Court gavel justice source: file copy

Management staff of the Merchant Navy Maritime Academy Limited, old Remo Polytechnic, Ado Olomitutu, Ewu Oluwo in Sagamu, Ogun State have sued the Nigerian Navy at a federal high court in Lagos for breach of their rights.

The applicants are Captain Bola Nuga, Commander Lateef Sanni Ajao, Pa Olufemi Adesioye, Mr Akinyemi Odebiyi and Merchant Navy Maritime Academy Limited.

While the respondents are former Director of Intelligence, Western Naval Command NNS Beecroft, Captain Ajang Pitrus; Inspector-General of Police; Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone II, Onikan, Lagos; Directorate of State Service(DSS); Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command; Commissioner of Police, Ogun State Command; the Area Command, Igbeba Area Command, Ijebu Ode; Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Igbeba Area Command, Ijebu Ode, Segeant Wasiu Tijani and IPO, Zone II Area Command, Onikan, Lagos, SUPOL Akinade Oginjo.

In the application filed through their counsel, Chief Olusegun Raji, the applicants are asking for N250 million from the first and second respondents and N100 million from third to 11th respondents as general damages for the unlawful breach of their rights, losses and injuries suffered from alleged invasion, unlawful arrest, detention and arraignment of the first to fourth applicants.

When the matter came up before Justice Chuka Obiozor last week, none of the respondents was represented.

Justice Obiozor ordered that the respondents be put on notice and adjourned the matter to January 9, next year for hearing.

The applicants, in their originating motion, are seeking from the court an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from violating their rights, harassing and molesting then in relation to the academy.

The applicants sought a declaration of the court that their detention by the third and fourth respondents from January 14 to January 24, 2011 at Zone II Police Command, Onikan, on the instruction of the first and second respondents were illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional as it violated their rights under the 1999 Constitution and Article 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.

They are also seeking a declaration of the court that the threat and attempt to make further arrest and detention of the applicants and their students (cadets) by the respondents made through an officer na ed Eha, phone number 07064880164 on July 5 and 8, this year in their new base at old Remo Polytechnic, Ado Olomitutu, Ewu Oluwo, NMS OBJ Base, Sagamu Command, Ogun State is illegal.

They sought an order restraining the respondents and their agents from further harassment in respect of the academy.

In the affidavit in support of the originating motion, Commander Ajao deposed that by virtue of Federal Republic of Nigeria official gazette No 23 volume 74, dated April 30, 1978, the Nigerian Merchant Navy is recognised by the Federal Government and that by virtue of the Corporate Affairs Commission certificate of incorporation with RC 887512 dated May 18, 2010, the Merchant Navy Maritime Academy is registered by the laws of the country.

He contended that the establishment of the academy was an initiative to actualise the goals of the Nigerian Merchant Navy to ensure the security of Nigeria’s territorial waters, members at sea and generation of national income and opening up vast employment opportunities for Nigerians.

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