Commercial Law

Chinese firm sues youth group, demands N102m damages for invasion, extortion

By Olalekan Awojodu

Abuja

A Chinese company, BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Ltd has sued the Incorporated Trustees of the Pan African United Youths Development Network, and two others who allegedly forcefully invaded its premises and extorted the sum of N2 million.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit against the youth group, BN Ceramics also joined Habib Mohammed and Magaji Muazu Ahmed who allegedly participated in the invasion of its premises in Itobe, Ajaokuta, Kogi State on January 12 2021.

In the application brought by its counsel, Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), BN Ceramics contends that the action of the defendant is a breach of their fundamental rights to fair hearing, and to acquire moveable and immoveable property in accordance with sections 34 (1), 35 (1), 37, 43, 44 (1), and 46 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 as amended, Articles 4, 6 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The company is demanding an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further harassing it and/or invading its property, and an order directing it to return the N2 million unlawfully acquired from it on the January 20, 2021.

The company further wants the court to order the respondents to tender a public apology and pay it adequate compensation of N100 million for the blatant violation of its fundamental rights as enshrined in sections 34 (1), 35 (1), 37, 43, 44 (1) and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, Articles 4, 6 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The company further requested “that the unlawful restriction and unlawful search of the Applicant’s factory/premises situate at No. 148, Itobe, Ajaokuta, Kogi State, without warrant or lawful reason by the 1st Respondent, 2nd Respondent and 3rd Respondent on the 20th of January, 2021 is illegal, unlawful, wrongful and constitutes a blatant violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights as enshrined in Sections 34 (1),35 (1),37,43,44 (l)and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, Articles 4, 6 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP A9Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

A declaration that the acts of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents by
conniving together and unlawfully extorting the sum of N2, 000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) from the Applicant on the 20thday of January, 2021 by threats, harassment and intimidation is illegal, unconscionable and constitutes a flagrant violation of the Applicants Fundamental right to own and acquire properties constitutionally guaranteed under Sections 43 and 44 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999as amended.

A declaration that the demand by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents on
the Applicant to pay 10% of the monthly earnings of the Applicant to them monthly, to provide a bus & an ambulance and to pay the sum of N 10, 000,000.00(Ten Million Naira) to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents before they retract the unlawful invasion, restriction and siege placed on the Applicant’s premises/ factory is illegal, unlawful, wrongful and constitutes a violent violation and breach or is likely to constitute a violent breach of the
Applicant’s fundamental right as enshrined in Sections 34 (1),35 (1),37,43,44 (l)and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, Articles 4, 6 & 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP A9 Laws of the Federation
of Nigeria, 2004.”

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing.

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