Court transfers alleged bribery case involving 23 INEC officials to Port Harcourt
To hear Peace Corps suit against Police May 31
A Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday transferred the case filed by the Nigerian Police Force against 23 officials of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to the Port Harcourt division of the court.
The officials were to be prosecuted for allegedly receiving N360 million bribe from Rivers State government to compromise the results of the December 10, 2016, re-run parliamentary elections in the state.
The accused were to enter their plea on March 14 to a seven-count charge bordering on bribery, but the defence counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the court to decline hearing of the charge on grounds of territorial jurisdiction.
He, therefore, asked the court for an order transferring the matter to the Port Harcourt division of the court.
According to the defendants, trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja was in breach of the constitution.
The prosecution counsel, Aliyu Alilu, however, argued that there was insecurity in Rivers State, which could interfere with the trial.
At the resumed sitting yesterday, Justice John Tsoho, ruled that the argument of the police that the insecurity in Rivers State will affect the trial was not tenable.
He said: “So, based on Section 22 of the Federal High Court Act, the case has been transferred to the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court.”
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, adjourned commencement of hearing a suit on fundamental rights brought against the Police and four others by the Incorporated Trustees of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh, till May 31.
Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) has slammed a N2 billion suit against the Police, Inspector General of Police (IGP), National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of State Services (DSS), its Director General and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
They were accused of unlawful arrest and detention of PCN’s National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh and 49 others in an unlawful raid of the organisation’s headquarters in Abuja on February 28, by a combined team of the police and the DSS.