Court orders CBN to seize N11.2m from police account for judgment debt

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A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama, Abuja has issued a garnishee order directing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to remove N11,270,000 from account of police.

The money is to pay the Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) and its National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh, as judgment debt against the police.

The N11.2 million was awarded in favour of the PCN and four of its officers, who are the judgment creditors by the court in a verdict delivered against the police on March 26, 2014.

Akoh was said to have prevailed on lawyers not to enforce the judgment in the interest of cordial relationship among his organisation, police and other arms of security agencies.

However, the board of Trustees of PCN was said to have resolved to enforce the existing judgments against police, following continued antagonism, harassment, arrest, detention and intimidation of officers and men of the corps.

Justice Sylvanus Chinedu Oriji issued the garnishee order following an ex-parte motion argued on behalf of the PCN by Joseph E. Chukwuma.

This was stated in an enrolment of court order dated March 17. It was signed by the judge and the court’s Senior Registrar, Mr. Akpabio Michael Brown.

The court had on 2014 declared that the directives, instructions, signals and orders issued to all police zones, officers and agents by police to ban and disrupt the activities of the Peace Corps were unlawful and unconstitutional.

The court declared that the detention of the officers of the Peace Corps at the Force Criminal Investigation Department in Garki and Apo Legislative Quarters police station for a total of 29 days was unlawful and unconstitutional.

The judgment held that peace corps was a bona-fide legal association duly authorised by law to carry out its functions.

It added that the seizure of its property by police was also unlawful and unconstitutional.

A restraining order was issued by the court against the police from disrupting the lawful activities of the Peace Corps and also bans police from further arresting or detaining the PCN officials.

The CBN, being the custodian of the garnishee, is to appear before the court on May 24 to show cause why the garnishee order nisi shall not be made absolute.

The judgment debtors comprising the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), are also to appear before the court on May 24 for the same purpose, to show cause why the garnishee order nisi shall not be made absolute.

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