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Retirees of aviation parastatals file N10.2b suit over alleged eviction


Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

Retirees of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Aviation have instituted a N10.2billion fundamental rights suit against the agencies at the Federal High Court, Lagos, alleging illegal and forceful eviction from their quarters.

The applicants are Oni Babatunde, Moshood Kolawole Jimoh, Temitope Tubi, Nwoke Onyebuchi Ogbonna, Bryank Kaduru and 35 others, who are former employees of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Joined as respondents are the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Director-General of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and Director-General of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

Other respondents are the Commissioner of Police (IGP), Lagos State, and Inspector-General of Police.The trial judge, Justice AbdulAziz Anka, adjourned the matter till September 8 for hearing of the suit.

The applicants in an originating summon, marked FHC/L/CS/1135/16, filed and argued before the court by their counsel, Olukoya Ogungbeje, are seeking a declaration that their arrest, harassment and detention by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and IGP at the instigation of the respondents on August 6, 2016, without lawful excuse is wrong, Illegal unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.

They maintained that the action violates their fundamental rights as enshrined under sections 33,34,35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The applicants are also seeking an order compelling the respondents to pay the sum of N10.2billion as general and exemplary damages for unlawful and wrongful arrest, detention, forceful invasion and eviction without any court order, as well as an order reinstating and restoring them to their residential houses forthwith.

The applicants also seek an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the respondents, jointly and severally, their officers, agents, servants, privies or howsoever called and connected, from arresting, intimidating, harassing, humiliating, detaining, evicting or disturbing them in any manner whatsoever.

The applicants, in an affidavit deposed to by Oni Babatunde Akanni, averred that sometime in 2003, there was an issue of monetisation in respect of residential quarters due to them. He said their rights in the property culminated in litigation and there was subsisting order restraining the respondents from harassing them.

He added that the respondents have been threatening and harassing them with arrest and detention over the matter, despite the substituting court order.The deponent also averred that on August 6, 2016, at about 5.30am, about 80 thugs, accompanied by heavily armed policemen and officers of the respondents, stormed and invaded their residential houses and laid them under siege in commando-like approach, arrested and detained them.

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