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Published On: Tue, Oct 23rd, 2018

Court orders police to pay man N15.2m for unlawful detention

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From Osakhare Erese, Asaba

A Kwale High Court in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State has ordered the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mustafa Muhammed to pay one Uche Obidike, the sum of N15.2million as exemplary damage against the sum of N120million earlier sought by his counsel, Barrister Kenneth Agbonze for his unlawful detention, and another N200, 000 as cost for the action.
Delivering the judgment in a suit no: HC/M/4/2018, dated the 10th day of May, 2018, the high court judge, Justice Victor Ofesi noted that the court was satisfied that the applicant proved his case before the court, whereas the 1st respondent, (Commissioner of Police) until date of the judgement, despite the court order still detained the vehicle, belonging to the applicant after his unlawful arrest and detention.
The Judge observed that the respondent did not file any process in opposition to the applicant’s claims, affidavit of which was served on the two respondents with all processes filed and relied on by the applicant in the case. Justice Ofesi further explained that the counsel to the applicant, Barr. Kenneth Agbonze brought the applicant’s claim under section 44, 46 (1) and (2) of the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), article 14 of the African Charter on Human and People Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2009.
According to him, the applicant’s counsel sought a declaration that the seizure, continuous detention, retention and conversation of the applicant’s navy blue, Toyota Picnic Car (space bus) with registration no: ABH 43 XA. Engine no: 352673244 and Chasis no: J11725M of the applicant’s constitutional right to movable property, describing the action as illegal wrongful, ultra vires and no effect whatsoever.
Barr. Agbonze had also sought an order for the immediate release of the vehicle, and same to be produced before the honourable court as well as an order seeking for damages in the sum of N120, 000 in favour of the applicant for breach of his fundamental right occasioned by the seizure, continuous detention, retention and conversation of this car.

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