Court Awards N21.4m Against Police Over Unlawful Detention of Truck

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Justice Sule Hassan, of a Federal High Court, Lagos, today, ordered the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to pay a total sum of N21.4 million, to a limited liability company, Alfredo Resources Nigeria Limited, for unlawfully detained the company’s truck, unlawful extortion and general damages.

Justice Hassan made the order while delivering judgment in a fundamental rights suit marked FHC/L/CS/338/18, instituted by the company against Mrs. Toun Sobajo, who trades under the name and style of Alol Wadudat Nigeria Limited, Inspector-General of Police(IGP), Assistant Inspector-General, Zone 2, Onikan-Lagos, as first to third respondents.

Other respondents in the company’s fundamental right suit are: Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Divisional Police Officer, Ebute-Ero Police Station, Lagos Island, Inspector Sunday, and one Ifeanyi Okafor, as fourth to seventh respondents.

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The applicant, through its lawyers, Chief Charles Enwelunta and Chijioke Chinewubeze, had urged the court for an a declaration that its arrest, detention, incarceration, torture and dehumanization by the Force over a business transaction with the first and seven  respondents, is illegal and unlawful.

The applicant had also asked for a court’s declaration that the use, employment and hiring of the police by the first respondent to unlawfully and illegally recovered the sum of N9 million from them, over a trumped up allegations, was illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The applicant had urged the court for a declaration that the resumption of the use, employment and procurement of the Force by the first respondent to again commence a further extortion and recovery of monies for the first respondent on account of same transaction for which the sum of N9 million had been unlawfully taken from it in favour of the first respondent, where the second, third and sixth respondents are determined to commence the extortion of another N200 million monthly, is illegal and unconstitutional.

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The applicants have asked the court for an order compelling the Nigeria Police Force, its IGP, AIG Zone 2, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, DPO, Ebute-Ero Police Division, and one Inspector Sunday to pay back the sum of N9 million unlawfully extorted from them, and a total sum of N2.4 million, at N100, 000, daily for 24 months, for unlawfully detained their Mack trailer at Ebute-Ero police station, and the sum of N50 million for general damages.

Delivering judgment in suit today, the Justice Hassan, said: “I have gone through all the processes filed, the motion on notice, supporting affidavit and the written address.

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“The respondents didn’t file any counter despite been served. In view of the above, I hereby granted all the reliefs sought by the applicant except relief G, in which I award the cost of N10 million, as general damages, against all the respondents, jointly and severally, for the breach of applicant’s fundamental rights”.

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