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Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2017

Civil coalition dares Police, unseals Peace Corps office

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By Stanley Onyekwere

A Coalition of Civil Groups in Abuja, yesterday, enforced the judgement of a federal high court against the Nigerian Police, by unsealing the corporate head office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria in compliance with the court order.
The Peace Corps House, had been sealed by Police since February, this year but Justice Gabriel Kolawale of the federal high court, in a judgement of November 9, ordered police to unseal and vacate the office with immediate effect.
The judge, also imposed a fine of N12.5miilon on Police for breaching the fundamental rights of the Peace Corps National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh and 49 others with unlawful arrest and detention.
However, following the refusal of police to obey the court order, the civil groups numbering 15, stormed the headquarters at number 59, Iya Abubakar Crescent, Abuja and opened the office.
Led by a legal practitioner and President of Lawyer Integrity Crusade Network, Mr. Edward Omaga, the groups armed with the court order told the police who barricaded the gate that they were there to enforce a valid court order.
Without resistance, an unmarked Honda Bullet car used by police to block the gate was driven to another location by a police man.
While the groups were in the premises of the Peace Corps house, one of the officers contacted the FCT command on phone on the development leading to deployment of about 100 fully armed to the scene.
The armed policemen led by an assistant Police Commissioner, Danlami Yusuf Taura, on arrival summoned the leader of the civil groups, for explanation on their mission and were told by Omaga that they were there to enforce a lawful court order.
To justify their action, the leader of the group presented a copy of the court order to the police boss and also drew his attention to another copy pasted on the gate of the Peace Corps house by authorities of the federal high court.
ACP Taura attempted to defend police with a claim that they have up to seven days grace to unseal the office but Omaga drew his attention to a portion of the court order that police must vacate immediately.
Another claim by the ACP, that the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT command had not been served by the court order was also punctured by Omaga who drew his attention to the acknowledgement of the service of the court order on the Inspector General of the Police.
At the time of this report, there was no fracas between the groups and the Police.
Omaga, maintained that in defend the rule of law the Peace Corps house has been unsealed incompliance with the court order and that officials and the workers of the Peace Corps are expected to resumed work in the office today unhindered by the police or any other security agents.
Earlier in a statement, signed by leaders of the fifteen groups, the action of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris was condemned in strongest term for allegedly showing disrespect to the court order.
Omaga, who read the press statement, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the IGP to order so as to prevent him from instigating the masses against the federal government.

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