A Federal High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun state has vacated an exparte order granted the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) forfeiting five trucks loaded with palm kernel cake to the federal government saying the trucks and items should be returned to its owners with immediate effect.
LEADERSHIP reports that the five trucks belonged to Beninoise traders who came to purchase palm kernel cake in Nigeria in 2019 but were intercepted and seized by the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.
However, in a ruling delivered by Justice O. Oguntoyinbo in suit number FHC/AB/CS/58/2020 against the Nigeria Customs Service, between Yoyo Olowokere Limited; Mensah Sewlannou J Josephat joel; Akodegbe Basile; Koudjo Segbenon and Ayivodji Sourou Pascal against the Nigeria Customs Service, the applicants’ counsel , George Oyeniyi based the Application on the grounds that the earlier order was obtained by misrepresentation and concealment of relevant facts.
The FHC judge, however, ordered the Ogun 1 Custom Command Idiroko, Ogun State to release the vehicles from its custody to the applicants and if the vehicles have been auctioned or sold, the respondent shall pay the full monetary value to the applicants within 30 days.
The trucks are, BERLIET TRAILER TRUCK with Registration Number AY 7203 RB (AX 7904 RB), Chassis No. MP 102180; RENAULT TRAILER TRUCK with Registration Number BA 1600 RB (AB 6028 RB), Chassis No. RA03DIRN300172; RENAULT TRAILER TRUCK with Registration Number BN 7723 RB (AN 5660 RB), Chassis No. VF6RD04A IRE V00869.
Others are; RENAULT TRAILER TRUCK with Registration Number BH 9263 RB (AR 3649 RB), Chassis No. CL 300334 and RENAULT TRAILER TRUCK with Registration Number AL 6130 RB (AB 3045 RB), Chassis No. VF6RA04A1REJO0931.
Justice Oguntoyinbo in his ruling said: “ upon this motion on notice dated 2nd day of December, 2020 and filed on the 11th day of December, 2020 coming up before this Honourable Court today 18th day of January, 2022 for ruling. George Oyeniyi Esq. for the Applicants and Abubakar Musa Esq. of Counsel for the Respondent.
“The court having delivered its ruling today the 18th day of January, 2022 granting the reliefs sought as contained on the face of the motion papers by the applicants, it is hereby ordered that the applicants vehicles listed as items 148, 366, 367, 368 and 369 are hereby excluded from the list of the condemned items covered by the Exparte Order of 25th June, 2020.
“That the vehicles are hereby released from the Custody of the Ogun Custom Command Idiroko, Ogun State to the applicants forthwith.
cles have been auctioned or sold, the respondent shall pay the full monetary value of the goods and trucks within a period of 30 days. “
“Application was premised on the grounds that the order of court was obtained by misrepresentation and concealment of relevant facts. The order of Court was obtained without due process of law and the Suit is not properly constituted and same consequently robs the Honourable Court the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the case,” he said.