The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday defreezed 24 bank accounts of the Peace Corps of Nigeria that were frozen on 23rd, June this year at the instance of the Nigeria Police .
Peace Corps of Nigeria bank accounts were frozen via an ex parte order granted to the Nigeria Police by the Federal High Court following a suit filed against the organisation and that prayed the court to freeze their bank account for alleged corruption.
While the interim order was in forced a member of the organisation, John Ojogu, filed a motion on notice dated July 5, 2017, praying the court to vacate it’s post-no-debit order freezing its accounts.
Delivering the ruling on the defendant/applicant motion on notice, yesterday Justice John Tsoho ruled that the Nigeria Police misled the court in granting the interim order.
He also ruled that the act of the complaint amounted to an abuse of court process as the plaintiff had obtained similar order from a magistrate before approaching the court.
Justice Tsoho said that the arguments of the Nigeria Police lawyer James Idachaba, urging the court to dismiss the application of Peace Corps was a “great effort without effect” because his “motion exparte dated June 13, was filed in bad fate and amounted to gross abuse of court process.”
Beside, the police did not controvert the affidavit evidence of Peace Corps that facts were suppressed and issues misrepresented by the police to obtain the ex parte order.
The court noted that the affidavit in support of motion ex parte was deposed to by one Sergeant Philip Tumba from the CIIB, FCT Police Command, whereas the charge against the Peace Corps was filed by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
This inconsistent posturing of the police adversely affected the validity of the ex parte order granted by this court on June 23, 2017, Justice Tsoho said.
According to the judge, the magistrate court had made an order on the issue, for the police suppress facts and misrepresent issues before the Federal High Court; “this amounts to duplication of order”.
In addition, the court agreed with the submissions of counsel to Peace Corps that an “interim order” must be short.
“I therefore hold that if the police desired anything more, it should not have come to this court by way of motion exparte but through motion on notice seeking an injunction, Justice Tsoho said.
In view of this, “The interim order made by this court on June 23, 2017 is hereby discharged; the order is set aside. Prayers one and two of the defendant/ applicant are hereby granted.