From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ruled that the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa, and the Attorney General of Delta State, Peter Mrakpor, both have a case to answer in a suit filed against them by former minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a ruling Wednesday, delivered in the suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/1267/2020 also joined the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner of Police as third and fourth respondents in the suit by the former Minister.
Taiwo in his ruling, while citing the provisions of Section 2(a) of the Public Officers Protection Law, said a public officer can be joined in a suit where it is believed that the fundamental right of an applicant may have been contravened during the course of discharging their duties.
“There is no doubt, that in law, the person being sought to be joined, though he is the Commissioner of Police, Delta State, can be sued in his personal capacity. It is my considered view, that the Commissioner of Delta State can be sued in his personal capacity,” he said.
According to the Judge, “The fundamental rights in the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be deployed against anyone by an applicant who claims that his fundamental rights have been, is being or likely to be contravened by any person, even when he acts in his official capacity.
“After due consideration of the processes filed for and against the application, I find merit in the application to joinder, and I hereby order that Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa and the Attorney General, Delta State, be joined as the third and fourth respondents in this matter,” Justice Taiwo ruled and adjourned till December 17, 2020, for hearing of the suit.