An Abuja Federal High Court has fixed January 31, 2013 to hear an Application for Amendment of the Originating Summons, as well as the Notice of Preliminary Objection, in the suit filed by British national - Khomeini Bukhari compelling Nigeria’s Inspector General (IG) of Police - Mohammed Abubakar to pay him N1bn as damages.
Bukhari is claiming the damages for the alleged failure of the police authorities to investigate his complaint that two police officers robbed him at the Millennium Park in Abuja on October 29, 2011.
The court, presided by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, granted the adjournment after the police said it has not received the plaintiff’s process for the Application for Amendment of the Originating Summons. The defendant also pleaded for time to react to the application.
The Briton is also claiming the N1bn as exemplary and aggravated damages for a press statement in which the Federal Capital Territory police command cast doubts on the complaint.
However, in a preliminary objection he filed in the court, the Police Inspector General asked the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that he was not responsible for the alleged libel and that the action was statute barred.
In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, the Briton claimed the police authorities not only failed to investigate his complaint, they made “malicious and libelous” statements against his person.
The contentious statement was credited to the Public Relations Officer of the FCT police command, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, on or about December 7, 2011.
In the said statement, the FCT police command not only doubted Bukhari’s claims that the two policemen, Samuel Ekpah and Daniel Marcus, robbed him, it also insinuated that the plaintiff was of unsound mind.
The FCT police command, in the statement, wondered why the plaintiff was carrying about a large sum of money, and accused him of trying to embarrass the police.
Besides the N1bn he is asking for as damages, the plaintiff also asked the court to order the IG to pay him N1.5m being the combined value of the N200,000 cash and the N1.3m Breitling wristwatch the policemen allegedly collected from him.
Bukhari also asked the court to order the IG to publish a public apology to him in three national dailies, for the statements credited to the PPRO of the FCT police command concerning his complaint.
He is also asking the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining the IG, his agents, servants, associates and privies from further publishing the “libelous statements” concerning him.