Indications at the weekend, emerged that the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, may face contempt of court charges following his refusal to obey a court order stopping the minister, or his agents from demolishing Caramelo Lounge situated at Utako, Abuja.
In a contempt of court proceeding filed against the minister by Barrister Benneth Nnaemeka Eke Esq, on behalf of the owners of Caramelo Lounge, and obtained by the AUTHORITY Newspaper, stated that an interlocutory injunction was granted on the 19th day of June, 2018 by HON. JUSTICE O.A. ADENIYI of FCT High Court 15 sitting in Apo Abuja, in favour of Caramelo in the case of CARAMELO LOUNGE & SUITE LTD V. HON. MINISTER FCT & 2ORS in SUITE NO. FCT/HC/CV/1861/18 stopping the Hon. Minister of the FCT his agents and privies from demolishing, sealing off and/ or disturbing the servant and guest of the claimant from gaining access to the claimant.
The proceeding read in part; “FCDA demolished Caramelo Night club, even when there is a pending order of court granted in favour of Caramelo in the case of CARAMELO LOUNGE & SUITE LTD V. HON. MINISTER FCT & 2ORS in SUITE NO. FCT/HC/CV/1861/18 stopping the Hon. Minister of the FCT his agents and privies from demolishing, sealing off and/ or disturbing the servant and guest of the claimant from gaining access to the claimant.
“This interlocutory injunction was granted on the 19th day of June, 2018 by HON. JUSTICE O.A. ADENIYI of FCT High Court 15 sitting in Apo Abuja.
“This order was dully served on the Minister but on the 18th April, 2019 the minister and his agents came again and demolished the claimant fence upon which we wrote again to the minister a letter dated 18th April, 2019 reminding the minister that there is a pending order of a court of competent jurisdiction restraining him and his agents from interfering to the business of the claimant and the orders were also attached to the letter served on him on the 23rd April, 2019.
“However, from the look of thing, it was even our letter to the minister that provoked him to demolish the claimant building.
“On Friday 10th May, 2019 at about 6:30pm the defendant came to the premises of the claimant and served a demolition and Revocation Notices. On Monday 13th May, 2019 at about 6:00am while the claimant guest were still sleeping, the defendant came with all the Nigerian security agencies represented and demolished the claimant building in violation of order of High Court 15 Apo.
“In regards to this development the claimant counsel Benneth Nnaemeka Eke Esq has filed Contempt proceeding against the minister and his agents (FORM 48 and FORM 49) of Sheriff and Civil Process Act 2004. All attempts to serve the minister and his agents the FORMS in accordance with the Rules proves abortive. Eke Esq applied to court on 22nd May, 2019 for the contempt proceedings to be serve on all the parties by substituted means which the court graciously granted.
“This also serves as a notice to the Hon. Minister, Coordinator of AMMC, Permanent Secretary FCTA, Director Development Control wise zone 6; that there are contempt proceedings against them at High Court 15 Apo. The hearing of the substantive suite has been adjourned to 11th June, 2019.”