Magistrates’ absence stalls IPAC chairman’s arraignment

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The planned arraignment of the National Chairman of  the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Chief Peter Ameh, and his predecessor, Tanko Yunusa, was on Monday aborted by the inability of the police to perfect its logistics.

However, a drama played out when the police took them to no fewer than six magistrates’ courts in zones 3, 6 and 2 in the Wuse area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The IPAC chairman and his predecessor arrived the office of the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit by 10am with their lawyers led, by the National Chairman of the United Democratic Party, Chief Godson Okoye, where they were kept till about 2:30pm before they were taken to the courts for arraignment.

They were first driven to the magistrates’ court in Zone 2 but were told by court officials that the magistrates had closed for the day.

The two helmsmen were taken to Zone 6 Magistrates Court and were informed that officials had closed.

At Zone 2 Magistrates’ Court,  the policemen were told to report back on Wednesday.

The police had claimed that they invited Ameh who was  the IPAC national secretary and Yunusa to appear before the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit following a petition filed against them by aggrieved members of their party.

But the IPAC chairman premised their invitation on the politics of the election scheduled for Tuesday.

Both IPAC and the Coalition of United Political Parties protested against what they described as an unlawful assault on democracy.

The National Secretary of IPAC, Georgina Dakpokpo, condemned the police action saying the chairmen of the 76 political parties were in solidarity with their leaders.

She said, “So far, police have ordered their arraignment. We went to three different magistrates’ courts. Their intention was to detain them but unfortunately, the court officials had closed.