A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to jettison any directive by the National Assembly that the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, should be arrested for her alleged involvement in the N10bn jet scandal probe.
Some officials of the ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are also protected by the court order.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole made the order while ruling on an application by Alison-Madueke’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who had sought the order in view of the threat by the House of Representatives to order the arrest of the minister and other officials.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja had also on June 19, made an order restraining the House of Representatives from going ahead with the probe.
The order of the court is to subsist till July 3 when the court will hear a separate suit filed by Alison-Madueke along with her ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order ahead of the plan by the House Committee on Public Accounts to carry out the probe on June 25, 26 and 27, 2014.
In the second suit seeking an order stopping the House of Representatives from going ahead with the suit, Ozekhome told Justice Kolawole on Wednesday that the lawmakers had threatened to arrest Alison-Madueke and others.
Counsel for the National Assembly and the House of Representatives were not in court on Wednesday.
Ozekhome said the lawmakers threatened to invoke the provision of section 88 of the Constitution to order the arrest of the minister and others invited, should they decline to honour the invitation to appear before the House of Reps on June 25, 26 and 27.
Justice Kolawole refused to grant any interim order sought by Ozekhome to stop the House of Representatives from going ahead with the probe.
He said such order was nor necessary since the lawmakers had been served with the processes and as such were aware of the existence of the case.
Content Credit: PUNCH