By Adebayo Adeoba
In what appears like utter disregard of court order, Automatic Fits and Energy Limited through its lawyer, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police over an alleged roles played by men of the Nigeria Police, Lagos State Command, in the invasion of its business places across Lagos State and manhandling of its workers by Police officers believed to be acting on instruction by Total Nigeria PLC.
In a copy of the petition made available to journalists titled: Unlawful Invasion, Disruption of Business Activities and Resort to Self Help, By Total Nigeria PLC Through the Instrumentality of Men and Officers of the Nigeria Police, Lagos State Command. The petitioner whose case with Total PLC is still pending in court wondered why the defendant would take laws into its hands even when the court is yet to hear the substantive suit.
The petitioner had dragged the defendant to court over a breach of some contractual agreements on 17 January, 2019.
However on 25 January, 2019 the court granted the petitioner an interim injunction restraining the defendant from evacuating the petitioner from lube bays assigned to it nationwide pending hearing and determination of the suit.
The case was adjourned to 16 October this year for further hearing.
According to the petitioner, the defendant jettisoned the court order by conniving with Police officers who arrested its staff at various lube bays in Lagos state.
“Regardless of the order of Honourable court mentioned above and the pendency of the substantive suit before the honourable court which has been adjourned to 16th October 2019, Total Nigeria Plc took law into its hands by conniving with the Nigeria Police, Lagos state command to instigate and effect the unlawful arrest of our client’s staff in the lube bays it manages across Lagos State. In the process, our client’s tools and equipments worth millions of naira were thrown out, thereby causing irreparable damage to them.
Our client’s staff were manhandled, battered and handcuffed like a common criminal in the open glare of the customers and the general public thereby infringing their fundamental human right to dignity of their person as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended without justification” the statement reads.
The petitioner pleaded to the police boss to launch detailed investigation into the matter and bring erring party to justice to serve as deterrence to others.
The company also condemned the action of Total PLC for disregarding the laws of the land and trampling on the right of law abiding citizens.