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Court Stops EFCC, ICPC, DSS from Probing Saraki

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies involved in the probe of  Senate President Bukola Saraki over corruption allegations.

Saraki on Friday filed two separate fundamental rights enforcement suits before the court to challenge the decision of the EFCC to seize his houses.

Ruling on an ex parte application filed along with the substantive suit by Saraki, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on Tuesday ordered the anti-corruption body and the other five respondents to the suit to stay action on the probe pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicant.

The judge made the order after hearing Saraki’s lawyer Sunday Onubi, who moved the application.

The six respondents to the suit affected by the restraining order are the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN),  Department of State Services,  Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu,  EFCC,  Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and  Code of Conduct Tribunal.

In a ruling delivered by the judge on returning to the courtroom after taking about 45 minutes to prepare it in his chambers, the court likened the restraining order issued on Tuesday to an order directing the parties to the suit to maintain the status quo in respect of the probe.

Ordering them to suspend the probe, Justice Taiwo said he granted Saraki’s prayers to avert a situation where the court would be faced with a situation of fait accompli.

He added that granting the order was in line with a settled principled of law that once a suit was filed, all parties to it must refrain from taking any action capable of rendering the suit nugatory.

According to him, the order amounts to an order directing the parties to maintain the status quo.

He added that the law allows such an application to be granted in a situation where the applicant would likely face “hardship” between the time of serving processes in the suit on the respondents and hearing and determination of the suit.

He ruled, “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 the applicant  may be caused  hardship 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.

“Here comes in the rules and of course Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He added, “I am of the view, after due consideration of the aforesaid averment, that this court ought to make the order being sought by the applicant pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice.

“To do otherwise and not to restrain the respondents by asking them not to stay action will result in the court being faced with a fait accompli.”

The judge made the same set of orders in the two separate suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/507/2019 and FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2019, filed by Saraki,  which were separately argued and ruled upon on Tuesday.

Justice Taiwo then directed the applicant to serve the court processes on the six respondents who he also directed to file their response within five days of being served.

He adjourned further hearing till May 23, 2019  when the respondents will have  an  opportunity to challenge the ex parte order by arguing their objection to Saraki’s motion on notice.

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Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed

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A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.

The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.

Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.

It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.

The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”

Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.

The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele

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Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.

“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.

The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.

“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.

“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”

His condition had been described as stable.

Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.

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We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF

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The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.

Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.

He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.

“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?

“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.

“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.

“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.

“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.

The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”

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