Alleged Invasion: Court adjourns case against military, CDS, others, awards N50,000 fine

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The Federal High Court, sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Thursday, awarded a cost of N50,000 against the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Defence Staff in the ongoing fundamental rights case against the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Attorney General of the Federation as Respondents by a Niger Delta Activist and Lawyer, Festus Daumiebi Sunday.

Recall, that DAILY POST, recently reported that Igbomotoru 1 & 2 communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, were invaded by the military in search of the hoodlums responsible for the killing of 17 soldiers in Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Applicant, Festus Daumiebi Sunday, whose country home is Igbomotoru I community, approached the court for alleged invasion and destruction of properties worth hundreds of millions of Naira.

Daumiebi, through his team of legal practitioners led by Professor 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 enter an appearance either in person or through Legal representation or file any processes in response to the Applicant’s claims.

Angered by the unprovoked and flagrant disrespect of the court by the Respondents, the court in its last sitting on the 11th of June, 2024 ordered that hearing notices be served on the Respondents for one more time and if they still ignored the court for this one more time, the court shall be moved to hear the originating application of the Applicant for the enforcement of his Fundamental Rights.

Surprisingly, the 1st and 3rd Respondents entered appearance through a legal practitioner and pleaded with the court for sixty days time grace to enable them file their responses.

The application was, however, vehemently opposed by the lead Applicant’s counsel in court, Affinih Egbegi who is also a former Attorney General of Bayelsa State.

In its ruling, the court ruled that all Respondents to the suit must file and serve their responses and pay the accrued penalties to enable the Applicant to respond and accordingly adjourned the case to the 19th of July, 2024 for hearing of the Originating Application with the cost of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) against Nigerian Army and the Chief of Defence Staff in favour of the Applicant.

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