Osun High Court slams police over illegal impounding of vehicle, awards damages

Posted by News Express | 10 May 2017 | 1,565 times

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•Osun Commissioner of Police, Fimihan Adeoye.

An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo has slammed the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for illegally impounding a used Volkswagen Passat Saloon Car with registration number, Osun SGB 708 AG, belonging to one Mr. Babatunde Soyode of Prism Steel Mills, Ikirun, warning the men of Nigeria Police to act within the ambit of the Law.

The Presiding Judge, Justice W.O. Akanbi also awarded a sum of N1 million damages against the Osun State Police Command for the unlawful seizure of the applicant’s car and the discomfort suffered by Mr. Soyode as a result of that seizure, maintaining that the reason for the seizure of the car by the police from the applicant was not tenable anywhere in the world. The judge added that the failure of the dealer of the car to remit the proceeds of the sale of the car to the lady, who lodge a complaint with the Police or the dealer of the car was not sold at the agreed price with the complainant, were none of the business of the applicant who is the purchaser. He said that the contention was not controverter and he is therefore, a bonafide purchaser for value.   

The plaintiff, Soyode of Prism Steel Mills, Ikirun, in a suit No: HOS/M.1/2017 on 31st  December, 2015 travelled to Ilorin, kwara State where he bought the Passat vehicle from BAS Motors Nig. Ltd with cash receipt No. 574 for the sum of N600, 000 with a Police clearance Certificate dated January 11th, 2016.

In a written addressed filed in further support of the application wherein the applicant’s counsel, Barrister Femi Ayandokun, canvassed legal arguments that the application, according to the affidavit of service sworn to on the 3rd of January, 2017 by Mr. A. Ademola, the bailiff of this court, was duly served on the 1st Respondent, the Commissioner of Police and the 2nd respondent, DSP Clement Eludire on the 3rd of January were received on their behalf by one Edogun Sunday, while the Hearing Notices were subsequently served on the 12th day of January, 2017 according to the affidavit of service in the court file.

The Court stated that; “Although, the application and Hearing Notices were served on the Respondents, no response or counter-affidavit was filled on their behalf to the application up till the time of the hearing of the application on the 19th day of January and indeed up till time of this judgement. While the court rely on the provisions of order II rule 6 of FREP Rules 2009 are very clear as to what is required of a respondent who intends to oppose an application served on him for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

“Upon convincing and satisfactory proof that the Respondents in this case had adequate notice of the application but had refused and or neglected to file any written address or counter–affidavit within the time prescribed by O.II R.6 of 2009 FREP Rules, this Court granted leave to applicant’s counsel, Femi Ayandokun, Esq to move the application. In moving the application, Mr. Ayandokun relied on the statement and affidavit filed in support of the application, as well as the exhibits attached thereto. He adopted his written address and urged the Court to grant the three reliefs sought by the applicant.”

Granting the applicants’ reliefs dated 12th of April,2017, Justice Akanbi declared that the acts of the respondents in impounding and keeping the applicant’s Passat car since 13th of December, 2016 is illegal unlawful and constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s fundamental right as guaranteed by section 44 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and I hereby order the immediate and unconditional release of the said vehicle by the respondents to the applicant.

Source: News Express

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