AThe 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

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

“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.

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