Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Following the refusal of Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, to unseal the headquarters of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) as directed by Justice Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Justice and Equity yesterday forced open the headquarters of the Corps.
The headquarters of the corps was illegally sealed by the IG since February 28, 2017.
However, delivering his judgement in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/176/2017 on November 9, 2017, Justice Kolawole ruled that the headquarters be unsealed forthwith and also awarded a sum of N12.5 million for general damages in favour of the applicant and against the IG.
The Coordinator of the group, Edward Omaga, stated that â€œthe judgement did not give Idris any seven days whatsoever within which to unseal the office. We are aggrieved that the judgment was served by the bailiffs of court on the Nigerian Police Force since November 10, 2017, and again served on all parties by the Chambers of Kanu Agabi and Co on November 13, 2017, for compliance, only for the CP Legal, Force Headquarters, Mr. David Igbodo, to come up with a lame excuse that the police cannot unseal the office now because their teams of lawyers are still studying the judgement.
â€œThis again is highly contradictory, since the same police claimed they never sealed the PCN headquarters.â€
Omaga stressed that it was obvious the IG and his allies are either confused about the interpretation of the plain wordings of the judgement or the IG lacks respect for the judiciary and the rule of law.
The coalition said it expects the police IG to borrow a leaf from the Senate and jettison his confrontational posture, ego and stiff opposition towards the Corps.
Omaga insisted that â€œit is rather crude for Idris to keep pursuing personal vendetta against the Corps simply because he erroneously thinks the organisation, when fully established as a government agency, will usurp the powers of the police and cause shortage to their annual budgetary allocation.
â€œWe cannot fold our arms and watch the police IG perpetuate executive recklessness at this time of our national life when love, peace, patriotism, unity and caution should be our watch word.â€
The coalition emphasised that having unlawfully sealed PCN headquarters, it did not take law into our hands by forcing the place open but they were enforcing the court judgement.
Meanwhile, the police officers stationed at the headquarters of the Corps watched helplessly as the gate was forced open.