Ugep High Court Award Damages Against Former Local Government Official For Assault

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by crossriverwatch admin

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A High Court sitting in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State of Nigeria presided over by Honourable Justice Eyo Effiom Ita today awarded general damages of N200,000.00 against former Supervisor in charge of Security in the Yakurr Local Government Council, Mr. Martins Ubana a.k.a . Observer for assault perpetrated against one Mr Felix Okoi Uket.

In a judgment delivered in Suit No. HUG/53/2010 between Felix Okoi Uket and immediate past Yakurr LGA Chairman, Ubi Itam Ettah (Bomboy) and Martins Ubana (Observer) the Judge described the attack on the Claimant (Felix Okoi Uket) by the Martin Ubana as unwarranted, vicious, inhumane and barbaric. The Court awarded cost of N20, 000.00 in favor of the Claimant against the 1st Defendant.

The claimant had alleged that on the 3rd July, 2010 the claimant was viciously attacked with a dagger and or sharp object that led to the severing of the left hand of the Claimant by the 1st Defendant. The Judge held that Mr. Ubi Itam Ettah was not liable because there was no evidence that he instigated the attack on Mr. Felix Uket.

In the Statement of claim filed by the claimant, the Claimant avers as that:

The Claimant is well known hand-ball Player and Athlete in Yakurr Local Government Area and was planning to travel to the United States of America to pursue a professional career in hand ball before the unfortunate incident of the 3rd July, 2010, when the 1st Defendant launched a pre-meditated, wicked and vicious attack on him with a sharp dagger or knife which the 2nd Defendant used to inflict a cut on the Claimant’s left hand which has caused an impairment and disfigurement of the said hand.

The 1st Defendant is the Chairman of Yakurr Local Government Council of Cross River State of Nigeria. The 1st Defendant is the Political master of the 2nd Defendant. The Defendants are Public Officers or Servants by virtue of their positions as Chairman and Supervisor respectively of Yakurr Local Government Council.

The 2nd Defendant is a Supervisory Councillor in Yakurr Local Government Area Council of Cross River State of Nigeria and a well known coterie, crony, friend, political associate and agent of the 1st Defendant. The attack on the Claimant by the 2nd Defendant on the 3rd July, 2010 was instigated, prompted and masterminded by the 1st Defendant.

The Claimant avers that the conduct of the Defendants in using unlawful means to settle scores with the Claimant is a good measure of abuse of their office and lawlessness contrary to the Oath of Office.

The 2nd Defendant is a very violent person and power drunk. The 2nd Defendant is the ‘Commander’ of the death squad, cult and secret society known as ‘Operation B2’ founded, financed and sponsored by the 1st Defendant. The said Operation B2 is usually employed and deployed by the Defendants as an instrument to terrorize, intimidate and oppress all those perceived as real or imaginary enemies and detractors of the 1st Defendant.

The 1st Defendant also has a very violent reputation. On the 19th December, 2008, the 1st Defendant had employed thugs to abduct one Augustine Omini Iwara (Hydro), Sylvester Ubi Ikoi and two Police Officers from the Palace of the Clan Head of Ntankpo, Ugep, to his private residence in Emenko, Biko-Biko, Ugep, where they thoroughly beat, tortured and illegally imprisoned for several hours, the said persons, before they were rescued by a team of Police Officers deployed from the Divisional Police Headquarters, Ugep.

The notoriety of the 1st and 2nd Defendant as apostles of violence and abuse of human rights and vile character is well known in Ugep nay Yakurr Local Government Area. On the 19th October, 2009, the 2nd Defendant in confederacy with other members of ‘Operation B2’ carried out a vicious attack on one Ofem Micheal Oka of Ntankpo, Ikpakapit, Ugep, and broke his head with a broken bottle.

At the trial the Claimant shall rely on letter dated 21st October, 2009, to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Cross River State. The said letter was written to the Governor of Cross River State and the Commissioner of Police but the 1st Defendant used his clout and influence to block Police investigation of the case.

The attack on the Claimant was an act of vendetta against Dr. Otu Abam Ubi, a renowned Historian, Educationalist and Politician whom the Defendants bore deep-seated malice and grudges because of his political clout and influence which the Defendants considered a threat to their vested political interest.

The Defendants were determined to get back at Dr. Ubi from his Ikpakapit Council Ward of Ugep Urban because they (Defendants) wrongly perceived him to be the sponsor and financier of the political bid of one Mr. Eje Ubi, a Councillor Aspirant in Ikpakapit Ward.

