PEACE CORPS: REMOVE YOUR GRIDLOCK WITHIN 48HOURS, REPS ORDERED POLICE, AGF
The tussle between the Nigeria Police and the New Peace Corps of Nigeria took a new dimension on Tuesday as both parties were invited by the House Committee on Public Petition. The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Hon Nkem Abonta has directed the Peace Corps of Nigeria to reposes its Headquarters office which was put under lock and key by the Nigerian police since 2017 within forty eight hours, while the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police must to appear before it in seven days to explain why they have failed to comply with Court Orders, failure to do so will have dire consequences.
The order was issued on Tuesday when the house committee looked at the unending feud between the Nigerian Police Force and the Peace Corps of Nigeria which in February 2017 compelled the Police to seal off the Corporate headquarters of the Corps and has since disobeyed several court orders asking that the peace corps office be reopened.
The Committee at its hearing on Tuesday was reliably informed that there are eleven court orders in Favor of the Peace Corps; five letters from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation directing the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris to abide by judgment of the Court and all these have not been respected.
In his comments, Chairman of the House Committee Nkem Abonta stressed thus “It is shameful and disrespectful, you are suppose to protect the law (referring to the representatives of the Attorney General of the Federation). Apart from specific orders from the court, the Attorney General of the Federation has written several letters, is the Police bigger than the Law, we are only asking that court orders or orders of the AGF be obeyed”. Abonta said
“We want to find out why the IGP would desecrate an order of the court. This is wickedness not to obey court order, No nation can grow with Executive Rascality”
“The Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police must appear to respond to why they cannot respect an order of the court”.
A member of the Committee and Chairman House Committee on Legal matters, Hon. Razaq Atunwa who spoke against the action of the Police for sealing the Peace Corps building since February 2017, reminded the Representative of the Police, ASP Henry Njoku that except there is an appeal before a competent court of jurisdiction challenging the sealing of the building, the position of the law is that an appeal cannot operate as a Stay of Execution.
The Police lawyer ASP Henry Njoku could not give full details as to which of the judgment of the Federal High Court the Police was said to be Appealing as the committee was made to know that two issues were before Justices Kolawole and John Tsoho, one dealt with a personal matter of a criminal case against the Commandant General of the Peace Corps, Dr Dickson Akoh, while the other challenged the Judgment asking for the unsealing of the building
Njoku told the House Committee that what the Police was questioning was the status of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, he also told the Committee that the Police stands to lose nothing if the building is unsealed.
Speaking at the end of Tuesdays hearing the Peace Corps of Nigeria Commandant General, Dickson Akoh commended the House committee for standing for the truth, he however said the fear was that the police was armed and his men could be manhandled if they attempt to take possession of their building.