Peace Corps of Nigeria has defeated the Nigerian police as the court orders the Nigerian authorities to pay N12.5 million compensation to peace corps.
The court also ordered the police to re-open the headquarters office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria which was shut down since February 28.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday gave the order for unlawful arrest and detention of officials of the peace corps. Police invaded the premises during the official inauguration of the building.
Justice Gabriel Kolawale gave the order when he delivered judgment in a fundamental human rights suit instituted by the corps against the Police and five others.
The judge held that the Police and the other security agents involved in the seal of the Peace Corps premises acted outside their statutory powers.
Kolawale said that the Police and other security agents had statutory powers to make arrest and detain people, but that such powers must be exercised within the ambits of the law.
He held that the Police failed to establish that the Peace Corps officials committed a crime before they arrested and detained them.
The judge further said that the allegations by the Police and other respondents that the Peace Corps was engaging in military and paramilitary training was not sufficiently established before him to justify their unlawful action.
According to the judge, the allegation of extortion of money and the alleged threat to national security made against the Peace Corps officials was not backed with any document from the victims.
He also faulted the claim by the Police that it invaded the Peace Corps house based on intelligence report.
He described the claim as amorphous as there was no evidence before the court to justify it.
The judge held that the Peace Corps, as a lawfully registered organisation, was entitled to own movable and immovable property and that under no circumstance should any security agent deny the corps this right.
He therefore ordered the Police to pay N12.5 million to the Peace Corps officials in order to appease them for the harassment and intimidation they suffered when they were unlawfully arrested and detained.
He also ordered that the headquarters of the corps, sealed in the last nine months be unsealed.
The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has dissociated itself from a recent newspaper publication titled “Boko haram: Open Letter to Finance Minister”, reportedly written by a retired NAF officer, “Wing Commander AA Abubakar”.