A federal high court seating in Jalingo on Friday ordered the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), to pay the sum of two million naira damages to a Taraba-based businessman, Chief Uche Obi for wrongly sealing his business premises for ten months.
Hon. Justice S.A. Amobeda who gave the order after ruling in a suit No. FHC/JAL/FHR/58/2021, also ordered the Standards Organization of Nigeria to unseal Chief Obi’s business premises and apologize in five national dailies within 48 hours.
Naija News reports that the Standards Organization of Nigeria had ten months ago sealed the business premises of Obi, opposite Total feeling station Jalingo over the alleged selling of substandard building materials.
Justice Amobeda in his ruling said that, “the treatment meted out to the applicant by the officers of the respondent was in negation of the right to dignity of his person as guaranteed and preserved under section 34 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 ( as amended) and article 5 of the African charter on human and peoples’ right (Ratification and Enforcement) act, cap A9, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“That the invitation, arrest and detention of the applicant by the officers of the respondent for a purely civil and business transaction which had no element of criminality whatsoever, are violative of inalienable right to personal liberty as enshrined in and preserved by section 35 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and article 6 of the African charter on human and peoples’ right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap to A9, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to the applicant, Dr. Ibrahim Iffiong Esq. expressed that the judgement was a proof that the judicial system of Nigeria was still a hope for a common man.
Iffiong noted that his client was neither a producer of the alleged substandard materials nor did the Standards Organization of Nigeria carry out a certified test to ascertain if truly the said goods were substandard.
He said the organization ought to have approached producers of the products rather than sealing his client’s business premises who was rather a victim of the circumstance.
Also reacting, Obi commended justice Amobeda for his fairness in the dispensation of justice.
He said the judgement has liberated him from the unjust situation SON had placed him in for the past ten months.