Judge Defends Ademola Adeleke, Tongue lashes Police Prosecutor

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Remember that the police authorities in Abuja detained Osun State PDP guber candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke , in spite of a court order restraining the security agency from making such attempt, it was for this reason that  Justice Inyang Ekwo of  the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday threatened to jail a police prosecutor,  Mr. Simon Lough.   Justice Inyang Ekwo, in his ruling, asserted that it is compulsory that every Nigerian should obey orders made by the courts. ‘This court stands to commit Mr. 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’ Ekwo said.  The court also dismissed an application filed by the Police seeking a stay of execution of an order, allowing, Sen. Ademola Adeleke to travel to the United States for medical check-up. Justice Ekwo had on May 6th given the senator the permission to travel to the United States  for his medicals on May 7th and asked to return to the country on  the 9th of June . He though asked Adeleke to honour police invitation on May 6th before traveling, the judge however,   restrained the police from arresting him. The Police, however, defied the order  and  detained  Adeleke, the security agency  subsequently arraigned him in Mpape  Magistrate Court ,  Federal Capital Territory on a five-count charge, bordering on alleged false statement and forgery. The police proceeded to  the court with an application seeking for a stay of execution of the ruling, pending the hearing and the determination of the appeal at the Court of Appeal.

The police claimed that its statutory duties would be disturbed if the ruling of the court is executed while the appeal was pending since the senator would have escaped from the country. In dismissing the application, Justice Ekwo held that from the submissions of Lough, Adeleke had already travelled which meant that event has overtaken the application. The judge also said there was nothing to stay as injunctions are 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’ he said. The police, according to him, refused to comply with the order of the court and that in order  to have reason for not complying, the police resorted to self-help  by arraigning Adeleke before the Magistrate Court on May 7,  to stop him from travelling. The judge further stated that the police acted disdainfully by arraigning Adeleke  in an inferior court on the day he was granted leave to travel for medical check up. The police had, thus, derailed the authority of the court, which  was, according to him , a condemnable act. Ekwo who  described Adeleke’s arrest by the police and his arraignment as a very dubious manoeuvre of the judicial system in order to avoid compliance with the order given by the court.