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Confusion as Peace Corps, Police lock horn in court over application to unseal office

Written By Idoma Television on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | 12:14:00 PM

By Yemi Itodo 

The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, was on Wednesday thrown to total confusion, as Nigerian Police brought an application to seal the National Headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN). 

The PCN, through its counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, had filed a motion on notice on 6th October 2017, seeking an order of the court to unseal its office located at No 57 Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme way, opposite Jabi Lake, Jabi, Abuja.
The motion which was supported by 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Barr. Ogar Christopher Ogar with written addresses and 4 exhibits, said the Nigerian Police had sealed the Peace Corps office since the day it raided the premises February 28th 2017, when the National Commandant of the Corps, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh and 49 others were arrested. 

Moving the motion on Wednesday, the lead Counsel in Chief Agabi chamber, Barr. John Ochogwu, said the property in question was leased to PCN, contrary to the submission of the Counsel to police that the Corps built the office with illicit proceed from crime. 

Ochogwu, in an emotion laden voice prayed the court to help unseal the office as his client, the PCN had suffered hardship since the office was sealed 9 months ago. 

In a twist of event, the Police Counsel, Barr JCA Idachaba, moved a motion, asking the court for an order to seal the National Headquarters of PCN. 

He said, a motion of notice had been filed on the 4th of October, 2017, with a 16-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Sergeant Philip Tsumba and 17-paragraph written address.

Idachaba claimed that the property of the Peace Corps was ill gotten and should not only be sealed by the order of the court, but it should also be temporarily forfeited by the Corps. 

He denied the fact that the office had been sealed ab initio, saying the Defendant Applicant could not produce any evidence to compel the court to believe that the office was sealed. 

Replying on point of law, Barrister Ochogwu tendered picture evidences, showing the office was under lock and keys with heavy presence of the Nigerian Police and Police Van. 

He prayed the court to mandate an officer of the court to visit the said office with the view to ascertaining the veracity or otherwise of the claim that the Police sealed the office. 

This prayer was, however, objected by Idachaba, who said it would amount to abuse of court process if the court sent anyone to the premises to verify whether it was sealed or not. 

Justice Tsoho therefore reserved judgement till January 15th, on the respective applications submitted by both the Peace Corps and the Nigerian Police.


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