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Court strikes out fundamental rights violation suit against Coy

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The National Industrial Court, (NICN), Abuja on Wednesday struck out a suit for enforcement of fundamental human rights against Berwick Nig.Ltd., by Ernest Chukwukamma, for lack of jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Joined as co-defendants in the suit are Cletus Udeolisa, Dr. A.B.C Orjiako, the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police FCT, Abuja Command and Cpl. Ismaila.

Delivering judgment, the judge, Justice Olufunke Anuwe held that section 249 of the constitution of Nigeria as amended, empowered the NICN to entertain suits that relate to labour, trade and union matters.

Anuwe in addition held that the subject matter was not within the jurisdiction of the court as it arose from a violation of the fundamental rights of the claimant.

The judge further said that the defence should have prayed for the suit to be struck out and not for dismissal.

She therefore said” I hold that this court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this suit, the suit is hereby struck out and no order is made as to cost”.

From facts, the claimant, Chukwukamma through his counsel, T.G Okechukwu had averred that he was been a registered contractor of the first defendant, Berwick Nig. Ltd., the developers of Kaura Modern market, Laura District, Abuja, since Nov. 2009.

He further submitted that in the course of executing his contractual assignment, he had disagreement with two masons at the premises of the first defendant.

He further submitted that the disagreement led to the involvement of a Mobile Police officer, one Corporal Ismaila, the six defendant, who brutalized him which led to his incurring some medical bills and losing some personal effects like N500,000 cash, two phones and cheque book.

The defence in its counter- affidavit had urged the court to dismiss the suit as the claimant failed to establish a prima facie case against the first to third defendants.

The counter-affidavit had also stated that there was no employment relationship between the defendants and the claimant.

In addition, the defence submitted that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit and urged it to dismiss the suit.

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