By Correspondent in Lokoja.
Magistrate I.B. Obaka of Chief Magistrate’sCourt, Lokoja, Kogi State has ordered Commissioner of Police in kogi state to release, with immediate effect, an articulated vehicle he impounded for over two months to the owner.
He gave the order in his ruling in a motion filed and argued before him by a Kogi State-based businessman, Alhaji Abubakar Oba-Suleimon,through his Counsel, Mr Nyenke Joseph.
Obaka wondered why the police continued to keep in their custody the impounded truck for more than two months over what they also concurred to be a “minor accident” it was involved in.
The Magistrate noted that the complainant had, in his affidavits of urgency, argued that vehicle which was bought on “high purchase” was truly involved in a minor accident during where no life or property was lost, “yet the police didn’t counter those facts.”
“Whether or not this application can be granted, the supreme Court’s position is that,sufficient evidence must be put in place which must be accompanied by facts for the Court to use it’s discretion.
“It’s a known fact that the vehicle was bought through high purchase, and that the same vehicle was involved in a minor accident. These are facts which the respondent didn’t counter in their counter affidavit.
“Instead, the police claimed that they are still carrying out investigations, even for more than two months after they impounded the truck and intended to keep it in their custody till God knows when.
“Such posture runs contrary to the Inspector General of Police (IGP’s) order on June 7 that, police commissioners across Nigeria should clear all impounded vehicles in police custody on the ground that police premises should not be used as junkyards as it was the case,”he said.
Obaka said that it was indeed been established that the continued impoundment of the truck was causing huge losses to the complainant as contained in the affidavit of urgency.
The magistrate said that since September 9, when the truck was impounded, it was enough time for the police to have concluded their investigation on the said “minor accident” truck was involved in.
“Consequently, this honourable Court holds that the application of the complainant succeeds and I hereby order the State Commissioner of Police to release the truck to the complainant with immediate effect.
“However, the applicant should provide the said truck to the police whenever they need it in the course of their investigation. The applicant should sign a bond to that effect,” the Magistrate added.
The Reporters recalls that Oba-Suleimon, had dragged the Police boss before the Chief Magistrate Court over the continuous impoundment of his articulated vehicle for more than two months after it was involved in an accident in Lokoja.
Oba-Suleimon had, through his Counsel, Mr Nyenke Joseph, pleaded with the Court for the immediate release of his truck, which he said was only involved in a “minor accident” that no life or property was lost to.
Oba-Suleimon, while speaking with journalists,he expressed happiness with the decision of the Court but lamented the huge losess he suffered as a result of long impoundment of the truck by the police.