Sunday, 5 March 2017

Group asks Peace Corps commandant to sue Police for arrest

A civil rights movement, Concerned Citizens for Nation Building, on Sunday condemned the arrest and detention of the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh, by the police, advising him to “proceed to court and claim N100 billion damages.”

The youth organisation criticised the garrison manner the police acted and warned that “should it happen agains, the police will face the wrath of the Nigerian youth.”

The CCNB expressed surprise that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, could deny existence of PCN, despite the flurry of legal pronouncements and adjudications on its legality in different courts of competent jurisdiction.

“We hereby advised the IGP to immediately withdraw his denial of knowledge of existence of the Peace Corps of Nigeria. Lovers of Nigeria must do everything possible to maintain law and order instead of heating up the polity”, CCNB stated.

The Convener of CCNB, Alfa Nma, at a press briefing in Abuja, advised Akoh to seek redress in court and claim N100 billion damages for the violation of his fundamental human rights.

According to him, the arrest, maltreatment, detention and subsequent parading of officials and members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria was an abuse of power by the police authorities.

“We condemn the gestapo-like invasion, arrest, manhandling and detention of Akoh by the police authorities which we see as an abuse in the use of power. The manner it was carried out was never witnessed during the military era. We are not in dictatorship, Nigeria is not a banana republic where anything happens.

“As an organisation which believes in the law as the supreme instrument of social engineering, the Concerned Citizens for Nation Building, is hereby advising the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria to teach the police a lesson and seek redress in court by claiming N100 billion damages for the assault, criminal invasion of his privacy and fundamental human rights.”

The youth organisation advised the Nigerian Police to be more concerned about maintaining the existing peace in the country instead of carrying out actions capable of heightening tension.

Nma described as “disheartening” the comment by the IGP that the Nigeria Police Force was not aware of the existence of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, and wondered why he could make such claim when at the recent Armed Forces Remembrance Day (January 2017), PCN was highly represented on their full regalia.

He said, “Even the National commandant had a photograph with the IGP. Moreover, the presence of the organisation had been recognised by the harmonised passage of its Bill into law by the National Assembly.

“It is worthy of note that the Nigeria Police Force through the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), issued a clearance to the Peace Corps of Nigeria in 2008 and in 2009. The then Commissioner of Police (Legal Department) issued another clearance certifying the Peace Corps of Nigeria of all its activities.

“It is on record that the Nigeria Police Force have always been against sinister organisations that have sprang up like in the case of the Nigeria State Security Services, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and most recently Peace Corps of Nigeria which presence is already being felt in schools and colleges nationwide.

“Why is the IGP now saying that the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its activities is not known to the police? We hereby advised the IGP to immediately withdraw his denial of knowledge of existence of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and as well, sieve his threat on court action which was the right and best thing to have been done considering the numerous court judgements rather than the garrison manner the police acted or face the wrath of the Nigerian youth.”

The youth organisation said it was imperative for people to stand up and defend the sovereignty of Nigeria especially, “at this time that President Muhammadu Buhari is on medical vacation.”
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