Court adjourns suit challenging deportation of Igbos

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday adjourned hearing till February 10, 2015 in a suit filed by seven persons deported by the Lagos State Government.

The plaintiffs are Joseph Aniebonam, Osondu Mbuto, Osondu Agwu, Nnenna Ogbonna, Emily Okoroariri, Friday Ndukwe and Onyeka Ugwu.

They filed the suit on behalf of themselves and 76 others against the Lagos State Government, claiming the sum of N1 billion as damages for breach of their fundamental rights.

Joined as respondent are the Attorney-General of Lagos State and Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.

The case could not be heard when it resumed due to a notice of preliminary objection filed by the counsel to the plaintiff.

When the case was called, Leo Nbu, counsel to the plaintiff, informed the court that a notice of preliminary objection had been filed.

Mr. Nbu, holding the brief of Ugo Ugwunnadi, told the court that he had also filed a counter affidavit which he had just served on counsel to the first respondent.

Olubola Akinsete, counsel to the first respondent, confirmed receipt of the plaintiff’s processes.
Consequently, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, adjourned the suit to February 10, 2015 for hearing of all pending applications.

The plaintiffs in their motion want the court to declare that they, as Nigerian citizens, were entitled to their fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution.

They are seeking a declaration that their arrest and detention in Lagos in July 2013 and their subsequent deportation to Anambra, on July 24, 2013, for no offence, amounted to a breach of their
fundamental rights.

The plaintiffs also want the court to compel the respondents to tender a written apology to them and publish same in three national newspapers continuously for 30 days for gross violation of their
constitutional rights.

They also want an order directing the Lagos State Government to re-integrate them in the state and grant perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their agents and officers from deporting
or refusing them free entry into Lagos State.

In addition, the plaintiffs are claiming the sum of N1 billion as damages from the respondents jointly and severally as general damages for breach of their rights.

Meanwhile, the LASG in its counter-affidavit contended that the deportation was not borne out of malice, but out of genuine intention to reunite the people deported with their families.

The state government further averred that the applicants were only assisted by the government to join their families when they pleaded that they had no homes, relatives or businesses in Lagos State. (NAN)


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  • amazing2012

    Igbo and money ! What about other tribes that have been deported ? So Igbos have the right to become nuisance and not get deported. By deporting them, our Lagos state government actually help them with free transportation !! Igbos they don’t know peace in their life, cursed race !!

  • Tonnero

    I agree with the deported people in this case even though their claim of N1bn (almost N15m per person) is ridiculous. No government, whether local, state or federal, has any right to violate the constitution and get away with it even if it was done with “good” intentions. Unfortunately, Igbos who are pressing this case are also the ones who are quickest to deny others their rights, support impunity, support the issuance of separate ID cards for Northerners in the SE and support the massacre of the innocent in the atrocities caused by Nigerian soldiers in the NE. But the law does not say you should be denied justice simply because you support injustice. It also does not say constitutional violations against you are OK even if you do not subscribe (as Biafrans don’t) to the same constitution you claim has been violated.

    • Otile

      Essentially, what you are saying is that Igbo People are in no-win situation in continent Nigeria. If you deport them, they have themselves to blame. If they try to separate from their oppressors and you kill them it is also their fault for trying to avoid being wiped out. Where can they get justice in one Nigeria? Must they continue to suffer injustice, plunder of their resources without any federal presence in their land simply because of their race?

      The Jews suffered similar treatments at the hands of their cruel oppressors, in-fact at one point there was a plan to wipe them out in Germany. They did not give up or succumb to the wishes of their sadist oppressors. They rather regrouped and resolved that never again will their oppressors feed vultures with their bodies or tolerate vagrant abuses anywhere on God’s earth. With God on their side oppressors can no longer take the Jews for a ride anywhere. This is true.