Odinkalu Faults Kaduna State’s Handling of Complaint against Him

Chidi Odinkalu

Tobi Soniyi

A former chairman of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr Chidi Odinkalu has asked the police to discountenance a purported court order asking them to investigate him for inciting inciting disturbance and furnishing false information.
In a letter to the police written by her counsel, Gloria Mabeiam Ballason, the human rights activist said that he was not served with any court process.

He said that the application for investigation sent to the police was strange because the purported complaint had no suit number.
He said: “There is no case with Suit Number KMD/27DC/2019. Indeed, the Direct Criminal Complaint, the morion exparte, the purported court order do not bear any suit number except the application to the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

He also noted that even though the complaint was said to have been made on March 18th, 2019 he was neither served with the complaint made against him not any of the court processes. Odinkalu said it would be improper and a travesty for the police to be inveigled into an investigation purportedly granted by a court which had no record.

He also noted that the purported court order sent to the police had no shot number
Odinkalu has also filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
Kaduna state government had filed a suit against Odinkalu accusing him of inciting disturbance and furnishing false information which is punishable under the state’s penal codes.

In February, Odinkalu had accused Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, of not stating the accurate figure about the number of casualties and the timing of the attacks on Kajuru local government area of the state where the governor had alleged there were 66 casualties.

The governor had described the killings as deliberate and designed to attract reprisals and destabilise the local government during the election.

Odinkalu negated the claim saying he contacted many sources in the state including residents, traditional and religious rulers and he could confirm that casualties were about 11.
The government, in the suit filed at the chief magistrate’s court of Kaduna state, said Odinkalu committed an offence with his comments.

The government further asked that a cause of criminal summons be issued against Odinkalu for “inciting disturbance, injurious falsehood, public nuisance, and furnishing false information punishable under section 77, 373, 104, and 150 respectively of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna state, 2017”.
Following another application filed by the government, the court, on March 22, gave an order for the Kaduna state command of the Nigeria Police Force to carry out an investigation on Odinkalu.

In a letter dated March 28, the Kaduna state judiciary wrote the deputy commissioner of police in charge of criminal investigation and intelligence department to effect the investigation.