By: Valentine Adese,
A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has adjourned for judgment, the suit No. FHC/J/CS/7/2017 filed by Mr. Benjamin Justin against the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) for the enforcement of his Fundamental Human Right.
“But, it shall be ready when I come back, God willing” she added.
You would recall that Mr. Benjamin had dragged the FRSC to the Federal High Court by way of a Motion on Notice, brought pursuant to Sections 34(1)(9), 44(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009 seeking the Court to:
1. Declare that the act of beating/assaulting him by the men of the FRSC was unlawful, null, void and a violation of his right to dignity as a person.
2. Declare that the act of compulsory taking possession of his car (Peugeot 307, with plate No. AH 772 MGU) by the men of the FRSC was unlawful, unconstitutional and of no effect whatsoever.
Mr. Benjamin Justin is also seeking an Order of Court directing the FRSC to release his car (Peugeot 307, with plate No. AH 772 MGU) to him forthwith and also an Order, directing the award of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) to him as general damages.
In his affidavit in support of his Motion on Notice before the Court, Mr. Benjamin Justin, has averred in part as follows:
1. That on the 2nd day of April, 2016, at about 11.00am, I, along with my friend Jerry Eche, were coming back from where we used to go and play football as St. Murrumba College, Jos and the men of the Respondent (FRSC) stopped us along Dogon Karfe, Jos, Plateau state and asked us to clear off the road and show them our driver’s license.
2. That after we cleared off the road and I showed them my driver’s license, the Road Safety Officer also demanded to see our fire exstingusher, the papers and triangle, which we showed him all.
3. That the Road Safety Officer told us to give “his own” and when we asked him what he meant by “his own”,he told us that he will not eat papers and as such, we should give him N200.00, before he will allow us to go.
4. That I requested that he should give me back my driver’s license and allow us go as I have perfected all that is required of me by Law.
5. That when I told the man to give me my driver’s license, he told me that he will teach me a lesson I will not forget in a hurry.
6. That the Road Safety Officer went and collected a booklet from his fellow colleague and wrote a fine for me to go and pay before he will release my driver’s license to me.
7. That when I open the paper he gave me for the fine, I discovered that he wrote my name and a penalty that we failed to move over. The paper is hereby attached to the Affidavit and marked as EXh. “A”.
8. That I went and kept the paper in my ca, at the pidgin hole where I kept other particulars of my car with the sum of N43.000.00 and went to meet another Officer to explain the situation to him, as we were fined over an offence that we did not commit. As we were explaining to his colleague, the Officer who stopped us and collected my driver’s license, came and said since we are reporting him to his subordinate , it means the fine is not sufficient to us and as such, he will add another one for us because of the act of disrespect done against him.
9. That he went and open the car, removed the paper which he wrote the fine on and also carried away my N43, 000.00, which I kept in the car. As if that is not bad enough, he added another penalty for us that we assaulted a Marshal Officer, whereas, no officer was even insulted by us not to talk of assaulting him.
10. That we pleaded with the officer to give me the money and also give me back my driver’s license but, he refused and stated further that since I refused to do a banquet that would have only cost me a chicken, I must under compulsion, do another one now, which will cost me a calf.
11. That he removed my car plate number and asked us to go.
12. That all my efforts to get back my money and my driver’s license have proved abortive.
13. That I went and reported the matter to the Police at Anglo Jos, Police Station and the Police Officers told me to go and report the matter to the Provost of Road Safety in Jos at Zaria Road, since they are also Law enforcement agents.
14. That when I went to the Road Safety Provost at Zaria Road, I explained to him what happened between me and his subordinate at Dogon Karfe and how he took my N43,000.00 away with my driver’s license and my plate number. After I finished the explanation, the man (the provost) called his boys and they started beating me in the presence of other people, who were there to resolve issues pertaining to their vehicles. They gave their reason(s) for beating me that I lied against an Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
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