Court fixes May 31 for Hearing of Peace Corps’ Suit Against Police

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Gabriel kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, adjourned till May 31, 2017, hearing in the enforcement of fundamental human rights suit brought against the Police and four others by the Incorporated Trustees of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh.

The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) had slammed a N2 billion suit against the, Inspector General of Police (IG), National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of Security Services (DSS) and its Director-General and the Attorney General of Police (AGF) over the unlawful arrest and detention of its National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh and 49 others in an unlawful raid of the organisation’s headquarters in Abuja on February 28, 2017 by a combined team of Police and the DSS.

When the matter came up yesterday, Counsel to the 3rd to 6th respondents, Tijani Gezali prayed the court for time to enable him regularise the court processes filed on behalf of his clients.
Gazali admitted that the name of the third respondent, the Director General of the DSS was omitted in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of his clients.

The counsel urged the court to grant him a short adjournment to enable him correct the anomalies on the counter affidavit, to specifically reflect the name of the third respondent.
The request for adjournment was not opposed by other parties in the matter.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole subsequently adjourned hearing in the matter till May 31, 2017.

In the suit filed by a former AGF, Kanu Agabi (SAN), the plaintiffs are demanding for a sum of N2 billion as compensation for the embarrassment caused the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its Incorporated Trustees by the arrest and detention of its personnel in a gestapo style by security operatives.

Plaintiffs are asking the court to declare as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional the arrest of Ambassador Akoh and other officers of the Corps as well as the sealing up of its Head office in Abuja and offices in the 36 States of the Federation.

They further asked the court to declare that under the 1999 constitution as amended, they have not committed any offence to warrant their arrest, detention and sealing up of their offices across the country as done by the defendants.

Apart from the above reliefs, the plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the sealing up of their office Headquarters in Abuja as illegal, unlawful, malicious and unconstitutional, having not committed any offence to warrant the unlawful invasion and seizure of properties.

The plaintiffs therefore applied for an order compelling the respondents to un-seal the Headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its offices nationwide.

They also asked the court to order the respondents to release properties seized during their unlawful invasion of the applicants’ office and also prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their privies or agents from further sealing the applicants’ office and disrupting their activities, including its meetings and orientation of its members.