AHigh Court of the Federal Capital Territory on Friday voided the police investigation report and charges against the Spokesperson for the Coalition of United Political Parties, Ikenga Ugochinyere.
The court also awarded the sum of N5 million only as general and exemplary damages in his favour.
Delivering her judgment, Justice Binta Mohammed, held that the purpose of both the illegal police investigation report and the trumped up charges was to frame the applicant so as to breach his fundamental human rights.
The court consequently set aside the allegations of murder, arson, attacks on INEC offices, hacking of INEC data, robbery, breach of national security and terrorism, describing it as trumped-up criminal charges.
The judgment was in respect of a fundamental enforcement rights suit filed by Ugochinyere, who is also the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency.
The CUPP spokesperson had prayed the court to void the said allegations made against him by the police, the Department of State Services and the Imo State Government saying they were all politically motivated without any shred of evidence and to protect his fundamental rights of freedom of expression.
Ugochinyere contended that the allegations were cooked in the Imo State Government House as a plot to stop him from further exposing the manipulation of the voter register by officials of the Imo State Government for which the Independent National Electoral Commission had deleted millions of fake registrations and about 13 of its staff are undergoing disciplinary action.
The judge therefore restrained the defendants including the Attorney General of Imo State, Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General of Police and Director General DSS, from further “intimidating, harassing, embarrassing, inviting, arresting or detaining prosecuting or charging him to court” based on any issues connected to the trumped-up charges including the allegations of murder, robbery, arson, hacking into INEC database, terrorism, larceny, breach of national security all targeted at shutting him up against further exposure of voter register compromise.
Besides, the court declared that the compromise of the voter register is a threat to democracy and also voided the police investigation report dated October 18, 2022, and the charge in Charge No. OW/651/2022.
Justice Mohammed who described the acts of the respondents as “executive recklessness and abuse of power” said the police investigation report leading to the trumped-up charges against the applicant was suspicious and an act of illegality.
She said, “The aim and purpose of the allegations, the police investigation report and trumped-up charge is to clamp down on the applicant and breach his fundamental human right.
“A court of law has a duty to protect citizens against abuse of power that transcends into abuse of their fundamental human rights.
“The police and indeed security agencies should not allow themselves to be used by politicians. The police report is born out of malice and an attempt to breach the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
“There is no material evidence placed before this court to justify the allegations and charge against the applicant. The allegations are porous and cannot stand. In the absence of any sufficient material to prove the allegations, this court cannot act on it.
“The use of the police report, illegal allegations and trumped-up charges to harass, intimidate and arrest the applicant is reprehensible and null and void.
“Consequently, the illegal police investigation report and the trumped up charge against the applicant is set aside.”
The Judge therefore made an order restraining the third and fourth respondents, their privies, agents or any law enforcement agency from arresting the applicant based on the investigation of the third and second respondents or any agent of the Imo State Government.
Responding to the judgment Ugochinyere described it as victory for democracy and rule of law.
He said the judgment has emboldened him to make more revelations that would strengthen and protect the democratic process.
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