By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
A Federal High Court, sitting in Apo, has fixed April 17, for hearing on a contempt charge filed by the Peace Corps of Nigeria, seeking to commit Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to two years imprisonment for persistent violation of court orders.
Also, the court imposed a fine of N5,000 on the IGP for filing his counter affidavit out of time and which caused the adjourned of the hearing of the charge.
The Peace Corps of Nigeria through its counsel Dr. Joshua Yakubu Musa, (SAN) had approached the court praying it to commit the IGP Idris to prison for two years for flouting the judgment of the court delivered on March 26, 2014.
The Judge had in a ruling at the last sitting ordered the IGP to be in court yesterday, to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for his disobedience to the lawful order of the court made on March 26, 2014, stopping Police from interfering with the activities of the Peace Corps.
When the matter was called yesterday, the trial Judge, Justice SlyvanusOriji demanded for the whereabouts of the IGP, Idris, who was ordered to personally appear before the court. She further asked if the IGP was not aware that he ought to be in court today.
The counsel to the Police Chief, SeiduJubril informed the judge that the IGP was out of Abuja at the time he was leaving office.
Reacting, counsel to the Peace Corps, NwezeOkechukwu, faulted IGP for failure to obtain leave of the court to regularise the counter affidavit that was filed out of time.
However, counsel to the IGP agreed that he needed leave of the court and applied to the court for an adjournment which the court granted with a fine of N5,000.
Justice Oriji subsequently adjourned till April 17, for hearing of the matter.
It will be recalled that, the IGP had in his preliminary objection against the contempt charge argued by his counsel Mr. David Igbodo, claimed that he was not personally served with form 48 in relation to the contempt charge.
He prayed the court to void the contempt charge and set it aside on the ground that the form 48 summoning him to appear in court was served on the commissioner of Police in charge of legal matters at the Force Headquarters.
But Justice Oriji in his ruling slammed the IGP for employing technicality and delay tactics to frustrate the charge against him.
The Judge imposed a fine of N25,000 on the Police Chief and ordered him to personally appear in court on the adjourned date.