A Port Harcourt High Court has ordered the Inspector General of Police to pay N10 million, as damages, to Patrice Ukposi, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The court, in a judgment delivered on Friday by Justice Biobele Georgewill, held that the amount was for the compensation, harassment, unlawful arrest and detention of Ukposi.
Justice Georgewill said that the plaintiff was arrested in Port Harcourt on Oct. 2 and taken to Abuja on Oct. 3, where he was detained till Oct. 5.
He held that the lawyer was arrested and detained unlawfully without a warrant of arrest.
The judge added that there was no investigation or evidence of what the applicant did before he was arrested, noting that the police infringed on Ukposi’s fundamental human right.
Mr. Georgewill said that the police had no right to arrest and detain any citizen unlawfully because their duty was to protect the right of every citizen’s life and property.
He said that the second defendant in the case (the policeman that carried out the arrested) should pay N50, 000 to Ukposi for his expenses throughout the court proceedings.
Mr. Ukposi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the judgment that he was happy with the judgment, especially the speedy intervention of the NBA.
“I feel very happy. I’m a legal practitioner and I have been in the practice for 22 years and I pray for a judiciary that will work as speedily as this, my matter, has been concluded,’’ he said.
Mr. Ukposi, who is the consultant of NBA Human Right Committee, said that he was unlawfully arrested and detained in Port Harcourt by the police for an alleged false document.
He said that a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) ordered his arrest for forgery of document, saying that he was arrested, taken to Abuja and detained in cell for three days.
Mr. Ukposi, who said that he was later released on bail, said that by the judgment, he was vindicated.
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