Ohakim: Court Issues Notice of Committal to Police Officers, Others

Ikedi Ohakim

Amby Uneze in Owerri

An Imo State High Court (ISHC), has moved to commit certain police officers and a woman to prison for disobeying court order concerning the former Governor of Imo State, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim.

Justice V.I. Onyeka of the ISHC 13 on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, issued a Show Cause Notice of Committal to Prison to DCP. Kolo Yusuf and SP. Mohammed Yusuf, both of whom were members of the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit in Abuja that was known as the Special Tactical Squad (STS).

Others that were included in the committal notice include Mr. Stanley Nwodo, Mr. Orji Kanu and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tuesday Osayemo, all of whom are of the Prosecution Section of Nigeria Police Headquarters, Abuja.

Also facing committal to prison is one Ms. Chinyere Amuchienwa-Igwegbe, who is the nominal complainant in the originating matter that led to the notice of committal.

Ohakim, on September 10, 2020, secured a restraining order or injunction against the Nigeria Police Force, these named officers and Amuchienwa-Igwegbe on an application for enforcement of his fundamental rights.

THISDAY gathered from judiciary sources that the order was duly served on all the parties.

Court records showed that Ohakim’s move to enforce his fundamental rights was necessitated by Amuchienwa-Igwegbe’s incessant and several petitions against Ohakim, including one she brought at the Lagos Command of Nigeria Police Force and another at Force Headquarters in Abuja.

The order reads: “That all parties in this suit are hereby ordered to maintain the status quo and should not do anything in connection with the subject matter and should stay all action whatsoever pending the determination of the substantive motion in this suit.”

But in a twist, the Nigeria Police Force, acting through the officers and on apparent prompting from Ms. Amuchienwa-Igwegbe proceeded to file charges against Ohakim on September 21, 2020, eleven days after the High Court issued the injunction. This charge was widely published in several newspapers but, according to Ohakim’s lawyer, Mr. Alloy Ejimakor, the charges were never served on Ohakim.

Ejimakor noted that subsequent summons for Ohakim’s alleged arraignment on November 11, 2020, was also widely published in newspapers but that was not also served on Ohakim.

It was in view of these developments that the High Court issued the notice of committal to Yusuf and the others, which reads: “Notice to show cause why order of committal should not be made: that you are hereby required to attend the court on the first-mentioned day to show cause why an order for your committal should not be made.”

It was observed that the committal proceedings may be set for next week before Justice G. Chukwunyere, sitting in Imo High Court 11, where Ohakim’s substantive matter was already pending before this latest development.