Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) has defeated the Nigerian Police Force as the court ordered the Nigerian authorities to pay N12.5 million compensation to PCN.
Â The court also ordered the police to re-open the head office of the Corps which was shut down since February 28.
The Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday gave the order against unlawful arrest and detention of officials of the Corps, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report.
Police had invaded the premises during the official inauguration of the building.
Â Justice Gabriel Kolawale gave the order when he delivered judgment in a fundamental human rights suit instituted by the Corps against the Police and five others.
The judge held that the police and the other security agents involved in the seal of the Corps premises acted outside their statutory powers.
Â Kolawale said the police and other security agents had statutory powers to make arrest and detain people, but that such powers must be exercised within the ambits of the law.
He held that the Police failed to establish that the Corps officials committed a crime before they arrested and detained them.
The judge further said the allegations by the police and other respondents that the NPC was engaging in military and paramilitary training was not sufficiently established before him to justify their unlawful action.
According to the judge, the allegation of extortion of money and the alleged threat to national security made against the Corps officials was not backed with any document from the victims.
He also faulted the claim by the Police that it invaded the NPC house based on intelligence report.
Â The judge described the claim as amorphous as there was no evidence before the court to justify it.
Justice Kolawole held that the Corps, as a lawfully registered organisation, was entitled to own movable and immovable property, and that under no circumstance should any security agent deny it this right.
He therefore ordered the police to pay N12.5 million to the NPC officials in order to appease them for the harassment and intimidation they suffered when they were unlawfully arrested and detained.
He also ordered that the headquarters of the Corps sealed in the last nine months be unsealed.
The judge further ordered that no attempt should be made by any of the respondents to frustrate officials of the NPC from accessing the building to carry out their duties.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the Corps in March this year, instituted the suit against the Police, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) and the National Security Adviser (NSA).