COURTROOM NEWS 10/02/2024
Court Refuses to Stop Arrest, Prosecution of Suspended Adamawa REC
The suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Adamawa, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, has had his legal suit seeking protection against arrest, detention, or prosecution by the police and other authorities dismissed by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday.
Justice James Omotosho, in a verdict, rejected the suit citing lack of merit.
The judge ruled that the court could not grant Yunusa-Ari immunity from arrest, detention, or prosecution and that his allegations against the respondents were undermined by his own claims.
Although the suspended REC alleged that he was subjected to a media trial and his fundamental rights were breached through negative social media publications, Justice Omotosho held that the issue of fair hearing was unrelated to news dissemination by the media.
The court emphasized that the media should be free to report news at all times and that the applicant failed to demonstrate being dragged to any court or tribunal, as he only claimed media trial against him.
The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/563/2023, saw Yunusa-Ari suing the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police and the Nigeria Police Force as well as other authorities.
He sought various reliefs including an order restraining the respondents from arresting, detaining, harassing or intimidating him for carrying out his lawful duties as the INEC REC in Adamawa.
Yunusa-Ari also sought an apology for unlawful media trials and negative press publications against him, for carrying out his duties during elections.
He alleged that his report raised criminal issues against security agencies and INEC staff which were overlooked, leading to media trials against him.
However, Justice Omotosho held that the fundamental rights of Yunusa-Ari were not violated and that the suit lacked merit, dismissing it accordingly.