More Trouble For Ex-IGP Okiro As Whistleblower Slams N500m Suit Against Him Few Hours After ICPC Interrogation
The rumbling at the Police Service Commission (PSC) over alleged misappropriation of funds meant for the last general elections has taken a legal dimension with a N500 million lawsuit hanging on the neck of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Chairman, Police Service Commission(PSC), Chief Mike Okiro. This is coming barely 24 hours after Okiro was quizzed by operatives of ICPC now investigating the former Police IG over the alleged N275 million fraud brought against him.
Also joined as respondents in the suit, now before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Abuja, are the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, the Commissioner of Police FCT Command, Abuja and Mr. Suprem Kayode Ibitomi.
The suit was instituted by an aggrieved staff of the Commission, Aaron Kaase who is alleging gross violation of his constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights by the respondents. His lawyer, Kenneth Achabo who filed the suit, anchored under the fundamental rights enforcement procedure rules and sections 33, 34(1) (a), 36 and 37 of the 1999 amended constitution, sought an order of court, restraining all the respondents perpetually from further violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
Achabo hinged the case of his client, (as contained in the motion on notice) on the grounds that, the respondents have violated his right as guaranteed by Article 5 of African charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and enforcement) Act (CAP10) laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
In a 39 paragraphs affidavit in support of the motion of notice, the applicant averred that he was wrongly accused of an attempt to blackmail the Chairman of the PSC and was made to appear before a panel set up by him (Okiro) but was not allowed to defend himself.
Specifically, he stated that the said panel which sat in the office of the Chairman of the PSC talked about a disgruntled staff (s) that had written an unsigned petition against the Commission’s Chairman at the Economic Crimes Commission (EFCC) for misappropriation of funds meant for the last general elections. The applicant further averred that he was shocked by the accusation because he had no knowledge of any petition against the Commission’s Chairman.
He stated that he was pained by the fact that he suffered serious humiliation at the panel whose composition included the Chairman of the Commission, Permanent Secretary, Directors, Senior Police and security officers, and several others, who took turns to disparage him without allowing him to utter a word.
To crown it all, Kaase said he was arraigned before Magistrate Ubani Chukwuamaka of the Wuse II Magistrate court on trump up charges and was subsequently detained at the Kuje prison for two days. He told the court further that the respondents have continued to intimidate him by the continuous threat to his life.
The applicant therefore urged the court to declare that parading him before a panel made up of all the Directors of the PSC, Permanent Secretary and officers of the Inspector General of Police on May 5, 2015 on the prompting of the Chairman of the Commission amounted to gross violation of his rights to dignity and fair hearing as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.
In addition, his lawyer is seeking a declaration by the court that the invasion of the applicant’s privacy by down loading of call logs and bugging of his private mobile GSM line by the officers of the IGP on the prompting of 1st respondent (Okiro) is a violation of his right to private and family life as safeguarded by the 1999 constitution.
He further prayed the court to make an order directing the 1st respondent, his agents, proxies, or subordinates not to act or take any official further step on the outcome of the panel as it is a product of a breach of the applicant’s fundamental human right.
The motion on notice also sought for an order of court directing the IGP, AIG and Commissioner of Police FCT, their agents, proxies, officers, subordinates in any form not to take any further step in executing the outcome of the trial in the panel which is a product of a breach of applicant’s fundamental right, an order perpetually restraining all respondents from tapping, recording and down loading applicant’s call log and another order of court perpetually restraining all the respondents from using the contrived illegally tapped recorded and down loaded of applicant’s call log.
The applicant is seeking an order directing the respondents to compensate him with the sum of N500 million as damages for the unlawful infringement of his constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights.
Besides, the applicant has prayed the court for its order directing the respondents to issue a public apology in three National Dailies circulating in Nigeria. No date has been given for the hearing of the case.