27 March 2014, Lagos – A Federal High Court in Lagos Wednesday dismissed the suit filed by an oil subsidy fraud suspect, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, seeking to stop his arrest by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force.
Ogunbambo had filed the suit through his counsel, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, seeking an injunction to restrain the police from arresting him on the basis of a N1.3 billion fuel subsidy fraud charge, preferred against him before Justice Okon Abang.
He also urged the court to hold that declaring him wanted, without reasonable suspicion of his complicity in the charges amounted to a violation of his right to liberty.
Joined as respondents in the suit are the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, SFU.
Delivering his judgment on the suit, Yunusa held that the police had the statutory right and duty to declare suspects wanted and arrest them.
“Section 24 of the Police Act confers on the police the right to arrest, detain and prosecute offenders.
“The police possess the constitutional right to investigate allegations of fraud or criminal offences levied against any individual including the applicant.
“They can also arrest any suspect with or without warrant, and where investigations reveals a prima facie case against the suspects, he will be charged to court.
“It is my view that the applicant cannot restrain the police from carrying out its statutory duties.
“The applicant is now an accused, a charge having been preferred against him.
“This suit lacks merit and is accordingly struck out,” he said.
At the last adjourned date, counsel to the SFU, Mr. Dania Abdullahi, had urged the court to dismiss the applicants suit.
Abdullahi had argued that the applicant was only seeking for means to prevent the police from carrying out its lawful duties.
He argued that all effort to arrest the applicant had proved abortive as he is on the run in view of the overwhelming incriminating evidence against him.
He therefore submitted that the applicant was attempting to exploit judicial process to delay his prosecution, and urged the court to dismiss the suit.
– This Day