Demolition: Abuja shop owners ask court to jail FCT minister, others for contempt

ed federal capital territory fct high court x
ed federal capital territory fct high court x

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Abuja shops owners have asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Abuja, to commit the Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello, Blizzard Nigeria Limited and four others to prison for invading their shops with armed policemen with the intention to demolish same in flagrant disobedience to orders of the court.

Other persons cited in the contempt proceedings are Bashir Musa Hamza; Hussaina Musa Hamza; Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu.

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The rest are Federal Capital Development Authority(FCDA); Abuja Markets Management Limited and Abuja Investment Limited.

The motion seeking the committal of the affected persons to prison was filed by counsel to the shop owners and a former Attorney General of Imo State, Chukwuma Ma-Chukwu Ume, SAN, pursuant to section 72 of the Sheriff’s and Civil Processes Act, Cap 551; order ix rule 13 of the Judgment Enforcement rules.

The suit marked FCT/HC/CV/066/2022 was instituted against the defendants by Olugbenga Odubayo, Alfred Eigbefoh, Martins Okwuolisa, Mrs Susan Ogo Chinyere and Jinifa Allied Ltd, for themselves and as representatives of the tenants/allottee of the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja.

They are seeking an order of the court committing Blizzard Nigeria Limited, Bashir Musa Hamza; Hussaina Musa Hamza; Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu” to prison and/ or to pay fine for contempt, having: disobeyed the specific orders of this court made on February 14, 2022, in respect of the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this Suit.

Ume told the court that the contemptor, ‘having been served with the court processes, particularly the writ of summons with an injunction stating: “Take Notice that all parties all parties in this suit are to maintain status-quo,’ yet went ahead to tamper with the “res”

And or also having become aware of the pendency of this suit yet illegally took steps, illegally engaged and illegally encouraged the armed officers and men of the Nigeria Police to meddle with actions disrespecting the dignity of the court by continuously invading with teargas and live ammunitions the premises the 38 shops at the Zone 3 shopping complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this suit.

An order of this court directing that the said persons mentioned (i. e. Blizzard Nigeria Limited, Bashir Musa Hamza, Hussaina Musa Hamza, Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu) to fully disclosed under oath the Police Command from where and the particulars of all the armed officers and men of the Nigeria Police who have continuously invaded with teargas and live ammunitions the premises the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this Suit.

They are equally seeking an order of the court directing that the said persons mentioned (ie Blizzard Nigeria Limited, Bashir Musa Hamza, Hussaina Musa Hamza, Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu) and all the armed officers and men of the Nigeria Police (who have continuously invaded with teargas and live ammunitions the premises the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this Suit) shall remain in prison until such a time they purge themselves of their inglorious contempt of the court.

An order of the court refusing to hear and determine all the processes filed by the 5th Defendant ie: It’s Counter Affidavit and the accompanying written address dated February 16, 2022, and filed on February 17, 2022, in opposition to the Claimants/Applicant Motion on Notice filed on January 13, 2022.

Motion on notice dated February 16, 2022, and filed on February 17, 2022, to set aside, until such a time 5th Defendant purge itself of its inglorious contempt of this Hon Court.

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An order of the court directing that the said persons mentioned (ie Blizzard Nigeria Limited, Bashir Musa Hamza, Hussaina Musa Hamza, Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu) and all the armed officers and men of the Nigeria Police (who have continuously invaded with teargas and live ammunitions the premises the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this Suit) shall, after duly purging themselves of their inglorious contempt of this Hon Court, give an undertaking on Oath that they shall never do any contemptuous acts as:

Disobeying any specific Orders of this Hon Court made on the 14th day of February 2022 in respect of the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this Suit or any Order of that kindred.

Having been served with the Hon Court processes particularly the Writ of Summons with an injunction stating, ‘take notice that all parties all parties in this suit are to maintain status quo’ never to go ahead to tamper with the “res”.

And or also having become aware of the pendency of this Suit never to illegally take any steps or illegally engage or illegally encourage the armed officers and men of the Nigeria Police to meddle with actions disrespecting the dignity of the Court by invading with teargas and live ammunitions the premises the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this suit.

The contempt proceedings are predicated on the grounds that this Hon Court made an Order of interim injunction on February 14, 2022, restraining the Defendants, particularly 4th and 5th Defendants either by themselves or their agents, privies, assigns or howsoever described from trespassing or interfering with the Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse with its appurtenances pending the hearing and determination of the Claimants/Applicants’ motion on notice filed in this suit.

The Order of Court and the other originating processes filed in this suit was duly served on all the Defendants including the 4th and 5th Defendants.

The 5th Defendant through its directors (Bashir Musa Hamza, Hussaina Musa Hamza) and in conspiracy and or in conjunction with Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu, after having been served with said Order and or becoming aware of the pendency of the Suit, caused with the aid of armed officers and men of the Nigeria Police (who have continuously invaded with teargas and live ammunitions the premises the 38 Shops at the Zone 3 Shopping Complex, Wuse, Abuja with its appurtenances, subject matter of this Suit) work to be carried out on the res in defiance of the order of the court and has continued till the time of filing this Motion.

Despite having served 5th Defendant, its directors and agents, as well as Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu with Civil Forms 48 & 49 Consequences of disobedience to Court Order, has remained adamant. The 5th Defendant/Respondent has equally filed a Motion on notice praying this Hon Court to vacate the said Order while disrespecting it at the same time.

The 5th Defendant/Respondent through its directors and in acting in concert with Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu has continued to disobey the Order of this Hon Court made on the 14th February 2022.

The 5th Respondent, its directors and agents as well as Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu have persistently disobeyed the Order of interim injunction made by this Hon Court with impunity even after service of same as well as the Civil Forms 48 and 49 on them.

Peter Odumegwu and Ethel Odumegwu fully aware of the pendency of this Suit encouraged 5th Defendants its officials to flagrantly disdain the Hon Court and its processes using the Nigerian Police Force officers and insisted nothing will make them respect and obey the Court Order or such processes made in this Suit.

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