An Ibadan-based legal practitioner, Barrister Ridwan Adekunle has warned the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba and Nigeria Police Force against further arrest, detention or harassment of an Ibadan-based broadcaster, Mr. Oriyomi Hamzat.
Adekunle who addressed a press conference in Ibadan the Oyo state capital on Tuesday insisted that any further attempt to arrest, detain or harass Hamzat by the police is illegal, unconstitutional and against the provision of the court.
The owner of Agidigbo FM in Ibadan, Mr. Hamzat was arrested by the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) of Nigeria Police Force and was taken to Abuja in May last year.
He was arrested over his persistence call for justice in the murder case of Mr. Timothy Adegoke, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife. The owner of the hotel where Adegoke was killed Mr. Rahman Adedoyin and his staff were arrested and charged to court.
Hamzat was later released after spending some hours in detention.
Adekunle has however called on the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order not to take any further attempt to arrest the broadcaster when a case he (Hamzat) instituted against the police is still in court.
Adekunle while addressing the press conference at the premises of the radio station on Tuesday in Ibadan, noted that Hamzat has instituted a case against the IGP and 6 others over his unlawful detention and harassment by the police.
He said that the police has again invited Hamzat last week Friday, an indication that the police is making another attempt to unlawfully arrest, detain or harass his client.
Adekunle while speaking further, maintain that the case against the IGP and 6 others is still pending at the court of Appeal, hence the police should steer clear of further arrest or intimidation of his client (Hamzat).
“All the parties are required to maintain statusquo. Once a case is in the court, the parties must maintain statusquo. We hereby implored the IGP to call his officers not to arrest Oriyomi Hamzat. They should respect the rule of law. They should respect the court. They should stop intimidating him. They should stop further harassment and intimidation.
“We write as solicitors of Oriyomi Hamzat and it is in respect of the above subject matter that we write this letter. Suit No: M/496/2022 filed by our client was dismissed on the 19th Day of January, 2023 on the ground that our client did not show any medical report and that there was no news of our client’s being dehumanised, arrested and detained on 25th day of May 2022 till 26th May 2022.
“We hereby use this medium to notify you of pendency of the appeal in suit number M/496/2022 lodged at the court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan against you are the judgement and we want to bring this development to your knowledge.
“This matter is already before the court. As such the law is that all parties should maintain statusquo until the determination of the matter and any action is a slap in the face on due process of law and a flagrant abuse of the doctrine of lis-pendens”.
Head of the station, Yusuf Adebayo, while speaking, maintained that the staff of the radio station are currently leaving in fear over possible arrest of their boss.
He called on well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the police to stop further arrest of the founder of the radio station.
“We called this press conference to avoid what happened last year. We the staff are now leaving in fear. We don’t want the police to arrest him. They want to arrest him over his call for justice but the case is still in the court”.