Peace Corps: Court Orders IGP Idris To Appear March 13

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By Yemi Itodo 

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has lost his bid to stop the contempt charge brought against him by the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) over his alleged persistent flouting of court orders.

Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in a ruling Thursday, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the Police Chief against his personal appearance before the court.

The Judge in the ruling ordered him to be in court on March 13, to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for his disobedience to the lawful order of the court made on March 26, 2014 stopping Police from interfering with the activities of the Peace Corps.

In his preliminary objection against the contempt charge argued by his counsel Mr. David Igbodo, the IGP claimed that he was not personally served with form 48 in relation to the contempt charge.

He prayed the court to void the contempt charge and set it aside on the ground that the form 48 summoning him to appear in court was served on the commissioner of Police in charge of legal matters at the Force Headquarters.

But Justice Oriji in his ruling slammed the IGP for employing technicality and delay tactics to frustrate the charge against him.

The Judge imposed a fine of N25,000 on the Police Chief and ordered him to personally appear in court on the adjourned date.

The Peace Corps of Nigeria through its counsel Dr. Joshua Yakubu Musa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) had approached the Abuja High Court to praying it to commit the IGP Idris to prison for two years for flouting the judgment of the court delivered on March 26, 2014.

The Senior Counsel submitted that in spite of the restraining order against Police not to interfere with operations of the Corps court, the police have refused to obey the court order by sealing up its head office among others.

The counsel claimed that since March 26, 2014 when the court verdict was handed down, the police have neither appealed against the judgment or allowed the rule of law to prevail.

In the 2014 judgment, Police was fined N12.5m as compensation for the principal officers and men of the corps who were arbitrarily arrested across the country and detained in various cells.

The proscription order placed on the corps by Police was also voided and set aside by the court in the 2014 judgment on the ground that the defendants (Police) have no power under the law to ban or proscribe any organization, including the Peace Corps lawfully registered by the federal government as a youth organization.

It will be recalled that a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi SAN had filed another contempt charge against the Police boss for disobeying the federal high court order that Police should unseal the Peace Corps office in Abuja.

The new judgment was handed down by Justice John Tsoho of the federal high court Abuja.

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