Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

Reps Direct IGP Idris To Vacate Peace Corps Hqtrs, Vow To Lead Protest Against Police

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By Nuel Suji – The House of Representatives Tuesday ordered the Police to vacate the occupied headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria in Abuja in compliance with existing court orders.

The House said the police ought to protect the law and enforce justice rather than acting as if it is not above the law.

The House, through its committee on Public Petitions at its meeting parties to the conflict asked the police to vacate the headquarters within 48 hours.

‘Is the police above the law? Apart from court orders on this, the attorney-general has written to you and you still haven’t obeyed,” Committee chairman Rep. Nkem Uzoma-Abonta queried.

The meeting followed a petition submitted to the House by the Peace Corps over the refusal of Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to obey court orders directing him to unseal the Headquarters of the organization.

In November, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the police to unseal the headquarters of the corps which had been cordoned off since February 2017.

Mr. Idris has failed to comply with the court order.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of legal affairs, Henry Njoku, who represented the IGP at the meeting said the order has been appealed.

He however claimed that he could not confirm if indeed the IGP received a directive from the Attorney General advising compliance. “I cannot confirm that right now,” Mr. Njoku told the Committee.

Mr. Njoku also argued that the said letter is conditional as it refers to “if there is no subsisting court judgement on the matter”.

“There is a subsisting court judgement in the Court of Appeal. So, there is an appeal for stay of execution of the judgement before the court of appeal,” he said.

Peace Corps Commandant, Dickson Akoh, insisted that AGF, Abubakar Malami, instructed the IGP to remove its men from the premises but the IGP ignored the instruction.

“There are eleven court judgements in favour of Peace Corps in this issue,” he told the lawmakers.

“There are also five letters from the AGF advising the police to comply with the judgement of the court.”

The Committee members informed the IGP representative that “the presence of an appeal does not nullify an existing court order”.

The members resolved to lead a delegation to the Peace Corps head office to ensure compliance.

The committee also directed the IGP and AGF to appear before it within seven days.

“We want the IGP and AGF to appear before us within seven days and tell us why the court judgement has not been implemented. We want the AGF to also tell us why he hasn’t taken further action on this,” Uzoma-Abonta said.

“For now, the police should vacate the place within 48 hours. We want Peace Corps to take possession of its headquarters, in compliance with the court order.”

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