Posted on 20th Oct 2016 by adebayo
– A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama has dismissed the suit against the former spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Olisa Metuh, wife and aide
– The court ruled that the plaintiff – British Nigerian Academy, its vice principal and teacher failed to establish its case against the respondents
– The judge in her ruling said the school and its staff failed to provide sufficient evidence against the respondents
A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja has delivered judgement on the case against a former national publicity chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh, his wife Kanayo and one of their security aide Oche Gambo.
In his judgement on Thursday, October 20, Justice Folashade Ojo ruled that the plaintiffs failed to establish a prima facie case against the respondents.
The judge dismissed the N500 million suit against the three respondents.
In 2011, the management of British Nigerian Academy, a school Metuh son, Derrick formerly attended, its staff – the vice principal Kola Pele and a teacher Hamzat Maftau filed a suit against the trio.
The plaintiff in their N500 million suit accused Metuh, his wife and aide for allegedly forcing themselves into the school premises on February 19, 2011.
The trio were also accused of assaulting two staff of the school who had ceased a mobile phone belonging to the son of the former PDP’s spokesperson.
The suit with suit number FCT/HC/CV/4248/2011 claimed that Kanayo, her son during a visit to the school brought a mobile phone for Derrick.
A staff of the school Amauche Igbe had also alleged that she saw Derrick give his phone to some other students in the boys’ hostel – an act which the school said violates its regulation.
Igbe was said to have seized the phone.
The school and its staff further said that Metuh, his wife and some police officers stormed the school premises demanding the release of the phone.
It was also alleged that the police officer assaulted Pele and Maftau for not releasing the mobile phone.
The plaintiffs in their prayers sought the relief of the court to award a N500 million damage against the defendants.
A breakdown of the damages reads: N150 million as special and general damages for assault, harassment, intimidation, mental pain, severe humiliation and injury to the person and personal integrity of Pele and Maftau; N100m for exemplary damages for trespass and unlawful entry into the school premises and N250m aggravated damages for grave injury caused to the commercial reputation and protective integrity of the school.
However, Justice Ojo in her ruling said the school and its staff failed to provide sufficient evidence against the respondents.
She also said that the school failed to tender into evidence, its claim (a newsletter) that it is unlawful for its students to use mobile phones.
Justice Ojo also held that the only inference to be drawn from the failure of the plaintiff to make such evidence available to court would be because its content did not support their case.
The judge further said that even where it was the plaintiffs case that the incident of assault occurred in the presence of some school staff, students and their parents, the plaintiffs failed to call some of those, who they claimed witnessed the incident.
“It was a staff of the 1st plaintiff (Miss. Amauche Igbe) that seized the phone from the 2nd defendant and handed over same to the 2nd plaintiff. The said Miss. Amauche Igbe did not testify in this case and no reason was given for her failure to testify.
“In the face of the denial of the plaintiffs’ case by the defendants, I am of the view that the failure of the plaintiffs to call any other witnesses is very fatal to their case.
“In the present circumstance, I am of the view that the plaintiffs have failed to prove, by preponderance of evidence, that they were assaulted by the defendants on the day in question,” Ojo said.
“The alleged misconduct of the defendants, which allegedly brought pains, harassment, etc to the plaintiffs has not been proved.
“In conclusion, I find that the plaintiffs have failed to prove their case against the defendants and same is dismissed in its entirety,” she added.
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