Former Edo deputy speaker files N100m suit against IGP, others

Former Deputy Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Honourable Fred Omoigberai, has instituted a legal action against the Inspector-General of Police, Aihaji Idris Ibrahim and three others, challenging an alleged violation of his fundamental rights by armed policemen, who invaded his home and caused chaos after disrupting business activities at his Ovbiomu petrol station.

Those joined as codefendants, in the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Benin by his counsel, I. A. Alegbe, are the Assistant Inspector- General of Police, Zone 5, Benin, Isaac Eke; Edo State Commissioner of Police, Femihan Adept and Franklyn Akanou.

In the motion delineated FHC/B/CS/20.6, Honourable Omoigberai is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further harassing, arresting, torturing and preventing him from moving about freely.

He is, among other reliefs, asking for damages to the tune of NI00 million from the respondents jointly and severally, for allegedly disrupting activities at his home and business.

Omogberai, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the party’s appointed collation officer for the forthcoming Edo State governorship election, in his averment, claimed that on September 3, 2016, he received a phone call from workers that his petrol station had been invaded by 22 policemen who held the staff hostage and drove customers and passengers away.

He averred further that he received calls on the invasion of his house at 1, Sam Ifidon Street, Sabongida Ora, where the policemen had caused pandemonium as they scattered and upturned everything in the house before returning to his Afuze house at 5:50 a.m. on September 4, 2016.

According to him, the obnoxious reports and violent acts perpetrated at his home in his presence triggered off his blood pressure as a hypertensive patient and he was rushed to the hospital and admitted for days.

The Edo State lawmaker also prayed the court to declare that the acts of arrest, torture, dehumanisation, assault, detention and depriving him of his business is a breach of his fundamental right to liberty, as guaranteed under sections 35, 37, 404, 41 and 44 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.