Court orders Police to vacate Peace Corps headquarters, awards N12.5m damages

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigeria Police to unseal the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and pay the group N12.5 million in damages.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole handed down the judgement on Thursday, adding that the order should be carried out within seven days.

In February this year, security agencies led by the Nigeria Police raided the Peace Corps headquarters in the Gwarinpa area of Abuja and arrested Dickson Akoh, the commandant of the group and 49 others.

Akoh was accused of defrauding unsuspecting Nigerian Youths of millions of naira under the guise of recruiting them into the corps. He was also accused of “acquiring weapons and conducting covert military training in different locations across the country.”

“The Peace Corps of Nigeria under the leadership of one Akor Dickson was registered as an NGO but with brazen impunity, total disregard to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, opened illegal training camps in some States of the country, where thousands of youths and other persons without proper background check and screening are receiving convert military training,” said Jimoh Moshood, the Police Public Relations Officers.






     

     

    Akoh was subsequently charged with a 90-count suit bordering on fraud and operating an illegal security outfit.

    According to the charges, Akoh and his group, “despite parading themselves as a non-profit making organization, went about unlawfully engaging in the business of providing security services under a recruitment scheme which involved quasi-military training without approval”.

    He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail at the sum of N10 million and one surety who must deposit N20 million. He was also asked to deposit his travel documents with the court’s registrar.

    The bill for the establishment of the Peace Corps of Nigeria has already been passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, and is currently awaiting presidential assent.

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