Further hearing in the N500 million damages suit slammed on the Comptroller-General of Customs and other officers of the service at Seme Border Post by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council suffered a setback on Wednesday as the case was adjourned until Nov. 14.
A Federal High Court in Lagos had adjourned the case earlier scheduled for continuation of trial on Wednesday. Newsmen report that no reason was given for the rescheduling of the case as other cases listed for hearing also suffered the same fate.
The NUJ had filed the suit on behalf of Yomi Olomofe, a Badagry-based journalist, who was allegedly assaulted and brutalised by some officials of the Nigerian Customs Service in the course of performing his lawful duty.
The council is seeking the enforcement of his fundamental rights to life, freedom of expression and the press.
Joined in the suit are the then Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Abdullahi Diko Nde, the Seme Area Controller of Customs, Mr Muhammed Ndalati, and a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Mr Emmanuel Nkemdirim.
Others are Ibrahim Turaki, an Assistant Comptroller at Seme, and four other men– Sam Madubueke alias “Big Sam of Ibiye”, Suleiman Momoh alias “Basket”, one Elijah and Shehu. At the last adjournment, a medical practitioner, Akintayo Akintoba, had told the court that series of medical examinations were conducted on the battered journalist, Olomofe.
Akintoba, who was called as a second witness, gave oral evidence in support of the plaintiff. The plaintiff (Olomofe) and his lawyer were in court, but they left disappointed that the trial could not progress.
NAN also reports that the journalist is claiming N500 million as damages for the assault he suffered at the Customs Border Post at Seme near Badagry. Olomofe is also asking the court to declare that the respondents infringed on his right to life as guaranteed by Section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
In addition, he wants the court to declare that the assault unleashed on him in the course of discharging his professional duties and obligations constituted an infringement on his rights to freedom of expression and the press.
11 October, 2017