The Federal High Court in Abuja has been urged to halt the activities of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) accused of harassing private companies in Kogi State and extorting them, claiming to be working for the presidency.
The request is contained in a suit by a firm, BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Limited, which claimed that the NGO – Pan African United Youths Development Network (PAUYDN) and its officials invaded its premises in Ajaokuta, Kogi State and compelled its management to part with N2million.
The suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/69/2021, filed by BN Ceramics, through its lawyer, Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), has the Incorporated Trustees of PAUYDN, Habib Mohammed and Magaji Muazu Ahmed (two of the group’s officials) as respondents.
BN Ceramics, in the fundamental rights enforcement suit, stated the group wrote twice – January 5 and 12, 2021 about a supposed courtesy visit, without the company agreeing to such a visit.
The applicant stated that its officials were taken unawares on January 20 this year when the respondents “unlawfully invaded its factory/premises located at 148 Itobe, Ajaouka, Kogi State and shut down the factory for four hours, which led to a huge loss of income.”
BN Ceramics said when its enquire about the respondents’ mission, they claimed to have “received a petition against the applicant, and consequently, they were sent by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to make enquiries as to the accusations contained in the petition.
“The respondents demanded the sum of N10million from the applicants, and threatened that they would release false statements against the applicant and shut down the factory/operations of the applicant if it failed to meet their demand.
“The respondents, before their departure, requested that the applicant should remit to them 10% of its monthly profit, and threatened that failure to comply with their demands would lead to the complete shutdown of the applicant’s factory.”
BN Ceramics further stated that the respondents, who compelled it to part with N2m, have threatened to return should the applicant failed to meet their demands.
The applicant, among the many reliefs sought, is praying the court to declare the respondents’ invasion of its factory as a violation of its fundamental rights. It wants the court to order them to return the N2m they collected.
BN Ceramics, while praying for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from further harassing and invading its property, wants the court to order the respondents to pay it N10m “as exemplary damages for the wanton and grave violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights.”
The suit filed on January 25 is yet to be assigned for hearing.
Credit: The Nation