Alex Enumah in Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jabi, Abuja, wednesday ordered the Nigerian Police to halt its interrogation of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, over the Offa bank robbery, pending the determination of a fundamental rights suit brought against the federal government.
Justice M. A. Nasir gave the restraining order while ruling on an exparte motion brought by 10 human right lawyers led by the National Chairman of APP party, Mr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, seeking the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the Senate President as guaranteed by section 34,35,36, and 41 of the Nigerian Constitution and article 2,4,5,6,10 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and peoples right.
In the suit marked: M/8280/2018, the plaintiffs asked the court to among others, restrained the respondents from interrogating, harassing, inviting, arresting, detaining or taking any action that would infringed on the fundamental rights of the Senate president pending the hearing and determination of the substantive Matter.
The motion filed on their behalf by their counsel, E. C. Nweke is dated July 30, 2018, and supported by a 35 paragraph affidavit.
Aside the Nigerian Police Force, other respondents in the suit include the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Inspector General of Police (IG).
Ruling on the exparte motion, Justice Nadir, directed the respondents to “stay all actions related to this suit pending the determination of the originating motion fixed for 16/8/2018.”
The plaintiffs in the substantive suit is seeking a declaration that the contious harassment and invitation of Saraki by the IG and the police in connection with the offa robbery based on trumped up, unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations of crime is unlawful, unconstitutional, oppressive and in gross violation of the Senate president’s fundamental rights.
A declaration that the continuous invitation of Saraki by the police with the intent to investigate, arrest, detain and prosecute him based on the interim report of the Director of Public Prosecution of the federation, when the said report did not disclose that Saraki was guilty of any criminal offence is arbitrary, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
The plaintiffs therefore prayed the court for an order setting aside the letter of invitation dated July 23 and or any other letter by the police in respect of the offa robbery issue.
The plaintiffs on behalf of the Senate president is also seeking the sum of N1 billion compensation for damages.