By Phil Okose, Onitsha
An industrialist, Chief Sampson Umejidike Ifediba, 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, Anambra state commissioner of police, Mustapha Danduara, one Anthony Onyia and Ikechukwu Umeaku of Onitsha Bridgehead market, to an Onitsha High court presided over by Justice Sylvester Odili, seeking, among other reliefs, an injunction to restrain the defendants from arresting or detaining him and to restore his three police escorts withdrawn by the police.
In the suit, part of the reliefs sought read in part that “a declaration that the invasion of the applicant’s house on 22nd April 2019 and the arrest of the three police escorts from Lokoja and ordering the withdrawal of the three policemen from the applicant by the police without any valid court order is unlawful and a violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights under the 1999 constitution (as amended)”.
Also “an order of the court directing the police commissioner to release and restore the three policemen withdrawn from the applicant, back to the applicant since the CP is not the approving authority.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 22nd April 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 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 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. As Chief Ifediba could not be produced, the police men 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 also demanded for N5million 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, for substituted service on the respondents. The judge adjourned the matter to 5th June 2019 for hearing.