Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) on Tuesday in Lagos called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to comply with ruling of an Abuja High Court by unsealing its headquarters and stop harassment of its members.
Lagos and South-West Zonal Commandant of the outfit, Mr. Mutairu Habib, made the call at a press conference, saying that the police had refused to vacate the organanization’s headquarters despite the court order.
“As you are all aware, after the passing of the Peace Corps Bill by the National Assembly, there was an unwarranted invasion and sealing off our headquarters and arbitrary arrest of our National Commandant; Mr. Dickson Akoh with about 49 others on the 17th of February, 2017 by the officers Nigeria Police Force in Abuja.
“To end this retrogressive trend, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday ordered the Nigeria Police to unseal the headquarters of the Peace Corps.
“Presiding Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered that the building be unsealed within seven days and also ruled that the sum of N12.5 million (Twelve million, five hundred thousand naira) be paid to us as damages.
“We hereby call on the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Police Force to respect the court order and desist from the unnecessary harassment and intimidation of our members, unseal our headquarters, and pay the damages as instructed by the court,” he said.
Habib assured that the Peace Corp of Nigeria was a peaceful UN recognized organization with the primary objective of promoting peace in the country, saying that corps bares no arms and was not in contention with any existing security agency of government or in competition with any other organization.
The Peace Corps boss, while pledging the organization’s full support for all existing security agencies of government in the country, said the corps was anxiously awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Bill, already passed by the National assembly.
He expressed the belief that the Bill once signed into law was sure to provide jobs for thousands of able-bodied youths across the length and breadth of the nation, and promote peace and unity vital to promoting a lasting democracy, a thriving economy, and sustained socio-economic development.
“We await anxiously President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Peace Corps Bill, which is sure to provide jobs for thousands of able-bodied youths across the length and breadth of the nation, and promote peace and unity which is a vital component in our drive to entrench a lasting democracy, a thriving economy, and sustained socio-economic development.
“We, therefore, pledge our full support for all existing security agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria most especially in the face of the various security challenges such as insurgency, kidnapping, vandalism and other related crimes,” he said.