Demolition: Kpokpogiri Drags FCT Minister, Others To ICC
An Abuja based businessman and socialite, Prince Joseph Kpokpogri has dragged the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Musa Bello to the International Criminal Court, ICC, at the Hague, alleging gross violation of his fundamental human rights.
Equally cited as defendants in the suit are the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FCT Federal Housing Authority, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and the Acting Director, Department of Development Control, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, Mukhtar Galadima Usman.
Specifically, Kpokpogri, in a criminal complaint he filed through a consortium of lawyers led by Anna Ofunu Ikwute, alleged that the defendants committed “heinous crimes” against him, by illegally, arbitrarily and forcefully demolishing his house located at Guzape hills, FCT Abuja, leading to the destruction of his assets worth over N2.5billion, with the intent to persecute, torture and render him homeless.
He told the international court that his home was demolished, despite a subsisting restraining order against the defendants.
The complainant is among other things, praying the court for an order: “That the ICC Prosecutor on his own accord under Article 15 (1) of the Rome Statute opens a preliminary investigation into the allegations made herein against Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima.
“That the ICC Prosecutor also formally “submits to the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC a request for authorization of an investigation” of Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima under Article 15 (3) of the Rome Statute.
“That the ICC Prosecutor obtain International Arrest Warrant for Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima in accordance with Articles 58 (1) (a), 58 (1) (b) (i), 58 (1) (b) (ii) and 58 (1) (b) (iii) and proceed to arrest the Accused from Nigeria so they can face their trial in The Hague, Netherlands for Crimes Against Humanity.
“That the ICC Prosecutor invites our client to The Hague, Netherlands for purposes of tendering more sensitive documents and giving oral testimony concerning his ordeal on Saturday, 14th May, 2022 as masterminded by Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima.
“That the ICC Prosecutor compels Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima upon conviction under the Rome Statute to jointly pay the sum of $50,000,000 (Fifty Million US Dollars) as compensation to cover cost of our client’s house (inclusive of assets) which was demolished as well as the emotional trauma, mental stress, torture and homelessness he has been suffering from Saturday, 14th May, 2022 till date.
“That the ICC Prosecutor compels Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima after paying compensation as prayed in paragraph (e) above to tender public apology to our client through Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN), one international magazine as well as three Nigerian newspapers with wide readership.
As well as, “That the ICC Prosecutor upon conviction of Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima facilitates the process of barring them from all territories of the United Kingdom, United States of America and United Arab Emirates for the next ten years to serve as deterrence to other criminally-minded citizens of Nigeria”.
“We submit that the arbitrary demolition of our client’s house on 14th May, 2022 by agents of Muhammad Musa Bello, Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa and Mukhtar Usman Galadima without following due process constitute gross violation of internationally recognized elements of the right to adequate housing.
“Our client has so far suffered serious emotional trauma, mental stress and damages as a result of the demolition of his house.
“In fact, one of his domestic staff at the Boys Quarters of the demolished building sustained second degree injuries and is presently hospitalized.
“It is therefore necessary for the International Community to come in aid of our client by ensuring that the persons who demolished his house are brought to book without delay”, the court process further read.
It will be recalled that Justice Charles Agbaza of an FCT High Court at Maitama had on July 17, extended a restraining order he issued against the total demolition of Kpokpogri’s residence.
The court held that the injunctive order would last till the hearing and determination of a fundamental right enforcement suit the Plaintiff brought before it.
However, according to Kpokpogri, not withstanding the court order, the defendants proceeded to pull down his home.