MMS Plus Drags IGP, Dangote Refinery, 6 Others To Court

Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba

…Demands N100m compensation for unlawful arrest

The Editor-in-Chief of Money Management Series (MMS) Plus Newspaper, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke has instituted a civil case against the Inspector General of Police, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, Onikan Lagos, Lagos State Police Commissioner and five others, over alleged violation of his fundamental human right, unlawful arrest and harassment.

Consequently, he is seeking the sum of 100 million Naira as damages against the Respondents for joint and several violation of rights to human dignity and freedom of expression. Meanwhile, the case comes up for mention on January 26, 2022 at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Other defendants are, the Nigeria Police Force, DCP Umar Y. Shelleng and SP Thomas Magaji (Zonal CID); Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Mr. Anthony Chiejina (Dangote Group).

Anaroke in the Suit No FHC/L/CS/1444/20 dated October 18th 2021, said the eight defendants severally and collectively impugned his rights and human dignity to express himself, and violated his press freedom to carry out his reportorial duty as a journalist.

The deponent further prayed for an order restraining the Respondents, their agents, servants, privies or any other person acting on their behalf, from arresting or from further attempting to arrest and/or detain the applicant in connection with the story published by the Applicant’s employer, subject matter of the instant application.

In an affidavit deposed to by him, Anaroke claimed that his rights was severally abused through unlawful invasion of his office in addition to subjecting him and staff of MMS Plus newspaper to harassment; whereas, he is asking the court to award a compensation of N100 million in damages against the eight respondents/defendants.

In the originating summons, Anaroke through his Counsel, David Nwanze, Esq of J.U Eze Legal Practitioner, who is a representative of the Media Rights Agenda(MRA)sought the following reliefs: That the invasion of the headquarters of Kings Communications Limited, publishers of MMS Plus newspaper in which the applicant is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief, by officers of the 1st-6th Respondents at the instance of the 7th and 8th Respondents with a view to arresting the applicant over the story published by the applicant’s employer, without any lawful order or warrant from any court whatsoever, is unconstitutional and a violation of the applicant’s fundamental right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Humans and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

That the threat, harassment and intimidation of the Applicant by the officers and men of the 1st -6th Respondents at the instance of the 7th and 8th Respondents over the story published by the Applicant’s employer is unconstitutional and a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental right to dignity of human person as guaranteed by Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); and Article 5 of the African Charter on Humans and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

That the Applicant is entitled to damages as a form of compensation for the violation of the Applicant’s right to dignity of human person and freedom of expression and press.

The plaintiff prayed for a declaration that the invasion of the headquarters of Kings Communications Limited, publishers of Money Management Series (MMS) Plus newspaper in which the applicant is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief, by officers of the 1st-6th Respondents at the instance of the 7th and 8th Respondents with a view to arresting the Applicant over the story published by the applicant’s employer, without any lawful order or warrant from any court whatsoever, is unconstitutional and a violation of the applicant’s fundamental right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Humans and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

He also sought a declaration that the threat, harassment and intimidation of the Applicant by the officers and men of the 1st -6th Respondents at the instance of the 7th and 8th Respondents over the story published by the Applicant’s employer, is unconstitutional and a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental right to dignity of human person as guaranteed y Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); and Article 5 of the African Charter on Humans and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

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