- The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris has lost his bid to stop the contempt charge brought against him by the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN)
- The PCN had accused the IGP of consistently flouting court orders
- The court has ordered the IGP to appear before it on Tuesday, March 13
The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris has lost his bid to stop the contempt charge brought against him by the Peace Corps of Nigeria over his alleged persistent flouting of court orders.
Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in a ruling on Thursday, February 1, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the IGP against his personal appearance before the court.
The judge in the ruling ordered him to be in court on Tuesday, March 13, to answer why he should not be committed to prison for his disobedience to the lawful order of the court made on March 26, 2014 stopping the Nigeria police from interfering with the activities of the Peace Corps.
In his preliminary objection against the contempt charge argued by his counsel, 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 boss and ordered him to personally appear in court on the adjourned date.
The PCN through its counsel Joshua Yakubu Musa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had approached the FCT High Court praying it to commit the IGP 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 the police not to interfere with operations of the Corps, the police has 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 has neither appealed against the judgment or allowed the rule of law to prevail.
In the 2014 judgment, police was fined N12.5 million 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 PCN lawfully registered by the federal government as a youth organization.
On Wednesday, January 17, the PCN dismissed claims by the police that its organisation has been proscribed. According to them, the police lacks the capacity to proscribe any registered organisation in Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the spokesperson of the organisation, Millicent Umoru, said it was only the Attorney-General of the Federation that possesses such powers as to issue federal government gazette, with the approval of the president.
She dared the police to tender such gazette to the public, if it exists, adding that, “Federal Government gazette is a public document and not a police diary.”
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