Tuesday 28 July 2015

Senate Forgery Scandal: Court Summons Saraki, Ekweremadu On Aug. 4th


Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Monday, declined to stop the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, from taking any step towards prosecuting those behind the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order 2015.
The court equally refused to restrain the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, from preferring criminal charges against the culprits.
Senator Gilbert Nnaji who is representing Enugu-East Senatorial District had gone before the court with an ex-parte motion wherein he applied for a restraining order against both the IGP and the AGF.

He specifically urged the court to restrain the two respondents from taking further steps on the investigation of allegation of forgery of the Senate Standing Order 2015.
It will be recalled that some key principal officers in the Senate were accused of complicity in the alleged forgery.
The alleged bogus Senate Standing Order was the one that was used for the conduct of the election that saw the emergence of Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
Meantime, instead of acceding to Senator Nnaji’s request, Justice Kolawole ordered the plaintiff to go and put the respondents on notice to enable them to appear in court on August 4, to show cause why they should not be restrained from taking further actions on the matter.
Justice Kolawole said he could not issue the restraining order on the strength of an ex-parte application, stressing that doing so would amount to granting the principal relief that is contained in the substantive suit before the court.
He said there was need to afford the IGP and the AGF the opportunity to join issues with the plaintiff with regard to the subject matter before the court.
Moreso, the court rejected plea by the plaintiff that the suit be okayed for accelerated hearing.
Justice Kolawole held that the court was bereft of the power to abridge the 30 days period within which the respondents are entitled to enter their briefs of argument. He said that such prayer could only be granted with the consent of all parties in the case.
Consequently, he directed the service of all the relevant court processes on the respondents to compel their attendance in court on August 4.
Nnaji had moved the ex-parte motion which was anchored on the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/646/15, through his lawyer, Mr. P.J. Nwokolo.

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