Friday, 10 March 2017

Peace Corps Sues Police, DSS, AGF, Demands N2bn For Unlawful Arrest

The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) and some of its members have filed a suit against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector–General of Police (IG) and the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS) for violation of their rights.
They want a Federal High Court in Abuja to award them N2 billion as compensation for unlawful arrest and detention of their National Commandant, Dickson Akoh, and 49 others, following a raid of the organisation’s new headquarters last week by a combined team of the police and DSS.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, a former Attorney–General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Chief, Kanu Agabi, SAN, said the N2 billion would be compensation for the embarrassment caused the PCN and its incorporated trustees by the arrest and detention of its personnel.
He said the plaintiffs were arrested in a commando style by the security operatives.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional the arrest of Akoh and other officers of the corps as well as the sealing up of its head office in Abuja and offices in the 36 states of the federation.

Plaintiffs further asked the court to declare that under the 1999 constitution as amended, they have not committed any offence to warrant their arrest, detention and sealing up of their offices across the country as done by the defendants.

The defendants in the court action are Police, IG, National Security Adviser (NSA), DSS, DG-DSS and the AGF who are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6threspondents respectively.
The plaintiffs also asked the court to declare that the sealing up of their office headquarters in Abuja is illegal, unlawful, malicious and unconstitutional having not committed any offence to warrant the unlawful invasion and seizure of properties.

They asked the court to declare that they are entitled to fundamental rights to acquire and own properties, lawful assembly, freedom of movement, personal liberty and dignity of their human persons as guaranteed under sections 34, 35, 40, 41, and 43 of the 1999 constitution.
The plaintiffs, therefore, applied for an order compelling the respondents to unseal the headquarters of the PCN and its offices nationwide.
They also asked the court to order the respondents to release properties seized during their unlawful invasion of the applicants’ office.

Also the applicants prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their privies or agents from further sealing the applicants’ offices and disrupting their activities, including its meetings and orientation of its members.
They further asked the court for an order restraining the respondents perpetually from further harassing, intimidating, arresting and or detaining the applicants in the course of doing their legitimate and lawful duties.

The case has been assigned to Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

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