Lagos – A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday struck out a suit filed by Chief Debe Ojukwu over alleged breach of his fundamental human rights by his siblings.
The applicant, who averred that he is the eldest son of the late Chief Odimegwu Ojukwu, had filed the suit on Oct. 5, 2012 to enforce his rights.
He sought an order to restrain them from threatening his life and asked for N100 million as exemplary damages.
Joined in the suit as respondents are Prof. Joseph Ojukwu, Emmanuel Ojukwu, Lotanna Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu, wife of Ojukwu; Patrick Ojukwu, Patricia Ojukwu and Margaret Ojukwu.
Others are the Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Muktar and Deputy Commissioner of Police in Anambra, Mr Mike Okoli.
Delivering his judgment on Friday, Justice Okon Abang struck out the suit on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.
The judge held that the suit was liable to be struck out as it did not follow the procedure.
“The applicant should not have brought this suit under the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, but as a proper action.
“In the circumstance, this court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The case is accordingly struck out for want of jurisdiction with no order as to cost, I so hold,” Abang said.
Ojukwu had in an affidavit averred that since his birth as the first son of the late Ojukwu, he had been unfairly treated by his family.
According to him, the respondents had invited him to come and oversee Ojukwu Transport Company owned by their late father.
He said managed the company effectively until the death of his father when things began to fall apart for him.
The applicant said he was suddenly informed by the respondents to hands off the company.
Ojukwu said he refused to step down as manager of the company, but filed an action in court to challenge his siblings.
He claimed that since he instituted the suit the respondents had been using the police to threaten his life and persuading him to withdraw the suit.
Ojukwu added that as a result of the suit, he was also denied the right as the eldest son to perform the traditional dust-to-dust rite for his father.
Counsel to the respondents, Mr George Uwechue (SAN), in his counter-affidavit, had urged the court to dismiss the applicant’s suit, describing it as an abuse of court process.
Uwechue argued that the applicant was merely “making a mountain out of a mole hill’’and urged the court to strike out the suit for lack of merit. (NAN)