A Magistrate court sitting in Aba North magisterial district, has ordered the Abia state Commissioner of Police , Mrs Janet Agbede, to arrest the General Manager of the Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State, (TIMASS), Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikeokwu, over disobedience of court order.
In suit No; MAN/MISC/TIMAAS/07/2022, Ginikanwa Ikechukwu Kingsley (Plaintiff) and the Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State, TIMASS and Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikeokwu(Defendants), Ikeokwu was accused of violating an order of the court to release a car impounded by the traffic agency.
TIMAAS had impounded the Mercedes Benz car with number plate, CN 907 LSD, in June 2021, belonging to Ginikanwa Ikechukwu Kingsley, at Obikabia, in Obingwa local government area.
Counsel to Ginikanwa Dennis Anokwu filed a suit against Ikeokwu and TIMAAS on March 21, 2022. The matter was heard and concluded by Chief Magistrate Kelechi Ume, who on March 29, 2022, ordered TIMAAS to release the vehicle to Ginikanwa.
Anokwu noted that Chief Magistrate Umeh who delivered the judgment ordering TIMAAS to release the car had been transferred to another magisterial division.
However, TIMAAS refused to obey the order to release the car. The lawyer alleged that Ikeokwu still refused to release the car to him and his client after they had presented a court order, proof of ownership, and a photocopy of a booking sheet given to his client as he had lost the original copy.
Based on the reluctance of the traffic agency to release the car, the lawyer lodged a complaint to the court where the sitting Chief Magistrate Nnenna Nwankwo ordered that the traffic agency boss be arrested and produced before the court for contempt.
“It is hereby ordered that the Commissioner of Police, Abia State arrest the 2nd respondent, Mr Chinedu Ikeokwu (TIMASS GM) the contempt-nor and produce him on the next adjourned date for sentencing. Case adjourned to 11th day of August, 2022 for report of compliance and sentencing,” the court order,read.
“Ginikanwa parked his ash colored Mercedes Benz car with number plate, CN 907 LSD along the road on the said date, asking for directions because he was not conversant with the area when TIMASS operatives impounded the car. All pleas from his client fell on deaf ears as his vehicle was driven off by TIMASS officials to their office. He didn’t have the money because they were asking him to pay N40, 000, because he didn’t have the money. He abandoned that vehicle there. It was until March 2022; 9 months after, that he told me about it,” the lawyer said.
Contacted, the TIMAAS boss said he was yet to receive a court order or warrant of arrest over the matter.
He, however, claimed that the car had been released to the court based on the advice of the agency’s legal officer.