Law News
FUNSO WILLIAMS: Court grants detainee substituted service request

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, granted an order of substituted means in the suit seeking to re-open investigations into the murder of a former governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State, late Funsho Williams.

One of the detainees in the murder trial, Bashir Junaid, in the suit is seeking an order of mandamus compelling the Inspector-General of Police to re-open investigations into how the late PDP stalwart was murdered in cold blood.

Williams was killed on July 27, 2006 at his Dolphin Estate residence in Ikoyi, Lagos. Junaid, who was a former cemetery attendant, was detained for about one year in connection with the killing.

Defendants in the suit before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia are the IG; Lagos State Commissioner of Police; Mr Sunday Ehindero (former IG and IPO in Funsho Williams’ murder case; Attorney-General of the Federation; Mrs Modupe Shasore; the PDP; Sernator Bola Tinubu; Dr Muiz Banire; Mr Babatunde Edu; Mr Dele Alake and Oladele Ajomale.

At the resumed hearing in the matter, counsel to the plaintiff, Tunji Adesheye, moved an ex-parte application for substituted service and service of the writ of summons on some of the defendants outside jurisdiction, which was granted by the court. Meanwhile, further hearing has been adjourned till April 29. The plaintiff in the substantive suit, is praying the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation, to direct the appropriate organ in the Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria, to commence prosecution of the alleged suspects.

He is also demanding for compensatory and exemplary damages of N5 billion against the 11 defendants for their actions or inaction over his illegal detention and psychological trauma. Junaid in his statement of claim, has stated that due to the influence of the Tinubu and Banire and the compromising position of the investigators at the Federal Central Investigations Department, FCID Alagbo, Banire was only cautioned and made to rewrite another statement to the police, while his freely confessed statement which could have assisted the Police in its attempt to unravel the actual killers of Chief Williams, with the concrete and implicating evidence was discarded by the Police at Alagbon Close, Lagos.

According to him, the botched and compromised investigations of the murder of Funsho Williams by the FCID, which led to letting the 7th-11th defendants off the hook, as no further interrogations were directed at him, but he was pushed from one officer to the other, until released by the Lagos High Court which declared his continued detention by the police as unconstitutional and illegal as his continuous arrest, was a flagrant violation of his fundamental human right to personal liberty.

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