Tell us why Opuama should not be released unconditionally – Justice Taiwo Taiwo to IGP

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  • Orders IG to produce detained Guber candidate tomorrow

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to produce before it on Wednesday the Bayelsa State governorship candidate, Vijah Opuama, who has been detained by the Police since August 15, 2020.

Opuama, the Liberation Movement’s governorship candidate in the Bayelsa State’s November 16, 2019 election, was said to have been arrested by the Police on the premises of the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja on August 15, 2020 while waiting for judgment to be delivered on his petition challenging the outcome of the disputed poll.

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Vijah Inowei Eldred Opuama was said to have been detained by the Police been an instruction from the Governor of Bayelsa State over an alleged phone call recording of his Chief of Staff of an attempted bribery scandal to withdraw his petition at the Tribunal

Justice Taiwo Taiwo made the order directing the IGP to produce Opuama in court on Wednesday and also directed the Police boss to show cause why the detainee should not be released unconditionally.

He gave the orders shortly after Opuama’s ex parte application was moved by his lawyer, Mr. Michael Odey, on Monday.

The judge said although the veracity of the claims contained in Opuama’s application could not be verified until the Police respond to them, it was of concern that the Police could detain the suspect beyond the constitutionally-permitted 24-hour period without granting him an administrative bail or charging him with any offence before any court of competent jurisdiction which he said were many in Abuja.

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He therefore ordered that the respondents (the IGP as the 1st respondent, and the Assistant Commissioner of Police heading the IGP’s Monitoring Unit, as the 2nd defendant) “shall show cause why the applicant should not be released unconditionally”.

The judge also ordered that “the applicant shall be produced in court on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.”

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