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Again, Police prevents Peace Corps officers from entering office

National Commandant, Nigeran Peace Corps, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh

There was a mild drama Thursday, when the Officers of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) made attempt to resume at their national office and were prevented by men of the Nigerian Police.

The Peace Corps office located at number 57, Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme Way, opposite Jabi Lake, Jabi, Abuja, has been under lock and key since 28th February, 2017, when the Police raided the premises and arrested the National Commandant of the Corps, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh and 49 others.
However, in a landmark judgement delivered on Thursday, 9th November 2017 by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, the court declared the actions of the Police illegal and ordered that the office be unsealed immediately.
Justice Kolawole also awarded a damage of N12.5m against the Nigerian Police and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
Eight days after the court ruling, the Police has refused to obey the court order by instructing its men to vacate the premises.
At a world press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Barr. Edward Omaga of the Lawyers Integrity Crusade Network told Journalists that, despite serving the judgement to the Police, the security agency has flagrantly refused to vacate the premises.
“We are aggrieved that the judgement was served by the bailiffs of court on the Nigerian Police Force since November 10, 2017 and again served on all parties by the chambers of Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN & Co. on November 13, 2017 for compliance.
“Only for the CP legal, Force Headquarters named Mr. David Igbodo to come up with a lame excuse that Nigeria Police Force cannot unseal the office now because their team of lawyers are still studying the judgment.
“This again is highly self contradictory, since the same Police had earlier claimed that they never sealed the Peace Corps Headquarters”, Barr. Omaga submitted.
The press briefing which was well attended by representatives of 14 civil society organisations, including the National Youths Council of Nigeria  (NYCN), NEPAD Youth Nigeria, amongst others, also frowned at the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami, for not impressing it upon President Muhammadu Buhari ” to rid the Nigerian Police Force of bad eggs by sacking IGP Idris” as they have severally demanded.
The coalition of civil society thereafter accompanied the officers of Peace Corps to the sealed office, but were later prevented from entering the main building after gaining access to the premises.
Police Officers who later reinforced and arrived in large numbers, however, pleaded with the Peace Corps Officers and the civil society organisations to give the security agency a little time for “due process” to be followed.
Comrade Yemi Success, responding on behalf of the civil society, pleaded with the officers of the Corps to go back and reconvene on Friday, while hoping that the Police would have done the needful by then.

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