In a bid to safeguard her fundamental right,a Lagos business woman Ms Maryann Chukwueke has dragged the former Director Department of Petroleum resources Anthony Chukwueke who is now the Chairman Board of Directors of Germaine Auto Centre Company before a Federal high court in Lagos.
Joined as co- respondents are, a Limited liability Company Germaine Auto Centre Limited,the company secretary of the company Martha Etemu,Commissioner of Police,Lagos State, Deputy commissioner of Police state criminal investigation Department,Yaba,Lagos, Assistant Commissioner of Police Oketunji Lawrence Bola,
According to an affidavit sworn to by Maryann Chukwueke,she averred that she is a founding member of Germaine Auto Centre Company and has over the years contributed to the development of the company.
Germaine Auto Centre is a family business owned by her and other siblings. Anthony Chukwueke is a member of the family who was working in Department of Petroleum Resources when the company was set up,but used his status and accumulated wealth to muscle her and some other siblings out from the management of the company.
Thereafter she established her own company called Admiralty Motors Limited sometimes 2002,which she had successfully managed and grew into a well known brand in the country.
However, sometimes in 2019 Anthony Chukwueke seeing her exploits and how she had successfully managed her own company,approach her to come and assist with the management of Germaine Auto Centre,and after much pleas from him and all members of the family including her mother,she accepted to assist the company.
She had successfully managed the company and made it a viable business enterprise,and the company under her management has also expanded its operations.
However, sometimes in April 2021she noticed that Anthony Chukwueke was representing her company Admiralty Motors Ltd assets as his own and he had even gone forward to do evaluation of her company in the name of Germaine Auto Centre Limited.
Also, within the same period she noticed that Anthony had caused a solar panel to be installed on her company’s property located at Shapata,Ibeju Lekki,Lagos State without informing her or seeking her consent
The activities of Germaine Auto Company vide the instrumentality of Anthony Chukwueke caused her to believe that the company, Anthony Chukwueke,and Martha Etemu are making efforts to unlawfully claim her company and its assets.
When she realized that they are trying to claim her company and its assets,she locked up the premises to prevent trespass on the property.
Thereafter, they mobilized thugs, hoodlums in Company of some of Germaine Auto Centre staff to forcefully invade the Admiralty Motor premises, but when they were unable to gain entrance to the premises,they sought for the assistance of the Nigerian Police Elemoro, where criminal allegations were made against her.
She was invited by the Divisional police Officer,DPO and on 23rd of September,2021she honor the invitation and was interviewed by the DPO. since there was no evidence to substantiate thier allegations against her, the DPO has no choice than to let her go.
Since then she has been receiving several threatening and disturbing phone calls from Anthony Chukwueke, Martha Etemu and thier agents including from several Police Officers
On 26th September,2021Anthony Chukwueke sent letter to her purporting to suspend her indefinitely.
They have further approached Police at Criminal investigation Department Yaba Lagos to harrass and threatened her.
Consequently,the applicant while claiming the sum of N80, Million as exemplary and aggravated damages jointly and severally against the respondents is urging the court to restrain the Police and it’s officers from inviting ,arresting, detaining or harassing her over a purely civil or commercial transaction between her and the two respondents, Anthony Chukwueke and Martha Etemu.
The Applicant was an Executive Director and staff (VP Sales) with Germaine Auto Centre until her recent suspension for the reason of her invasion of one of the company’s facilities that is the Admiralty Motors Ltd property located at Shapata, Lagos
The deponet stated that Anthony Chukwueke meritoriously served the Federal Government of Nigeria for many years in various capacities including but not limited to the Department of Petroleum Resources, Further at the time of applicant’s exit from Germaine Auto Centre about 2002 Anthony Chukwueke was manager Shell Petroleum Development Company.
Admiralty Motors Ltd is not solely own by the Applicant but owned by the members of Nwawuba-Chukwueke collectively and jointly.
Following the Applicant’s exit from Germaine Auto Centre in 2002, the Nwawuba-Chukwueke family members incorporated Admiralty Motors Ltd with the aim of providing an alternative employment for family members who could not remain in the Germaine Auto Centre for one reason or the other. The said incorporation was backed by and funded by Anthony Chukwueke. The Applicant only assumed the position of Directors and that in no way made her a sole owner of Admiralty Motors Ltd.
Consequently, the respondents stated that their interest shall be prejudiced if the application of the Applicant is granted.
Meanwhile,based on an application filed and argued by a Lagos lawyer O.i Ogunseitan on behalf of Maryann Chukwueke,the presiding Judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke has issued an order for the maintenance of status quo pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion
The case has been adjourned till 22nd of February 2022.