Godwin Tsa Abuja
Some family members of the late politician, Moshood Abiola, have slammed a N100 million fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, over alleged unlwaful arrest and contineous detention on account of the robbery attack at their Ikeja home, Lagos.
Suspected robbers had reportedly raided the Lagos mansion of the the late Chief Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election and went away with property “worth millions of naira”.
They robbers were said to have assessed the Toyin Street Crescent residence of the late politician through a canal and jumped over the high perimeter fence into the compound.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, disclosed that some suspects including domestic staff were arrested in connection with the incident.
But in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), two members of the late Abiola family, Kassim Olajide Abiola and Aliyu Ngaba Abiola have asked the Lagos High Court to declare their arrest and contineous detention over the robbery incident as unlawful, illegal as it constituted a blatant violation of their fundamental rights as enshrined in relevant laws.
In addition, the detained suspects have filed a motion exparte seeking an order of court directing the respondents to immediately and unconditionally release them on bail pending any formal arraignment before a court of law.
The applicants who have expressed their readiness and willingness to stand trial if arraigned in court, equally prayed the court to assign their case for hearing during the vacation period.
Ozekhome who filed the legal processes on their behalf submitted that “except this matter is assigned and granted accelerated hearing, the health challenges of the applicants would be put in jeopardy.”
The lawyer relied on order 49 Rule 5, of the Lagos State High Court (Civil Procedure Rules), 2019, which provides that, ” notwithstanding the provisions of rule 4, any cause or matter may be heard by a Judge during the period mentioned in paragraph (b), (c)) or (d) except on a Sunday or public holiday, where such matter is urgent or a Judge at the request of all the parties concerned, agrees to hear a cause or a matter.”
In the originating application, the applicants counsel is seeking an order of court directing the respondent and his operatives and agents to release forthwith the applicants from the detention of the Special Anti-robbery Squad, detention centre of the respondent.
The detained applicants are also seeking an order directing the respondent to tender a public apology and pay adequate compensation to them for the blatant violation of their fundamental rights without following due process of law.
While further demanding for the sum of N100m as exemplary damages for the wanting and grave violation of their rights, are seeking a restraining injunction against the respondents and it’s agents, employees, from further arresting and detaining them.
Ozekhome told the court the arrest and detention of his clients was informed by a petition of one Mrs. Adebisi Abiola which contains baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against them.
He added that the acts of the respondent against his clients, based on the said petition is illegal, unlawful, wrongful and constitutes a blatant violation of their rights as enshrined in section 35(1), (4) and (6), 37, 41(1) and 46(1) of the 1999 constitution, section 2, 3(1), (2), 17(1), (1), (2), 18(1) (2),(3) 19, 21, of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
The human rights activist further told the court that his clients have been subjected to humiliating and dehumanizing conditions by the respondent like common criminals.
He claimed that their being singled out for contineous detention and torment is simply by Mrs. Adebisi Abiola who is their step mother, is simply because they are not his biological children.