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Presidential panel takes House of Reps to court over probe

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• ‘Nigeria will extend diplomatic support to Liberia’
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property has taken the House of Representatives to court over moves to probe its activities.

The suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/374/2018 filed by Festus Keyamo (SAN), has the Special Presidential Investigation Panel and its chairman, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, as first and second plaintiffs, and the House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Ad-hoc Committee on Activities of the Presidential Panel, respectively as first and second defendants.

The plaintiffs have approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants whether by themselves, their officers, agents, servants, privies or otherwise, from further taking any step or doing anything at all against the plaintiffs in respect of the resolution passed by it on Thursday, March 22, concerning the plaintiffs.

In an application dated April 9, the plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the resolution by the House of Representatives to probe the “legality” of the presidential panel is tantamount to the exercise of judicial powers over the plaintiffs.

The originating summon was brought pursuant to Order 3, Rules 6 and 7 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, and the plaintiffs are praying the court to determine whether the resolution passed by the House of Representatives to set up the Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the “modus operandi” of the panel is not tantamount to the exercise of executive/supervisory powers over the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs are further praying the court to make a declaration that the probe is tantamount to the exercise of executive/supervisory powers over the plaintiffs.

They also want a declaration that the probe is tantamount to the exercise of judicial powers over the plaintiffs; a declaration that by the provisions of Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, the defendants are not legally empowered to exercise executive/supervisory powers over the plaintiffs by resolving to investigate the “modus operandi” of the plaintiffs to “ensure that it is in tandem with the law and that it conforms to best practices.”

Meanwhile, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday expressed Nigeria’s readiness to extend diplomatic and other forms of assistance to the new administration led by George Weah in Liberia

Osinbajo gave the assurance while receiving his Liberian counterpart, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“Nigeria is committed to working with Liberia, we are certainly committed, the success of Liberia is important to us,” the Vice President noted.

“We have invested considerably in Liberia and our support for the Sirleaf administration is also in that respect. You can expect that we shall continue to support and even do much more for Liberia,” Osinbajo stated.

Also, Vice President Taylor commended the Nigerian government’s support to Liberia especially during the immediate past administration of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, while also soliciting same under the new administration.

A statement signed by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande last night said both vice presidents also spoke on the significance of their youth population, the role of technology in development and the need for greater intercontinental trade among African countries.


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Festus Keyamo
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