A Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo state capital, has ordered the Nigerian Police to pay the sum of N100m to the immediate past Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi.
The Police had prevented Ajayi, then deputy governor, from exiting the Government House between 7pm on June 20 and 9am on June 21, 2020 over suspicion he planned to defect from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice F. A. Olubanjo of the Akure division of the Federal High Court, held in a judgment the action of the security officials amounted to a disregard of rule of law and a violation of the constitutional provisions that guarantee citizens’ rights to movement, dignity, among others.
Justice Olubanjo, who awarded N100million damages against the police, noted that should such arbitrary conduct on a serving Deputy Governor, clothed with immunity, be allowed to stand, the police could one day abduct a serving President on the excuse of conducting an investigation.
The judgment was on a fundamental rights enforcement suit, marked: FHC/AK/CS/46/2020 filed and prosecuted for Agboola by his lawyer, Babs Akinwunmi.
The suit was initially filed in Abuja but was transferred to Akure by Justice Okon Abang on grounds of jurisdiction.
Respondents in the case are the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Commissioner of Police (Ondo State), the Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), the DSS, Speaker of Ondo Assembly. and Ondo Assembly.
Justice Olubanjo however said he could not grant the award of N1b damages sought by the applicant. (TheNation)