Tiamin Rice Ltd: Unseal Rice Factory or Face Contempt of Court – Justice Abang to IGP, Kano Govt, Others

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… Perpetually Restrains Kano CP From Further Interference With Officials of the Property in Any Manner

By Chibuike Nwabuko

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has issued a notice of contempt of Court in a civil case between Tiamin Rice Limited, Tiamin Multi Service Global, Alhaji Ali Ibrahim and Kano State government in which the applicant’s rice mill was sealed.

In the suit presided by Justice Abang: Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/448/2020, the Court made a consequential order in favour of the Applicants directing the opening and unfettered access to the applicant’s factory situated on C14, AA, Shehu House, Amana city, Zaria Road, Kano.

The Court ordered the Kano State government, the Inspector General of Police, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Kano State Commissioner of Police and the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps to jointly unseal the business premises of the applicants, insisting that they have rights to own properties.
It said
“To the Hon Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice , Audu Bako Secretariat Kano state for and on behalf of the Government of Kano state.
“To the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja.
“To the Commissioner of Police of Kano state, Kano State Headquarters, Bompai Street, Kano state.
“Take note that unless you obey the directions contained in this Order, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison, dated this day of May 5/5/2020.
“Applicants leading A. Arosayin and C. Nwaiwu argued the originating motion on notice dated 20/4/2020 and thereafter urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.
“AND THE COURT being satisfied that the respondents have been duly served with all courts processes and the court Order directing them to appear before the court on 27th April 2020 and they failed to appear before the court and offered no reason for being absent in court.
“AND THE COURT having considered that the Respondents failed to avail themselves of the opportunity offered them to be heard before a decision is taken on the Applicant’s suit.
“AND THE COURT having again considered the definitive pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Newswatch Communication Ltd Vs Attah (2006) 12 NWLR PT.993 p.144 AT 171 ON this subject.

AND THE COURT having also considered the matter on the merit, delivered its judgment in open court today the 4/5/2020. Its reasoning and conclusions are as contained in the body of the judgment.
“AND THE COURT having considered that it is deserving to grant the Applicant’s reliefs as contained in the Originating Motion on Notice dated 20/4/2020 and also make consequential Order in order to give effect to the principal reliefs granted by the court.
IT IS HEREBY DECLARED AND ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
“That the Applicants are lawful owners and occupiers of their property situate at C14, A.A Shehu House, Amana City, Zaria Road, Kano and are entitled to own property and enjoy peaceful occupation, possession and use of same including right of ingress and egress to the said property, as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution (AS amended).
“That the sealing of the business premises of the Applicants’ rice processing mill situate at C14, A.M Shehu House, Amana City, Zaria Road, Kano and the grounds upon which it was sealed off and consequently denied of lawful access without any order of competent court of law backing up the said denial of access constitute a violation of the Applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under section 33 (1), 34 (1) and 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional.
“That it is an unlawful violation of the Applicants’ constitutionally guaranteed and protected rights to property, life and dignity of the human persons under sections 33, 34,41,42, and 43 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) for the 3rd Respondent to seal off the premises of the Applicants, occupy same, stop production of products and restrict movement to which exemption had been given, without Notice or fair hearing as guaranteed under section 36 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“That 1st Respondent, its officers in Kano state command, agents, privies and or anyone taking instructions from him shall immediately take possession and grant access to the Applicants for the purpose of continuing its lawful business.
“That the continued closure of the 1st Applicants’ premises or restriction of movement by the 3rd respondent through its agents is unlawful, unconstitutional and constitute an infringement of the Applicants’ fundamental rights to human dignity, right to personal liberty, and right to freedom of movement guaranteed under sections 34, 35, and 41 of the constitution and Articles 5, 6 and 12 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right Act.
“That the Respondents whether jointly and/or severally by themselves, their servants, agents and/or privies are restrained from continuing in their unlawful acts of sealing off and occupying the 1st Applicant’s factory and/or otherwise in any way or manner whatsoever continue to violate or infringe upon its fundamental right to own, use and occupy property and as enshrined in section 43 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), as well as African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2004.
“That the 1st and 4th Respondents, whether jointly and/or severally by themselves, their agents, employees, operative(s), detectives, officer(s), or howsoever by whatever named called, shall forthwith unconditionally unseal, takeover and put into possession the Applicants’ rice mill factory.
“That the respondents, whether jointly and/or severally by themselves, their agents, operative(s), detective(s), officer(s), or howsoever by whatever name called, shall unconditionally remove all curtailments and restraints on the full enjoyment, occupation and use of the rice factory of the Applicants.
“That the 1st, 2nd and 4th Respondents shall give adequate security to the property and lawful persons on the property of the Applicants situate and being at C14, A.M Shehu House, Amana City, Zaria Road, Kano.
“That the 3rd Respondent by itself, its agents, employees, ministry, parastatal, Board, Commission or any other name howsoever describes deriving power and authority from the 3rd Respondent are hereby perpetually restrained from further interfering with, demolishing or attempting to cause harm to the property or officials of the Applicants or breaching the fundamental rights of the Applicants in any manner.
“The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kano state being an agent of Kano state government, the 3rd Judgment debtor herein shall forthwith ensure compliance with the instant subsisting judgment order of this court.
“N300,000:00 is hereby awarded as cost in favour of the Applicants/Judgment creditors payable by the Respondents/Judgment debtors before taking any steps in the proceedings.
“The Judgment creditors shall endorse Form 48 on the enrolled Judgment order and same served on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents respectively.of Court.”, it concluded.


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