Mr. Ifeanyi Uba
By Davidson Iriekpen
A Federal High Court in Lagos will Monday deliver a ruling on the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Ifeanyi Uba, against the Nigeria Police Force.
Uba had filed the suit, claiming N10 billion as damages for his arrest and detention for 10 days in connection with an alleged N43 billion oil subsidy fraud.
Apart from the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, other defendants in the suit are the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ayotunde Ogunsakin; Managing Director of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and the Chief Executive Officer of Coscharis Motors, Cosmas Maduka.
But the SFU, in its preliminary objection filed by its lawyer, Mr. Godwin Obla, faulted the suit, describing it as an abuse of court process.
Obla argued in the objection that the police could not be restrained from carrying out its statutory duties as “Uba sought to do with the case.”
Besides, he argued that the subject matter of the suit had been litigated upon by another court, apart from the fact that the company (Capital Oil) has not satisfied the condition precedent to enjoy the rights prescribed under the human rights enforcement proceedings.
Uba, in the suit filed by his lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, is seeking an order setting aside an interim report on police investigation into the alleged crime, and another order stopping the police from prosecuting him for the alleged crime.
The Capital Oil boss, in his originating motion, stated that the interim report, in which the second respondent (SFU), had purportedly stated that the applicant (Uba) will be arraigned on a prima facie case of money laundering and criminal conspiracy, amounts to prosecutorial misconduct.
He also stated that another report dated November 3, 2012 in which it had stated that the report would be submitted in a case of stealing and economic sabotage against the applicant, also amounted to a breach of his fundamental rights.
The applicant also seeks a declaration nullifying the report made by the presidential committee on the verification of oil subsidy payment to oil marketers, which report portrays the applicant as being involved in stealing and money laundering, as tainted by malice.
Besides, Uba stressed that his alleged unlawful detention amounted to a violation of his freedom of liberty as enshrined in Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution.