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Lawyer Petitions I-G Over Alleged Police Involvement In Demolition Of Abuja Shopping Complex

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Mr Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN, has petitioned the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police over alleged involvement of some policemen in the demolition of a shopping complex at Zone 3, Abuja.

Ume, who said that the demolition was done against subsisting court order by agencies of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration, urged the I-G to investigate and take action against police officers who supervised and aided the act.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the shop owners had, in a suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/066/2022, sued the Minister of FCT, Federal Capital Development Authority, the Abuja Markets Management Ltd, Abuja Investment Company Ltd and Blizzard Nigeria Limited.

The suit was filed by Egnr. Olugbenga Odubayo, Alfred Eigbefoh, Martins Okwuolisa, Mrs. Susan Ogo Chinyere and Jinifa Allied Ltd, all suing for themselves and as the representatives of the other tenants/allottees of the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja.

They prayed the court for an order barring them from interfering and disrupting their possessory and proprietary interests with regards to the 38 shops at the shopping complex, pending the hearing of their motion on notice.

The court had, on Jan. 14, 2022, gave a restraining order against the defendants pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The senior lawyer, in the petition dated Jan. 18, said that all the defendants were dully served with the injunctive orders, including the statutory interlocutory motion on notice.

He said despite the orders of court, “on February 24, 2022, your police officers, loaded in several vans gave cover to and aided 5th defendant to disobey the orders and invaded the Zone 3, Shopping Complex demolishing the res (subject matter in court).”

Ume also drew the attention of the I-G to the fact that the traders, on Dec. 29, 2022, entered an appeal at the Court of Appeal and that the notice and records of appeal were served on all the defendants.

He said they equally filed a restraining motion on notice at the Court of Appeal marked: CA/ABJ/PRE/ROA/CV/1450/M/22, seeking for injunctive orders against the respondents.

He, however, said that despite the pendency of the matter in court, the police officers also got involved in the Jan. 17 demolition exercise by the defendants.

“On January 17, 2023, your policemen with vehicles No RR 567; RRS 100 and RRS 105, invaded the zone 3 Shopping Complex demolishing all they could.

“Sir, has the law and order broken down to this level?
“Please investigate, take necessary steps and assure Nigerians that mights have not become mightier than our courts.

“Please call your officers to order and not to do anything to render the matter in court nugatory,” he said.

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