Court Orders Saraki, Melaye to Honour Police Invitation.

 Court Orders Saraki, Melaye to Honour Police Invitation.

A federal high court in Abuja has ordered Senate President Bukola Saraki, Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west and Ben Murray-Bruce, senator representing Bayelsa east, to honour the police invitation.

The invitation is in connection with their roles in a protest staged by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in October 2018.

The three senators had led a protest to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), asking the commission to declare Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the PDP, winner of the September 2018 governorship election in Osun state.

The police had dispersed the protesters with teargas and invited the three senators for questioning.

Subsequently, the senators filed a suit challenging their invitation and accused the police of violating their fundamental rights. They also prayed, among other things, the court to award N500 million to them as “exemplary and pecuniary damages.”

But delivering judgement on Thursday, Okon Abang, the presiding judge, dismissed the suit filed by the trio for lacking in merit.

Abang said the submissions of the applicant that their rights were infringed upon could not be upheld since they were only invited by the police, adding that the police has the constitutional duty to invite people accused of disrupting the law or involved in a criminal allegation.

The judge held that the senators had an obligation to report to the police when invited.

“They issued the letters dated October 6 and 8 inviting the applicants for questioning over their roles in the procession of the Peoples Democratic Party that held on October 5, 2018. The Police acted in public and national interests,” the judge ruled.

“Where crime is alleged, the police have a duty to invite. The court cannot restrain the police from carrying out their statutory function, and in this case, they have acted within the provision of section 4 of the police act.

“It is my view that the police invitation to the applicants is still valid and subsisting; the applicants shall respond or report to the police invitation without fail.

“It is the outcome of the applicants’ honouring the invitation that would determine if their rights have been violated; certainly not before honouring the invitation.”

The judge, therefore, awarded N50,000 in favour of the police.

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