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Court orders imprisonment of Chief of Army Staff for contempt

A high court sitting in Minna has issued a warrant of arrest on the Chief of Army Staff, General Farouk Yahaya for contempt.

The court also ordered that the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army, Major General Stevenson Oluwagbenga, should be arrested for committing a similar offense.

The presiding judge, who is also the Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, issued the order for the arrest of the top army officers at the resumed hearing of the case between Adamu Makama and 42 others versus the Executive Governor of Niger State and 7 others in suit NSHC/225/2019 and said that the duo is to remain in detention until they purge themselves of contempt.

Plaintiff’s prayer: The order was sequel to a motion on notice brought pursuant to order 42 rule 10 of the Niger State High Court (Civil Procedure) rule 2018 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Honourable Court moved by Mohammed Liman Esq Counsel to the plaintiffs/applicants.

Although the details of the case are still sketchy, Mohammed Liman had prayed the court to commute the Chief of Army Staff and the Commandant Training and Doctrine Command (respondents) into correctional custody for contemptuous order of this Honourable Court made on 12th October 2020.

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  • Justice Abdulmalik in the order  declared: “An order is made committing the Nigerian Army Chief of Staff General Farouk Yahaya and the Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Minna ie 6th &7th respondents into the custody of the Correctional Centre for contempt of the order of this honourable court made on the 12/1/2022
  • “They shall remain in the custody of the Correctional Centre until they purge themselves of the contempt.’’

For the record: In a related development, recall that a few days ago, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had sentenced the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba to 3 months in prison for disobeying a court order.

The order, which was given by the presiding judge, Mobolaji Olajuwon, followed a suit filed by a former police officer, Patrick Okoli, who claimed he was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigeria Police Force.

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