By Robert Egbe
A Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed a suit by a businessman, John Obi, seeking N100 million in damages from the Inspector-General of Police and a firm, Suntory Beverage and Food Ltd.
Justice Ayokunle Faji held that Obi’s claims lacked merit.
He also dismissed the claimant’s prayer for a declaration that his alleged arrest and detention between June 6 and 7, 2018, by the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, was unlawful and violated the Constitution as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The judge further declined Obi’s application for an order compelling the police to refund the N6,350,000, he claimed to have been forced to pay as his bail and part of his debt settlement with Suntory Beverage and Food.
Obi, through his counsel Mrs. Funmi Falana, of Falana and Falana Chambers, had claimed that he was arrested at his business place and detained without warrant by the police at the instance of the firm.
But the judge heard testimony from the police through its counsel, Morufu Animashaun, that Obi was neither detained nor tortured.
It also received evidence from the firm through its counsel, Dipo Torhukerhijo, that Obi owed N83 million, failed to pay and, after several demands, issued dud cheques, following which the police were invited to investigate him.
“There is thus no evidence that indeed, applicant was detained from 6th June, 2018 to 7th June, 2018. The facts actually show that he was not, contrary to his own position, detained….
“The allegations of being beaten by hardened criminals does not also to my mind hold water….”, Justice Faji held.