The Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has jailed one Chief Ifediba Umejidike, an Anambra-based businessman, for disobedience to the order to return court exhibit, which he fraudulently took away.
The convict was said to have registered the famous STIHL trademark belonging to Andreas STIHL AG & Co. KG, a renowned German company, unlawfully in Nigeria.
With the registration documents, Umejidike was said to have obtained an Anton Pillar Order, which was executed in Lagos on the premises of C. Woermann Nigeria Limited, the sole distributors of STIHL range of products in Nigeria.
After the execution, he was said to have hijacked and diverted STIHL products worth over N30m, which were meant to be taken to the court in Enugu, to his house at Anambra State.
However, the court ordered him to return the products following an application by Andreas STIHL AG & Co and C. Woermann Nigeria Limited against him, but he refused.
Following the disobedience of the order of the court, committal proceedings were initiated against him by Andreas STIHL AG & Co. KG and C. Woermann Nigeria Limited.
The presiding judge, Justice Dugbo-Oghoghorie, while ruling on the committal proceedings in suit No. FHC/EN/CS/38/2019, on Friday, described the disobedience of the court order by Umejidike as an affront to the court, having misled it to obtain an ex parte order and stopped coming to court and started using different counsel to try and shield himself from the long arm of the law.
The court committed Umejidike to the Enugu Custodial Centre “for committing contempt of court to wit; unlawfully diverting/hijacking/stealing STIHL court exhibits seized by bailiffs of this honourable court on March 25, 2019, and meant for the custody of this court.”
Justice Dugbo-Oghoghorie ruled, “That Chief Ifediba Samson Umejidike be committed to the Enugu Custodial Centre till he purges himself of contempt of court and discharged by order of this court to wit; by returning to this court the diverted STIHL products or pay the 1st and 2nd defendants, Andreas STIHL AG & Co. KG and C. Woermann Nigeria Limited forthwith in full the monetary value of the product amounting to N30,948,099.95.
“That pursuant to Section 38 of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, the sheriff of this court, with assistance of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service, be directed to forthwith take the body of Umejidike and deliver him to the Enugu Custodial Centre till he purges himself of contempt and discharged by the order of this court.”