The owners of a multi-billion Naira modern market and mall operated by Blue Boulevard Limited can now heave a sigh of relief after a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ordered the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to vacate the premises of the shopping centre after it forcefully barricaded it.
Justice Hillary Oshomah, gave the order in his judgment ordering the Air Force to vacate the mall which is located within the NAF Base in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in an application for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the applicant in suit number: FHC/PH/FHR/71/2017.
Mr. Peter-Kings Osunde, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Boulevard Limited had dragged the Nigerian Air Force Properties Limited, to court in suit number: FHC/PH/FHR/71/2017, for forceful barricading of its main entrance at Market Junction, Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt, on Aprill 11 by personnel of the 115 Special Operation Group, Nigerian Air Force, Port Harcourt.
After the counsel and the court registrar reported their findings, the presiding judge said; “The report of all the parties confirms that res of this suit is under invasion by fierce and weird military personnel who would not allow the court official and even their own counsel access into the premises even though their own counsel duly introduced himself.
“It is beyond any iota of doubt that the defendant has taken laws into its hand by resorting to self-help. This conduct of the defendant is most condemnable and highly deprecated and should not be tolerated in any civilised society.”
The presiding judge also issued a perpetual injunction restraining the Nigerian Air Force Properties Limited and its agents and officers from further barricading the gate and within the premises of the firm.
He said in the judgment order: “It is hereby declared by the order of this honourable court, that the continuous stay of the armed men of the 115 Special Operation Group, Nigerian Air Force, Port Harcourt at the main entrance of the second applicant’s gate and within its premises on the order of the respondent is ultra vires, null and void and beyond the statutory duties of the respondent.
“That the continuous stay of the armed men of the respondent is wrongful, unlawful and unconstitutional as it violates the applicants’ fundamental right of freedom of movement, right to own property and right to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 34, 35 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“The respondent is hereby directed to immediately withdraw its men stationed at the main gate and within the premises of the second applicant at NAF Base, Market Junction, Rumuomasi, Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondent by itself, through its agents, officers and privies from further barricading the gate and within the premises of the second applicant at the aforementioned place.
“By way of consequential order of this honourable court, the respondent, it’s agents, servants, privies and or anybody of whatsoever either acting on its behalf or stead is by order of this honourable court restrained from indulging in any act or conduct which is likely or capable of undermining, frustrating, stifling or calculated or capable of rendering nugatory the attainment and/or benefits of prayers 1, 2, 3 and 4 granted the applicants by this honourable court,” the judge added.
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