A Yola High Court has ordered the National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (NATOMORAS) Numan Branch, in Adamawa to pay the sum of N638, 000 to one Muhammed Abdulsalam for illegally detaining his tricycle for 34 days.
The tricycle was detained for a total period of 34 days at different times of 7days and 27 days in 2016 on account of non – payment of an outstanding balance of five hundred naira (N500.00) only to the official of NATOMORAS in Numan.
According to the Court, the sum of N300, 000, 00 is awarded to Muhammed as general damages for the injury and trauma of wrongful, unjust and unlawful detention of his tricycle despite several demands for its release.
Part of the awarded amount according to the court, the sum of N238, 000,00 is for special damages as Muhammad’s specific claims for loss of earnings as a result of wrongful detention of his tricycle for 34 days, while the sum of N100,000,00 is to be paid to the complainant as cost of the legal action.
Earlier, Muhammed Abdulsalam, a tricycle operator and resident of Ngbalang Village in Numan Local Government dragged Pwati Hunkuso, and Isiyaka Tukur, Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of the association in Numan for themselves and on behalf of the association to the court for illegal detention of his tricycle.
Hunkuso and Tukur, joined as 1st and 2nd defendants are residents of Gweda Mallam, Sabon Pegi and Sabon Pegi in Numan.
The complainant had informed the court that sometimes in August, 2016, there was a peaceful protest by owners and riders of Commercial Tricycle (Keke NAPEP) over rampant cases of theft of tricycles as a result of which the association introduced a new code number for the members.
Muhammed averred that 6 days after the protest, he was personally accosted by Tukur (2nd defendant) while conveying passengers who forcefully stopped him and demanded that he should pay the sum of One thousand naira (N1, 000,00.) being the charges for the new code number.
He told the court that he explained to the defendant that his brother had since paid the sum of five hundred naira (N500.00.) leaving an outstanding balance of five hundred (N500.00.) which he was prepared to settle right away.
According to him, the defendant who appeared not satisfied with his explanation and instant offer to settle the outstanding balance of five hundred (N500.00,) he (2nd defendant) forcefully seized his tricycle and took it to their office where he detained it for 34 days.
The complainant however prayed the court to declare that the detention of his tricycle was wrongful, unjust, and unlawful and constitutes a violation of his right to own and economically benefit from the use of his tricycle.
Equally, he asked the court to order the defendants to jointly and severely pay the sum of N7000 per day as specific claims for 34 days, and the sum of N1.5million as general damages for unlawful detention of the tricycle.
Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Abdul-Aziz Waziri declared that the detention of the tricycle was unlawful, unjust, wrongful.
Justice Waziri further ordered the defendants to pay the sum of N638,000.00 to the plaintiff for the detention of his tricycle, general damages and for the legal action