Police, DSS get 12 days to justify clampdown on Peace Corps

High Court

The Federal High Court, Abuja Division, has given the Inspector General of Police (IGP), National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Director General, Department of State Security Services (DSS), a 12-day ultimatum to justify the clampdown on the Peace Corps of Nigeria.

They were also ordered by the court to defend the arrest and detention of the National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh, and 49 other members of the corps.

Delivering ruling in an ex-parte motion filed by the Incorporated Trustees of PCN, Justice Gabriel Kolawole stated that the respondents must appear in court on March 28, with affidavit evidence on why an order of interim injunction restraining them from further arresting members of the corps should not be granted.

The court also expects them to show in the affidavit, evidence to be filed in court before March 28, on why the court should not order them to unseal or vacate the headquarters of the PCN.

Following the submissions of the defence counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) for the applicant, Justice Kolawole stated that the NSA, Police and DSS must also in their affidavit give reasons previous judgments of the court in favour of PCN were not complied with in spite of directive to that effect in writing by the attorney general of the federation.

Justice Kolawole said he was tempted to grant the prayers of the applicant in the ex-parte motion and in view of previous judgments delivered by the court, but decided to give the defendants until March 28, to enable them respond to the brazen breach of fundamental rights of the applicants.

He noted that when he perused several judgments of the court which had affirmed Peace Corps as a registered body by the Federal Government, and which had earlier restrained the defendants from molesting, intimidating and harassing the applicants, he was at a loss as to why the defendants chose to ignore the judgments.

The court also frowned at the use of so-called intelligence report to cause infraction to the fundamental rights of Nigerians as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution.

Consequently, the judge vowed that the court shall not surrender its constitutional role of protecting the citizen.

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