By Sandra Umeh
Lagos – A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, further adjourned until Jan. 27, 2020, for report of service in a suit challenging the imposition of levies in the Ikeja Computer Village.
The Fundamental Rights suit, marked FHC/L/CS/1568/19, is filed by one Prince Ochokwu Obieze through his lawyer, Mr Ikechukwu Chiaha.
Joined as first to fourth respondents are: Inspector- General of Police, Commissioner of Police Lagos Police Command, Area Commander Area F Command and one IPO, Jennifer.
Also joined as fifth to seventh respondent are: Mr Tony, Mrs Bisiola Azeez, (Iyaloja) and Mr Adeniyi Olasoji (Babaloja).
The applicant is seeking a declaration that the incessant molestation, threat to kill, harassment and his detention by the first to fourth respondent at the instance of the fifth to seventh respondent is illegal.
On Tuesday, Mr Ikechukwu Chiaha announced appearance for the applicant, while Mr P.A. Oyewo appeared for the fifth to seventh defendants.
Chiaha told the court that the case was coming up for the first time, adding that he had served the court processes on respective parties.
He said,for instance, that the court’s processes were served on the fifth to seventh respondent over a month ago.
He argued that if reliance was to be placed on the provisions of order 4 rule 1 of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, then the court ought to hear the applicant’s motion.
According to him, the bailiff of the court also informed him that processes had been served on the other defendants, but added that since the court is “dominus’, (lord), he would leave everything at its discretion.
He said that subject to the court’s convenience, he would be asking for a short date.
On his part, fifth to seventh defence counsel (Oyewo) said he was not opposed to a date.
The court consequently, adjourned the case until Jan .27, 2020, for report of service.
In the originating motion, applicant is seeking declaration that the forceful invasion of his business premises at the Computer Village, Ikeja on Aug. 8, by thugs for refusal to pay “unjustifiable levies” made by the fifth to seventh respondents is unlawful and illegal.”
He also wants a declaration that his beating, harassment, and intimidation in the market place by the fifth to seventh respondents in company with their thugs, due to his refusal to accede to an illegal levy in the computer village is unlawful.
The applicant also seeks a declaration that the inhumane treatment meted on him during his detention by agents of the first to fourth respondent at the instance of the fifth to seventh respondent, is a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights.
He, therefore, seeks an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents from further infringing on or violating his rights.
The applicant also seeks an order, restraining the respondent from further “forcefully and exploitatively“ demanding payment of the said levies from him.
Applicant wants an order restraining the respondents from forcing and torturing him to denounce his membership of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria.
Besides, the applicant seeks payment of damages in the sum of N25 million against the respondents for the violation of his fundamental rights as well as aggravated and exemplary damages in the sum of N2 million.
He also wants a public apology from the respondents to be published in two national dailies.