CSOs protest IGP’s ‘disobedience’ of court order

A coalition of human rights groups has staged a protest at the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja, over alleged refusal of the Inspector General of Police, Mr.
Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, to persistently obey court orders.
The civil group, while protesting the action in a petition to the commission, asked the IGP not to truncate the country’s democracy through promotion of anarchy.
At the corporate headquarters of the commission, Abuja where the protest that lasted hours took place, conveners of the protest, Barrister Edward Omaga and Comrade Olayemi Success, predicated their protest on the police’s continued siege to the head office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), since February 2017, despite two courts judgment against the police action.
The protesters, in their position papers presented to the Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr.
Tony Okechukwu Ojukwu, warned that unless the IGP is called to order in the alleged flagrant disobedience to court orders, Nigeria as the biggest country in Africa, might be turned to a banana nation, where the rule of law has no place.
The coalition, operating under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Justice and Equity, informed the Human Rights Commission that a Federal High Court judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole on November 9, 2017 in a judgment, declared the police siege to the Peace Corps office as reckless, illegal, unlawful and an infringement on the fundamental rights of the corps and ordered that the office be unsealed immediately.
The group also recalled that another judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho, on January 15, this year, in an action filed by the police, gave a landmark judgment in which the police authority under Idris, was ordered to vacate the Peace Corps’ office with immediate effect on the grounds that the police siege was unlawful.
Besides, the civil groups also told the rights commission that as a follow-up to the two court’s judgment, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, wrote different letters to the IGP, directing him to comply with the judgment but regretted that up till now, the IGP has not obeyed the court orders.
“While the ultimatum by the House of Representatives lasted, we as law abiding groups and worried by the police action wrote letters to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, AGF and Minister of Youths and Sports, craving their indulgence to intervene in the matter to compel Idris to obey valid court judgment but up till now, the police has not deemed it fit and proper to respect the law.
“You will agree with us that disobedience to court judgment and constituted authority is a recipe for anarchy.
We submit that the NHRC cannot stand aloof in this matter of recklessness act and illegality being perpetuated by the police must attract the attention of the highest authority.
“This monumental injustice perpetuated against the Peace Corps and the Nigerian youths by the police must be urgently redressed in accordance with the tenets of natural justice, rule of law and interest of nation’s democracy.
Justice has been delayed long enough in this matter and we urged the commission to act now,” the protesters added.

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