A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State, has awarded N5 million as aggravated and general damages against the Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, over police brutality and abuse of human rights.
The court awarded the damages for the reckless abuse of the rights of the applicant, Mrs Adetola Abdulazeez.
In a Fundamental Human Rights’ Enforcement suit instituted by a foremost human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, on behalf of the applicant, the presiding judge, Justice Ayo Emmanuel, resolved the matter in favour of the applicant.
In his judgement, the court held that the actions of the offending police officers in the discharge of their duties as agents of the Nigeria Police Force amounted to an infringement on the fundamental right to dignity of the applicant, a liability the NPF must shoulder.
It would be recalled that the applicant on April 18, 2020, during the national COVID-19 lockdown, was grievously dehumanised and publicly assaulted by NPF officers who were identified as Inspector Taiwo and Constable Abass Ibrahim.
The applicant was hounded by the said officers on her way in search of a pharmaceutical store to purchase drugs for her ailing daughter who was down with a severe ear infection.
The said officers, without a just cause, pounced on the applicant with police baton and whips, causing her grievous bodily injuries and emotional distress.
At the hearing of the suit, the counsel for the Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police, F.B Osei Esq., argued that Inspector Taiwo and Constable Abass Ibrahim were agents of the Nigeria Police Force, however, that the Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police cannot be held liable for the acts and omission of its officers.
Olajengbesi in his statement commended the court’s industry as espoused in its judgment and applauds the presiding judge for his judicious adjudication of the suit.
The judgment, according to Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq., will reinforce the slogan which connotes the judiciary as the last hope of the common man and equally rekindle the hope of Nigerians in our judicial ssystem.
Other lawyers in the matter that represented the applicant are: Pelumi Wole Olaleye Esq., Abiodun Sonaike Esq. and Emmanuel Omaga.