Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging plot by the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, to infringe on his fundamental human rights. He prayed the court to quash and declare as illegal, a summon Police issued for him to appear at its headquarters to be interrogated over allegations bordering on conspiracy, criminal defamation, inciting publication, injurious falsehold and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.
Cited as respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/917/ 2018, were the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the Nigerian Police, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN. Specifically, the former Minister, who is a frontline critic of the President Muhamadu Buhari-led administration, prayed the court to declare that the said letter of invitation by the police was unlawful, unjustifiable, illegal and unconstitutional.
He contended that the invitation which originally asked him to report to the Force Headquaters last Tuesday, was vague and ambigious. The plaintiff, through his lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, urged the court to declare that in accordance with the 1999 constitution, as amended, he cannot be so invited by law enforcement agents for undisclosed reasons and without adequate notice. He told the court that the invitation letter was so vaguely construed that “I became apprehensive and concerned about the intentions of the Nigerian Police and what my fate could be, should I visit the 1st and 2nd respondents office without filing this application”.
According to him, being aware that activities of the respondents could have negative impact on his freedom of movement, liberty and dignity, he decided to approach the court to enforce his fundamental rights. He begged the court to stop the police from inflicting on him any form of unlawful arrest and detention. Meanwhile, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba has ordered that all the relevant court processes be served on all the respondents to enable them to appear on September 13 for hearing. The court made the order after it okayed that the matter be heard during vacation.
However, regardless of the suit, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer said he has prevailed on his client to honour the Police invitation on September 4, which is the rescheduled date. In a letter dated August 31 and addressed to the IGP, Ajulo drew attention of the Police to the suit. Though he acknowledged need for all the parties to avoid any action capable of overreaching the suit, the plaintiff’s lawyer confirmed the availability of his client.
“Nevertheless, as our firm’s practice and our client’s position is, being a nationalist, patriotic and responsible Nigerian, we hereby confirm that our client will honour your invitation as scheduled for September 4, 2018 by 12 noon”, read part of the letter with reference No: KACCL/OR/377/18.
In a 20-paragraphed affidavit that was personally deposed to by the former Minister, he insisted that he would lose considerable goodwill, honour and prestige among his friends, neighbours, associates and Nigerians as a whole, “should the dreaded unlawful acts of the Respondents be implemented”.