By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered security agencies in the country to provide maximum security for Murtala Ajaka, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in the November governorship election in Kogi State.
Justice Inyang Ekwo in a ruling on an ex parte application on Thursday directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Army, Navy, DSS, and others to ensure that Ajaka’s safety is guaranteed pending the determination of the suit.
On July 11, an application was brought for a restraining order against security agencies from arresting, inviting, detaining or threatening the applicant’s life and property pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/952/2023, are the the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Commissioner of Police (Kogi State), DSS, Director General of DSS, Director DSS (Kogi State) Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff as 1st to 11th respondents respectively.
After reading the affidavit deposed to by Ajaka and the submission of his counsel, Sunday Aruwan, Justice Ekwo held that the request of the applicant was meritorious and accordingly granted it as prayed.
“An order is hereby made restraining the respondents, their agents, servants and anybody acting through or under them from arresting, inviting, detaining or threatening the applicant’s life and property pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“An order is hereby made compelling the 2nd – 11th respondents (respondents) to immediately provide maximum security to the applicant in Abuja FCT, Kogi State and elsewhere in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”, the judge ruled.
Before adjourning to July 21 for hearing, the court ordered the applicant to serve the respondents with all the processes in this suit together with the order of court.
Ajaka had earlier petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun against Governor Bello alleging threat to his life as well as members of his family.
In the petition dated July 12 and written on his behalf by his lawyer, Chief Femi Falana, (SAN), the SDP candidate accused Bello of “using his executive powers” to “launch series of violent attacks” on him and his political party and his teeming supporters.