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Court fines police N10m for illegal detention

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Court fines police N10m for illegal detention

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has ordered the Nigeria Police and one Onukogu Hezekiah to pay N10 million in damages to Hezekiah Duru for unlawful arrest and detention by the Police.

Justice Donatus Okorowo gave the order in his judgement after Duru’s suit for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights under Sections 6(6)(a), 34, 35, 36, and 46 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

According to the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment obtained by our correspondent, Duru was arrested and detained from December 11 – 29, 2023, by the police following allegations of financial misappropriation, embezzlement, cheating, and breach of trust initiated by Mr. Hezekiah.

However, the allegations against Mr. Duru were already being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before he was detained by the police.

The legal proceedings began on January 4 when Duru’s legal team filed the suit alongside an ex parte application for his bail.

Despite the court granting bail on January 5, the respondents, including Mr. Hezekiah and the Nigeria Police, failed to comply with the court’s directive.

The court unequivocally declared that Duru’s fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, were violated through his illegal arrest and subsequent detention.

Furthermore, the court condemned the refusal to grant Duru bail, especially when the allegations against him were bailable and held that the action was blatant violations of his rights.

The court unequivocally declared that Duru’s fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, were violated through his illegal arrest and subsequent detention.

Furthermore, the court condemned the refusal to grant Duru bail, especially when the allegations against him were bailable and held that the action was blatant violations of his rights.

The court, to prevent further transgressions, issued an injunction restraining the Police and its officers from engaging in any form of harassment, intimidation, or detention of Duru.

The police, however, refused to adhere to the court’s directive after it had declared that the warrant of arrest from the Nasarawa State Magistrate Court was unlawful, an abuse of power, an abuse of judicial process, and an infringement of Duru’s right to a fair hearing and personal liberty.

As a measure of redress for the injustices suffered, the court ordered the police pay N10 million in damages to be jointly and severally borne by Mr. Onukogu, the Nigerian Police, and the Inspector General of Police.

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