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Alleged defamation: Court bars police from arresting ACADIP leader

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
05 December 2021   |   2:40 am
A high Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State has issued an injunction barring the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and other security operatives from arresting the leader of the Academy of Islamic Propagation

A High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State has issued an injunction barring the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and other security operatives from arresting the leader of the Academy of Islamic Propagation (ACADIP), Yusuf Adepoju and another cleric, Mudathir Kewudirorun.

This was contained in an interim order, dated November 22, 2021, issued pursuant to an application filed at the court by the counsel to the clerics, AbdulFatai AbdulSalam.

The matter, with suit number: HOS/M.157/2021, is between Adepoju and Kewudirorun as applicants, versus the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Police Special Fraud Unit (FCIID), Abuja; Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Force Criminal Investigation (FCID), Thair Usman, and Commissioner of Police, as defendants.

According to the ruling, the court said the applicant had sought “an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents, the police officers under them and anyone acting through them from arresting, harassing, detaining the applicants or invading the applicants’ residences or wherever the applicants maybe, outside their residences, pending the hearing of the application for fundamental rights enforcement already filed in the court, and for further order, as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”

The Guardian learnt that Adepoju’s travail started on November 16, 2021, when operatives of the Nigerian Police Force allegedly swooped on his home in Ilobu, headquarters of Irepodun Local Council, at about 3 a.m to arrest him.

Though Adepoju was lucky, as he wasn’t around, he obviously got the message the hard way through the emotional torture inflicted on members of his family. 

In a statement on the matter by one of the cleric’s counsels, Kabir Akingbolu, a principal partner of Salawu, Akingbolu & Company, “Few hours later, precisely around 5 p.m, when he thought the siege was over, the visitors returned, this time in a military commando manner, armed with a letter of invitation from the Office of the Commissioner of Police, Police Special Fraud Unit (FCIID), Abuja. 

“In the letter, it was stated that the office was investigating an alleged case of Defamation of Character/Character Assassination, where Adepoju was allegedly featured.” 

But Adepoju said he was unaware of any case of defamation involving him and anyone and wondered what could have informed the ‘hide and seek’ being played by the police to arrest him when he had never been invited for any of such cases before now.”

The judge, A. O Oyebiyi, while granting the application, noted that having painstakingly considered the application, the affidavit in support and the written address of counsel, “I am of the view that the application is meritorious. Same is hereby granted as prayed.”