Popular televangelist, Pastor Samson Ayorinde of the World Evangelism Church, Ogudu, Lagos, has filed a fundamental rights suit before Ikeja High Court of Lagos State against the Police seeking a declaration that their harassment, intimidation, threat of arrest, detention and invitation by the police at the instance of some people is violation of the fundamental rights to personal liberty as guaranteed under section 34 and 35 of Nigeria constitution.
Pastor Samson Ayorinde who is enmeshed in a legal tussle with the Lagos State Command of Nigerian Police over an arrest threat emanating from investigation into his issuance of dud cheques, alongside the Registered Trustees of World Evangelism Incorporated and Revered Harold Chinoyerem of the same Church, instituted the suit through their lawyer, Emmanuel B. Benjamin, against Mr. Oludare Amos Aturamu; Mrs. Kemi Adesanya; Smart Link Property Services; Commissioner of Police, Lagos; Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in-charge of State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) Panti, Lagos; and Officer-in-Charge of Assistant Commissioner Section; and SP Alhaji Aminu, of SCIID, Panti, Lagos.
The popular Pastor and others are asking the court to restrain the police, their agents, privies, servants from inviting, arresting, detaining, harassing and molesting or any manner infringing on their rights. They are also asking for an order restraining the police from publishing their names in any police bulletin or any medium for the purpose of declaring them wanted. Pastor Samson Ayorinde and his partners also want the court to order the police to pay them the sum of N4 million, as compensation for breach of their fundamental rights.
However, the Police in an affidavit filed before the court urged the court to dismiss Ayorinde’s suit. The affidavit filed before the court by Police lawyer, Samsideen Adebesin, averred that it received a petition from Aturamu, Adesanya and Smart Link Services, where they alleged that Ayorinde obtained a loan of N30 million from them sometimes in August 2016, for the expansion of his church, with the promise that the loan will be refunded within two months with interest rate of 30 percent.
The Police added that the petitioners alleged that not quite long after the loan was granted to Ayorinde that he traveled out of the country for medical vacation to attend to his health, only to come back to the country in July 2017. The police further alleged that when Ayorinde could not repay the loan, the interest rate was reduced to 22.5 percent as a mark of good gesture.
PM Express reported that the Police claimed that sometimes in August 2017, Ayorinde volunteered a statement in reaction to the allegation against him and was granted administrative bail.
The police further stated that all the depositions made by the clergy were not only false, but untrue adding that Ayorinde and other applicants cannot use their suit to stop the police from carry out its constitutional duties of investigating alleged crimes. Consequently, the police urged the court to dismiss the applicants’ fundamental rights suit with substantive and punitive cost.
Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice A.A Adesanya has fixed June 21 for hearing the application.