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Contempt: Court orders Bauchi NSCDC boss to be committed to prison

Published by Tribune on Mon, 02 Jun 2014

THE Bauchi State commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC), Jibrin Shuaibu and a staff member of the corps, one Garba Musa, have been ordered to be committed to prison for disobeying a court order.The commitment order was issued by a Bauchi Chief Magistrates' Court, presided over by Magistrate Amin Illela last week following the expiration of Order 49 issued by the court and served on the commandant and his subordinate on May 9, 2014, directing the defendants to either produce an Opel Vectra car belonging to one Mrs Beatrice Gondyi or be committed to prison.The defendants were dragged before the court by Mrs Gondyi asking the court to order them to produce the car with registration number DAS 157 AA before the court.The car was impounded by NSCDC in December, 2013 over alleged criminal conspiracy by its driver, while Mrs Gondyi, who is the owner of the car, made several unsuccessful efforts through legal means to retrieve the car from the NSCDC since then.She, however, filed a motion exparte, through her counsel, Ebele UzoChukwu, on January 25, 2014 before a Bauchi Shari'ah Court, praying it to order the officials of the NSCDC to release the car to her. The court decided in her favour but the command refused to comply with the Shari'ah court directive.Frustrated by the civil defence's refusal to release her car as directed by the court, the complainant again on April 2, 2014, filed another motion exparte before the Bauchi Chief magistrates' Court 8, praying the court to order NSCDC to produce the said car in its custody before the court, saying that the continuous refusal to release the car was a fragrant disrespect to court orders.She told the court that by this act, the accused had arrogated to themselves the powers of being above the law.On April 8, 2014, the counsel for NSCDC, Mr Y. Y. Jauro, who was then representing the civil defence, told the court, saying that, 'we cannot give what we don't have,' adding that Gondyi's car in the Shari'ah Court's custody, while as of that time the car was parked at the premises of NSCDC.On May 7, 2014 the court issued and served the accused with Order 48, ordering them to comply with the earlier order directing them to tender the car, which was in their custody before the court.
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