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Suit challenging Navy’s three months detention of businessman adjourned to May 15

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Further hearing of an ex-parte application filed by a Lagos-based hotelier, Saibu Ogunmola, seeking his release from the custody of Nigeria Navy and others before a Federal High Court, Abuja, has been adjourned till May 15. The matter was adjourned at the instance of the Nigeria Navy, who failed to appear before the court as ordered by the trial judge, Lilian Ijeoma Ojukwu.
 
The hotelier, through his counsel, McAnthony Aikharialea, had filed the application for his release from the custody of navy, and others after being detained for over three months without any charge file against him. Joined as respondents in the suit are: Chief of Naval Staff; the Commander NNS Beecroft, Apapa, Lagos and the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Abuja.
 
Justice Ojukwu had on April 17, while granting the ex-parte application, ordered all the respondents to appear before the court and explain while they failed to arraign the hotelier who has been in their custody since January 17, 2019, if they have any charge against him
 


However, at the resumed hearing of the matter, it was only the fourth respondent (DIA) through its counsel, C.O. Abodunde, who appeared before the court, while there was no legal representation from the first, second and third respondents.
 
Following the absence of the first to third respondents, Aikharialea told the court that with the look of things, the respondents are in flagrance disobedient of the order made on April 17 and served on all respondents.

Responding, Abodunde, told the court that the Nigeria Navy, after the order had since moved the applicant from their custody with a concluded arrangement to hand him over to prosecuting government agency.

However, Justice Ojukwu adjourned to May 15 and urged the applicant’s counsel to ensure that hearing notice on the main suit is issued and served on time on the first to third respondents.
 


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Saibu Ogunmola
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