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Court Awards N4 Million Damages Against IGP Over Rights Violation

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An FCT High Court has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to pay N1 million each to four men for detaining them for more than 14 days as approved by a remand order, thereby violating their fundamental human rights.

The men: Ozor Okolocha, Elvis Obiaku, Edward Onyenoknone and Imoni Micah, were arrested on Dec. 17, 2015 and Jan. 6, 2016 at their home town of Ase-Omuku in Ndokwa East local government area of Delta State.

They were later brought to Abuja by one Inspector Tony Alabi and detained at Keffi prison on a remand order obtained from an Abuja Magistrate Court.

However, at the expiration of the order, the police made no effort to renew it but still kept the arrested persons in prison custody until April 5, when the suit was filed.

The respondents in the case are the Inspector-General of Police and the FCT Commissioner of Police.

Delivering judgment on Monday, Justice Jude Okeke held that the respondents in the matter refused to renew the order of remand from the court which elapsed after 14 days.

“As compensation for the violation of their fundamental rights, N1 million should be paid to each of the applicants for the hardship and embarrassment suffered by them.

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“The applicants were continuously detained at Keffi Prison without remand order, renewal and without charges preferred against them.

“This is a gross violation of their fundamental rights as provided by the provisions of section 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the judge said.

Justice Okeke also held that the detention of the applicants and violation of their rights to liberty were not justified by the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.

He also ruled that the police should not arrest the applicants again over the issues in the suit.

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