Police to pay Akwa Ibom barber N2m for illegal detention – The Punch

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Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme
Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has ordered the state Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, to pay a barber, Haggai Oku, the sum of N2m for unlawful arrest and detention.
Oku, who hailed from Itam, Itu Local Government Area of the state was arrested and detained on December 18, 2020.
Delivering judgement on Thursday in a suit between Oku and the Commissioner of Police, Justice Ntong held that the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State, through his officers and men violated the personal liberty of the applicants by arresting and detaining him in the place of another person popularly called ‘Soft Touch’.
The judge said, “Such mistaken identity is so grieved to be ignored. It is the duty of the Commissioner of Police to superintend, supervise and crosscheck the activities of his officers and men in all circumstances.

“The time has come and that time is now when the police in this country should respect the constitution and rights of the citizens as enshrined in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He added, “There is no direct evidence of torture of the applicant by the respondent. I hold that the unlawful arrest and the continuous detention of the applicant without trial till the day this Honourable Court granted him bail amount to torture as the applicant suffered aggravated psychological harassment.

“The conduct of the respondent is most uncivilised and unwholesome in a democratic setting like ours. The respondent’s conduct to the fundamental right of the applicant is reprehensible and opprobrious. The only situation that can assuage and ameliorate the suffering of the applicant is payment of damages.”


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He added that in awarding the damages, he had considered the decline in the purchasing power of the aira currently in this country.

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