From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The High Court at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has set aside the police letter of invitation sent to the House of Representatives member elect for Ideato Federal Constituency of Imo State, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in respect of alleged acts of terrorism, murder and arson.
The said letter of invitation dated March 13, 2023, was allegedly masterminded by the Imo State Commissioner of Police, the state governor, and the Nigerian Police against Ugochinyere, former Governor Emeka Ihedioha and Gerald Irona, over allegations bordering on terrorism.
Ugochinyere, however, filed the suit against the governor of Imo State, State Security Services, Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General of Police, Imo State Commissioner of Police, Ebubeagu Security Network and the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in Charge of FIIB.
In his ruling, Justice A.S. Adepoju stated: “It is, hereby, ordered that the letter dated March 13, 2023, with Reference No. AR3000/ims/dfa/sib/vol.1/58 titled –“INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES- RE: CASE OF MUDER(SIC), KIDNAPPING AND ARSON” be set aside, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.“
The court further held that “the respondents are restrained whether by themselves, agents, officers, staff, privies or howsoever described from giving any effect, carrying out, proceeding with, arresting, further inviting or taking any other steps in furtherance of or in connection with the said letter of invitation dated March 13, 2023, as it affects the applicant, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
By this ruling of the court, the Imo State Police Command, which has been accused by the member elect for its complicity in the multiple attacks on his person and his home, and for failing to conduct any form of investigation, has been stopped in this fresh move to arrest Mr. Ugochinyere.
In the letter addressed to the Imo State Chairman of PDP, Chief Charles Ugwu, the Commissioner of Police invited former governor Emeka Ihedioha, former deputy governor, Gerald Irona, and House of Representatives member elect, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in connection with what it called investigation into a case of murder, kidnapping and arson.
Many still wonder the police, which has failed to conduct an investigation into the deadly attack on the country home of Mr. Ugochinyere, which claimed multiple lives, including his uncle and over 32 vehicles, were burnt and, also, houses could be inviting the victim for investigation into such a case which was not disclosed.
Stakeholders in Imo politics are of the unanimous opinion that the invitation by the police was politically motivated and the governor needed to arrest and detain all opposition leaders to enable him win the House of Assembly election slated for March 18, 2023. This opinion, many said, is predicated on the fact that the invitation was sent through the state chairman of the PDP, when they know that the trio are not officers or agents of the PDP or Chief Ugwu.
The matter was, thereafter, adjourned to April 4, 2023 for hearing.