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Peace Corps: Court set to rule on contempt suit against IGP Idris

Peace Corps: Court set to rule on contempt suit against IGP Idris

- The court case between the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) and the Nigeria Police Force is still on

- The Nigeria Police had, in March 2017, filed a 90-count charge against PCN boss, Dickson Akoh

- The police later amended the charge to 13-count, but the PCN boss wants the case dismissed

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has reserved Monday, June 11, for ruling on an application to discontinue a 13 amended count charge against the national commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh.

The Nigeria Police had, in March 2017, filed a 90-count charge against Akoh but later amended it to 13-count charge, after it was observed that most of the charges were repetitive.

But counsel to the defendant and former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), approached the court where extant matter was being heard, urging the presiding judge, John Tsoho, to discontinue the criminal proceedings.

In the 16-paragraph motion filed on Monday, February, 19, the defence counsel said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris and other parties in the extant suit, having flagrantly disobeyed subsisting orders of the court, should not be allowed to continue prosecuting the suit filed against Akoh.

READ ALSO: Group drags IGP, AGF before House of Reps for disobeying court order on Peace Corps

Leading a debate on the application on Tuesday, May 8, Head of Kanu Agabi Chamber, John Ochogwu (Esq), said “the flagrant disobedience to court orders is an affront,” on the Presiding Judge; adding that, “the application is simply an invitation for this honourable court to exert her powers.”

Citing section 36(6) b. of the 1999 constitution as amended, Ochogwu said: “A defendant should be allowed time and facilities to defend himself. The office and some of the facilities of the defendant have been under lock since 1 year and 2 months. There is no way the defendant can defend himself when his facilities have been seized by the complainant.”

He further submitted that section 287 of the constitution empowers the court to enforce her own judgements, adding that, when prayers in the motion are granted, it would “serve as a deterrent to the executive or other arm of government which tend to disobey the orders of the court.”

In his submission, Counsel to the Nigeria Police, Don Obor (Esq), urged the court not to grant the application. He cited the Supreme Court judgement in FRN against Saraki and Metuh vs FRN, saying the criminal proceedings against Akoh should be allowed to continue.

But this was countered by the defence counsel, Ochogwu, who averred that, “neither Saraki nor Olisa Metuh violated court orders,” adding that, in the extant case, “the complainant (Police Boss) has continued to disobey orders of the court.”

He continued: “You don't have business being here if you cannot obey court orders. The essence of our democracy will be truncated with these attitudes of the complainant.”

Ochogwu, however, said his client was not afraid of the charges prefered against him, adding that, the defendant was ready to continue with the case, but the police should unseal the offices of Peace Corps office.

READ ALSO: National Assembly to override President Buhari's rejection of Peace Corps bill

Meanwhile, the Emir of Daura, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Umar Farouk Umar, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his decision on the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill.

Alhaji Umar is the paramount ruler of the community where President Buhari hails from in Katsina state.

The president had on Tuesday, February 27, transmitted to the National Assembly, his decision to withhold assent to the Bill, giving paucity of funds and duplication of duties of existing security agencies, as reasons.

EXCLUSIVE: Be patient with President Buhari, Femi Adesina tells Nigerians on TV

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