Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned till February 23, further hearing and ruling on motions before the court in a N500 million special and exemplary damages suit filed on behalf of a Badagry based journalist, Yomi Olomofe, who was allegedly assaulted in the premises of the Nigerian Customs Service, Seme Border Area command on the 25th June 2015.
At the resumed hearing of the Lagos NUJ suit, the court held that “February 23rd 2016 is fixed for further hearing on the motion permitting oral evidence to clarify the conflicts in the counter affidavits and motion for extension of time, pending before the court and a ruling on same”.
The Lagos State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) had in January 2016 instituted a fundamental human rights infringement suit against the Comptroller-General of Customs, The Seme Customs Area Controller Mohammed Garba Ndalati, Deputy Comptroller Emmanuel Nkemdirim, Assistant Comptroller Nuru Ibrahim Turaki.
Also joined in the suit were leaders of a notorious smuggling cabal led by one Sam Madubuike, Suleimon Momoh, Shehu and one Elijah.
The Lagos NUJ is also praying the court to grant orders affirming the brutal assault on Olomofe at the behest and in the presence of the aforementioned Customs officials and their alleged collaborators as an infringement on Olomofe’s right to life, freedom of expression and the press.
Recalled that following the brutal attempt on the life of Olomofe in full public glare by members of the Seme Border smuggling cabal led by one Suleimon Momoh (aka Basket) and Sam Madubuike, the leadership of the NUJ in a January 2016 press briefing addressed by its National President, Waheed Odusile had warned that, “NUJ will no longer take lightly, any act of lawless impunity against any of its members across the country”.
According to him, “We will, in this particular instance of this criminal attempt on the life of Olomofe by people that have been identified, prosecute this criminal infringement to a logical conclusion to serve as a deterrent to others who are in the habit of taking laws into their own hands. We will not allow this case to be swept under the carpet.”
“The union’s lawyers have, in this regard therefore, been directed to institute stringent legal processes against Olomofe’s assailants and their state actors sponsors”, Odusile had said then.