Okey Sampson, Umuahia
An Aba-based quantity surveyor, Michael Njoku has dragged the suspended General Manager and Commandant of Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State (TIMAAS), Bright Chinedu Ikokwu, alias Osama and one Rowland Amaechi Onungwa to court over non release of his impounded vehicle.
In suit No. HOS/40m/2020 instituted in an Abia State High Court sitting at Osisioma, the claimant dragged the respondents to court for enforcement of his fundamental rights.
In a motion on notice brought pursuant to section 44(1) and 46(1) & (2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), order 11 rule 1-5 of the fundamental rights (Enforcement Procedure) rules, 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court as preserved by Section 6(A) of the 1999, the applicant claimed that the defendants had on or about March 20, 2020 impounded his vehicle in Aba despite the fact he had valid drivers licence and the said vehicle’s particulars were up to date.
The applicant also averred that the defendants refused to release the said vehicle in the custody of the defendants despite the fact that he paid the stipulated fines, for reasons best known to them. The applicant is claiming the sum of N15m compensation in aggregated damages for the over four months his vehicle was impounded by the defendants.
When the case came up for mention, the defendants were not in court, but were represented by a state counsel.
Counsel for the claimant, Godfrey E. Akonani, made an oral application to the court to the effect that since the vehicle had remained in the custody of the defendants for long without any reasonable justification, that it should be released to the owner on bond pending the determination of the substantive matter.
The defence counsel did not however object to Akonani’s request that the vehicle should be released to the applicant on bond pending the determination of the case.
Justice Livingstone Eruba, who presided, said the court would rather deal with a written instead of an oral application and advised the claimant’s counsel to put his request in writing.
The matter was adjourned to October 7 for hearing to continue.