The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Monday said that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), should respect Court orders mandating Police to unseal the corporate head of office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria in Abuja, sealed up about two years.
Justice Stephen Jonah Adah said that it is in the best interest of Nigerians that Police, as a law enforcement agency should obey lawful orders of court.
Justice Adah made the remark while reacting to an allegation made by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr. Joshua Musa, counsel to the Peace Corps of Nigeria, that Police have not obeyed two orders of the federal high court that the headquarters of the Corps be unsealed since 2017.
The senior lawyer complained to a three-man panel of the appellate court justices that the action of Police on the Peace Corps was worrisome because the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice had written Police twice directing them to comply with the high court orders and vacate the Peace Corps office for the owners to occupy.
Musa contended that the siege laid on Peace Corps office since February 28, 2017 has continued unabated and appealed to the Appeal Court to issue an order to compel Police to obey the orders of the high court and unseal the Peace Corps office before giving Police audience.
Justice Adah, who presided over an appeal filed by Police against the high court judgment delivered in favour of Peace Corps by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, said that it is in the interest of peace and to avoid anarchy that Police should obey court orders.
However, the appeal by Police could not be heard because of multiple motions filed by Police and the Peace Corps over the issue.
While Police in one of the motions, is praying the Court of Appeal to stay the execution of judgment of Justice Kolawole which declared the siege on Peace Corps as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional and imposed a fine of N12.5million on Police for an unlawful act; the Peace Corps in its motion is urging the appellate court not to grant audience to Police until they have complied with the earlier order, directing them to unseal the office.
Justice Adah who said that the Appeal Court does not stay execution of judgments adjourned the appeal by the Police till May 28 for hearing.
The federal high court had, in two different judgments delivered Justices Gabriel Kolawole and John Tsoho had, in 2018 ordered Police to vacate the corporate office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria on the grounds that the sealing up of the office was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.
While Justice Tsoho declined to give further audience to Police in respect of Peace Corps matter until his order is obeyed. Justice Kolawole, in his judgment imposed a fine of N12.5 million on Police for acting in bad faith in respect of matters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria.