Court quashes clerics suit against police, others over N118m dud cheque
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has dismissed the application filed by Registered Trustees of World Evangelism Incorporated alongside Prophet Samson Ayorinde and Reverend Harold Chinoyerem seeking to restrain the Nigeria Police from arresting them over N118 million dud cheque.
Delivering judgment, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, dismissed the suit on the grounds that the police could not be restrained from inviting, arresting and detaining the applicants while investigating the matter.
Adesanya held that restraining the police from arresting persons alleged to have committed an offence amounts to abuse of judicial power.
Ayorinde and other applicants had filed a fundamental rights suit marked D/6724MFHR/2018 before the court seeking a declaration that their harassment, intimidation, threat of arrest, detention and invitation by the police was a violation of their rights to liberty as guaranteed under section 34 and 35 of the Nigerian constitution.
Counsel to the applicants, Emmanuel B. Benjamin instituted the case against Oludare Amos Aturamu, Mrs. Kemi Adesanya, Smart Link Property Services, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in-charge of State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, officer-charge of Assistant Commissioner Section, and SP Alhaji Aminu of SCIID, as the first to seventh respondents.
Ayorinde and others also asked the court to restrain the police from inviting, arresting, detaining, harassing and molesting or infringing on their rights and publishing their names in any police bulletin or any medium for the purpose of declaring them wanted.
The applicants also prayed the court to order the police to pay them N4 million, as compensation for breaching their fundamental rights.
However, the police in an affidavit filed before the court, urged the court to dismiss the suit.
Counsel to the Police, Samsideen Adebesin, stated that police received a petition from Aturamu, Adesanya and Smart Link Services, wherein they alleged that Ayorinde obtained a loan of N30 million from them in August 2016 for Church expansion, with the promise to repay the loan in two months with 30 per cent interest.
Meanwhile, Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday adjourned the arraignment of President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro (SAN) to December 18.
This followed the defendants’ submission that he has not received the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Usoro, who is being charged for an alleged N1.4 billion fraud, appeared in court with senior lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), prayed the court to ask EFCC to serve him in court.
But EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who claimed that the accused was evading service, resisted the argument.
Following the argument by both parties, Hassan instructed the prosecution to serve him with the charge and adjourned the arraignment to December 18.
However, shortly after the court rose, EFCC operatives besieged the accused outside the court premises and asked him to follow them to their office, to which he obliged.
He was detained him for some hours, on the grounds that he allegedly evaded service of the charge before he was released with the understanding that he should report back to the agency on December 17.