EXTRADITION: POLICE FLOUT COURT ORDER, REFUSE TO RELEASE AMERICAN
THE Nigeria Police on Wednesday refused to release an American-born Nigerian by naturalisation, Mr. James Tillery, 24 hours after a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered his release.
Justice Mohammed Idris had, in his judgment on Tillery's application challenging the propriety of his attempted extradition, faulted the action of the operatives of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation to extradite him without following due process.
The judge further directed the police to release Tillery forthwith and awarded N10m damages to him against the police.
But our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that the police did not to comply with the order.
Confirming the development, Tillery's lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), told our correspondent that his client was being detained in spite of a clear directive by the court.
He said, 'The Chambers Dictionary defines the word 'forthwith' to mean 'immediately'. This means that Tillery (our client) ought to have been released on Tuesday upon the delivery of the judgment of the court.
'I wonder why the Inspector- General of Police and the Commissioner of Police Interpol National Central Bureau have refused to bow to the rule of law by complying with the order of the court.'
When asked if there was no remedy for the disobedience under the law of Nigeria, Oyetibo said he would lodge a formal complaint with the Attorney -General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN).
The senior advocate added that he would take a further step of applying to the court to commit the two officers to prison for contempt of court.
When our correspondent sought confirmation on the issue from the spokesman of Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Frank Mba, he denied knowledge of the matter.
He said, 'I am not aware of this development, I have not been briefed and therefore I will not be able to comment on it.'