Wednesday 5 September 2018

Court Restrains IGP, Others From Arresting 1004 Apartments Landlords

1004 Estate Victorial Island Lagos
An Igbosere High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the police not to carry out any action that would infringe on the fundamental rights of some officers of 1004 apartments in Victoria Island.

The vacation judge, Justice Idowu Alakija, made the exparte order after listening to an application for an interim injunction sought by five executive officers of 1004 Home Owners and Residents Association (HORA), Victoria Island, Lagos.

The applicants — Abiola Oguniyi, Edet Essien, Joy Okara, Peace Itaribo and Olanrewaju Olaniyi — had through their counsel, Mr Promise Asikpo and Joel Nyot – sought to restrain the police from further harassing and detaining them unlawfully.

Joined with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) were three other respondents, Akinlosi Oyelokun, Insp. Yusuf Danladi and Police Service Commission.

Justice Alakija, after listening to the applicant, granted all the orders.

“Upon hearing the applicants in this case, I am convinced that all the respondents have been served with the originating processes and the motion for an Interlocutory injunction.

“It is hereby ordered that the parties maintain status quo and the respondent are not to carry out any act that shall infringe on the fundamental rights of the applicants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” Alakija said.

She, however, asked that the file be returned to the registry and the case file forwarded to Justice Owolabi Dabiri for hearing of the interlocutory injunction.

Earlier, the applicants’ counsel, Asikpo informed the court that all the respondents have been served with the notice of Application for the Enforcement of Fundamental Rights and the Motion on Notice for an Interlocutory Injunction.

He said that the first respondent, Oyelokun, who was evading service, had been served by substituted service pursuant to the order of the court made on Aug. 28.

He, however, told the court that there was an imminent threat by the police to violate the fundamental rights of the applicants.

He said the applicants were first arrested in November 2017 and in August this year, adding that it took a lot of efforts before the applicants were released.

He, however, urged the court to restrain the respondents from inviting, interrogating, harassing, arresting, detaining or in any manner infringing the fundamental rights of the applicants pending the hearing and determination of the Interlocutory Injunction.

Asikpo, also urged the court in the alternative to order parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the Interlocutory Injunction.

He said that the court was empowered by law to protect the applicants against the imminent abuse from the respondents, however, urging the court to grant the prayers of the applicants in the interest of justice.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that residents of 1004 Estate had petitioned the I-G over unlawful arrest and detention of some occupants by policemen claiming to be from I-GP Special Tactical Squad.

In the petition, HORA alleged that five officials were unlawfully assaulted and detained for two days.

The association, comprising about 6,000 residents, alleged that the unlawful harassment was instigated by a tenant, Mr Akinlosi Oyelokun, whose apartment was disconnected over alleged two years unpaid service charge and electricity theft.

According to the 1004 residents, armed policemen from Force Headquarters, led by Insp. Danladi Idah Yusuf, invaded the association’s secretariat and whisked away three staff to the Bar Beach Police Station on “order from above’’.

Those initially arrested are: Mrs Joy Okara (HORA Finance Manager), Mr Peace Itaribo (Accounts Officer) and Mr Olanrewaju Olaniyi (Vending Officer) and detained overnight at the Adeniji Adele Police facility Lagos Island.

The association’s executives who attempted to secure their bails were also arrested and ended up behind bars for two days along with the staff, the petition said.

The residents expressed dismay that a tenant owing service charge arrears and facing allegations of hacking and electricity theft involving a bypass of the smart meter could simply use his connection with police to harass innocent citizens.

Capt. Shina Akinfenwa, Chairman of 1004 HORA, then appealed to the IG- to urgently address the matter in order to save his high office from dishonour and the residents from continued harassment.

Before the court granted the reliefs sought by counsel to HORA, Akinlosi told NAN on telephone that since investigations into his petition were ongoing he had no comment to make.

No comments:

Post a Comment