AGF Condemns Police Investigation Despite High Court, Appeal Court Judgments In Favor Of Corporate Ideals Securities

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has slammed the Inspector General of Police, Kayode  Egbetokun, for his penchant to disobey valid judgements of the court, warning that such blazing disregard for Court Orders not only undermines his Office as Chief Law Officer of the Federation under Section 174 of the Constitution but also ridicules the laudable initiatives embarked on by the Nigeria Police to ensure peace, order, and security....READ FULL ARTICLE

The warning followed a judgement of both FCT High Court in Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/0924/18 and Appeal Court judgement which ceded the right to own and have access to the immovable property known as Plot 413, Guzape District, Cadastral Zone A09, Abuja to the Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd.

Our correspondents gathered that the police had following a petition by one High Chief Jacko Eloho, the Managing Director of Jackmaq International Company Limited against Senator Ikechukwu Obiora and his company, the Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd alleging forgery of the title documents of Plot 413, Guzape District, Cadastral Zone A09, Abuja, commenced a criminal investigation against them in flagrant disregard to both judgements of the courts.

In a media release, High Chief Eloho and his company claimed that through a letter of intent to develop, manage, and operate a designated park site in the Federal Capital Territory dated 3rd July 2007 with reference No. AMMA/P&R/S.500, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency (Department of Parks and Recreation) issued to Messrs Gozbuks Nig. Limited Park No. 413 A09, Local Park, Guzape District of 0.13452 hectares for the recommended use of Outdoor Events, Recreation, Barbecue, and Snack Spot, and same was allocated under stated terms and conditions, duly signed by TPL Luka Bulus Achi.

“The ownership of Park Plot 413 A09 Guzape District was later transferred to Jacksmaq International Company Limited which has since taken possession of the said property.

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“Sometimes in the year 2018, a company by the name Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd owned by Senator Ikechukwu Obiora came up with an allocation letter of offer Grant/Conveyance of approval with reference No. MFCT/LA/MISC.10197 with serial No. 013244 which prompted the Managing Director of Corporate Ideals Securities Limited to attempt to displace our company’s title which attempt was resisted.”

Following their resistance, the Corporate Ideals Securities in what they described as “a surreptitious manner” relying on alleged forged title documents and without joining them, “commenced Suit No: FCT/HC/0924/2018 Between Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd VS. HON. Minister Federal Capital Territory & Anor which suit was heard and determined by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory per Hon. Justice A. A. I Banjoko and the Judgement delivered on 6th February 2019”.

It added, “Upon being informed of the Judgement, our Clients by an application to the Court sought and obtained an Order setting aside the judgement delivered by the trial High Court which application was granted by the Ruling of 16th March 2021, which set aside the earlier Judgement.

“The Company, Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd, being aggrieved with the Order setting aside the Judgement, appealed to the Court of Appeal which on 19th September 2022 set aside the latter decision of the trial High Court and directed our Clients if aggrieved proceed to appeal against the Judgement of the trial Court.”

He noted that on the advice of the Court of Appeal, they filed two applications at the Court of Appeal against the Judgement of the High Court of the FCT per Hon Justice A.A.I Banjoko:

“The first is the application dated 27th June 2023 seeking the leave of the Court to appeal against the said Judgement. The second is seeking an Order granting a stay of execution of the trial Court’s Judgement. Both applications have since been served on Corporate Ideals Securities Limited.”

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He, however, stated that the Nigeria Police Force acting on their Petition investigated Senator Obiora’s title documents which he used to obtain the judgement under reference, and concluded that same was forged and recommended that both Senator Obiora and his company be prosecuted for the offences.

But the Attorney General in a letter to the Inspector General of Police, Egbetokun with Ref. No: PEI/CRD/5068/1/109, dated 27th February 2024, slammed the Inspector General of Police for initiating such an investigation, warning the police to desist from abusing court orders, and ensuring that the judgement creditors were restored to the property as the judgement of both courts commanded.

Titled: “RE: Petition Against Malicious Prosecution Of Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd And Its Directors By The Nigerian Police Force. Compliance With Judgment And Orders Of Court,” Fagbemi directed that Police and Messrs Jackmaq International Company Ltd and its agents “should immediately vacate the premises in line with the judgment of the Court, to enable the Applicant to take full possession of the property”.

He noted that if there are “extenuating facts and circumstances which may warrant a reversal of the judgement of the Court, the Police may wish to initiate a further appeal to the Supreme Court for judgment.”

The AG’s letter partly read: “The allegations of forgery of title documents against the Applicant (Corporate Ideals Securities Lad), which is currently under investigation by the Police is based on a petition by Jackmaq International Limited.

The allegations have already been conclusively dealt with by the High Court of FCT and reaffirmed by the Court of Appeal in favour of Corporate Ideal Securities Ltd. The Courts validated the title of Corporate Ideals Securities Ltd.

“By virtue of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), all State Authorities, including the Police, are obligated to enforce the decisions and Orders of the Courts, regardless of allegations surrounding the delivery of the said judgement. It is pertinent to note that a judgement (even when unpleasant) remains valid until overturned by a superior court on appeal.

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“The decision of the Police to initiate criminal investigation or prosecution concerning the alleged forgery of title documents, despite the High Court and Court of Appeal Judgements that found no evidence of forgery or fraud, not only challenges the judicial powers of the Courts but also contradicts the provisions of Section 287(3) of the Constitution.

“I wish to strongly condemn the failure of the Police officers involved in this case to adhere to my earlier advice to exercise restraint particularly as it affects enforcement of Orders of Courts of competent jurisdiction.

Such blazing disregard for Court Orders not only undermines my Office as Chief Law Officer of the Federation under Section 174 of the Constitution but also ridicules the laudable initiatives embarked on by the Nigeria Police to ensure peace, order, and security. It is pertinent that Police officers resist any advances by affected parties to be used to settle scores in violation of extant Court Judgements.

“I therefore strongly advise that any ongoing investigation or prosecution for forgery and other criminal allegations against Corporate Ideal Securities Limited, its director(s), or agents, relating to the disputed property be suspended.

The Police and Messrs Jackmaq International Company Ltd and its agents should immediately vacate the premises in line with the judgement of the Court, to enable the Applicant to take full possession of the property.

“Where there are extenuating facts and circumstances which may warrant a reversal of the judgement of the Court, the Police may wish to initiate a further appeal to the Supreme Court for judgement.”...READ FULL ARTICLE

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