By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN – A suit brought against the Chief of Army Staff, Inspector-General of Police and Major Malife Akpogun by 41 members of Otuo Neigbourhood Watch, Otuo in Owan East local government area of Edo State seeking to enforce their fundamental human rights has suffered a setback.
It would be recalled that the 41 members of the group were arrested at Otuo during the April 2011 general elections for alleged electoral malpractice and were taken to Abuja on the order of the police authorities before they were granted bail on the order of the court.
When the case came up for mentioning Wednesday in Benin, Counsel to the Army Chief of Staff and Major Akpogun,Gen. Don Idada Ikponmwen(rtd) told the court that processes in the suit were served on his clients on April 12 while the matter was fixed for April 13, 2011.
He added that following this development his clients briefed him late.
He further told the court that he has filed a motion for extension of time, a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court in entertaining the suit and reply to the petitioners’ suit.
Responding,Counsel to the petitioners, Usunobun Evbayiro did not object to the motion for extension of time. He however asked for N10,000 as costs, but Justice Efe Ikponmwonba granted N5,000 costs against the defendants and adjourned the case to August 1, 2011 for hearing.
They had filed the suit to challenge their alleged illegal detention and enforce their fundamental human rights.