NNAMDI KANU: HURIWA Asks Court To Jail DSS DG For Contempt, Alleged Maltreatment 

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the court to Jail DSS DG For contempt and alleged maltreatment of the leader of the proscribed IPOB group, Nnamdi Kanu. 

According to a statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA National Coordinator, the association made the call on implications of DSS flagrantly disregarding binding order of FHC to make Nnamdi Kanu have his meals, change his clothes and worship God the way he deems appropriate.

Hybrid News recalls that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to allow the leader of the proscribed IPOB group, Nnamdi Kanu to have maximum possible comfort while in their custody.

The trial judge Justice Binta Nyako who gave the order on Thursday also ordered the DSS to allow Nnamdi Kanu to have a change of clothes, give him medical attention and allow him to practice his faith.

HURIWA, in the statement however said the rule of law must be observed in all dealings and must be impressed on the governments at all levels to actively toe the path.

“The right of every citizen against any form of oppression and impunity must be jealously guarded and protected with the legal tools at our disposal.

“All binding court orders must be obeyed. Nobody, irrespective of his or her position, will be allowed to toy with court judgments.

“Violation of a court order is serious, and you could find yourself paying dearly. Committing contempt can include both civil and criminal penalties, such as fines, attorney fees, reduced custody time, and even jail.

“The continuously refusal of the DSS to abide by the rules of the court is regarded as simply as CONTEMPT OF COURT.

“Contempt of Court is the disobedience of an order of a court. It is also conduct tending to obstruct or interfere with the orderly administration of justice. Contempt can be Contempt Facie Curiae (criminal contempt) and Ex Facie Curiae (civil contempt).

“THE PURPOSE OF COURT ORDER: A court order is an official proclamation by a judge (or panel of judges) that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case.

“In Nigerian law, contempt of court is punishable under the following statutes: section 133 of the Criminal Code; section 274 (1) (b) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (amending section 41 (1) (b) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, 1923); section 21 of the Native Courts Ordinance and section 16 of the Native Courts

“Rule 8 restores the power of the court to impose a fine or order security for good behaviour of a person found guilty of contempt in lieu of imprisonment. The above is an overview of the provisions of order 42.

“1:For Contempt In Facie Curiae: The first type of contempt for which a committal proceeding can be set in motion, is contempt in facie curiae. It is a contempt which is committed coram judice or in the face of the Court. It may arise as a result of disrespectful conduct or comments made in the Court room by a contemnor when proceedings are going on and which is seen and heard by the judge, which undermines the dignity of the Court or which interferes with the administration of justice. 

“In other words, it may be conduct which obstructs or disrupts proceedings of Court.

“Under this class of contempt, there is no need to call for evidence of what transpired, because it happened in the immediate view of the Court. The Judge saw and heard the contemnor commit what the Court considers contemptuous, and so punishment is meted out summarily, after the contemnor is asked to show cause why he should not be sent to prison for his contempt.

“The Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case of INEC & ANOR V OGUEBEGO & ORS, whilst considering the instance when words or actions used in the face of the Court or in the course of proceedings be deemed contemptuous, held as follows:

“For words or actions used in the face of the Court, or in the course of proceedings, to be contempt, they must be such as would interfere with the course of justice.

“A superior Court of record has the inherent jurisdiction to deal with contempt in facie curiae and punish for the offence summarily. It must once again be emphasised that the summary power of punishing for contempt should however, be used sparingly and only in serious cases.

“Although, the powers of Court to render punish for contempt, be it contempt in facie curiae (criminal contempt) or ex facie curiae (civil contempt) is inherent in all the Court, the process and procedure for committal of a person who defies lawful Orders Court under the Federal and States High Court Civil Procedure Rules and Judgment { Enforcement} Rules made pursuant to Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, 2004. It should be noted that when a contempt of Court committed whether in facie curiae or ex facie curiae, it is the duty of court to deal with it in order to secure and protect the authority of the Court.

“2: For Contempt Ex Facie Curiae: The second type of contempt is contempt ex facie curiae which means contempt committed outside the Court (Coram non judice) and therefore out of sight and hearing of the Judge. It arises from disobedience and obstruction of lawful orders of Court. 

“When a Court makes an order directing a person to carry out certain act or to refrain from a particular conduct, failure to abide by the directive is a serious breach of the Court’s jurisdiction and may be found to be contemptuous. Contempt ex facie curiae is a serious offence which interferes with the powers of the Court to administer justice and the Court is entitled to invoke its innate powers to punish an erring party by committing the person to prison.

“The procedure for punishment for this category contempt is very strict and it is governed by the provisions of Section 72 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, LFN 2004 (“SCPA”) and Order 9 Rule 13 of Judgment Enforcement Rules. For ease of reference, Section 72 of the SPCA provides as follows.

“If any person refuses or neglects to comply with an order made against him, other than for payment of money, the court, instead of dealing with him as a judgment debtor guilty of the misconduct defined in Paragraph (f) of section 66 of this Act, may order that he be committed to prison and detained in custody until he has obeyed the order in all things that are to be immediately performed and given such security as the court thinks fit to obey the other parts of the order, if any, at the future times thereby appointed, or in case of his no longer having the power to obey the order then until he has been imprisoned for such time or until he has paid such fine.

“HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) strongly canvasses that the court should do the needful by sending the head of the DSS to jail for treating the order of the Competent court of law with contempt and absolute disrespect.” The statement read.