I am resuming in my office – Peace Corps boss tells police IG

The National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Dickson Akoh, has declared that he would resume in his office in Abuja on Monday, November 13 despite police barricade.

Akoh made this declaration following the alleged refusal of the police to leave the office headquarters despite a court ruling against the action. The office located at number 57 Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme way, opposite Jabi Lake, Jabi, Abuja, has been under lock and keys since Tuesday, February 28, when the Nigerian Police led other agencies to invade the premises and arrested Akoh and 49 others.

In attempt to reopen the office and commence normal activities, former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), filed a N2billion human rights suit against police and others, on behalf of the PCN. Delivering judgement on Thursday, November 9, Justice Gabriel Kolawole faulted the manner in which the Peace Corps officers were arrested and detained. He said the police and other respondents were not able to convince the court that Akoh and his men were running military or paramilitary activities. The judge held that, the security agencies exercised their powers in violation of the fundamental rights of Akoh and his men. He therefore awarded the sum of N12.5 million as damages against the police e and Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

Justice Kolawole also ordered the police to immediately unseal PCN’s headquarters and also surrender all items seized during the raid to PCN, within seven days. Three days after the court ruling, the Police had not vacated the premises.

Akoh spoke with journalists on Saturday, November 11, concerning the judgement saying:

“This order was given last Thursday (November 9) and it was supposed to take effect immediately. “As far as law is concerned a court order is a public pronouncement and public document. As I am talking to you now police are still stealing the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN). “Their truck is still there. They should obey this court order to vacate the PCN headquarters. “I think what the police is looking for is for us to revolt so that they can use it to justify their actions and look for another charges to hold us. “In a country that practice ideal democracy, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) is not following what the rule of law says. “Our lawyers have told us to be patient. We have waited for this development since February 28, so waiting till Monday will not harm us.”

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