Again, Court Orders Police To Unseal Peace Corps’ Office
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigeria Police Force to immediately unseal the office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria in the Federal Capital Territory.
Justice John Tsoho, who gave in the ruling on Monday, also ordered the police and other security agencies laying siege at the premises of the Peace Corps Headquarters to vacate immediately, as well as hand over possession of the office to the organisation.
The court gave the order following a ruling on a motion on notice filed by Mr Dickson Akoh, the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, and the incorporated trustees of the organisation.
The application, dated October 6, 2017, specifically sought the unsealing and vacation of the National Headquarters of the Peace Corps by the police and other security agencies, which had laid siege and barricaded the premises.
Delivering his ruling on Monday, Justice Tsoho disagreed with the police counsel that the application was an abuse of court process.
In their reply to the motion, the police sought an order of the court to grant the temporary forfeiture of the property housing the National Headquarters of the organisation.
The judge, however, the application lacked merit.
On the merit of the complainant’s application, he said: “Facts before the court glaringly showed that the police application was filed as an afterthought”.
Contrary to the claim that the police did not seal the Peace Corps office but merely maintaining normal observatory and routine patrol of a scene of a crime, Justice Tsoho noted that “it doesn’t seem to show mere police on patrol” from a picture exhibit tendered by the defendant.
He further held that the application by the police was designed to legalise an illegality already committed since February 28, 2017, when the office of the defendant was sealed.
“The court cannot be used to cover acts of illegality; in view of the foregoing, this application lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed,” the judge ruled.
It is the second time the Federal High Court would order the police to vacate the office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria.
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