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Court dismisses suit seeking arrest, prosecution of new Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership

A federal high court sitting in Abuja has rejected a plea urging it to order the arrest and prosecution of George Obiozor, the new president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other leaders of the Igbo socio-cultural organization.

The Registered Trustees of Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly led by Barrister Onuorah Basil Onyeachonam had approached the court saying the defendants were in contempt by allegedly running an illegal organisation

But Justice Inyang Ekwo in a Friday ruling dismissed the suit for lacking in merit. The judge said the applicant failed to prove that the defendants committed any offence known to law to warrant their arrest, investigation and prosecution as demanded in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/56/2021.

“The prayer here is for leave to compel the first and second respondents (IGP and AGF) to arrest, investigate and commence criminal proceedings against Prof. George Obiozor, Obi Nwali, Okey Egbuche, Beatrice Eze, Bartholomew Okeke and Ogbonna for running an illegal and/or unregistered association known as Ohanaeze Ndigbo similar to that of the Applicant which has been registered under Part C of the CAMA by the CAC,” the judge said.

“In my opinion, where such prayer is sought, it must be demonstrated with concrete evidence that those sought to be arrested, investigated and prosecuted have committed criminal offence(s) known to law.

“This is the because the power given to the Attorney-General of the Federation in Section 174 (1) of the 1999 Constitution and the power given to the Inspector General of the Police in Section 4 of the Police Act are to not intended to be used in vacuo or without a cause.

“The onus is on the applicant to show that the statute underlying their allegation creates a criminal offence which the first and second respondents are obligated to enforce by the power of arrest, investigation and prosecution.

“In the end, I am unable to see any justifiable cause in this application. I think this application, without more, is frivolous and I am unable to lend the judicial powers of this court to encourage such litigations.

“I make an order dismissing this case for lacking in merit. This is the order of the court,” the jurist added.

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