By IBE NWACHUKWU:
An industrialist, Chief Sampson Umejidike Ifediba, Chairman of Andreas Stihl AG and Co Nigeria limited, has dragged the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu, Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, in-charge of Zone 2 Lagos, Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of State CID, Panti, Lagos and Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Danduara for withdrawing his police escorts.
Joined in the suit as co-defendants are Mr Anthony Onyia of Fegmatic Associates Limited and Ikechukwu Umeaku of Texmaco ventures, (all of Onitsha Bridgehead market,)
In the suit filed at the High Court Registry and already assigned to Justice Sylvester Odili, the plaintiff is seeking among other reliefs, an injunction restraining the defendants from arresting and detaining him, as well as to restore his three police escorts withdrawn by the police authorities.
The plaintiff is also seeking a declaration of the court that the invasion of his house on 22nd April 2019 and the arrest of the three police escorts from Lokoja, Kogi state and ordering the withdrawal of the three policemen from him by the Police without any valid court order is unlawful and a violation of his fundamental rights under the 1999 constitution (as amended).
He also sought an order of the court directing the Police Commissioner to release and restore the three policemen withdrawn from him since the CP is not the approving authority.
In a 36-paragraph affidavit attached to the motion on notice setting out the facts upon which the application is based, Chief Ifediba deposed that on Tuesday, April 22, 2019, the respondents stormed his residence at Isioji village, Ezinifite, Aguata Local Government Area, with the intention to arrest, detain, extort money from him as ‘bail fees’ and to humiliate him before members of the public over the ownership of the trademark of ‘Stihl’ brand of machines and who has the right to import and distribute same in the country between him and one Anthony Onyia.
According to him, the policemen created a scene in his gate by shooting sporadically and threatened to kill his three police escorts from Special Protection Unit (SPU) if they could not produce Ifediba to be taken to Lagos.
He contended that as he could not be produced by his escorts, the visiting policemen on the order of the Anambra state Commissioner of Police arrested and brought the three police escorts to Awka where they were detained.
The plaintiff therefore demanded for N5 million from the police jointly and severally as compensation for damages and unlawful violation of his fundamental rights to liberty.
After hearing the prayers of Ifediba, the Presiding judge ordered the services of court processes and other documents on the defendants based on the plea from the applicant’s counsel, Barr Chibuike Nwabueze, that a substituted service be served on the respondents, and the Judge adjourned the matter to June 5, 2019 for hearing.