24th May, 2013
A Nigerian Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday fixed 25 June to hear an application filed by Chief Debe Ojukwu, for alleged breach of his fundamental human rights.
The applicant, who is the first son of Late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, had filed the suit on 5 October 2012, seeking an order of the court to restrain 10 respondents, from threatening his life. The respondents are: Prof. Joseph Ojukwu, Emmanuel Ojukwu, Lotanna Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu, Patrick Ojukwu, Patricia Ojukwu and Magaret Ojukwu.
Joined in the suit are the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Muktar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Anambra State, Mr Mike Okoli.
Justice Okon Abang fixed the date for hearing Ojukwu’s application, after counsel representing second to eight respondents, Mr George Uwechue (SAN), had orally applied to regularise his processes.
Uwechue informed the court that he had filed a counter affidavit and written address, in response to the applicant’s processes, which he said had been served on the applicant, and prayed the court to allow him make some amendment.
Abang granted Uwechue’s prayers, and adjourned the case for hearing of the applicant’s substantive application.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the applicant in his originating motion sought a declaration that the flagrant threat to his life by the respondents, amounted to a violation of his rights.
He averred that since his birth as first and eldest surviving son of the deceased, he had been poorly treated by his family.
“I was trained solely by my mother until I was compelled by circumstances, to join the Nigeria Police Force in 1976. I was doing so well in the Police Force, when the respondents, beckoned on me to come back and manage Ojukwu Transport Ltd, owned by Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu (now deceased)’’ he said.
The applicant averred that he had managed the venture effectively with his expertise, until the death of his father when things began to fall apart with him.
He said he was suddenly informed by the respondents, to hands off the Transport Company, which he had been handling so well.
“They used me to savage the company that had become moribund and wasting and later resolved to dump me’’ Ojukwu averred.
He said that as a result of this, he filed a suit to challenge the proposed acquisition.
“When my father died, I traveled to London to confirm the situation, but before I returned to Nigeria, the first to fourth respondents had taken over my father’s house. They took the task of organising a befitting burial for the deceased, a duty which is traditionally the function of the eldest son,’’ he said.
The applicant further averred that he was later invited for a meeting by the respondents, during which they warned him to cease interference in the transport company and to withdraw the suit in court, or be killed.
He averred that they employed the services of the ninth and tenth respondents to continuously harass and threaten him.
Ojukwu said he was also excluded from performing the dust-to-dust funeral rites during the burial of his father.
He is, therefore, claiming the sum of N100 million as exemplary and punitive damage against the respondents for violation of his fundamental rights enshrined in Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).