Sometime in August 2019, NSCDC wrote a letter to the University of Calabar, Calabar, a statutory body established by the University of Calabar Act 1979, demanding that the University should come and register its security department as a Private Guard Company or the NSCDC will enter the University and arrest the Vice Chancellor and other staff of the University for ostensibly breaking the law.

When the University received the letter, it caused its lawyers, the firm of Emmanuel Umoren & Co. to immediately write a reply to the said letter, which they did. On receipt of this letter, the NSCDC issued a 14 days’ Notice that failure of the University to obey its directive, it will close down the University and arrest its staff. This threat made the University to direct its lawyers to approach the courts to determine its rights as a body created by Statute vis a vis the directive from NSCDC.

Get full Judgment below.

Thus the firm of Emmanuel Umoren & Co. took out an Originating Summons against the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (as Chief Law Officer of the Federation), the Honourable Minister for Internal Affairs (the supervisory Minster and the person that gave NSCDC the powers vide the Private Guards Companies Regulation 2018, made pursuant to the Private Guards Companies Act, and the NSCDC, challenging the powers of the Minister for Internal Affairs to give to the NSCDC what the Act did not give to the Minister on the principle of nemo dat quod non habet.

The Federal High Court granted the prayers of the Plaintiff and struck down Paragraph 25 of the Private Guards Companies Regulation, 2018 which gave the NSCDC powers to compel persons generally carrying on security work to register as Private Guards Companies as ultra vires the powers donated by the National Assembly to the Minister under the Private Guard Companies Act.

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