Tuesday, 22 April 2014
On Police Harassment Of Senator Alphonsus Uba-Igbeke
It has come to our knowledge that the Nigeria Police Force has been discreetly mounting a surveillance to arrest our client, Senator Alphonsus Uba-Igbeke. We understand that an invitation (which Senator Igbeke has not received) was sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly inviting Senator Igbeke to Police Headquarters.
These actions of the Nigeria Police Force are in complete violation of the Rule of Law, an existing court order and the fundamental rights of Senator Alphonsus Igbeke for the following reasons:
1. Senator Igbeke contested and won the P.D.P primaries for the Anambra North Senatorial district, defeating five other opponents, including one John Emeka.
2. The P.D.P then duly forwarded the result of the primary elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
3. However, when Senator Igbeke got wind that his name was to be substituted with that of John Emeka, he exercised his constitutional right by filing a pre-election suit at the Federal High Court (Suit No.: FHC/ABJ.CS/189/2011: Senator Alphonsus Igbeke V. INEC & Ors) in which he challenged the move to substitute him. He tendered in court, through affidavit evidence, the result of the P.D.P primary election in Anambra State.
4. The Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Hon. Justice Kafarati, in a well-considered judgment delivered on the 17th day of March, 2011, declared Senator Igbeke as the authentic P.D.P candidate for Anambra North Senatorial District. Dissatisfied, John Emeka appealed against the said decision. That Appeal is still pending.
5. However, the opponent of Senator Igbeke, still desperate to stop his candidacy, again ran to INEC to say that the judgment of Kafarati affirming Igbeke’s candidacy was forged by Senator Igbeke. Again, that allegation did not hold water as members of the public and the Press went to the court to confirm the judgment.
6. It was at this stage that, for the first time, Igbeke’s opponent wrote a petition to the Police, in collusion with some INEC staff, that the P.D.P Primaries’ result which Senator Igbeke tendered at the Federal High Court, and upon which the court delivered judgment was forged and did not emanate from INEC. Meanwhile, INEC that participated all the while in the proceedings at the Federal High Court where the document was tendered did not complain that the document was not from INEC throughout the proceedings until judgment was delivered. A case of afterthought, indeed!
7. However, still in a desperate bid to stall Senator Igbeke’s campaign, his opponent engaged the police to arrest Senator Igbeke over the issue of the forgery mentioned above. Still pursuing his legal remedies, Senator Igbeke again approached the Federal High Court, which gave an order restraining the Police and other law-enforcement agencies from arresting and detaining him. Find attached the court order.
8. Despite the Court order declaring Igbeke as the authentic candidate, INEC was still bent on giving a Certificate of Return to John Emeka, which again prompted Senator Igbeke to once again approach the Federal High Court, after the elections in suit No.: FHC/ABJ/476/2011, and obtained an order compelling INEC to issue the Certificate of Return for Anambra North Senatorial District to him being the candidate who contested the election. It was at this point INEC complied and issued the Certificate of Return to Senator Igbeke. It would be recalled that the opponent of Igbeke were not candidates at the election and were not entitled to Certificate of Return and cannot even talk of having won the election.
9. This development again angered the opponent of Senator Igbeke, an opponent that is enjoying the backing of a self-acclaimed godfather of Anambra politics. The said opponent then went to the Police and prevailed on them to ignore the Court order restraining the police from harassing Senator Igbeke over matters pending before the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
10. Nigerians will recall that it was these same people that misused the police in the same manner in 2007 when they got the late AIG Ige to abduct a sitting governor (Dr. Chris Ngige) in Anambra State in an attempt to brazenly and unlawfully remove him from office. The said AIG Ige later died in frustration when he was dismissed from the Force for his foolhardiness. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
11. It would equally be recalled that it was these same people who attempted but failed to prevent Senator Igbeke from assuming his rightful seats in both 2003 and 2007 in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively. They are at it again.
12. It would be recalled that so many judges have also been dismissed from the Bench in the hands of these same people. Their stock-in-trade is to misuse the institutions of the State for their personal ends.
13. The whole purpose of the latest conspiracy is to arrest Senator Igbeke, frame a charge of forgery against him, charge him to court, remand him in prison custody and prevent him from being part of the inauguration of the new National Assembly on June, 2nd, 2011, again using the institutions of the State to achieve this.
14. We call upon the Inspector-General of Police to immediately stop the witch-hunting of Senator Igbeke, a serving Senator and Senator-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
15. If this is not done, we shall have no other option but to commence contempt proceedings against the Police.
FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.