Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed March 28, 2015 for ruling in the suit filed by Associate Editor of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Ebere Wabara, and his colleague, Chuks Onuoha, over alleged breach of their fundamental rights by the Nigeria Police.
Wabara had sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Abia State Chief Magistrate, Mr. John Ukpai and the Attorney General (AG) of Abia State, Umeh Kalu, over his abduction by the police from Lagos to Abia State on the orders of the state government.
According to Wabara in the rights enforcement suit, he was abducted from his Surulere, Lagos home on March 28, 2014 by men of the Abia State Police Command, who later took him to Umuahia in handcuffs. After his release on bail, on March 29, 2014, at 10.15p.m, Wabara had to go to the hospital for treatment due to the ordeal he went through while in custody of the police. However, his ill health did not stop the police from slamming him with 10-count charge bordering on seditious publications against the person of the Abia State governor, Theodore Amaefule Orji.
The police secured a bench warranty against him and his surety, Chuks Onuoha due to his absence in court. At the resumed hearing of the matter , Abia State AG informed the court that he had filed a preliminary objection against the suit and that the same application has been served on the applicants.
After both parties had adopted their written addresses, the trial judge fixed the date for ruling/ in the suit, at the resumed hearing of the suit. The AG of Abia State asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
However, after listening to the submissions of both parties, Justice Abang said the court would look at both the suit and the preliminary objection filed by the respondents together and rule.
The judge said that if he discovered in his findings that the respondents’ preliminary objection was valid, he would dismiss the applicants’ suit accordingly but if not, he would give ruling on the applicants’ suit.
Wabara is asking the court to pronounce that the warrant of arrest upon which the Police acted to arrest him was invalid.