Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has approached the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to stop the police from inflicting on him any form of unlawful arrest and detention.
The police had, last week, invited Fani-Kayode to appear at the Force Headquarters before August 28, 2018, for alleged conspiracy, criminal defamation, inciting publication, injurious falsehood and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.
However, in a motion on notice dated August 28, 2018 and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/917/ 2018, the former Minister has asked the court to declare that the said letter of invitation by the police is unlawful, unjustifiable, illegal and unconstitutional.
He further prayed the court, through his lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, to declare that in accordance with the 1999 constitution, he cannot be so invited by law enforcement agents for undisclosed reasons and without adequate notice.
The former Aviation minister informed the court that the invitation letter was so vaguely construed that “I became apprehensive and concerned about the intentions of the Nigerian Police and What my fate could be, should I visit the 1st and 2nd respondents office without filing this application.”
He said knowing that the activities of the respondents can have negative impact on his freedom of movement, liberty and dignity; he decided to file an originating motion on notice to enforce his fundamental rights.
Meanwhile, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, has ordered that all the processes reacting to the motion on notice be served on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Nigerian Police and the Attorney General of the Federation to enable them appear in court on the next adjourned date fixed for September 13, 2018 for hearing.
Earlier, Justice Dimgba had, after listening to Raphel Oyewole, granted leave to hear the suit as a vacation judge.
Regardless of the suit, his counsel, Dr. Ajulo said he has prevailed on his client to honour the invitation on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
In a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police and dated August 31, 2018 with reference No: KACCL/OR/377/18, expressed the need for the police to “maintain the state of affairs before the beginning of hostilities’ and take no further steps once a matter is pending before the court.
“Nevertheless, as our firm’s practice and our client’s position is, being a nationalist, patriotic and responsible Nigerian, we hereby confirm that our client will honour your invitation as scheduled for September 4, 2018 by 12 noon.”
Ajulo, however, advised the IGP to “desist from taking any step that may render the order of the court nugatory in the circumstances and thereby be in contempt of court.”
In a 20 paragraphs affidavit in support of the motion on notice, Fani-Kayode deposed to the fact that being a former minister, he will lose considerable goodwill, honour and prestige among his friends, neighbours, associates and Nigerians as a whole, should the dreaded
unlawful acts of the respondents be implemented.