Nicholas Kalu, Abuja
The Upper Area Court, Kubwa, Abuja, on Thursday, ordered the immediate arrest of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, son of Nigeria’s former Vice President.
The order was made by the judge, Hon Bashir Danmaisule, following Abubakar’s failure to comply with a judgment that he should hand over their three sons to his divorced wife, Maryam Sherif.
Sherif had, last year, instituted a case against Abubakar, at the Upper Area Court, Gudu with number CV/41/2019, which was later transferred to the Upper Area Court, Kubwa, with number CV/16/2020 seeking the court to grant her custody of her three sons.
The court, on October 27, 2020, delivered judgment on the matter, ordering Abubakar to hand over their three sons to his divorced wife and their mother, Sherif, with immediate effect.
But following the non-compliance of the defendant, Sherif’s counsel, Nasir Saidu, had applied for the issuance of a judgment-debtor summons for the defendant to appear in court to explain why he did not obey the court’s order and why he should not be committed to prison.
However, the defendant and his lawyer, Abdullahi Hassan of Ahmed Uwais and Co Chambers, were absent in court. The bailiff told the court that the summons had been served on the defendant through the Nigeria Customs Service, where he works, on November 3, 2020.
Saidu said having served the defendant, who failed to appear in court as directed, he had to apply that the court issue a warrant of arrest of the defendant.
The lawyer applied that the defendant be arrested and imprisoned until he complies with the judgment of the court.
He said the defendant had consistently and flagrantly disobeyed the order of the court to bring the children whenever there was a sitting on the matter.
He said unless the court invokes its powers, its judgment would never be obeyed.
Delivering his ruling, Hon Danmaisule, said having considered the submission of the counsel on behalf of the judgment-creditor (Sherif) and having seen the record of the court and the hearing notice served on the judgment debtor (Abubakar), who refused to appear in the court despite the notice against the proceedings, “this hereby court hereby orders for the immediate arrest of the judgment debtor.”
The judge said the order of the court was made pursuant to the provision of Section 26 of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Area Courts (Repeal and Enactment) Act 2010.