By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—AN Anambra State High Court sitting in Otuocha in Anambra East Local Government Area has ordered the state Commissioner of Police and two others to pay N15 million to a lawyer, Mr. Emmanuel Arinze, as damages for infringement on his fundamental rights.
The order was made following an application for fundamental rights enforcement made to the court by Arinze through his lawyers led by Professor Ilochi Okafor(SAN).
Arinze had alleged in his claims that the officer in charge of Aguleri Police Area Command, Mr. Abdu Osu, and Sergeant Oviaede Mamode had on December 3, 2018, arrested, tortured, humiliated and detained him in a police cell at Aguleri Area Command.
According to Arinze, the action of the two officers, who were working as agents of the state Commissioner of Police, was unconstitutional, adding that it was a gross violation of his fundamental rights intended to undermine his person, personal liberty and freedom of movement, as guaranteed under Sections 34,35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(as amended).
The legal practitioner further asked for an award of damages in the sum N15 million for the breach of his rights.
Presiding judge, Justice Dilibe Amaechina, affirmed that the Police officers used the force of their might to torture and intimidate the applicant, who, he observed, was a young lawyer that went to the police area command to facilitate an amicable settlement of a land dispute involving his clients.
Justice Amaechina said: “The first and second respondents in a naked show of power, tried to bludgeon the applicant into submission, by intimidating, torturing, humiliating, assaulting, beating and pushing him inside the police cell.
“The show of power being exhibited by policemen in the country is becoming too frequent and must be discouraged.”