The Chairman of Platform Capital, Dr. Akintoye Akindele has dragged the
Inspector General of Police (IGP) and four others before the federal high court in Lagos for alleged detention beyond the constitutional limit.
Also joined as defendants in the suit are the Nigeria Police Force 1st (Respondent), Summit Oil International Limited (3rd Respondent), Dr. Zulikat Wuraola Abiola (4th Respondent), Duport Energy Limited (5th Respondent) , and Mr. Oluwatosin Odusanya (6th Respondent).
In a fundamental rights suit brought pursuant to Section 35(1), 36, 41(1) and 46(1) of the Constitution, filed by his lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), the applicant is seeking for an order
mandating the the Nigerian Police, the Inspector General of Police (1st and 2nd Respondents) to immediately release him, having been continuously incarcerated him for a period more than 96 (Ninety Six) hours after his arrest.
The Applicant is also seeking for an order of perpetual Injunction restraining the Respondents, whether by themselves, agents, servant privies or any other person acting on or purporting to act on the Respondents’ instructions or otherwise from further detaining or harassing the Applicant or otherwise violating the Applicant’s Fundamental Human Rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, and African Charter on Human And Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2004.
The applicant is also seeking for “a declaration that it is not the statutory function of the Nigerian Police and the Inspector General of Police to act as a debt recovery agent and extract payment terms from the Applicant on contractual obligations between the Applicant and the 3rd to 6th Respondents.
“A declaration that the continuous detention of the Applicant by the 1st and 2nd Respondents constitutes a gross violation of the Applicant’s right to personal liberty and freedom of movement and therefore contrary to section 35 and 41(1) constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Articles 4, 5, 6, and 12(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN, 2004.
“A declaration that it is not the statutory function of the 1st Respondent to surreptitiously oppress the Applicant and abuse its powers in contempt of judicial process in order to overreach the proceedings in the various pending litigations over the management control of Duport Midstream Company Limited where the Applicant holds 73.9375 per cent shareholding through his company.
“A declaration that it is not the statutory function of the Police to surreptitiously oppress and/or misuse its powers to harass and intimidate the Applicant under the guise of investigation of the alleged offence of fraudulent diversion of funds and other undisclosed allegations.
In a 62-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Adebanjo Ojedapo, a litigation
Manager in the law firm of B.A. Law LLP, Counsel to the Applicant, he stated that, the Applicant is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream Company Limited, a company engaged in the business of refining crude oil and selling/supplying refined oil and gas products to downstream oil companies.
According to the deponent, by a Product Sale Agreement dated 11th October, 2017 and an Addendum thereto dated 12th October, 2018, Duport Midstream Company Limited contracted the 3rd Respondent for supply of crude oil for the operation of its Energy Park situate at Egbokor, Edo State.
He stated that the 3rd Respondent has failed, refused and neglected to perform on its obligations under the agreement by failing to keep up with the supply of crude oil.
He stated that due to the failure of the 3rd Respondent to perform on its obligations under the Product Sale Agreement to supply crude oil to the Energy Park, Duport Midstream Company Limited incurred losses and could not get feedstock.
He stated that by a Notice of Claim for Shortfall in Supply of Condensate dated 3rd September, 2021, the Applicant’s company, Duport Midstream Company Limited claimed against the 3rd and 4th Respondents the sum of $9,806,309.77 (Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Dollars, Seventy Seven Pence) for shortfall the company suffered due to the the 3rd Respondent’s failure to supply crude oil as contracted.
That further to the above, the parties met severally and reconciled the outstanding amounts owed by both sides with the 3rd Respondent owing Duport Midstream Company Limited the sum of $9,806,309.77 (Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Dollars, Seventy Seven Pence) as at August 2021.
That the Parties agreed that the said sum would be satisfied by the 3rd Respondent by awarding the Duport Midstream Company Limited 20 percent discount off the purchase price of gas supplied to the latter subsequently.
He added that due to the perpetual failure of the 3rd Respondent to supply Duport Midstream Company Limited’s Energy Park with crude oil, the Applicant, in his capacity as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream Company
Limited sought alternative crude supply to enable the company carry out its mandate.
Dissatisfied with the Applicant’s action, the 3rd and 4th Respondents, by a letter dated 2nd June, 2023 claimed that Duport Midstream Company Limited is indebted to the 3rd Respondent in the sum of $5,732,407.14 (Five Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Seven Dollars, Fourteen Pence).
Consequently, Duport Midstream Company Limited responded by a letter dated 16th June, 2023 highlighting the fact that the 3rd Defendant is equally indebted to the former in the sum of $21,829,019.96 (Twenty-One Million, Eight Hundred twenty Nine Thousand, Nineteen Dollars and Ninety Six Pence), after the initial loss of $9,806,309.77 (Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Dollars, Seventy-Seven Pence) as at August 2021 had risen over the years.
That by the above referenced letter, Duport Midstream Company Limited demanded a set off of the claimed $5,732,407.14 (Five Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Seven Dollars, Fourteen Pence) against its (twenty One Million, Eight Hundred Twenty Nine Thousand, Nineteen Dollars and Ninety-Six Pence) and payment of the balance of $16,096,612.82 (Sixteen Million, Ninety-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Twelve Dollar and Eight-Two Pence) within 7 (Seven) days of receipt of the said letter.
That the 3rd Respondent and the 4th Respondent failed, neglected and refused to act upon the said letter.
He stated that prior to the above, the 3rd to 6th Respondents, in concert with Mrs. Mobolaji Kuku and Dr. Oladipo Adeniyi, Chairman Board of Directors and director of Duport Midstream Company Limited respectively, have been disrupting the activities of Duport Midstream Company Limited, thereby making it impossible for the latter to reach its commercial goal.
He added that the ultimate goal of the 3rd to 6th Respondents, in concert with the aforesaid Mrs. Mobolaji Kuku and Dr. Oladipo Adeniyi is to wrestle the management control of Duport Midstream Company Limited from the constituted management by mounting pressure on the Managing Director/Chief Execute Officer, the Applicant herein to cede management control.