Court relists suit over Funsho Williams’ death

Williams PHOTO:

Williams PHOTO:

A FEDERAL High Court, Lagos yesterday granted a motion to relist a suit seeking to re-open investigations into the murder of the former governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Engineer Funsho Williams.

The suit was filed by a local politician, Bashir Junaid, who was detained over the murder of Funsho Williams had gone to the court seeking for an order of mandamus to compel the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to re-open investigations into Funsho Williams murder.

He listed the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and ten others as defendants.

However, the case suffered a set back when the judge struck it out on April 29, 2015, for want of diligent prosecution.

Dissatisfied with the ruling of the court, Junaid, through his counsel, Tunji Adesheye, filed a motion seeking to relist the matter.

The motion was brought pursuant to Order 26, Rules 1, 2(1), (2), 3, 4, 6, 7(1), 18 and 20 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) 2009 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

Arguing the motion, Adesheye informed the court that his client had effected personal service of the concurrent writ of summons on the defendants that are outside the jurisdiction.

The trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia had earlier granted leave to the plaintiff to effect personal service of the concurrent writ of summons in the suit on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) by substituted means.

Other defendants aside Tinubu are the former IGP, Sunday Ehindero, Attorney General of the Federation and the PDP. They are the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th defendants in the suit. Others are Dr. Muiz Banire, Mr. Babatunde Edu, Mr. Dele Alake and Henry Oladele Ajomale.

It was the inability of the plaintiff to serve the defendants as directed by the court that led to the striking out of the suit.

Adesheye then urged the court to grant the motion in the interest of justice saying the defendants will not be prejudiced in anyway whatsoever.

However, counsel to the 1st and 4th defendants, Kingson Uwandu, was opposed to the motion on the ground that the plaintiff is yet to pay the N25, 000 fine placed on him by the court when the matter was struck out.

He said it is improper for the plaintiff to seek favour from the court when he has failed to comply with its directive.

When asked by the court on when the order for the payment of the money was made against the plaintiff, Uwandu said he could not remember because he was not with the case file.

The judge eventually granted the plaintiff’s request seeking to relist the matter.

Justice Ajumogobia, infuriated by Uwandu’s failure to come to court with the case file also went ahead to vacate the order for N25, 000 payment that was made against the plaintiff.

She thereafter adjourned the matter to September 29 for further hearing.

In the suit, the applicant is praying the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation, to direct the appropriate organs in the Criminal Justice Administration in the country to commence prosecution of the alleged suspects in the murder of Engineer Funsho Williams.

He is also praying for a declaration that all defendants in the suit should pay him compensation for his illegal detention and the psychological trauma he suffered for a period of over one year under the unmitigated actions of the defendants both jointly and severally and for their acts of commission and omission over the said illegal detention and his unlawful incarceration over the murder of Williams.

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