Court voids N10m fine against Ordinary President’s Human Rights Radio, TV

Ordinary President Ahmed Isa

A Federal High Court in Abuja has set aside a judgment directing the Human Rights Radio and Television Ltd. to pay a N10 million in damages to Samuel Onaibre over alleged violation of his fundamental rights.

Ruling on Tuesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the January 20, 2022 judgment delivered by a sister court in Warri, Delta, was obtained by fraud and lack of service of process on the media station as required by law.

Justice Ekwo held that where a party alleged that a judgement was entered in a case in his absence, “it means that such judgement was obtained by procedure adopted which deprived the decision or judgement of the character of a legitimate adjudication.”

The media house is owned by Ahmed Isah popularly known as Ordinary President. He also hosts a popular show called Brekete Family Show on the radio station.

Following a judgment entered in favour of Mr Onaibre, the registrar of Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, by Justice Okon Abang at the Warri Division of a Federal High Court in 2022, the media house filed another suit at the Abuja Division, praying the court to vacate it.

While Human Rights Radio and Television Ltd was the first applicant, Mr Isah was the second applicant in the suit.

The applicants had sued Onaibre, the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, ACP Fergus Manga; and DSP Peter Tanda as first to fifth respondents respectively.

The applicants, who gave 12 grounds why the judgment should be vacated, averred that a complainant, Blessing Onu, a student of Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, sought the assistance of the media house, alleging that her school refused to award her a National Diploma Certificate (NDC).

She alleged that the development resulted to her missing the opportunity to proceed to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme despite complying with all the requirements of the institution.

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“On 25th February, 2019 during live broadcast of Brekete Family Programme at the first applicant’s radio station, he (Isah) intervened in the matter, requested and got the contact of the registrar, the first respondent, on record to hear the position of the school! on the matter.

“This was after failed efforts to make the school attend to the complaint without bringing it up on air.

“He put a call to the first respondent to enquire the truth and position of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro which same was answered and the first respondent turned uncivil on the phone call, resorted to abusive, humiliating and unprintable name callings against him (Isah).

“He was compelled to release the official phone number to the public to elicit the assistance of any listener who would like to persuade him (the registrar) to attend to the case of the complainant.

“He later realised that some of the listeners sent the first respondent (registrar) threatening and abusive messages upon which he lodged a petition against the applicants and the complainant to the Inspector-General of Police,” Isah, who deposed to the affidavit said.

He said despite amicable resolution of the matter by the police, and Onaibre promising to withdraw the suit with a notice of discontinuance of the suit served on him, he was surprised to hear about the judgment of the Warri court against him.

In his preliminary objection, Onaibre prayed Justice Ekwo to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the applicants’ originating motion was incompetent and an abuse of court process.