OPC chieftain, others arrested
A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State, has restrained the police from re-arresting the Ekiti State chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Jide Awe, and four other members for alleged murder of Ayo Jeje and Juliana Adewumi during a political crisis in Erinjiyan-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
According to a statement yesterday by APC State Publicity Secretary, Hon Taiwo Olatunbosun, the others granted relief are Faboro Ojo John, Aniramu Basiru, Falayi Busuyi and Owonifari Sefiu.
The defendants are the Inspector General of Police, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, the Plateau and Ekiti police commissioners.
The suit followed the decision of the state government to re-open some murder cases which the former administration in the state had closed following the nolle prosequi entered by the former attorney general.
But in a motion under the enforcement of their fundamental right and fundamental rights enforcement procedure brought before Justice A. Lewis-Allagoa, the plaintiffs in suit no.
FHC/J/CS/102/2014 had prayed the court to declare as unconstitutional the planned and threatened arrest, detention and arraignment in connection with the fact leading to their previous arrest and arraignment for the murder.
The plaintiffs argued that the offence for which they were being targeted for re-arrest had previously been heard by a competent court of jurisdiction and the case dismissed having been discharged and acquitted of all the offences relating to or connecting with the murder.
They also argued that they cannot be re-arrested, detained and re-arraigned for the offence having been previously discharged and acquitted over the murder charge.
Other reliefs sought included an order of the court compelling and/or restraining the respondents jointly or severally from arresting, detaining and prosecuting them for the offence;and an order restraining the respondents, their servants, agents and privies “whatsoever names called jointly and severally from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicants for the alleged offences”, the case having been earlier determined at a competent court wherein the applicants had been discharged and acquitted.
Ruling on the exparte motion, Lewis-Allagoa granted all the reliefs sought by the applicants pending the determination of the originating motion on notice before the court.
He ordered the motion to be served on the respondents not less than seven days before the hearing of the Originating Motion on Notice and adjourned the matter to December 3 for hearing.