Posted by Adebisi Onanuga | 11 December 2018 | 1,716 times
An Ikeja High Court yesterday declared that a Lagos prophet, Samson Ayorinde of the World Evangelism Bible Church, must face trial over the alleged issuance of N118 million dud cheque.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya, in a ruling, dismissed the fundamental rights application filed by the Registered Trustees of World Evangelism Incorporated alongside Prophet Ayorinde and Rev. Harold Chinoyerem of the same church, seeking to restrain the Nigeria Police from arresting them over alleged issuance of N118 million dud cheque.
The court held that the Police could not be restrained from inviting, arresting and detaining the applicant in the course of its investigation.
The judge held that restraining the law enforcement agency from arresting a person alleged to have committed an offence amounted to abuse of judicial power.
Ayorinde and other applicants had instituted a fundamental rights suit marked D/6724MFHR/2018 before the court seeking a declaration that their harassment, intimidation, threat of arrest, detention and invitation by the police at the instance of some people was violation of the fundamental rights to personal liberty as guaranteed under sections 34 and 35 of the constitution.
The suit was filed through their lawyer, Emmanuel B. Benjamin.
The respondents are Mr. Oludare, Amos Aturamu, Mrs. Kemi Adesanya, Smart Link Property Services, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in-charge of State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, Lagos, officer in-charge of Assistant Commissioner Section, and SP Alhaji Aminu of SCIID, Panti, Lagos as first to seventh respondents.
The prophet and others are also asking the court to restrain the police, their agents, privies and servants from inviting, arresting, detaining, harassing and molesting or any manner infringing on their rights and an order restraining the police from publishing their names in any police bulletin or any medium for the purpose of declaring them wanted.
The applicants prayed the court to order the police to pay them N4 million as compensation for breach of their fundamental rights
However, the police in an affidavit filed before the court, urged the court to dismiss the suit.
Counsel to the Police, Mr. Samsideen Adebesin, averred in the affidavit that the police received a petition from Aturamu, Adesanya and Smart Link Services, wherein they alleged that Ayorinde obtained a loan of N30 million from them sometime in August 2016 for the expansion of his church, with the promise that the loan would be refunded within two months with interest rate of 30 per cent.
The police added that in the petition, the petitioners alleged that not quite long after the loan was granted to Ayorinde, he travelled out for medical vacation to attend to his health, only to return to the country in July 2017.
The police averred that when Ayorinde could not repay the loan, the interest rate was reduced to 22.5 per cent as a mark of good gesture by the petitioners.
The police also stated that Ayorinde was being investigated on a criminal complaint of issuance of dud cheques and upon receiving the complaint Ayorinde did not present himself to the police.
Rather, it said sometime in August 2017, Ayorinde volunteered a statement in reaction to the allegation against him and he was granted administrative bail.
However, contrary to the applicant’s claim, the judge held that “on the totality of the foregoing that there has been no harassment, intimidation, threat of arrest or detention of the applicants.
“I must also find and hold that the police cannot be restrained from inviting, arresting (where necessary) and detaining the first and third applicants in the course of its investigation as prescribed by law”, the court held.
•Sourced from The Nation report
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