Ex-Commissioner drags Gov Umahi to court, seeks N20m damages

Posted by News Express | 7 July 2020 | 691 times

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•The litigant, Onyike Abia Onyike



A former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Chief Onyike Abia Onyike, has dragged Governor David Umahi to the Federal High Court, Abakaliki.

Onyike in the motion filed on July 3, 2020, with motion number FHC/AI/CS/59/2020, is seeking for an order for enforcement of his fundamental rights to; dignity of human person, Personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, right to private and family life.

The former commissioner is also seeking for the enforcement of his fundamental right to freedom from discrimination.

Other respondents to the suit are the State Director, State Security Services, Commissioner of Police, Chief Austin Umahi, and HRH Ezeogo Charles Azuenya, Chairman, Afikpo South Local Government Area Council of Traditional Rulers.

A copy of the suit was obtained by News Express on Monday in Abakaliki.

The originating motion was brought pursuant to Order 11, Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rule 2009, sections 34, 35, 37, 39, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.

The originating motion was further hinged on the provisions of the Article 5, 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

The appellant said the motion was brought pursuant to the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the honorable Court as preserved by section 6 (6), (A) - (C) of the Nigeria 1999 Constitution as amended.

The applicant sought five reliefs including; a declaration that the plot, plan and attempt by the respondents to arrest, re-arrest, detain, interrogate, torture, intimidate, harass and embarrass him by the respondents was illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The appellant said that the stated actions if taken would amount to flagrant infringement of his fundamental right to dignity of human person; personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, right to private and family life and freedom from discrimination.

Onyike, who is currently engaged in a running battle with Umahi because of his criticism of the governor’s style of administration, is seeking the following reliefs:

A declaration that the plot and plan by respondents to ostracise the applicant and banish him out of his village, local government area and state was manifestly illegal, unlawful and unconditional.

That the action if taken amounted to gross contravention of his constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to dignity of human person, personal liberty, freedom of movement and right to private and family life among others.

An order of injunction restraining the respondents, either by themselves, their agents, privies, surrogates and or any other persons whosoever acting on their behalf, directive, order or instructions from engaging in any action likely to breach his fundamental right.

The applicant is seeking for the award of N20 Million damages against the defendants jointly and severally for bodily, mental, emotional, psychological trauma, social embarrassment, humiliation and ridicule suffered as a result of the unlawful plot to arrest him.

The plaintiff is seeking for any such order or further orders as the honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

No date has been fixed for hearing in the motion.

Source: News Express

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