Appeal Court orders police to reopen Peace Corps office

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Monday said the Inspector-General of Police should respect court orders directing the force to reopen the Peace Corps of Nigeria’s office in Abuja, sealed by the police about two years ago.

Justice Stephen Adah said it was in the best interest of Nigerians that the police, as a law enforcement agency, obeyed court orders.

He said this while reacting to an allegation made by counsel for the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dr Joshua Musa, that the police had not obeyed two orders of the Federal High Court directing them to reopen the corps’ headquarters.

He lamented that the police had continued to violate the orders despite two letters written to them by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

The appellate court adjourned the matter till May 28 for hearing of the appeal by the police and counter-appeal by the corps.

While the police in one of the motions are praying the Court of Appeal for a stay of execution on the judgement of Justice Gabriel Kolawole that the corps’ headquarters should be reopened, the corps in its motion is urging the appellate court not to grant to audience to the police until they had complied with the earlier orders directing them to reopen the office.

The Federal High Court had in two different judgements delivered by Justices Kolawole and John Tsoho in 2018 ordered the police to leave the office on the grounds that sealing it was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.

While Justice Tsoho declined to give further audience to the police in respect of the case until his order is obeyed, Justice Kolawole in his judgement imposed a fine of N12.5m on the police for acting in bad faith in the matter.

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