Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos, has adjourned till February 23 further hearing and ruling on motions before the court in a N500 million special and exemplary damages suit filed on behalf of a Badagry-based journalist, Yomi Olomofe.
Olomofe was allegedly assaulted in the premises of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Border Area Command on June 25, 2015.
At the resumed hearing of the Lagos NUJ suit, the court held that “February 23rd 2017 is fixed for all further hearing on the motion permitting oral evidence to clarify the conflicts in the counter affidavits, and motion for extension of time, pending before the court and a ruling on same”.
The Lagos State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists had in January 2016 instituted a fundamental human rights infringement suit against the Comptroller-General of Customs; the Seme Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Garba Ndalati; Deputy Comptroller, Emmanuel Nkemdirim and Assistant Comptroller Nuru Ibrahim Turaki.
Also joined in the suit are leaders of a notorious smuggling cabal led by one Sam Madubuike, Suleimon Momoh, Shehu and one Elijah.
The Lagos NUJ is also praying the court to grant orders affirming the brutal assault on Olomofe at the behest and in the presence of the aforementioned customs officials and their alleged collaborators as an infringement on Olomofe’s right to life, freedom of expression and the press.
It will be recalled that following the brutal attempt on the life of Olomofe in public by members of the Seme Border smuggling cabal led by one Suleimon Momoh (aka Basket) and Sam Madubuike, the leadership of the NUJ in a January 2016 press briefing addressed by its National President, Waheed Odusile, had warned that, “The NUJ will no longer take lightly any act of lawless and impunity against any of its members across the country.
“We will, in this particular instance of the criminal attempt on the life of Olomofe by people that have been identified, prosecute this criminal infringement to a logical conclusion to serve as a deterrent to others who are in the habit of taking laws into their own hands. We will not allow this case to be swept under the carpet.
“The union’s lawyers have, in this regard, therefore, been directed to institute stringent legal processes against Olomofe’s assailants and their state actors sponsors.”