Delta State High Court 1, sitting at Ughelli, on Thursday January 11, 2023, presided by Hon. Justice A. A. Onojovwo has adjourned suit against the Police Service Commission, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police Delta State, Ughelli Area Commander and Inspector Godspower, over unlawful detention of Toyota Rav4 car belonging to Mr Bidemi Omiunu to February 7, 2024.
The suit with no: UCH/FR/266/2023, was brought by Mr E.O.Erhirhi Esq, Counsel to the applicant, Mr Omiunu Bidemi for arresting and detaining his Toyota Rav4 with registration no: FST 263-EG, on November 21, 2023.
Joined in the suit as defendants were the Police Service Commission, the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Wale Abass, Ughelli Area Commander, Ademola Adebayo and Inspector Godspower, a police officer and team leader, Inspector General of Police, IGP, Monitoring Squad.
The applicant had in his petition through his counsel, demanded for a N100M compensation, the unconditional release of his Toyota Rav4 car with registration no: FST 263-EG, Engine no: 2AZ2715452, Chasis no:JTMBD33V976049906, a Gold Rolex Wrist Watch worthing $8,000 and the sum of N250,000 kept at the pigeon hole of the car.
Listed as number 12 on the court list, 1st -5th defendants absent but they were represented by the OC legal, Michael Iyeh, while the applicant absent was represented by E.O. Erhirhi Esq.
Counsel to the 1st to 5th defendants, Michael Iyeh, while addressing the court disclosed that there are moves for settlement out of court in respect of the matter which was not objected by applicant counsel.
The judge, Hon. Justice A.A. Onojovwo in his ruling, adjourned case to February 7, 2023, for a report of settlement by both parties.
While reacting to the ruling, Mr E.O Erhirhi, counsel to the applicant said, “We agreed for settlement but if the vehicle is not released and our terms are not met, we will proceed for hearing.”
Mr Omiunu Bidemi, a business man based in Delta state who had earlier briefed newsmen in December 2023, said “On November 21st, I sent my driver, Mr Johnson Oghenebrume on an errand and on his way back, he was stopped by a group of men in a plain black clothes armed with guns.
“When my driver alighted from the car to inquire about them, they introduced themselves as Police Officers attached to the IGP monitoring team. They took the key from my driver despite the fact that the vehicle documents were with him.
“I saw them while driving the opposite direction and one them sitting on the driver seat and on seeing my driver I beacon on him to know what the problem was and to my ought most surprise, they jumped into my vehicle, their Sienna and sped off without letting us know where they are taking the car to.
“We tried to follow them but the way they drove my car look like they are kidnap syndicates. It was after we saw some police officers attached to Otu-Jeremi division, whom I narrated my ordeal to that confirm their identity as police officers.
“They took my vehicle the Rav 4 Jeep with registration no FST 263EG, Engine no away with the sum of N250, 000, that I was to used in paying my workers and a gold Rolex Wrist Watch valued at $8,000, when conveyed to naira is about N9,000,000 that were in the pigeon hole(Safe Box) of my car.
“It took my lawyer three days precisely on November 23,to finally locate the car at Ughelli Area command and when he met with the police officer, Inspector Godspower who led the team to release the vehicle, he refused and insisted on seeing me and the driver.
“He told my lawyer that he is not answerable to any police officer except for the Inspector General of Police and with the people I saw on that day, I cannot go to them because my life and that of my driver is very important.
“I sent Police officers attached to the Ughelli Area Command, whom I contacted to him to release the vehicle, he blatantly refused and repeatedly stated that neither the Delta State Commissioner of Police nor the Area Commander can order him to release the car to except the IGP.
“How can a police officer who is not answerable to Commissioner of Police, an Area Commander be situated at Ughelli Area Command.”?
“I have suffered economic hardship and currently traumatized emotionally and physically as my cattle ranching has suffered loss of revenue the past two weeks due to the absence of my car which I do use to network with my customers within and outside Delta State.
“I want the court to compel or order the 5th respondent, Inspector Godspower (surname unknown) the 5th Respondent Inspector Godspower, who is acting under the authority, control and supervision of the 1st-4th respondent to unconditionally release my car, Gold Rolex wrist watch worthing $8,000, N250,000 in one thousand naira denomination, and pay a N100, 000,000, (One Hundred Million Naira) as compensation.
“I have suffered untold economic hardship and currently traumatized emotionally and physically as my cattle ranching has suffered loss of revenue the past two weeks due to the absence of my car which I do use to network with my customers within and outside Delta State.