Exactly 3 years after the Headquarters of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) was sealed by the Nigeria Police, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami, has ordered that the office be unsealed, with immediate effect.
A source at the Police Headquarters, Abuja, confirmed to our reporter that a letter of instruction was received from the office of the AGF Friday afternoon.
The Headquarters of the Corps located at number 15, Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme street, Jabi, Abuja, was sealed off by the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, the same day it was commissioned on the 28th February, 2017.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in a landmark judgement delivered on 9 November, 2017, upheld the legality of PCN and declared the action of the Police as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
Consequently, the Court ordered the security agency to unseal the Headquarters and went further to award damages to the tune of N11.5m against the Police. Almost 3 years after, the Court order is yet to be obeyed.
Also, the Ruling on a motion on notice, delivered by Justice John Tsoho (now the Chief Justice of Federal High Court) on the 15th January, 2018, that the office be unsealed, was not obeyed.
The House of Representatives, had also, in a unanimous resolution in 2018, after summoning IGP Idris in an investigative hearing, ordered that the Peace Corps office be unsealed, while condemning the incessant harassments of members and officers of the Corps; but the Police paid deaf ears.
Minister of Justice and the current AGF, Malami, based on the development, advised IGP Idris via a letter in March, 2018 to obey the subsisting court orders standing against the Police, and unseal the PCN office, “in absence of any pending appeal or stay of execution”. But police still remained adamant.
Relying on section 150(1) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, as amended, former AGF, Chief Kanu Agabi, in one of his letters to Mr. Malami January 16, 2020, urged the AGF to direct the Police Boss, who is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer, “to comply with the subsisting and valid orders of various courts of competent jurisdiction herein attached in respect of this matter but not limited to the unsealing of our client’s offices nationwide”.
A source at the Force headquarters Friday evening, hinted our reporter that, IGP Muhammad A. Adamu would not hesitate to comply with the instruction of the AGF, saying the police boss respects rule of law.
The PCN has been having running battles with the Police and other security agencies, winning all the 15 legal actions instituted against it with over N50m standing against various agencies as cost awarded in favour of the Corps.
According to a report, IGP Adamu, at the annual conference of the Police lawyers held at Force Headquarters Abuja recently, had warned of the increasing judgment debts against the Police and asked the Police lawyers to ensure at all times that court orders are obeyed and enforced and that constitutional safe guards of both the suspect and citizen are protected.
Also, AGF Malami had recently passed a similar order to the Department of State Services (DSS), that Mr. Omoyele Sowore and Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), under its incarceration, be released, in obedience to court orders.
The DSS complied with the AGF’s directives and the duo were released immediately.