By CrossRiverWatch Admin
A High Court of Justice sitting in Calabar, Cross River State and presided over by Justice Ayade Emmanuel has declared the practice of men of the Nigeria Police dabbling into civil disputes as unlawful and unconstitutional.
In Suit No. HC/187/2019 between Mr. Nse Paulinus Tom Vs Mr. Nsa Otu Eyo & 3 Ors, the Court awarded damages of N150, 000 only in favour of the Applicant.
The Applicant stated that he was invited by the Police at Zone 6 Command, Calabar upon a private complaint of alleged conduct likely to cause breach of peace. That after a thorough investigation the Police found that he was not culpable as the complaint borders on payment of rent / tenancy disagreement. But rather than release the Applicant the police instead demanded payment for “bail money”.
Wife of the Applicant who sought to take the Applicant on police administrative bail was refused only on the ground that she is a woman, and when the Applicant would not yield to the demand for “bail money”, he was detained for about 24 hours and only released after filing and serving the Police with his application for fundamental rights enforcement.
Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice Ayade granted all the reliefs sought and deprecated the action of the Police in denying a woman the right to take her husband on bail. He finally ordered as follows:
“1. It is hereby declared that the detention of the Applicant from 10am of 6th June , 2019 and continuously afterward by the 2nd – 4th Respondents is illegal, unjustifiable and constitutes a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental right to personal liberty as cognisable under section 35(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended) and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
“2. An order is hereby given compelling the Respondents to tender a public apology in two national dailies to the Applicant.
“3. An order is hereby given directing the Respondents to pay the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) jointly and severally to the Applicant as damages for the unlawful and illegal detention of the Applicant.
“4. An order is hereby given directing the Respondents to pay the sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) jointly and severally to the Applicant as punitive/exemplary damages for the unlawful, illegal and unwarranted detention of the Applicant.
“5. Perpetual injunction is hereby ordered restraining the Respondents from further arresting or detaining the Applicant on frivolous grounds or without any legal basis whatsoever.”
James Ibor of Basic Rights Counsel and lawyer to the Applicant and Judgment creditor when contacted by our newsroom said, “It is our collective responsibility to implement the ACJA and end impunity.”
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.