Court orders IG’s arrest, detention
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—AN Abuja high court, has , ordered the arrest of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonaya Onovo, for allegedly refusing to comply with a court summon over an unlawful detention of two police corporals, Onyebuchi Eze and Kenneth Chikwe.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi who issued the bench warrant, also ordered all the law enforcement agencies in the country to comply with the directive, adding that he should be detained in prison custody till
September 2, when the substantive case was adjourned to.
The Abuja high court had, ab-initio, ordered the police boss to personally appear before it, yesterday, to
show cause why he should not be committed to prison for allegedly violating four separate court injunctions, allegedly served on him on August 9, 12, 18 and 20, 2010, with regards to the continued detention of the two accused persons.
The two policemen, alongside one Mr. Austine Duru, were on October 7, 2009, arrested by operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, at Owerri, the Imo State capital, for allegedly collaborating with suspected kidnappers in Anambra State and were subsequently transferred to the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
Though the accused persons are yet to be arraigned before a competent court over the alleged crime since they were arrested in 2009, a human rights organization, the International Human Rights Initiative, however, took the case to court after the first accused, (Onyebuchi Eze), was said to have developed appendicitis while under detention and was denied medical attention by the police.
The rights body applied to the court for an order directing the Police to grant him conditional bail to
enable him go for a surgery, a request that was acceded to by the high court.
Consequent upon failure by the police authorities to comply with the bail order, Justice Adeniyi on August 20, ordered Onovo to appear before him, to explain why the court’s order was not respected.
While issuing the bench warrant, Justice Adeniyi maintained: “Nobody, no matter how highly placed is permitted to hold the court to contempt. This should further show the world that law is no respecter of persons irrespective of position.
“I hereby order the arrest of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonaya Onovo for disobeying the orders of this honourable court and all law enforcement agencies are hereby directed to take notice of this order. He should be arrested and kept in prison custody until he purges himself of the contempt.”
The case was further adjourned till September 2.