-NIGERIAN POLICE TO PAY N10M FOR UNLAWFUL ARREST AND DETENTION.
It was relief and jubilation as the Federal High Court has put an end to the protracted Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit brought by one Miss Grace Anita Paul against the Chief of Armed Forces, Nigeria Army, Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Police Force.
Miss Paul alleged that officers of the Nigerian Army invaded her residence and abducted her to Mambilla Barrack where she was subjected to inhuman treatment and untold hardship.
She was kept in a guardroom with other male inmates and later transferred to the SARS Detention Centre in Guzape, Abuja where she was kept for more than 2 months.
In a Judgment delivered on the 17th day of February, 2021, by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, he held that the Nigerian Army lacks the power to arrest anyone who is not subject to the Armed Forces Act or any other military law. While dismissing the objections of A.A. Mohammed, SAN, who appeared for Nigeria Army, Justice Taiwo held that the Military should not usurp the powers of the Nigerian Police under Sections 4 and 84 of the Police Act which empowers the Police to detect and investigate crime.
Akpomiemie Akpomiemie of Abdul Oroh and Co, Counsel to the Applicant had argued that the Military lacks the power under S217 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to arrest, detain and investigate anyone not subject to Military law.
Akpomiemie also argued that the detention of the Applicant by the defunct SARS of the Nigeria Police is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
In his considered ruling, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held that for Democracy to thrive, all agencies of government should act within the law. He awarded damages of 5 Million Naira against the 1st and 2nd Respondents (The chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army) and 10 Million Naira against the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Police Force sued as 3rd and 4th Respondent. He also made an order or perpetual Injunction against the Nigeria Army and the Nigeria Police restraining them from further violation of her rights. He also ordered the Police to return all her seized items within 7 days.
Akpomiemie commended the court for the erudite judgment and for restating the true position of the law irrespective of the powers involved. The judiciary is indeed the hope of common man.
Miss Paul said she was relieved that justice is finally served considering the humiliation and the indignity she went through.