Hearing of the suit filed by a British citizen - Mr Khomeini Bukhari against Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) before Honourable Justice Kolawole, has been adjourned to November 20 for the hearing of the Preliminary Objection filed by the IGP. In the objection, the IGP is asking the Federal High Court to strike out the matter on the grounds that he was not responsible for the alleged libel and that the action is statute barred.
It will be recalled that Mr Bukhari had on the 25th of May 2012 instituted action against the IGP claiming the following reliefs:
- A DECLARATION that the failure, omission, refusal and neglect of the Defendant and his officers to investigate the report made to them on the 31st of October 2011 by the Plaintiff concerning the robbery incident involving some police officers working under the Defendant on the 29th day of October 2011 at the Millennium Park F.C.T Abuja amounts to a tortious breach of a statutory duty to investigate crime to the detriment of the Plaintiff.
- AN ORDER of mandamus compelling the Defendant to investigate the report made by the Plaintiff to his office on the 31th of October 2011 concerning the robbery incident of 29th October at the Millennium Park F.C.T Abuja involving some police officers and make public the outcome of the investigation.
- A DECLARATION that the statements widely published by the print media on or about the 7th of December 2011 which is credited to Mr Jimoh Moshood, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigeria Police Force which is under the operational superintendence of the Defendant and within which jurisdiction the robbery incident occurred concerning the Plaintiff that:
No policeman was posted on duty to the place on the day in question, adding that the information given by the Briton was incoherent and has no bearing with what is known in the Police hierarchy in FCT.
“The man only wants to embarrass us. We were wondering what he could be doing at such a place by 6.00 pm in the evening alone and no other person was in the entire vast park. We have also asked him to come forward to give a statement but he refused, saying he has travelled.
“The first time the man came, he looked unkempt and untidy and from his physique and the incoherent manner of his statements, it seems he is not in his best frame of mind. I suspect he only wants to embarrass us but we have commenced investigations into his complaints. When we post policemen on duty in the evenings, we give them torchlight but the man said none of them had a torchlight.”
And the Force Public Relations Officer that he could not understand why the Plaintiff was carrying about a huge amount of cash or money are malicious and defamatory of the Plaintiff.
d. N1.5 million being the N200,000 and the cost of the wrist watch taken from him by Samuel Ekpah and Daniel Marcus, two police officers under the operational command of the Defendant who accosted the Plaintiff in the course of their duties.
e. The sum of N1 billion (one billion naira) as exemplary and aggravated general damages for the injury suffered by the Plaintiff as a result of the tortious breach by the Defendant of the duty to perform his statutory duty to investigate the robbery incident of 29th October 2011 and malicious and libelous publication against the Plaintiff.
f. Public apology to the Plaintiff for the libelous statements credited to the Public Relations Officer of the Defendant concerning the Plaintiff to be published in three National dailies circulating in Nigeria.
g. AN ORDER of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant, his agents, servants, associates and privies howsoever so described and by whatever means from further publishing the libelous statements in so far as they concern the Plaintiff.