Sealed Kano Rice Factory: Court fixes March 27 to hear IGP’s fresh motion
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, fixed May 27 to hear a motion the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu filed to set-aside the judgement that ordered Kano State Government to unseal Tiamin Rice processing factory. Justice Okon Abang okayed the motion for hearing on a day the firm accused both the IGP and the Kano State Commissioner of Police of working to frustrate the enforcement of the judgment the court gave in its favour.
The court had in the judgment it delivered on May 4, faulted Kano state government for sealing the rice factory on the ground that it was close to a COVID-19 isolation center. Justice Abang held that the closure of the factory, without a valid court order, violated the rights of the applicants and the exemption accorded food production companies by the Federal Government. Besides, the court observed that Kano State government which was listed as a Respondent in the fundamental right enforcement suit the rice company brought before it, failed to file any process to canvass reasons why it should not be re-opened.
Consequently, Justice Abang ordered that it should be unsealed, even as it awarded a cost of N300, 000 in favour of the Applicants, Tiamin Rice Ltd, Tiamin Multi Services Global, and Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim. However, the IGP and the Commissioner of Police in Kano state, in the fresh motion they brought before the court on Thursday, asked the court to stay the execution or vacate the judgement, contending that thelockdown announced by the Federal Government prevented them from participating in the earlier hearing that was conducted in the case. Dissatisfied with the motion, the applicants also filed counter-affidavit wherein they queried the interest of the IGP and the Kano CP in seeking to frustrate the execution of the judgment that did not directly affect
They insisted that the motion was an abuse of the court’s process, alleging that some employees were still trapped within the sealed facility “They have shown inhuman treatment to innocent employees of the judgment creditors trapped in the facility since 18th April 2020. “The judgment debtors do not care even for the lives and welfare of staff for these innocent trapped and locked up in the factory premises”, they lamented through their lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN. Following a request by counsel to the IGP and Kano CP, Mr. Celestine Odo, for a short time to respond to the counter-affidavit, Justice Abang adjourned the matter till March 27 for hearing. The court ordered that in view of the existing inter-state lockdown, the Kano State Government and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, also cited as Respondents in the matter, should be served the hearing notice through email.