Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has finally complied with the repeated orders of the Federal High Court in Abuja, compelling him to produce a governorship candidate in the last November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State, Vijah Opuama.
Two previous orders issued by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on August 3, 2020, and subsequently on September 2, for the production of the detainee in court, were ignored by the IGP.
The judge had on Monday issued the third order, directing the IGP to produce him in court on Wednesday
He had threatened to summon the IGP to personally appear in court should he fail to obey the third order.
The detainee, who was arrested by policemen from the IGP’s Monitoring Unit on August 15, 2020, was finally produced in court on Wednesday.
He was produced from Suleja prison where an Upper Area Court in Zuba, Abuja, ordered him to be remanded after police filed charges of resistance of arrest against him at the court on September 4.
Opuama’s lawyer, Danaba Pius, told Justice Taiwo on Wednesday that the police “rushed” to arraign his client at the Upper Area Court after they were served the September 2, 2020 order directing the production of the detainee in court on September 7.
But the police lawyer, T.O. Amalaha, who represented the IGP and the head of the Monitoring Unit of the IGP’s office, both of whom were sued by Opuama as the first and second defendants, told the judge that the police had charged the detainee at the Upper Area Court before receiving the court order for the production of the detainee.
She added that the Upper Area Court ordered Opuama’s remand in Suleja prison after the arraignment.
Dissatisfied with account of the chronology of the events presented by Amalaha, Pius said, “The court issued an order on September 2. They were served on September 3. They were to produce him court on September 7. They now went to court on September 4 despite receiving the court order.”
He said the police arraigned his client at the Upper Area Court in the absence of his lawyers.
He later moved the bail application filed on behalf of his client on Wednesday.
The bail application was opposed by Amalaha, who also adopted the counter-affidavit filed by his clients canvassing grounds of why the court should not order the detainee’s release.
Justice Taiwo then fixed Thursday for ruling.
Opuama, the Liberation Movement’s governorship candidate in the Bayelsa State’s November 16, 2019 election, was arrested by the policemen from the IGP’s monitoring unit 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.