Businessman Sues IGP, Others For Declaring Him ‘Wanted’

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A businessman, Musa Saliu, has dragged the Inspector General of Police before a Federal High Court in Abuja, for falsely declaring him as a wanted person in a land dispute.

 

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Afam Osigwe

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

In the suit filed on Friday, a copy of the documents obtained by our correspondent, on Sunday, the applicant through his lawyer, Femi Motojesi, wants the court to declare that a police publication of his picture and name in the Special Police Gazette bulletin as a wanted person with Ref No: CB: 3510/LX/FHQ/SEB/ABJ/T.7/Vo. 1/20 amounted to the violation of his fundamental rights.

 

Listed in the suit marked CV/2839/24, are the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department and Funmilola Olorunfemi, as first to third respondents respectively.

 

Saliu, in the suit, contended that the police lacked the powers “to engage in the act of debt recovery for the 3rd respondent (Olorunfemi) who is a subscriber to the applicant’s (Saliu’s) estate under construction.”

According to Saliu, who is also a politician and former New Nigeria Peoples Party governorship candidate in the 2023 election in Kogi State, the dispute arose after Olorunfemi paid N25 million to subscribe to one of his houses being built but work paused after the FCT Department of Development Control demolished the estate.

 

He said afterwards, that Olorunfemi invited the police to recover her money even after he had notified all the subscribers to the estate that he was making efforts to resolve the issue and return to the site.

The aggrieved Estate developer faulted the police for their actions in a fundamental rights enforcement suit brought pursuant under sections 34, 35, 41 and 46; articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

 

He asked the court to order the police to issue an apology to him which should be published in the Special Police Gazette bulletin and two national dailies.

 

He argued that the dispute between him and Olorunfemi is civil in nature and has no criminal connotation to warrant the police involving themselves in it and inviting him for questioning, blocking his account and publishing his picture and details as a wanted person in the Police Gazette bulletin.

 

On this note, he is demanding the sum of N500 million in damages for the violation of his constitutionally guaranteed rights to privacy and dignity of the human person, personal liberty, and freedom of movement when the police declared him wanted.

 

Saliu also urged the court to “order the police to unfreeze the account number 1000129689 with Globus Bank belonging to Emperor City Integrated Limited where he is the alter ego and signatory for being a violation of his fundamental rights”.

 

No date has been assigned for the hearing.

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