SRI Urges Court not to Entertain IGP’s Suit


A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been urged not to accord the right of audience to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris in respect of a fundamental rights enforcement he filed.

The request is contained in a motion for joinder filed on October 17 by a rights advocacy group – Stand for Rights Initiative (SRI) – through its incorporated trustees.

The motion seeks an order for leave making SRI a party to the suit.

Idris, among others, is praying the court to restrain the Senate from proceeding with its planned probe of allegations of corrupt practices made against him by Senator Isah Misua from Bauchi State.

The suit, with the Senate president and the Senate as respondents, has been assigned to Justice Peter Affen for hearing.

SRI, in its motion filed by a group of lawyers led by Sunday Essienekak, said it intends to bring to the court’s attention why the IGP cannot seek to have the court protect his rights when he had allegedly violated Nigerians’ rights on several occasions without batting an eye.

The group, which identified about eight judgments it had gotten against the IGP, the Police and its officials in relation to cases of rights abuses, wondered why the IGP would run to the same court for protection when he had consistently refused to obey court judgments.

It urged the court to hold that the IGP, by his past conduct, was in contempt of court and as such, was not entitled to be heard.

In a supporting affidavit deposed to by Essienekak, SRI gave details of the cases, and the sum awarded against the police. They include: Effiong Archibong v. AGF and others, (FCT/HC/1525/2016 in which the court gave a judgment of N15million against the police for unlawful detention of the plaintiff; Eyo Asibong v. IGP and another, FHC/ABJ/CS/538/2014 (N5m) and Fred Mathew v. IGP and 3 others, FCT/HC/CV/179/2013, N2m.

Others are: Charles Iniegu v. IGP and another, FCT/HC/CV/874/2013, N1m; Ifeanyi Nwamary v. IGP and 3 others, FCT/HC/CV/M/180/2013, N2.5m; Omobukola Seun v. IGP and 3 others, FCT/HC/CV/M/2012, N500,000; Ubong Ezekiel Akpan v. Officer-in-Charge of SARS and 2 others, FCT/HC/CV/2364/2013, N500,000 and Titus Douglas v. IGP and 4 others, FCT/HC/CV/2012, N250,000.

The group said about N24,750,000 is being owed to the victims, adding that the IGP despite being aware of the judgments, has not obeyed any.

SRI stated that by his failure to obey these judgments, the applicant/respondent has shown that he “is a perpetual abuser, violator and infringer of human rights of ordinary poor Nigerian citizens.

“By his continued failure to obey  these judgments, the IGP is in contempt of this court. The IGP now wants this court to enforce his fundamental human rights, which he has refused to respect and has abused the rights of ordinary Nigerians in the cases above mentioned.

“The applicant/respondent does not have the right of audience in a court he does not respect or obey its judgments,” the group said.

The IGP, in his suit, stated that one Senator Misau, while raising matter of urgent national importance between September and October, 2017 accused him of mounting road blocks across Nigeria with the purpose of extorting money from unsuspecting motorists.

He also stated that the said senator in the motion, also accused him of collecting illegal fees by way of security protection given to corporate organisations, eminent citizens and oil companies running into billions of naira.

He further stated that Misau accused him of having “unwholesome relationship with female officers in the force.”

The IGP alleged that the Senate President, “without having regard to the relevant constitutional requirements in respect of  the 2nd Respondent’s (Senate’s) role in the investigation of allegations, he (the Senate President), in reaction to these frivolous allegations, quickly constituted a committee consisting members of the 2nd Respondent to look into the matter.”

He argued that if the respondents were not restrained, they would infringe on his rights should they investigate the allegations.

Source: The Nation

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