TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, has directed that the Nigeria Police, in the state should be served by substituted means on the matter instituted by the former acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joi Nunieh, against them and other parties.
Nunieh had dragged the NDDC, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Department of State Service (DSS) and Inspector General Police (IGP), to court to restrain them from arresting her pending the determination of the case on her fundamental human rights.
When the matter came up yesterday, counsel for the ex-Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Sylvester Adaka, informed the court that he had not been able serve the police because of the defendant’s refusal to accept service.
Adaka, however, sought the court’s relief through motion ex parte, to paste the service of the court at the gate of the Nigeria Police in Port Harcourt.
Nunieh’s counsel also disclosed that he had served the other defendants in the matter.
The trial judge, Justice Elsie Thompson, in her ruling, ordered that Police should be served by substituted means.
Thompson adjourned the matter till August 5, 2020, for hearing.
Speaking outside courtroom, counsel for the applicant, Adaka, explained: “We haven’t been able to serve the police with the court process because police have refused to accept to service. So, we have come back to court just to give us an order to serve by substituted means, which the court has granted today. And we will serve them by substituted means”.
It would be recalled that the former acting Managing Director of the commission, Nunieh, had instituted a legal process against the defendants after the State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo, rescued her from being arrested by security operatives.
Security operatives reportedly invaded Nunieh’s residence in Old GRA, Port Harcourt, early morning on Thursday, July 16.
She was billed to appear in Abuja before members of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, to make her submissions on the probe investigation of corruption.
But, a swift response by the state governor foiled police’s plot to arrest the woman, who had accused Akpabio of being the mastermind of the siege.