Taxi cab operator commences Contempt proceedings against IGP, others

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A Lagos based Taxi cab operator, Afam Nriezedi, has commenced contempt proceeding against Inspector General of Police(IGP), Solomon Arase, for allegedly flouting an order of Justice Mohammed Yunusa presiding over a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, which directed that the taxi driver, Afam Nriezedi, who has been in custody of the police since January 17, 2015, should be produced in court.‬

Apart from the IGP, Others facing contempt proceedings alongside Inspector General of Police are; the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and O/C Special Anti Robbery Squad(SARS) who are the 2nd and 3rd respondents in the suit.

‪The cab driver dragged the defendants before the court over his continued incarceration claiming the sum of N20million as damages for his unlawful detention and violation of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement under Sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution.‬

Justice Yunusa had on June 24, 2015 directed the police to produce the plaintiff on August 6,2015 when an application for the enforcement of his fundamental rights was to be heard.‬

However, the order was disregarded by the police as the plaintiff was never produced in court till date.‬

Consequently, the court granted leave to the applicant to serve Form 48 dated September 2, 2015 notice of consequence of disobedience of other of the court and all other processes filed in the suit on the 2nd and 3rd respondents through the Inspector General Of Police.

The plaintiff also through his lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba(SAN) filed Form 49, which is a notice against the respondents to show cause why they should not be committed to prison for flouting the court’s order.‬

Hearing of the Form 49 application has been fixed for January 14, 2016.

In an affidavit in support of the application to enforce the plaintiff’s fundamental rights deposed to by his elder sister, Ngozi Nriezedi, it was averred that the applicant was arrested on January 17, 2015 by the officers of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) over alleged illegal possession of four AK 47 rifles belonging to the police.‬

The deponent further averred that contrary to the initial claims, she and other members of the family read a report in a National Daily on January 31, 2015 where the police accused the applicant of being an informant to a gang which allegedly kidnapped two prominent oil dealers in Lagos.‬

She disclosed further that all efforts to see the applicant has proved abortive because they were denied access by the Police.

‪The deponent averred further that the applicant has suffered and he is still suffering exceptional hardship and may lose his life if not released from custody as he is still recovering from a surgery when he was arrested.‬

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