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Court Orders Ogun State Police Chief and Others to Pay N25m for Unlawful Detention

Court Orders Ogun State Police Chief and Others to Pay N25m for Unlawful Detention

A High Court in Ogun State, Abeokuta, has ruled that the Ogun State Commissioner of Police and five others pay N25 million in damages for unlawfully detaining Sunday Mafe.

The judgment, issued on February 5, 2024, and obtained on April 2, 2024, stated that Mafe’s repeated detentions by the police violated his fundamental human rights. The court found the detentions on December 2-5, 2016; December 16-20, 2016; and December 23-29, 2016, unjustified, unconstitutional, and unlawful.

The case, bearing suit no. HCJ/150/2017, involved Sunday Mafe versus the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, among others. Mafe brought the case against the police officials, citing breaches of the Criminal Code and his constitutional rights.

The court’s decision serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding citizens’ rights and ensuring that law enforcement acts within the bounds of the law.

According to the suit filed by Kayode Oshiyemi, Mafe held that he was detained several times by the men of the Nigeria Police Force in December based on a petition that was written by Yomi Nuberu on behalf of Olufowobi.

He also alleged he was accused of having arms and ammunition, but nothing was found in his house, and he was detained despite the same, and that he was accused of collecting the sum of N10.8m from Olufowobi in a civil transaction that had to do with land ownership.

Consequently, Justice Osinuga awarded the sum of N25m to be paid to Mafe as damages for his unlawful detention by the police.

The court also warned the police that their job does not include civil transactions, disputes, contracts, or land disputes.

The judgement read, “Having resolved issues 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 in favour of the claimant/applicant, I hold that the claim of claimant/applicant against the respondents succeeds accordingly, it is ordered:

“The sum of N25,000,000.00 (twenty-five million naira) is hereby awarded for the applicant and against the 1-6 respondents jointly and severally as general and compensatory damages for breach of the applicant’s fundamental rights as enshrined in Sections 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

“An order mandating/compelling the respondents to tender public apology to the applicant for breach of his fundamental rights in writing and in two national newspapers within four months of this judgment, giving three months window to appeal.

“A declaration that the respondents should stop harassing the applicant with threats of further arrest and stop using the machinery of police as a tool for intimidation and oppression of the applicant as it relates to facts disclosed in this suit.”

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