A police prosecutor, Simon Lough, on Friday escaped being jailed for violating an order of the court regarding the alleged examination malpractice case against Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in his ruling, also dismissed the application brought by the Inspector General of Police to stay the execution on its order granting Senator Adeleke leave for foreign medical treatment in the United States of America (USA), for lacking in merit.
Recall that the court on May 6 granted leave to Adeleke to travel to the USA and return on June 9, 2019, to enable him undergo an urgent medical check-up.
Adeleke was also ordered to honour an invitation of the police on May 6 before leaving for the US, having restrained the police from arresting him.
However, upon honouring the police invitation, Adeleke was arrested and consequently arraigned the next day before a magistrate court in Mpape area of Abuja on a five-count charge, bordering on alleged false statement and forgery.
Justice Ekwo on Friday said: “This court stands to commit Lough to prison custody for this blatant act of impunity and contemptuous disobedience.
“The exercise of restraint by this court in not dealing with the learned counsel for the complainant/applicant (Lough) forthrightly is to demonstrate to the learned gentleman that the best of use of power is to restrain”, the judge said.
Ruling on the police application praying it to stay execution of the ruling, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal at the Court of Appeal, the judge said there was nothing to stay as injunction was not normally granted over completed acts.
“The issue here is not merely that of granting an injunction over a completed act but whether a party can disobey an order of court and come before the same court, seeking for its discretionary power”.
According to him, the police refused to comply with the order of the court and to have reason for not complying, the police resorted to self-help.
This he said was by arraigning Adeleke before the Magistrate Court on May 7, just to stop him from travelling.
The judge further said that the police acted disdainfully by arraigning Adeleke on the day he was granted leave to travel for medical checkup in an inferior court.
He added that by doing so, the police had derailed the authourity of the court, which he said was a condemnable act.
He described Adeleke’s arrest by the police and his arraignment as a very dubious manoeuvre of judicial system in order to avoid compliance with the order of the court.
Justice Ekwo subsequently dismissed the application for lacking in merit.
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