Businessman Accuses Police, Lagos Ministry Of Rights Violation Over Children’s Custody

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A Lagos-based businessman, Solomon Nwadiogbu, has accused the police and the state Ministry of Youths, Sport and Social Development of allegedly violating his fundamental human rights.

Nwadiogbu alleged that the police, the ministry and some other persons were part of a ploy to unlawfully award custody of his two children to his estranged wife, Cynthia Adamu.

The businessman, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, alleged that the respondents had on several occasions laid siege to his home and offices with the claim of having a court order awarding custody of the children to their mother.

Apart from the police, the estranged wife and the ministry, other respondents in the suit filed before Justice Chuka Obiozor are the Inspector-General of Police; Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Commander, Area ‘J’, Ajiwe, Gbolahan Mudashiru; Divisional Police Officer, Ajah Police Station, Oluwashola Oke; Divisional Police Officer, Ogombo Police Station; Alhaja Aramide Alaka (Human Rights Section, Ajah Police Station); and one Inspector Moses Beleyede.

In a written address in support of the motion on notice, Nwadiogbu alleged that the respondents caused him mental torture, violated his rights to liberty, dignity and freedom of movement and caused him loss of revenue over the battle for the custody of his children.

Nwadiogbu, in his amended affidavit in support of the application, stated that he married Cynthia in 2005 and the union was blessed with two children, adding that they lived in their house at the Victoria Garden City till 2013 when the marriage went south.

He added that he left the home for peace to reign and moved to a hotel on Victoria Island, where he spent six years due to threat to his life, and subsequently filed for divorce, but withdrew same in the spirit of reconciliation after meetings with her family.

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He claimed that in his absence, his children, despite his wealth and generous payment for their upkeep, were “starved and made to hawk gala, pure water and noodles in Victoria Garden City,” adding that he subsequently secured the custody of the children.

Nwadiogbu, however, claimed that the police were threatening him with arrest and unlawful detention despite not committing “any offence known to the law,” adding that the ministry and task force officials had been blocking the entrance to his property.

He further averred, “I am scared for my life and that of my children. My children cannot go to school, attend public functions and church for fear of being kidnapped or forcibly held hostage against their will.

“Despite me paying N2.5m yearly as school fees for my children, they cannot concentrate on their private studies for fear of some unknown persons, who want to take them. I have been downgraded to a guard protecting the children physically and psychologically…no ministry or government agencies as of date have invited me or the children for interview or examination.”

Nwadiogbu sought a declaration of the court that there was no legal basis for the respondent to continue to threaten, intimidate and harass him with arrest and detention based on the complaint of his estranged wife.

He also sought the declaration of the court that the continuous threat to arrest and detain him was an attempt to forcefully take his children against their will to their mother; a declaration of the court that the police lack jurisdiction over the matter between him and his estranged wife, and their intervention in the matter was unethical, unprofessional and a gross abuse of public office.

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The businessman also prayed the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further harassing him and an order compelling the 1st and 4th-8th respondents to tender a public apology in a prominent national newspaper for the humiliation, embarrassment and public opprobrium caused to him

The respondents are yet to file their defence.

Justice Obiozor adjourned the matter till January 11, 2021 for hearing.

Punch

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