The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has constituted a unit within the Nigeria Police Force’s Legal Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, to serve the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, court summons and other processes issued by a court in Abuja in relation to a criminal complaint brought against him.
The unit is to ensure the prompt delivery of the court processes on Saraki before the next adjourned date, October 3.
An Abuja-based lawyer and rights activist, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, had laid a criminal complaints in relation to the ongoing investigation by the police into the April 5, 2018, bank robbery incident in Offa, Kwara State.
In the complaint marked: CR/196/2018, filed under Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, Ojaomo argued that Saraki’s alleged refusal to honour an invitation allegedly sent to him by the police in relation to the Offa robbery investigation, amounted to the offences of “obstructing a criminal investigation and disobeying a public officer carrying out a lawful responsibility.”
The criminal complaint by Ojaomo reads: “Criminal complaint brought pursuant to Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015. Please, cause a summons for a direct criminal complaint on the defendant on the following terms:
“That you, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on or about the 24th day of July 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did refuse to honour the invitation of the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to report at the police headquarters in FCT, Abuja to answer to an allegation involving the investigation of some criminal suspects involved in a case which the Nigeria Police Force is currently investigating, thereby obstructing a criminal investigation and disobeying a public officer carrying out a lawful responsibility .
“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 136 and 149 of the Penal Code Law. Whereas, the complainant is praying the court to charge the defendant accordingly.”
Justice Abdullahi Garuba Ogbede of Grade 1 Area Court, ACO Estate, Lugbe in Abuja, had on September 10 this year, ordered the issuance of summons on the IGP following Saraki’s absence in court when the case, in which he (Saraki) is listed as the sole defendant, was called.
The Judge had summoned the IGP to attend court on Monday to show cause why Saraki was absent in court and what efforts he had made to ensure his appearance.
However, on Monday, counsel to the complainant, E. S. Marcus, told the court that although the IGP and Saraki were absent in court, he was informed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the Legal Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, identified as Mahmoud that the IGP has directed a unit to ensure the delivery of all processes in relation to the case on Saraki.
He said: “The defendant is not in court. At the last date, the court issued a witness summons on the IGP to come and show cause why the police failed to effect service of the criminal summons, warrant of arrest and other processes on the defendant.
“The witness summons was served on the Nigeria Police Force by the court’s registry.
“However, we received a call from DSP Mahmoud of the Legal Department of the Nigeria Police Force headquarters, that the matter has been assigned by the IGP to a particular unit of the NPF to effect the service of the summons on the defendant and arrest him.”
Marcus, thereafter, urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable the police effect service of the processes on the defendant.
Justice Ogbede consequently adjourned the case to October 3.