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Court to hear Daily Times N2b rights abuse suit today

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The Federal High Court in Abuja will today begins hearing on the N2billion fundamental rights abuse suit, filed by the Daily Times against the Nigerian Police and others.

The Publisher of the papers, Fidelis Anosike and the Group Managing Director, Noel Anosike, objected to plans by the police to force them to surrender the company’s assets.

The management of Folio Communications Plc, publishes Daily Times had also stated that they will not withdraw the suit seeking redress over the impunity carried out against them.

Other respondents include Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah and Chairman of DSTV, Adewumi Ogunsanya.

They expressed concern that the police plan to file fresh charges against them, weeks after the Inspector General of Police, Idris Abubakar, had ordered in writing that all cases against the Anosikes be withdrawn.

This, he, said was necessary since there was no basis to commence the cases in the first place.

A statement yesterday by the Managing Editor, Daily Times newspaper, Bonaventure Melah, said the decision to file fresh charges shortly after withdrawing the earlier suit was laughable.

According to the statement, the letter by Henry Njoku and the prosecution officer, Omosun Mathew, withdrawing the cases was dated February 2.

It was addressed to the Registrar, Mpape Magistrate Court, Abuja.

The letter reads in part: “Take notice that the prosecution wishes to discontinue the above stated cases before this Honourable Court.”

Melah expressed concern that the police had gone back on its words by allowing themselves to be “bamboozled” by Ikechukwu Obiorah and Adewumi Ogunsanya.
The plan to initiate fresh charges on the same matter makes mockery of the police hierarchy.”

He explained that there is a subsisting ruling by the Court of Appeal, Lagos in 2010, that the case between the two parties is purely civil, and had no grounds for criminal charges or trial.

“If Obiorah is confident of his claims, why has he refused to challenge the Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Supreme Court? Why is he running from the Court of Appeal to Magistrate’s Court?

He added that the police have documents containing the investigations earlier carried out during the time of ex-Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo, in which it was stated that the case was civil.

“This same inspector general of police is also in possession of documents in which the then Attorney General of the Federation, as well as the Attorney General of Lagos State had both stated clearly that there was no cause for criminal prosecution on this matter.”

Melah further alleged that Ikechukwu Obiorah, a lawyer, has been using the police to abuse judicial process since 2015.


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