By Bennett Oghifo
Traders of the Hajiya Ibrahim Commsie Shopping Complex, Police Barracks, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos, operating under the umbrella of POWA Market, have dragged the Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase and others before the Federal High Court, Lagos over the closure of the market.
The plaintiffs, Messrs Iyoha Wilson, Osborn Atrogo, Sunday Usulor, among others, claimed that by virtue of Section 36(1) of the 1999 constitution the defendants, who alleged that the traders were “causing obstruction for road users” along Bourdillon Road, Falomo had not been heard, tried by a court of law, convicted or held liable before the defendants closed down the shops. They are therefore urging the court to declare the action as “unlawful, illegal, ultra vires, unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal consequence.”
They also prayed the court to declare the actions of the defendants as intimidation, threats, harassments’, deprivation of the plaintiff’s right to engage or carry out their lawful business of selling their goods, products, articles or rendering other services to their customers at the shops as unlawful.
The traders are seeking for an order directing the opening of their shops, and that the defendants, their counsels, officers of the court, officers of the Nigeria Police Force, the plaintiffs their counsel to open, enter and take inventory of all goods and property of the plaintiffs in the shops at the POWA Market. The also seek an order directing them to go return to their shops inside the POWA Market.
The traders prayed the court for an injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their servants, police, agents, privies whosoever from continue or further stay for the purpose of prevention, hindering, threat, intimidating or stopping the plaintiffs to open their shops and or have free access into their shops, inclusive of arresting the plaintiffs or their members.
An order of injunction, restraining the defendants, or their servants, officers, staff KAI, agents from further altering, amending, constructing or rebuilding the walls at the front of the market, which is aimed at blocking the free flow of air into the shops. The traders are also claiming as damages N7,252,810,000.00 i.e. Seven billion, two hundred and fifty two million, Eight hundred and ten thousand naira only, made up and representing the loss of daily, weekly and monthly income from the non-sale of their goods, products and various articles of trade.