Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, has called on incumbet AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), to prevail on the Nigeria Police to obey court orders.
That is coming on the heels of the Force’s incessant disobedience to varied court orders granted in favour of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, PCN, a youth-based group in Nigeria.
Although duly registered with the Company Affairs Fee (CAC) and accorded recognition by the Nigerian authorities and otyer global organisations, the PCN has been having operating battles with the Police, in spite of over 15 litigations instituted against it, with over N50 million awarded in favour of the corps.
Recall that despite subsisting judgements and orders from various courts, which have neither been upturned or appealed, the Nigeria Police, through the Ondo State Commissioner, CP Undie Adie, on January 13, arrested the Ondo State Commandant of the Corps, Patriot Alawoki Lukeman Oluwatobi.
Oluwatobi was said to be on the CP’s on on a scheduled courtesy visit along with officers of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, the apex youth organisation in the nation.
Chief Agabi, in his letter dated January 16, told AGF Malami that, “the essence of visiting the Commissioner of Police is to take advantage of methods of how the youth leaders may help the Police in curtaining the crime rate in the state”.
He stated, “Immediately the NYCN chief inteoduced our client’s Commandant in Ondo State, Comrade Alawoki Lukeman Oluwatobi as a member of the delegation, the Commissioner of Police immediately reacted by declaring that his group is illegitimate and that there’s a present order to that effect from the Police headquarters. He subsequently ordered the immediate detention of the Commandant”.
Heavily armed officers and men of the Police also invaded the PCN office, located at No 68, Basic Bajowa road, alongside Royal Chicken Resort, Leonard junction, Alagbaka, Akure, “and in the course of the invasion brutalized, molested and arrested some members of the Corps.
“They carted away valuable properties, including the PCN’s flag and sealed off the office, with aome policemen keeping vigil at the office till date.
“We’re aware that the police had no search warrant or warrant of arrest before proceeding to search our client’s office and arresting some members of the PCN, neither was our client informed of any offence that has been committed.
“Sadly, this unprovoked and unwarranted act occurred few days after the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed A. Adamu NPM, MNI at the annual convention of the Police legal professionals held at the Police Headquarters, Abuja had warned of the growing judgment money owed by the Police and requested the Police legal professionals to always ensure that court orders are obeyed and enforced”, Agabi added.
He averred that, by sealing off the PCN’s office in Ondo, the Police have violated the rights of the organisation, which enjoys consultative standing with the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), to amass personal and immovable property and disrupted its lawful actions.
The former AGF also reminded Malami of the continual blockage of the national secretariat of PCN, Abuja, by the Police since February 2017, despute two court orders and the decision of the House of Representatives in 2018, that the Police should vacate the premises.
Mr. Malami, the AGF, had in March 2018, written to the former IGP, Ibrahim Idris, urging him to unseal the PCN office in Abuja, “in the absence of any pending court oder to that effect,” however the Police refused to honour the AGF.
Chief Agabi’s 7-page petition, which was annexed with various court judgements delivered in favour of the PCN and different doxumwnts to proof that the Corps was an authorized entity; was additionally copied to the Police Headquarters, the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice.
Agabi is counting on section 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended, to cause the AGF to direct the Police Boss, who’s the Chief Law Enforcement Officer, “to adjust to the subsisting and legitimate orders of varied courts of competent jurisdiction herein connected in respect of this matter however not restricted to the unsealing of our consumer’s offices nationwide”.