The Defendants had their interest in another aspirant, whom they had sponsored to contest the Primary Election for the Nomination of the Candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ikpakapit Council Ward for the Local Government Council Election that took place on the 28th August, 2010. Dr. Otu Abam Ubi is a Commissioner in the Civil Service Commission of Cross River State of Nigeria.

The attack on the Claimant was the culmination of a plan orchestrated and masterminded by the Defendants to eliminate the Claimant, one Marshall Otu Ofem and Eclipses Otu Ofem on the 3rd July, 2010. The Claimant was attacked along Kewin overlooking the Ministry of Works Office by Ikom-Calabar Highway, off the Ugep Post Office Road (Donald Duke Drive), while in the same convoy with Dr. Otu Abam Ubi.

The 2nd Defendant had attacked, assaulted and slapped Dr. Otu Abam Ubi and when the Claimant sought to enquire the effrontery of the 2nd Defendant to slap such a distinguished personage as Dr. Ubi, the 2nd Defendant in a rage of anger and passion stabbed the Claimant with a dagger/knife on his left hand.

After the attack on the Claimant, the 2nd Defendant attacked and stabbed one Marshall Otu Ofem in full public glare in the precinct of the Ikpakapit Town Hall, Ugep, on the same 3rd July, 2010.

Thereafter the 1st and 2nd Defendant’s gang (Operation B2) led by one Okoi Mohammed, lay ambush and captured the younger brother, Eclipse Otu Ofem of the said Marshall Otu Ofem in the precinct of the General Hospital, Ugep, where he (Eclipse) had gone to see his brother (Marshall) when he heard he was attacked and critically wounded by the 2nd Defendant.

The attack on the Claimant by the 2nd Defendant on the instructions, prompting and instigation of the 1st Defendant (whom 2nd Defendant openly boast is his ‘Master’ has permanently impaired and disfigured the left hand of the Claimant. The life span of the Claimant has been shortened. The Claimant suffers intermittently from sharp and excruciating pains every day and can hardly concentrate. The promising Athlete’s career has been wrecked and destroyed.

The Claimant is just 32 (Thirty-two) years old at the time of the attack and would carry the burden of having a scarf as a result of the wound inflicted on him by the 2nd Defendant for the rest of his life.

The 1st Defendant had openly boasted that he would use the enormous financial resources (as Chairman of Yakurr Local Government Council) to bribe the Police to kill the investigation of the case.

The severity of the case of the Claimant after his admission to the General Hospital, Ugep, led the Medical Team in the said Hospital to refer his case to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, where the Claimant was on admission for several weeks after an operation was carried on his left hand. At the trial the Claimant shall rely on The Nigeria Police Force Medical Form D5 dated 6th July, 2010. The Claimant shall rely on pictures/negatives taken while he was on admission in the Hospital. The Claimant shall rely on X-ray film taken of his left hand while in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

The Defendants and one Okoi Mohammed were on the 23rd August, 2010, arraigned before the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ugep, on a Charge of Attempted Murder of the Claimant. The Claimant shall rely on Affidavit of Fact deposed before the High Court of Justice, Ugep, by Dr. Otu Abam Ubi on the 7th November, 2010.

The Claimant shall rely on letters to the Chief Judge of Cross River State of Nigeria and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Cross River State of Nigeria, respectively dated the 25th September, 2010, regarding the case against the Defendants in the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ugep.

Whereof the Claimant claims against the Defendants jointly and severally as follows:

The General/Exemplary Damages of N100 Million for the attack on the person of the Claimant on the 3rd July, 2010, which led to the severing of the left hand of the Claimant with a dagger by the 1st Defendant that has caused the Claimant permanent impairment and disfigurement of his left hand and shortening of the life span of the Claimant.

A Declaration that the unprovoked and unwarranted but pre-meditated attack on the Claimant by the 2nd Defendant on the prompting and instigation of the 1st Defendant on the 3rd July, 2010, is malicious, vicious, inhumane and barbaric.

A Declaration that the conduct of the Defendants by virtue of their positions as Chairman and Supervisor respectively of Yakurr Local Government Council by attacking and injuring the Claimant on the 3rd July, 2010 is abhorrent, shameful, odious, unbecoming and indictable.

An Order of injunction restraining the Defendants from attacking, brutalising, harassing, intimidating, further wounding or attempting to kill the Claimant.

The Claimant was offered free legal aid by Okoi Obono-Obla to fight the case. The Claimant said after the judgment that he will appeal against the sum of N200, 000.00 in his favor.

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