Businessmen file N5m fundamental rights suit against IGP, others

A suit has been filed against the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police and Commissioner of Police by two businessmen; Akinfolabi Akindele and Taiwo Oyewunmi, over what they termed as violation of their fundamental human rights and are asking the court to award N5 million damages for the unlawful arrest and detention of the Oyewunmi on October 22, 2019.

The duo also joined as co-respondents alongside the IGP and others, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ali Mohammed; Taofik Tijani, Sergeant Musa Mohammed, Ibrahim Dalatu and Biodun Aguda, who were listed as the fifth to ninth respondents.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the businessmen before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, the applicants are praying the court for an order declaring that the arrest and detention of Taiwo Oyewunmi by the seventh and eighth respondents on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, on the instruction of first to the sixth respondent is unconstitutional, null and void.

They are also asking the court to declare that the invitation of Akindele by the Nigeria Police, IGP Monitoring Units, Abuja, to appear before it on October 28, 2019, is illegal, unconstitutional,  null and void on the ground that land matter is not within the contemplation of the functions of the police because it is civil.

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The applicants are also praying the court to declare that they are entitled to their personal liberty, freedom of movement, right to dignity and compulsory acquisition of property as entrenched in Chapter IV of Section 34, 35(6), 36, 44 and 46(1) (2) of 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Articles 5, 6, 7, 12, 14 of African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Ratification and Enforcement Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Akindele and Oyewunmi further want the court to give an order mandating the respondents to tender public apology to them for breach of their fundamental rights as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further interfering into land matters in Alaka/Stadium Area, Lagos State that is Civil matters in nature and using the instrumental of the state to protect or favour the ninth respondent.

The petitioners in their affidavit in support of the motion stated that Akindele is one of the Directors of Adamakin Investment and Work Limited and Oyewunmi, is a staff of Lagoon Park Global Resources, adding that the Trustees of the Estate of late Madam Efunroye Tinubu family donated a power of attorney dated August 27, 2012, to Adamakin Investment and Work Ltd as agent and the functions, duties and obligations are well spelt out in the power of attorney.

Akindele said in the course of working for the Trustees of the Estate of Madam Efunroye Tinubu family, a judgment of Fafunmi v Osun Apena in suit No: 124/1912’s judgment dated 23/12/1912, as registered as No: 45 on page 45 in Volume 2212 of the Registrar of Deed kept at Lagos State Land Registry was presented.

The applicants alleged that the Nigeria Police Force represented by the first to seventh respondents is working for the eighth respondent in respect of the sixty plots of land which he purportedly bought from a family called Aboki Bada, which has no right to sell the land at Alaka/Stadium Area of Lagos State.

“The first applicant entered into an agreement with the second applicant’s company,  Lagoon Park Global Resources and as a result they challenged the eighth respondent,  who occupied sixty plots of land at Alaka/Stadium Area, the eighth respondent petitioned the first respondent,  as the head of the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters,  Abuja, he immediately detailed its squad called IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters, FCT, Abuja,  represented by second respondent and other sub IGP Monitoring Unit, in Zone 2, Onikan Lagos represented by the third to fifth respondent, whilst the sixth and seventh respondents were detailed to effect the arrest of the applicants.

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