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Court to hear suit on ‘assault’ of journalist by customs

Court to hear suit on ‘assault’ of journalist by customs
February 23
12:07 2016

A federal high court in Lagos fixed March 21 to hear a suit filed by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) seeking redress over an alleged assault of Yomi Olomofe, one of its members.

The NUJ filed the suit on behalf of Olomofe in December 2015, through its counsel, Adelayo Banjo of Jiti Ogunye chamber.

It is seeking N500 million in damages for Olomofe who was allegedly battered at Seme border post of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on June 25, 2015.

The NUJ says Olomofe was badly treated and his rights grossly abused.

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Also, Olomofe is also asking the court to declare that the defendants, in beating and causing him internal injuries, infringed on his right to life “as guaranteed by Section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”.

He also asked the court to declare “that the beating, in the course of discharging his professional duties and obligations, constituted an infringement on his rights to freedom of expression and the press as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution”.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, five of the nine respondents in the suits – the NCS, comptroller-general of customs; Muhammed Ndalati, Emmanuel Nkemdirim, and Ibrahim Turaki, all staff of the NCS, were represented by a lawyer.

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The rest of the respondents had no representation.

Abdulazeez Anka, the presiding judge, ordered that all the nine respondents in the case be served with court papers before hearing commences on March 17.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Banjo, told the court all the respondents had been served. The judge said there was no evidence and insisted all respondent be served before hearing commences.

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