A FEDERAL Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Garki has stopped the Department of State Services (DSS) from arresting the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yakubu Mahmood, over allegations bordering on false assets declaration.
The presiding judge, M. A. Hassan, refused, on Wednesday, January 4, the application seeking that Mahmood be arrested, as he rejected 14 other reliefs brought by the claimants.
Justice Hassan held that Mahmood’s asset declaration was lawful, valid and in compliance with the law, and thereby blocked the DSS, the Nigeria Police (NPF), and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) from arresting him.
The ruling followed an originating summons marked FCT/HC/GAR/CV/47/2022 by Somadina Uzoabaka against the Attorney-General of the Federation and the INEC Chairman.
The plaintiff is seeking, among others, an order of mandatory injunction directing and compelling the INEC chairman to recuse, excuse and exclude himself, and or step down as the Chairman of INEC pending the investigation and consideration of the various allegations against him by the various law enforcement agencies.
He also sought an order of court stopping Mahmood from holding or assuming any public office for 10 years.
In his response to the allegations, the INEC Chairman gave the court several exhibits to show the sources of money for the purchase of the properties that the plaintiff alleged he illegally acquired, and insisted that his assets declaration was validly made.
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The same court had on December 29, 2022 restrained the DSS from arresting and detaining the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on allegations bordering on terrorism financing and economic crimes.
Justice Hassan had extended the restraining order to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the CBN, who were listed as respondents.
The order followed an ex parte application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022 brought by the DSS seeking to arrest Emefiele over the allegations.