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Drama as Police deny harassing Peace Corps Boss, others

Written By Idoma Television on Friday, March 24, 2017 | 7:53:00 AM

The Nigeria Police, NPF, has dismissed reports of harassing the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, PCN, Dickson Akoh and 49 other officers of the Corps.

Recall that on February 28, 2017, reports had it that a combined team of Police officers and operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, raided the National Secretariat of the Corps in Abuja,where Akoh was arrested and several others were allegedly brutalised.

Akoh alongside others were allegedly detained at a Police facility in Abuja for three days. The corps had alleged that they were detained without food, water, even as the young nursing mothers among them were denied access to their babies, for the period of the detention.

During the raid, six officers of the Corps were allegedly tortured while three others were taken to the National Hospital, Abuja in an unconscious state.


Against this backdrop, the organisation had dragged the Attorney–General of the Federation, Inspector –General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Service, DSS, before an Abuja Federal High Court over the unlawful arrest and detention of Akoh and 49 others.
But in a swift reaction, the Nigeria Police also slammed the Peace Corps with a 90-count charge, demanding for N1.4bn.


The 2 suites are currently being heard by Justice Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In his ruling on March 16, 2017, Justice Gabriel Kolawole had issued a 12-day ultimatum to the Nigeria Police, to give reasons for the arrest, harassment and detention of Akoh and 49 others.
But, in a 20-paragraph counter affidavit dated 22nd March 2017, the Police debunked the alleged invasion and sealing of the Corps National Headquarters.


The Police in the affidavit deposed to before a Federal High Court, Abuja and signed by one Sergeant Philip Tumba of the CID unit, FCT Command, alleged that the Peace Corps was “organizing military-like training” for its officers.


The Force disagreed with the affidavit submitted by the Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria in support of its originating summon, that the rights of Akoh and the 49 others was trampled upon.


According to the affidavit, “None of the applicants or any person whatsoever was manhandled, brutalized or harassed or intimidated by any of its personnel as falsely claimed.
“The Respondents did not invade or brutalized the applicants but only went to a suspected scene of crime in the lawful performance of its statutory duties to carry out investigation,” the counter affidavit reads in part.


On the sealing off of the Corps National Secretariat, the Police said, “The Respondents only cordoned a scene of crime to secure it for further and detail investigation.

 
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