Melaye, Others Ask Court To Set Aside Police Summon, Demand N500m Damages

INEC Accuses Melaye Of Frustrating Recall Process
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The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and two other senators, Dino Melaye and Ben Murray-Bruce have filed a suit asking the Federal High Court to set aside the police summon following their involvement in a protest last week.

The senators have asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the police from any further unlawful harassment, intimidation or attempt to arrest and detain them in connection with their peaceful demonstration.

In the fundamental rights suit filed on October 8, 2018, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mahmud Magaji SAN, asked the court to declare that the threat, intimidation and unlawful harassment of the applicants by the police via a letter of invitation, as illegal, unconstitutional and a gross violation of their fundamental rights as guaranteed under section 34 and 35 of the 1999 constitution.


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In addition, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the invitation by the police was initiated by the Commissioner of Police of the FCT who is the 2nd respondent to harass, molest, intimidate and prevent the applicants from exercising their fundamental rights under the law.

The Senate President and his co-applicants, therefore, asked the court for an order directing the respondents to jointly and severally pay them the sum of N500 million being the pecuniary and exemplary damages arising from the humiliation and unlawful attempt to arrest the applicants by the agents of the 2nd respondent.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on October 5, embarked on a protest to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police, over the outcome of the Osun State governorship election.

Subsequently, the police summoned the Senate President and the other senators who were involved in the protest which it described as unruly and unlawful.

I Won’t Appear Before Senate Until Court Ruling – Customs CG

customsReprieve may have come for the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), who was ordered to appear in complete uniform before the Senate on March 22.

The development, follows a suit filed by an Abuja based lawyer, Mohammed Ibrahim, seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the National Assembly from compelling the CG to wear uniform in performance of his duties.

Mr Ali, who acknowledged receipt of the court summons, told a news conference that the Attorney General who is a co-defendant in the suit, has written to the National Assembly advising lawmakers to maintain the status quo, pending the outcome of the suit.

“Based on the summons before the court, all matters relating to the issue are now subjudice so status quo is “anti” which means I will not appear until the court makes a pronouncement therefore the situation remains as it is”.

The CG had been summoned to defend the payment of retroactive duties by motorists whose vehicles have no genuine import duties.

Although he eventually appeared before the Senate on March 16, he made good on his word of not appearing in his uniform.

The House, however, refused to engage him and fixed another date (March 22), for him to appear as required; failure to which the Senate leadership might be forced to issue an arrest warrant as initially threatened.

Meanwhile, more reactions have continued to trail the issue.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, in a statement condemned the summoning of Mr Ali.

He said that although the Senate should not be treated with disdain, the Upper Chamber should have appreciated the limit of its powers under the constitution.

According to Mr Falana, instead of playing into the hands of the Customs boss by invoking the provision of Section 88 of the Constitution, the Senate could have summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, to justify the policy of the Nigeria Customs Service, a parastatal under her supervision.

“No power exists under the section for general investigation, not for personal aggrandizement of the House. So the appellants were not entitled to have invited the respondent in the first instance,” Mr Falana said.