The League Management Company (LMC) on Thursday said its officers were never declared wanted by the Police and could therefore not be on the run.
In a statement by Harry Iwuala, LMC’s Head of Special Projects, the company said this was because there were laid-out and well-known procedures the Police adopt in declaring a person wanted.
LMC said it was making this declaration in the aftermath of “a staged raid’’ by some policemen at its corporate head office on Osun Crescent in Abuja.
“The raid was purportedly seeking to arrest and imprison LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko and Chief Operating Officer Salihu Abubakar on the orders of Justice I.I. Kunda of the Jos Division of the Plateau State High Court,’’ the company said.
The LMC said it was indeed aware of a court order from the said judge but added that it has appealed the order and filed a motion for stay of execution.
“In addition to filing a formal protest to the Office of the Inspector-General of Police, we have verified from the Police Command that at no time did it declare the LMC officials wanted.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there are spelt-out procedures for declaring a person wanted by the Police.
“Courts do not declare persons wanted but if a court wishes to compel the appearance of a person before it, the court issues a bench warrant directing the Police to arrest and produce the person before it on a given date.
“The Police or other law enforcement agencies can declare a person wanted if they find reasons to do so, particularly if the person is a suspect in the commission of a crime and is on the run.
“In other words, the assistance of the public at large is being sought to apprehend such a person.
“Such declaration will be made by formal public pronouncement by the Police and not a handful working with shadowy persons to achieve personal set agenda,’’ the LMC explained.
In the petition filed by LMC lawyer, Akin Olujinmi, the company noted that “while there was no directive by the court to the Inspector-General of Police to arrest our clients and take them to prison, we still felt it is necessary to make the position of the law on the point clear.
“This is so that some operatives of the Force are not misled by the applicant in the suit to do anything which may conflict with the settled principles of law as stated above.
“According to the well-established principle of law, nobody is entitled to act or do anything towards the enforcement or execution of an order of court against which an appeal and a motion for stay of execution have been filed until after the appeal is disposed off.’’
The LMC described what happened at its office on Wednesday as “a stage-made charade to embarrass the LMC and its officials using some misguided persons in a coordinated syndication of the story of an operation that was of no effect’’.
It buttressed its contention with the fact that several rulings of the Jos High Court judge were already on appeal with motions for stay of execution filed.
“We expect the Appeal Court to consider these on Monday. We expect that on the strength of our case, this dubious order by the lower court would be squashed”.
The LMC assured that it would continue to carry out its lawful business and operation.
“We will not be deterred by the desperate efforts of some individuals to intimidate us and bend our will against the Framework and Rules of NPFL and the laws of the land”.