Upon investigation by the SCID Adamawa State Police HQ, it was verified and confirmed that the suspect confessed to a grand plot to plant bombs in the Modibbo Adama Central Mosque, the residence of the Waziri as well as the American University in Yola.
“These confessions of the dreaded Boko Haram sect are troubling and worrisome, as this is the first time an attempted attack of this magnitude would be planned on the person of HE Atiku Abubakar.”
Narrating the incident further, Frank said: “It is quite shocking that this is coming at a time the Federal Government had given assurance to the citizens of the decimation of the dreaded group, let alone an attempt on a high profile personality like H.E Atiku Abubakar.
“Having received the official Police HQ Situation Report, we would like to call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency beef up adequate security around the former Vice President, with swift investigation into unraveling the circumstances leading to Atiku as a target by this group.
“There is no gainsaying that it will be foolhardy on the part of the Federal Government treat this security breach with kid gloves as after effects in the event of any eventuality will be enormous for the country to contain.
“Furthermore, we must note that all through the active years of the Boko Haram sect ravaging the North-east not a single attempt was made on the person of H.E Atiku Abubakar, and we are curious as to the timing of this planned attack in this manner.”
He, however, called on International Community “to take notice, that only recently the INEC confirmed in the PEPT on HE winning in 21 states and therefore sending shock waves to the opposition and current government on the possibility of a rerun election.
“Perhaps this grand plot is being sponsored by top opposition politicians to assassinate the former VP in a bid to cause chaos and deny him any chance of retrieving his stolen mandate. We are therefore circumspect in this regard.
“Therefore, any collaborators or sponsor of this dastardly ideas must be fished out forthwith to forestall any untoward reactions towards the FG and rougue politicians alike. Nonetheless, it is imperative for the FG to immediately get to the root of this matter urgently with a view to bringing all accomplices to book.
“I am confident that the Federal Government will take this security breach as a matter of national emergency.”
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