Again, IGP Shuns Court, Fails To Produce Detained Bayelsa Gov Candidate

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Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police (IGP), has failed the second time to produce Vijah Opuama, a governorship candidate in the November 2019 Bayelsa state election, before a federal high court in Abuja.

The Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo had on August 3, 2020, and subsequently on September 2, ordered the production of the detainee in court, but the orders were shunned by the IG.

The Federal High Court in Abuja for the third time on Monday ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to produce before it a governorship candidate in the November 16, 2020 election in Bayelsa State, Vijah Opuama.

The judge, on Monday, issued the third order, following the failure of the police to comply with the September 2 order, which directed that the detainee be produced in court for the Monday’s proceedings.

The fresh order directed the IG to produce Opuama, who was arrested by policemen from the IG’s Monitoring Unit on August 15, 2020, in court on Wednesday.

He said, “The court made an order that the applicant be produced in this court. That order must be obeyed.

“I shall therefore make an order that the applicant must be produced on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

“The applicant must be produced in court on that day unfailing.”

He also fixed September 9 for the hearing of Opuama’s bail application.

A lawyer, Miss T. O. Amalaha, who appeared for the IG, and the head of the monitoring unit of the IG’s office sued by Opuama as the 2nd defendant, pleaded with the judge to adjourn the case till September 16 instead of September 9.

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But the judge, in declining the request, said he could not afford to give the police another seven days after they violated the two previous orders issued for the production of the detainee in court.

He added, “We are in a democracy. Nigeria is not a banana republic. Public officers cannot afford to act irrationally.”

He threatened that should the police fail to produce the detainee in court, “I will order the IG to appear in court.”

At the mention of the case on Monday, Amalaha, who said she was holding the brief of Mr Wisdom Madaki, had noted that Opuama had been transferred to Suleja Prison after he was arraigned on Friday at the Zuba Upper Area Court on First Information Report with charged bordering on intimidation and obstruction of police officers.

She said Opuama had been arraigned before the IG was served the court order.

But Opuama’s lawyer, Mr Danaba Pius, countered the claim, saying the police rushed to arraign the politician after they received the court orders, adding that the detainee was not afforded the opportunity to be represented by a lawyer while being arraigned.

The judge who expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the police, insisted the the detainee must be produced, adding that the Federal High Court was superior to the Upper Area Court, where he was arraigned.

Opuama, the Liberation Movement’s governorship candidate in the Bayelsa State’s November 16, 2019 election, was arrested by the police on the premises of the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, on August 15, 2020 while waiting for judgment to be delivered on his petition challenging the outcome of the disputed poll.

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His wife stated in a suit filed before Justice Taiwo that the politician was only later told that he was arrested over “a petition written against him for recording a phone call” received by him “sometime back from a caller (08029579959) who identified himself on the phone as Benson Agadaga, Chief of Staff.”

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