A High Court in Benin, has ordered the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command to pay Mr. Omoruyi Ogundezi and six others, N140m as damages for the unlawful seizure of their vehicles.
The order is sequel to a suit brought before the court by Ogundezi and others against the CP and the Divisional Police Officer at the Igarra Police Station, in Akoko Edo Local Government Area.
Our correspondent gathered that the vehicles were seized during the State House of Assembly re-run in Akoko Edo in 2009.
Justice J. O. Okeaya-Inneh, in his ruling, said the seizure of the vehicles amounted to an infringement on the plantiffs fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
Ruling on the application, Okeaya-Inneh said the role of the judiciary in the sustenance of democracy was not in doubt as the constitution vested in it, the powers to check the legislative and executive branches.
He said, “Whereas there was affidavit-evidence by the applicants, there was no counter-affidavit by the respondents, even when they were served with all the processes in the suit.”According to him, the respondents either had no defence or were simply not interested in its outcome, “an indication that the applicants facts deposed in the affidavit are true, being unchallenged, uncontroverted and undisputed.”
The court further ruled that the CP and the DPO should release the applicants’ vehicles to them forthwith.