Pandemonium as Police disrupt Peace Corps 20th anniversary celebration

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 10 July 2018 | 1,674 times

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•Peace Corps member shot in the leg

The city of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, was on Tuesday thrown into pandemonium as men of the Mobile Police Unit of the Nigerian Police Force invaded the office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN).

President Muhammad Buhari had recently rejected the Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Peace Corps by declining to assent to the Bill.

Despite that, the National Commandant of the Corps, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, said the Corps would continue to exist as a Non-Governmental Organisation which was duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The Corps celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday by addressing newsmen in the old office located at Gwarimpa and thereafter, members and journalists moved on a peaceful rally to the sealed office for another briefing.

While briefing journalists, a detachment of Mobile Policemen arrived the premises and started shooting sporadically, spraying tear gas into the midst of the crowd which comprises officers of Peace Corps, Civil Society Coalition and Journalists.

Though no casualty has been confirmed, but several civil society activists and Journalists were said to have sustained injuries.

As at the time of filing this report, the Policemen were seen chasing the youths along Jabi road while shooting sporadically to the air with tear gas, resulting in commuters and passers-by running for their lives.

The Peace Corps office located at number 57, Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme Street, opposite Jabi Lake Abuja, has been under lock and keys by the Police since February 28th, 2017, the day the office was commissioned.

Justices Gabriel Kolawole and John Tsoho both of Federal High Court Abuja, had in separate ruling, ordered the Police to vacate the property.

The Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami had also written to the Police Boss, IGP Idris Ibrahim, advising that the office be unsealed, “in absence of any appeal or valid stay of execution”.

The House of Representatives, based on the report by its committee on Public Petitions, had also given the Police 21-day ultimatum to vacate the properties, but the office still remains closed.

Various Civil Society Organisations and the National Human Rights Commission have also, at different times intervened in the matter, but the Police appear not to be responding to their entreaties.

Source: News Express

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