Court orders Army, CDS to pay N50,000 for contempt

The Federal High Court, Yenagoa, has ordered Army authorities to pay N50,000 for contempt.

This was for failing to appear in court for a hearing on the ongoing fundamental rights violation case instituted against the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Attorney General of the Federation by a Niger Delta activist and lawyer, Festus Daumiebi.

The court awarded the cost of N50,000 against them after they failed, neglected and refused to either enter appearance either in person or through legal practitioners or file any processes in response to the applicant’s claims.

Recall that in the aftermath of the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuoma in Delta State, soldiers in search of the alleged perpetrators raided Daumiebi’s country home in Igbomotoru I, Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State

The applicant alleged that his home was invaded and properties worth hundreds of millions of naira were destroyed by men of the Ist to 3rd respondents on March 30 and May 31, respectively.

Daumiebi, through his team of legal practitioners led by Prof. O. F. Emiri (SAN), had instituted a N20.4 billion special and exemplary damages suit against the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defence Staff and the Attorney General of the Federation for the unlawful invasion of his country home and subsequent destruction of his property.

However, despite being served with the appropriate court processes on three consecutive occasions, the respondents failed, neglected and refused to either enter appearance, either in person or through legal practitioners or file any processes in response to the applicant’s claims.

Angered by the flagrant disrespect, the court, in its last sitting on June 11, ordered that hearing notices be served on the respondents one more time, and if they still ignored the court, the court shall be moved to hear the originating application for the enforcement of Daumiebi’s fundamental rights.

Surprisingly, the 1st and 3rd respondents entered appearance through a legal practitioner on July 4, 2024 and pleaded with the court for sixty days to enable them file their responses, an application which was vehemently opposed by the lead applicant’s counsel, Affinih Egbegi, who is also a former Attorney General of Bayelsa State.

In a ruling, Justice Isa Dashen ordered that all respondents to the suit must file and serve their responses and pay the accrued penalties to enable the applicant to respond.

The court adjourned till July 19, for hearing of the originating application.

The post Court orders Army, CDS to pay N50,000 for contempt appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

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