Admin l Wednesday, August 16, 2017
IKOYI, Lagos, Nigeria – The Nigeria Police Force, NPF on Wednesday lost in the bid to stall hearing of the N300m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans.
The police had through their lawyer objected to the trial for now on the fround that the suspect was helping police investigations towards tracking down his gang members and that it would be dangerous to release Evans prematurely into the society.
But ruling on the matter, Justice Abdulaziz Anka dismissed argument by the police that the case was not ripe for hearing since the Inspector-General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force were served with court papers in Lagos rather than in Abuja.
Justice Anka upheld the argument by Evans’ lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, that by virtue of Order 5 Rule 2 of the Fundamental Rights Procedure Rules 2009, the IG and the NPF were rightly served through their agents at Alagbon in Lagos.
The judge noted that the coast was clear for the hearing of the suit on Wednesday as there was proof of service on the IG and the NPF, which was exhibited before the court.
Eze’s bid to get an adjournment so as to go and prepare well for the hearing of the case also failed as Justice Anka held that the counsel has had enough time to prepare since June when the case was filed.
Arguing his client’s case, Ogungbeje insisted that the police had violated Evans’ rights by detaining him since June 10, 2017 without charging him to court.
Ogungbeje contended that the continued detention of Evans without a court order was unlawful and a violation of the suspect’s rights under under sections 35 (1) (c) (3) (4) (5) (a) (b) and 36 of the Constitution.
He urged the court to compel the police to charge Evans to court immediately or to release him and let him go if they were not ready to bring him to court and arraign him.
But opposing him, Eze, who appeared for the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, insisted that Evans’ right were not being violated, because, according to him, Section 35(7) of the Constitution gave the police power to detain a suspected capital offender without any court order and that the offences allegedly committed by Evans were grievous and as such his fundamental rights were not absolute.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Anka adjourned till August 29, 2017 for judgment.