Peace Corps Slams N2bn Suit Against Police, DSS, AGF, Over Unlawful Arrest
By Yemi Itodo
The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), has slammed a N2bn suit against the Attorney–General of the Federation (AGF), Inspector –General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), over the unlawful arrest and detention of its National Commandant, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh and 49 others.
The security agencies had on Tuesday, last week, raided the new National Headquarters of the Corps, in a “commando style”, arresting the National Commandant and 49 others; while about 6 were brutally wounded and hospitalised.
In the legala ction instituted by a former Attorney –General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Kanu Agabi (SAN), the plaintiffs are demanding for a sum of N2bn as compensation for the embarrassment caused the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its Incorporated Trustees by the arrest and detention of its personnel, by the security operatives.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the plaintiffs are asking the court to declare as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, the arrest of Amb. 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.
The 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 IGP, National Security Adviser (NSA), DSS,DG-DSS and the AGF who are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents, respectively.
Apart from the above reliefs, the plaintiffs also asked the court to declare that, the sealing up of their new office Headquarters in Abuja is illegal, unlawful, malicious and unconstitutional, having not committed any offence to warrant the unlawful invasion and seizure of properties.
Besides, the applicants are asking Justice Gabriel Kolawole 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 Peace Corps of Nigeria 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’ office and disrupting their activities, including its meetings and orientation of its members, nationwide.
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.
Meanwhile, the matter is expected to be heard on Thursday, by Justice Kolawole.