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I am not an enemy of democracy, says IGP; heads to court

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The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Thirsday dragged the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Senate to the Federal High Court in Abuja, over his declaration as an “enemy of democracy and (an) unfit person to hold public office in Nigeria and abroad”.

Idris through his counsel, Dr. Alex Iziyon SAN, is seeking the leave of court to challenge the Senate’s resolution of May 9, 2018.

In the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/554/2018, and filed on May 25, 2018, the applicant is seeking a declaration that the respondents acted ultra vires its Powers under section 88 and 89 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) in the votes and proceedings leading to the resolution contained in the gazette dated 9th May, 2018 imposing a penal sanction on the applicant.

The application which is predicated on an 18 paragraph affidavit, among others, is seeking an order of court quashing the entire votes and proceedings and by implication, the resolution of the Senate that led to the resolution contained in the gazette dated 9th May, 2018 declaring the applicant as enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.

“An order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the respondents whether by itself, or through its servant, agents and or privies, whatsoever from acting on the said resolution contained in the gazette dated 9th May, 2018 or causing same to be acted upon by any person or authority or government agency, or carrying out similar or like resolution against the applicant.

Some of the grounds on which the reliefs are sought are that the respondents lack the competence and or jurisdiction to impose penal sanction on the applicant under section 88 and 89 of the Nigerian constitution; that the conduct of the respondents throughout the votes and proceedings that led to the said resolution contained in the gazette dated 9th May, 2018, is palpable of bias, deep rooted prejudiced, visible hatred and disguised contempt for the applicant and that the action of the Senate constitute a legislative judgment.

The applicant, in the affidavit in support of the motion averred that the applicant as a fact can carry out his functions by himself or delegate same to his subordinate officers in accordance with the law, adding that it is practically impossible for him to be in all places at the same time to answer to all summons at all times.

Idris, in the affidavit said that he received the respondents letter of 25 April inviting him to appear before the Senate but because of his engagement in a trip involving the president, had to delegate his subordinate, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations and to others whom according to him had “adequate direct knowledge of the two subject matters” relating to the invitation.

He said the respondents however refused to accept his representatives and adjourned plenary to 2nd May, 2018, “with a stern warning that the applicant must appear or face the consequences.

He added that based on the above development, the respondents passed the said resolution declaring him an enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.

Delivering ruling on the application, Justice John Tsoho said, the applicant has shown sufficient interest to be granted leave of the court to move the court action against the respondents.

Justice Tsoho also, ordered that the processes be served on the respondents through the Clerk of the National Assembly and adjourned to June 27 for the application on notice.

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