A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Nyanyan, has fixed December 11 to deliver judgement in a case of legal interpretation of whether any institution has a right to choose how to obey a specific court order....CONTINUE READING
Specifically, the court will rule on whether the inspector-general of police has the right to take over the investigation of a direct criminal complaint given by a court to a specific police formation without reverting to the court in the form of notification.
The matter which was filed by Univoice Chambers on behalf of his client, Njoku Ifeanyichukwu, is an off-shoot of a matter from Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Dutse Alhaji, Abuja wherein the applicant, Ifeanyichukwu initiated a direct criminal complaint against Ms Odom Anurika Anita (Nee Obasi) for alleged certificate forgery and job-racketeering.
After listening to the prayers of the applicant, the magistrate ordered that FCT commissioner of police to investigate the matter and get back to the court after the enquiry.
However, along the line of investigation, the inspector-general of police got interested in the matter and ordered the deputy inspector-general of police, FCID to take over the case file from the CP, Abuja, an incident which the applicant found very curious.
Apparently dissatisfied with the manner the case was being wringed out of the hand of the person the court ordered to look into the allegation by the top hierarchy of the police, the applicant elected to approach the FCT High Court Nyanyan, Abuja vide an originating summons for proper interpretation of the order of the lower court (Chief Magistrate Court).
His prayer is that the order of the magistrate court was specific and direct to the commissioner of Police FCT citing several authorities to back its position and that the IG’s office cannot take over the matter without carrying along the court that gave the order.
But the respondent represented by Agba C . Martin contends that the order of the court was made to the whole Police force while further challenging the competence of the originating summons albi nitio to suffice in a matter of criminal investigations.
The trajectory of this contentious matter dates back to October last year when Njoku Ifeanyichukwu who claims to know Ms Odom Anita Anukira (Nee Obasi) to her roots dragged her before a Chief Magistrate court in Dutse Alhaji for allegations bothering on criminal conspiracy, job racketeering, forgery, cheating and use of forged university degree certificate to secure job with the Federal Capital Development Authority.
Anukira (Nee Obasi) was alleged to have failed out of University of Port Harcourt, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Foundation in 2006/2007 session and that the certificate she used to secure employment with the Federal Capital Development Authority, BSc Political and Administrative Studies was forged as she never graduated from the university let alone from the Department of Political Science.
Ifeanyichukwu further averred in an affidavit deposed to at the chief magistrate court that all Ms Odom Anita has is a WAEC result obtained in 2000 which she used to enter the university in 2002 and that between 2004 and 2006, this same Anita was living in Dubai, therefore, she couldn’t have been running an undergraduate course in Port Harcourt while at the same time living in Dubai when the course was not an online course.
To buttress his litany of allegations, the affidavit detailed a list of documents to ascertain the claims. They include: The 2007/2008 University of Port Harcourt 25th convocation ceremony handbook for the award of certificates, first degrees and higher degrees in which Ms. Odom Anita’s name was not included.
Second, a duly signed and stamped letter from the office of the Registrar, University of Port Harcourt responding to a request about the profile of Ms Odom Anurika Anita, the university stated clearly that Odom Anita was actually a student of the university with the Faculty of Education, but failed out in 2006/2007 session having scored a cumulative average point of 1.48.
Third, the NYSC profile request also showed that she never served the one-year mandatory scheme for all graduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
But in a statement she offered to the police in her hand writing, Odom Anurika Anita who is a level 13 officer with the Abuja Geographical Information Systems denied all the allegations leveled against her by the applicant, Njoke Ifeanyichukwu, describing them as patently false and the handiwork of some desperate elements to intimidate and distract her from her job.
In her counter affidavit opposing the originating summons of the applicant, she stated inter alia, “I never failed out of the University of Port Harcourt in 2007 or any other institution of learning nor forged any degree certificate from any institution of learning, never used the said degree certificate to secure employment with the FCT or FCDA.”
The police report equally lent credence to her claim as a letter written from the office of the registrar in response to police enquiry says she obtained a BSc Political Science and Administrative Studies from the University in 2006/2007.
A copy of the letter which the police have filed as part of their investigations was signed by one Mrs Nkechi Barinua for Deputy Registrar Academics, but does not bear a stamp of the office of issuance.