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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Court Orders IGP To Pay N10m Damages To Driver For His Unlawful Arrest And Illegal Detention For Six Years

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A Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday, ordered the immediate release of a driver, Jones Ofori, who has been wrongfully put in prison custody since 2013 without trial.

The presiding judge, Justice Sule Hassan also ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to pay the driver the sum of N10 million, as damages for his unlawful arrest and illegal detention.
The judge made the release order while delivering judgment in an enforcement of fundamental rights suit filed by the driver through his lawyer, Adewale A. Fadipe.
Joined as respondents in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Deputy-Controller of Prison (DCP).
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/887/18, Ofori has asked the court for a declaration that his arrest and detention for two weeks and a week at Ajiwe Police Station and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Ikeja respectively, is illegal and constitutes an infringement of his fundamental rights to personal liberty as guaranteed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A declaration that his continued imprisonment without trial constitutes an infringement of his freedom to personal liberty as guaranteed by Nigeria’s constitution.
Ofori also asked the court for an order for his immediate release from the prison custody. And a court order that he should be produced before the court.
He further asked the court to award the sum of N50 million in his favor, for his unlawful arrest, detention and continued detention.
Ofori in an affidavit deposed to by Oguntuwase Olatunde, a lawyer in the Law firm of Wale Fadipe and Company, averred that sometimes in the year 2013, he was employed by one Mr. Ikechukwu to be driving a car for commercial purpose and he was delivering the sum of N350, 000.00, monthly.
He stated that on November 14, 2013, at about 9p.m, after closing of the day, he parked the car at a general car park around his house in Ajah, Lagos and on November 14, at about 6 am, on getting to where the car was parked in order to clean it and get ready for the day’s work, he discovered that the car was missing.


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