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Drama at Ebonyi Police HQs as CP Orders Detention of Bailiff who served Fundamental Rights Process

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There was a drama at the Office of the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police on Friday 11th June, 2021 following the service of a fundamental rights process as ordered by the Ebonyi State High Court on the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Aliyu and the Inspector General of Police.

In a fundamental rights action brought by Mrs. Christiana Orji, a retired civil servant, against the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police and the Inspector General of Police, as well as other police officers (including SP. Daniel Nwornu, SGT Benjamin Nwaakpa and Ms. Vivian), Justice Nwanchor of the Ebonyi State High Court on 9th June, 2021, had ordered that all the court processes in the Suit be served on all the Respondents through the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police in accordance with Order V: Rule 5 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

On Friday 11th June, 2021, around 2:30 PM, Mr. Innocent Okorouga, a Bailiff of the Ebonyi State High Court effected service on the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police. However, after about 30 minutes following the service of the Court processes by the Bailiff, police officers stormed the premises of the Ebonyi State High Court at Abakaliki in Hilux van and arrested the Bailiff and then forced him into their van. The arrested Bailiff was taken before the Office of the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police where he was detained and forced to hand over the acknowledgement copy of the served court processes which the Office of the Commissioner of Police had earlier signed. The Commissioner of Police forced the Bailiff to take away all the court processes earlier served before releasing him from detention.

Mrs. Christiana Orji’s fundamental rights application vide SUIT NO: HAB/92MC/2021 was filed on 28th May, 2021, and her Application is asking the Court inter alia for:

A DECLARATION that she is entitled to a right to life, right to personal liberty, right to fair hearing, right to freedom from discrimination and the right to equality before the law and equal protection of the law as enshrined in Sections 33(1), 35(1), 36 (1), 36(6), 42 and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification And Enforcement) Act.

A DECLARATION that her arrest, detention, humiliation, continued harassment and intimidation by the Respondents and their agents without commission of any known offence and without justifiable legal reasons whatsoever is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

A DECLARATION that the consistent refusal by the Respondents and their agents to investigate a complaint of assault and grievous harm against Mr. Chinedu Nicholas Makwe and four accomplices which she reported is unlawful and unconstitutional and violates her right to freedom from discrimination under section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification And Enforcement) Act.

AN ORDER compelling the Respondents to pay her the sum of N20, 000, 000.00 (Twenty million naira) as general damages for the violation of her fundamental rights.

In January, 2020, Mr. Chinedu Nicholas Makwe had destroyed and forcefully grabbed the lands of Ovumnte land owuners in Ishiagu, Ivo L.G.A, Ebonyi State to build a mega city proposed by Chief Pius Anyim, the former SGF. Mrs. Christiana Orji one of the victims was further assaulted by Mr. Chinedu Nicholas Makwe. She then made a complaint to the police against Mr. Chinedu Nicholas Makwe. However, instead of investigating her complaint, the police acting on Mr. Chinedu Nicholas Makwe’s instructions arrested and detained her unlawfully and further threatened her husband to withdraw a suit filed against Chief Pius Anyim over the destruction and seizure of his commercial farm known as ORJI FARMS with its vast oil palm plantation.

Police demand N200,000 to grant bail to woman whose land was forcefully taken over by Ex-Senate President of Nigeria, Pius Anyim, through thugs in Ebonyi

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