Telecoms CEO demands N500m for ‘unlawful arrest, detention’

By AdvocateNews on 08/10/2020

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A TELECOMS expert, Adegoke Ayoola, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Police to pay him N500million for unlawful arrest and detention.

Mr. Ayoola prayed the court to declare his arrest and detention from September 3 to September 10, in Ondo State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja respectively, as illegal, null and void.

He is also seeking an order to restrain the police, whether by themselves or through others, from setting the law against him in respect of civil matters, an order to preserve his liberty and life, as well as to forthwith release the international passport of the Applicant to him, amongst others.

He is contending that by virtue of Section 8 (2) of the Adminstration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and Section 32 (2) of the Police Act, 2020, the police cannot arrest any citizen for contractual or civil matters.

In a suit he filed on Monday, October 5, through human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Ayoola alleged that the police was directly aiding and abetting his opponents to take over his company and commercial interests.

The defendants in the suit are: Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Force Criminal Investigation and Investigation Department (FCID), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Funmi Eguaoje, who is the police team leader, SC Connections Ltd, Mr. Ali Joda, Mohammed Bashir Ahmed, Taiwo Abiodun, Sulaiman Abubakar and Moses Pila.

In a 58-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, Ayoola stated that he formed a partnership with some businessmen to handle telecoms interconnections between telecoms operators, with a profit ratio of 58/42 percent.

He said he ran the company as its Managing Director from 2010 until sometime in July 2019, when he travelled abroad for medical check up and some of his partners claimed to have held an ‘illegal’ board meeting to remove him as a signatory to the bank accounts of the company.

Mr. Ayoola stated that he filed Suit No. FHC/L/CS/29/2020 at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, challenging decisions purportedly taken at the said Board meeting.

He alleged that instead of defending the suit in court, his partners formed an alignment with some Police officers in Abuja, through a frivolous petition, leading to his arrest on September 3, 2020 and his subsequent detention for seven days in Abuja, with other suspects who had “no face masks, no sanitizers and were not observing any COVID 19 safety protocols.”

He alleged that while he was in their custody, the police forced him to agree to settle with his opponents, who were allowed to take over his interrogation and interview, and all the while dictating to the police and demanding documents from him.

He said being 61 years old, with underlying health conditions, he is scared for his health and that the police were deliberately surrendering their powers to his opponents to harass, intimidate and bully him into yielding his interests, investments and years of labour, to them.

It is part of the his case that his opponents have allegedly boasted openly to him that they were well connected with the law enforcement agencies, and have vowed to use their connections even up to the Presidency, to deal with him and to force him to relinquish his interests in the business to them.

In a personal letter addressed to the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Adegboruwa urged the IGP to call the team handling the case to order to obey the civil authority and integrity of the court.

Other reliefs being sought in the suit include:

A Declaration that the Respondents are not entitled in law to compel the Applicant to submit to them or anyone of them or otherwise forcibly take custody of any of the Applicant’s documents which are to be used for prosecution of Suit No FHC/L/CS/559/2020 already pending in Court.

An order directing the Respondents to forthwith cease and abstain from applying for a remand order against the Applicant over matters pertaining to civil transactions.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

Posted 08/10/2020 04:23:38 AM


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