Peace corps, cops clash in Abuja
There was pandemonium yesterday in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) following the clash between men of the Mobile Police Unit and officers of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) during the activities marking the latter’s 20th anniversary.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently withdrawn assent to the Bill for an Act establishing the corps.
The development notwithstanding, the National Commandant of PCN, Amb. Dickson Akoh, insisted that the para-military body would continue to exist as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
It was gathered that the mobile police officers had invaded the corps’ head office located in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja to disperse the celebrants.
Members of the corps and newsmen had reportedly proceeded peacefully to the sealed office for a briefing when a detached operatives of the force arrived the premises, shooting sporadically and throwing tear gas into the air.
Though no casualty was recorded but it was learnt that a number of people, including civil society activists, sustained injuries.
The corps’ headquarters, located on Iya Abubakar Crescent within the FCT, has been under lock and keys since its commissioning on February 28, 2017.
Justices Gabriel Kolawole and John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja have in separate rulings ordered the police to vacate the premises.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had also written to IGP Idris Ibrahim, advising that the office be unsealed “in absence of any appeal or valid stay of execution.”
The House of Representatives, on the strength of the report of its Committee on Public Petitions, had also issued the police a 21-day ultimatum to vacate the property to no avail.
Entreaties from civil society organisations and the National Human Rights Commission had also been reportedly spurned by the force.
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