Police ignores Court ruling, bars Peace Corps officers from entering office

National Commandant of the Nigerian Peace Corps, Dickson Akoh
National Commandant of the Nigerian Peace Corps, Dickson Akoh

Officers of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) and members of some civil society groups were on Thursday prevented from gaining access to their headquarters in Abuja by police operatives.

The office, located at Number 57, Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme way, opposite Jabi Lake, Abuja, has been under lock since February 28 when police raided the premises and arrested the national commandant of the corps, Dickson Akoh, and 49 others.

This action was despite a directive by a judge, Gabriel Kolawole, who declared the actions of the police illegal and ordered that the office be unsealed immediately.

Mr. Kolawole also awarded a damage of N12.5 million against the Nigerian Police and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

The Peace Corps officers tried to gain access to their headquarters eight days after the judgement however, the police refused to vacate the premises despite being served the judgement.

At a press briefing in Abuja, a counsel to peace corps said he was aggrieved that the judgement was served by the bailiffs of the court on the Nigerian Police Force since November 10 and again served on all parties by the chambers of Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN & Co. on November 13 for compliance.

“Only for the CP legal, Force Headquarters named Mr. David Igbodo to come up with a lame excuse that Nigeria Police Force cannot unseal office now because their team of lawyers are still studying the judgment.

“This again is highly self contradictory, since the same Police had earlier claimed that they never sealed the Peace Corps Headquarters,” Mr. Omaga said.

The briefing, which was attended by representatives of 14 civil society organisations, including the National Youths Council of Nigeria, NYCN, NEPAD Youth Nigeria, amongst others, also chided the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for advising President Muhammadu Buhari “to rid the Nigerian Police Force of bad eggs by sacking IGP Idris,” as they have ”severally demanded.”
The coalition of civil society groups thereafter accompanied the officers of the Peace Corps to the sealed office but were prevented from entering the main building after gaining access to the premises.

Police officers who later reinforced and arrived in large numbers, however, pleaded with the gathering to give the police authorities ”a little time for due process” to be followed.

When contacted, the FCT Command spokesperson, Anjuguri Mamza said he did not have any information on the matter but ”will revert when fully briefed.”

“I’m not aware of this. I will call you when I’m fully briefed,” he said

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