‘You can’t stop police investigation’
A Lagos State High Court has struck out a suit filed by an Abia State-based businesswoman, Euphemia Okeke against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu and six others.
The applicant had filed the action, through her counsel, Oko Prince, praying the court to stop police from investigating her on allegations of adulterating Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church’s fabric to celebrate 30 years existence of the church.
The trial judge, Ezekiel Oluwole Ashade, struck out the suit for being incompetent and for the court’s lack of jurisdiction.The businesswoman had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit against the IGP alongside Commissioner of Police, General Investigations, Deputy Commission of Police, Inspector Dauda Alabi, all of Force Criminal Investigation Department (Force CID), Alagbon as well as M. A. Animashaun, Legal Officer, Force CID, Alagbon, Ikoyi.
Also joined as respondents were the Commissioner of Police, Abia State Command and Divisional Police Officer, CSP, Police Division, Abia, Abia State, in the suit marked LD/9705MFHR/2020.
The applicant in her application had prayed the court for orders stopping all the respondents from harassing, intimidating, threatening to arrest her over an allegations that centered on copyright/trademark, which she had amicably resolved with the petitioner, MFM Ministry International.
But the respondents in their counter-affidavit argued by Bar Morufu A. Animashaun, a legal officer at Force CID, Alagbon, Ikoyi, urged the court to dismiss the application for being incompetent.
He urged the court to determine if the affidavit in support of the applicant’s motion on notice was in compliance with the provisions of Order 2 Rule 4 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement procedure Rule, 2009 in view of the facts that the applicant was never arrested nor detained despite her persistence and continued refusal to honour police invitation.
Delivering judgment, Justice Ashade, held that: “the applicant’s complaint is that she cannot be invited by the respondents to answer the petition against her, when the dispute between the applicant and petitioner is about infringement of copyright, design and trade mark.
“This assertion is, in my view, one of which she should be advancing before the respondents, who have responsibility of investigating the allegation but not in this court whose responsibility is to determine, upon affidavit evidence, whether indeed there is an infringement of fundamental rights.
“None of the paragraphs in the affidavit in support of the applicant’s application alleges that she was subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, slavery or servitude, false or compulsory labour etc., that could be said to constitute infractions on the applicant’s right to personal dignity. Neither was there any deposition that the applicant’s right to liberty has been infringed.”
The court thereafter struck out the case. “In final analysis, having found that this court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this case, I hereby strike it out this case. This is the judgment of the court,” the judge declared.