Reps committee summons IGP, AGF over Peace Corps


By Olu AJAYI (Abeokuta)

NIGERIA: THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to appear before it within the next seven days.

The federal lawmakers also ordered the police to, within 48 hours, vacate the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria in Abuja.

*IGP Ibrahim Idris.

“We want the IGP and AGF to appear before us within seven days and tell us why the court judgement has not been implemented,” the committee gave the order on Tuesday following deliberation it held on a petition forwarded to it by Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Justice and Equity.

“We want the AGF to also tell us why he hasn’t taken further action on this.  For now, the police should vacate the place within 48 hours.  We want Peace Corps to take possession of its headquarters, in compliance with the court order,” the federal lawmakers further ordered.

The group, GatewayMail learnt, had last January 25 petitioned the House of Representatives accusing the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of flagrantly disobeying subsisting court orders in favour of the Peace Corps by occupying the corps office since February 28, 2017.

GatewayMail gathered that the House, after receiving the petition, directed its Committee on Public Petitions to intervene after the Federal High Court in Abuja last November ordered the police to unseal the corps’ headquarters.

At the hearing, the Peace Corps boss, Dickson Akoh, told the committee that his organisation had secured various court judgements against the Police.

According to him, the most recent judgements in favour of the corps included those delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole on November 9, 2017 and another by Justice John Tsoho last January 15, which ordered the police to vacate the headquarters.

Akoh explained that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation had written five different letters to the IGP urging for compliance with the outstanding judgements “but the IGP always pays deaf ears to the advice.”

He tendered video evidence where Idris reportedly vowed to frustrate the Peace Corps and make sure the bill establishing it did not receive the assent of the President.

“There are 11 court judgements in favour of Peace Corps on this issue. There are also five letters from the AGF advising the police to comply with the judgement of the court,” Akoh told the committee members.

*Abubakar Malami…AGF and Justice Minister.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Legal Affairs, Henry Njoku, who represented the Nigeria Police, stated that the Force had appealed the recent judgement of Kolawole.

He, however, urged the lawmakers to disregard the petition, adding that his office needed time to study the documents, especially the annexes exhibited by the petitioners.

While stating that he was only making “conditional appearance” on behalf of the police, Njoku argued that the said letter was ‘conditional’ as it refers to ‘if there is no subsisting court judgement on the matter.”

“There is a subsisting court judgement in the court of appeal.  So, there is an appeal for stay of execution of the judgement before the court of appeal,” he maintained.

But, the committee members, however, stressed that “the presence of an appeal does not nullify an existing court order.”

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