National Supreme Court Affirms IGP’s Power to Pursue Terrorism Accusations

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Court Rejects Plea by Aides to Rivers State Governor: Terrorism Prosecution to Proceed

In a ruling of noteworthy importance, the Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected an application filed by a group of individuals closely associated with Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State. Their application sought to halt their prosecution on charges of terrorism brought forth by the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Chief amongst them was Edison Ehie, Chief of Staff to the governor, who argued that the authority to level charges related to terrorism was solely the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice. The court has rejected the plea.

Court Upholds IGP’s Jurisdiction Over Terrorism Charges

The presiding judge, Justice Bolaji Olajuwon, came to the conclusion that Ehie, being a non-defendant in the matter, did not possess the right to request a dismissal of the charges. Furthermore, the assertion by Ehie that such charges fall outside the IGP’s jurisdiction was also not upheld by the court. In ruling so, the court affirmed the IGP’s authority in handling matters pertaining to terrorism charges, setting a significant judicial precedent.

Potential Impact of the Court’s Ruling

This judgement holds crucial importance as it reinforces the authority of the IGP to undertake prosecution in crimes linked with terrorism. It effectively refutes the argument that only the AGF and the Minister of Justice enjoy exclusive powers in this realm. In light of the court’s decision, the IGP is now vested with the power to carry forward the prosecution against the accused individuals on the grounds of terrorism. As such, the ruling could have wide-ranging implications on the legal approach towards the prosecution of terrorism-related crimes in the future.

Further Proceedings

In the aftermath of the court’s verdict, all those accused, including Ehie, have been directed to present themselves in court and enter their pleas against the charges of terrorism. Additionally, the court also suggested that Ehie must turn himself over to the police if he was not already under their custody. All defendants presented thus far have pleaded not guilty and have been confined to the Kuje Correctional Centre until their bail hearings. As such, the nation continues to keep a close watch as this case evolves.

Elijah Muhammad