NBA, Others Drag BA to Court for Manhandling Country

Vanguard (Lagos)

29 April 2008
Posted to the web 29 April 2008

By Innocent Anaba

THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), its president, Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and a Nigerian citizen, Mr. Ayo Omotade, have dragged British Airways before a Lagos High Court, over the manhandling, molestation and inhuman treatment mated to Omotade, while aboard British Airways, last month for daring to question the inhumane treatment mated out to another Nigeria, being deported to Nigeria from Britain.

Omotade, who had while aboard British Airways, observed the deportation of a Nigerian, who was handcuffed, yet being further restrained and manhandled violently, had gently approached the officers tormenting the deportee and asked them not to kill him.

But was later told to get off the plane and not to travel with the airline because the cabin crew claimed he had been disruptive by questioning the noise being caused by the deportee that was removed.

Omotade, after being prevented from traveling, was later arrested, handcuffed and detained and is being prosecuted in London, over the money found on him, which he was bringing to his family in Nigeria.

Plaintiffs in the suit are further asking the court to declare that the arrest, detention, harassment, humiliation, intimidation, jettisoning, manhandling, molestation, persecution, threatening and tormenting of Omotade on or about March 27, 2008 on board the respondent's Flight BA075, from London to Lagos without warrant or lawful justification by British police and law enforcement officers, with the assistance, co-operation and support of the officers and crew of the respondent, in the circumstances of this case, are unlawful in the municipal laws of both Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

As well as in international law, and violate Omotade rights guaranteed him by sections 34(1), 35(1), 39(1), 41(1) and 42(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999; articles 2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 16(1), 19 and 23 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights; and articles 1 to 7, 9, 13 and 28 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The court is also asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondent, its officers or crew or any of them, whether by themselves, their agents, officers, privies or servants, or otherwise howsoever, from doing or attempting or purporting to do, or letting any authority or person do or attempt or purport to do on the respondent's flights, any of the following: arresting, detaining, harassing, humiliating, intimidating, jettisoning, manhandling, molesting, persecuting, threatening or tormenting Omotade, or in any other manner contravening the Omotade fundamental rights.

The applicants are contending that the suit is predicated on the grounds that the respondent's grievous desecration of the applicants' fundamental human rights offends not only the municipal laws of the jurisdictions to which the parties respectively belong, but also international law.


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