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Police set to obey court order on sealed Peace Corps office

Strong indications have emerged that the Nigeria Police may bow to the Federal high courts in Abuja which restrained it from further sealing up the corporate head office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) in Abuja.

TOP: Peace Corps of Nigeria’s National Commandant, Akor Dickson, and some of the 49 members arrested. ABOVE: The Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, addressing journalists on the arrest, yesterday. Photos: Gbemiga Olamikan.

The House of Representatives had on Monday directed the Police authorities to unseal the office within 48 hours in compliance with the judgments of Justices’ Gabriel Kolawole and John Isoho on the office sealed up since February 28, 2017.

Based on the House directive, officers and men of the Corps led by the National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh had stormed the office located at 57, Iya Abubakar Crescent, Jabi, Abuja to take over possession of the office from police in line with the directive of the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

However, the policemen met at the gate of the two-storey building claimed ignorance of the directive to vacate the office and instead alerted their superior officers on the development through phone calls and radio messages.

A detachment of police led by Assistant Commissioner of police, Mr. Okafor Mathew later arrived at the scene and was briefed by the policemen keeping vigil on the office.

The ACP later spoke with Peace Corps Commandant and thereafter put phone calls to other superior officers who requested to speak with the Peace Corps boss.

In the conversation that followed, the police pleaded with the Peace Corps to give them one week to comply with orders of the courts on the sealed house.

The Commandant was informed that the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris was away to Lagos to attend a National Programme and that he will give final order in respect of the count judgments next week.

After much pleading, Akoh and his officers and men agreed to leave the place till next week to await the final decision of the police on the orders of court.

The Peace Corps boss while briefing ACP Okafor Mathew said that they were at the office to resume work in line with the directive of the House of Representatives issued on Monday.

He reiterated the commitment of his organization to be peaceful in the resolution of the log jam arising from the unlawful sealing of the office since last year.

Akoh explained that the office was rented at a fee of N13.5M per year adding that a year had gone without accessing the office.

The police team leader however counseled that the Peace Corps men to give police one week to resolve all issues that informed the action of police.

Earlier, an Abuja based lawyer Mr. Edward Omega had condemned police for the consistent disregard to lawful orders of courts.

He said that executive lawlessness and recklessness are unknown to law under democracy and pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari and well-meaning Nigeria to prevail on police to always obey laws so as to avoid anarchy.


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