A Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has told the police that it had no right to arrest before investigating suspects.
This was coming in pursuant of a human rights matter brought before the court by a lawyer, Mr Ndubuisi Onyeakpa, who has approached the court for his fundamental human right abuse by the Nigerian Police from the Anambra State Command and Zone 9, Umuahia.
The lawyer had in the matter alleged that no fewer than 20 police men had scaled the wall and invaded his house at about 2am, just because he is handling a land matter case for a section of his community He maintained that as a lawyer he had the legal right to defend any person that sought his services, he therefore asked the court to stop the police from harassing and intimidating him. Cosequently, the court gave an interim order granting Onyeakpa’s requests.
However, the police had at a resumed hearing on Tuesday before Justice I.N Uwaigbo, asked the court to vacate its order, arguing that there was suppression of materials facts when the order was granted Onwuka, counsel to the defendant, contended that no court had the right to restrain the police from investigating any citizen on any crime.
He therefore asked the court to vacate its interim order on the arrest of Onyeakpa in the interest of justice. Countering the motion, counsel to Onyeakpa, Mr Zokas Aniazoka, in a preliminary objection to the motion filed by the police contended that the circumstances which warranted the interim order are still in existence, stressing that to vacate the order would amount to giving the police an undeserved freedom to harass and intimidate his client. Aniazoka said the murder case in which Onyeakpa was purportedly being investigated was of no more again, because the postmortem conducted by the police had revealed that the victim died of natural cause, arguing that there was no suppression of facts of any kind when the interim order was sought and granted by the court. Aniazoka contended that it was a settled law that the police had no powers to arrest anybody before investigating the person.
He therefore urged the court to discountenance the police motion adding that granting them their request would amount to glorifying impunity.
In his ruling, Justice Uwaigbo, agreed with the applicant’s lawyer (Aniazoka) that the police had no right to arrest anybody before investigation. It therefore refused to vacate its earlier motion on the matter.