By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA —18 members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, yesterday, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order of perpetual injunction stopping any attempt by the Nigeria Police Force to arrest or detain them over alleged forgery.
The Applicants also prayed the court to declare that the Commissioner of Police in Ondo State, who was cited as the 3rd Respondent in the suit, failed in his constitutional duty when he allowed his officers to supervise the harassment, assault and disruption of proceedings of the Ondo State House of Assembly by thugs.
Other Respondents in the suit the aggrieved lawmakers filed through their lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, are the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the Nigeria Police Force, as well as two of their members, Hon. Oloyeloogun Bamidele and Hon. Jacob Adebo a.k.a Idajo.
Specifically, the Applicants, in the fundamental rights enforcement suit they filed pursuant to section 46(3) of the 1999 constitution and Articles 4, 5, 6, 12 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap 10 Laws of the Federation, 2004, prayed the court for;
“A declaration that it is the primary responsibility of the 1st – 3rd Respondents as provided by section 214 and 215 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and section 4 of the Police Act to protect the lives and properties of the Applicants, preserve law and order, apprehend crime and duly enforce all laws in Nigeria.
“A declaration that the 3rd defendant failed in his constitutional duty when it invaded the Ondo State House of Assembly with his officers to supervise the harassment, assault and the disruption of the Applicants’ legislative activities perpetrated by the 6th Respondent and his thugs against the applicants.”
“A declaration that the continued failure of the 1stv-3rd Respondents to execute their constitutionally prescribed roles of protection of lives and properties, preservation of law and order and apprehension of crime has caused the lives of the Applicants to be threatened and has subjected the Applicants and their families to untold hardship.
“A declaration that the invasion of the Ondo State House of Assembly on the 9th of November 2018 by the 6th Respondent and his men is a breach of the peace which is unlawful, unjustifiable, illegal and unconstitutional.
As well as, “An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents, jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, privies, servants however called, from inflicting on the Applicants any form of unlawful harassment, intimidation, threat, disturbance, arrest or detention in any manner whatsoever on the set of facts giving rise to this application.”
The lawmakers told the court that they had by a constitutionally required 18 member vote, impeached the 5th Respondent and his deputy as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly on November 9.
They said while they were going about their legislative business as required of them, the 3rd -6th Respondents, stormed the House of Assembly premises with hoodlums and thugs who disrupted activities of the Applicants and destroyed valuable properties.