Justice Sylvanus Oriji of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday adjourned hearing in the case between the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Attorney General of the Federation (Applicants) and the Incorporated Trustees of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), and its National Commandant, Dickson Akoh, and three others.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is also a party in the case as garnishee.
Justice Oriji, in adjourning the matter said the court would not be able to hear arguments especially applications of both the garnishee (CBN) and the Judgment Debtors (NPF) due to approaching vacation of the court on July 10.
The matter had been scheduled for the hearing of an objection by the Nigerian Police and the CBN who had raised objection to payment of the sum of N11,270,000 to PCN on the grounds that it is a public office.
Oriji, however, announced September 26, 2017, after court resumption, to enable proper hearing and determination of the matter, despite the preparedness of all counsel in the matter to proceed on their respective applications.
On resumption, the court would determine the applications and thereafter deliver its ruling. Also, it would resolve to either give an Order Absolute or dismiss the garnishee.
It would be recalled that the court had granted the PCN an Order Nissi (temporary order) to attach N11.27m belonging to NPF in the CBN for the purpose of settlement of judgment debt incurred by the security agency in a suit against it.
The garnishee order directed the CBN to remove N11.27m from NPF account, number 0020054161043, maintained at the CBN to pay the PCN and Akoh, who secured the judgment against the Police.
The N11.27m was awarded in favour of the PCN and four of its officers who are the judgment creditors by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja in a judgment delivered against the NPF on March 26, 2014.
Akoh, was said to have prevailed on his lawyers not to enforce the judgment in the interest of the cordial relationship between his organisation, the police and other arms of security agencies.
However, the board of Trustees of PCN was said to have resolved to enforce all the existing judgments against the police, in view of the alleged continued antagonism, harassment, arrest, detention and intimidation of officers and men of the Corps.
Recall also that Justice Oriji issued the garnishee order upon an ex-parte motion argued on behalf of the PCN by Joseph Chukwuemeka.
In an enrollment of court order dated March 17, 2017, signed by the Judge and the Court Senior Registrar,. Akpabio Michael Brown, the garnishee was issued so as to satisfy the judgment debt awarded against police and in favour of the creditors including Shaibu Michael, Peter Ojoma and Miss Joy Obakachi.
The court had in 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 in the judgment 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 29 days was unlawful and unconstitutional.
The judgment also held that Peace Corps was a bona-fide legal association duly authorised by law to carry out its functions with the aim of realising its aims and objectives and that the seizure of its properties by police was also unlawful and unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, there is another case at a Federal High Court, Abuja, which Akoh, Peace Corps of Nigeria and 49 others, instituted against the Inspector General of Police, Police, Director General of State Security Services, State Security Service and the Attorney-General of the the Federation (AGF), following their arrest, detention and harassment on February 28, 2017.
The Plaintiffs are claiming N2bn for damages.