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Nigerian Court has awarded N10.9 million damages against IGP and others for human rights violations on Tuesday, 10th of May, 2022.

IGP, Usman Alkali Baba
IGP, Usman Alkali Baba

A High Court sitting in Arochukwu, Abia State on Tuesday 10th May found the Nigeria Police Force guilty of Human Rights violations and ordered the Abia State Commissioner of Police, DSP Aniefiok Sampson, and Inspector Etim Etim of the Force to pay the sum of N10.9 million to the Applicant.

Paviosca Hotel was at 22:00 hours on 4th December 2021 forcefully invaded by the Police force which led to the destruction of the CCTV system and other properties without any lawful justification.

Chief Pascal Kanu, Chairman of Paviosca Hotel Limited Umudike, filed a suit against the Police force.

Joined in the suit as respondents were the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as 1st, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone9 Umuahia as 2nd, Abia State Commissioner of Police as 3rd, Police Service Commission (PSC) as 4th defendant, DSP Aniefiok Sampson as 5th and Inspector Etim Etim as 6th respondent.

The suit was brought pursuant to Order 2 Rule 1,2,3 4 and 5 of Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rule 2009, Order 39 Rule (1) and (2) of the Abia State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2014, and Section 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The Inspector-General of Police and other mentioned respondents did not put up appearances throughout the duration of the hearing.

Delivering judgment, the Presiding Judge, Hon Justice Benson Anya frowned at the impunity and unprofessional conduct of the Police which led to such massive and avoidable destructions.

He further slammed police for first destroying the CCTV camera system that would have aided them in their investigation while at the same time stealing cash belonging to the Applicant which speared premeditated.

The court believed that the 3rd, 5th, and 6th defendants were directly instrumental to the violations and therefore ordered them to pay the Applicant the sum of N2,819,400 as cash forcefully removed from Paviosca Hotel and N8,000,000 as cost for Human Right Violations. The Judge noted with anger the refusal of the respondents to appear in court.

Speaking after the judgment, Barr Obinnaya expressed satisfaction as he described it as a landmark judgment and victory for Human Right Enforcers.

According to him, the Commissioner of Police ignored the directive of the IGP for the matter to be properly investigated based on the petition by the Applicant.

Hon. Justice revealed the petition to IGP gives full details of the cases. The detailed transactions and damages to the hotel facility are also attached.

”The forceful invasion and intimidation of armless and defenseless customers and staff by the Police Team without uniforms.

Which initially raised fears of a possible armed robbery attack. In the heat of that, the officers extorted N1,117,000 from one of the customers by the name David and his girlfriend, and allowed them to go whereas 11 others were charged to court.

The transfers were made via Zenith Bank account for N400,000.00 and Crypto transaction valued at N717,000 through Access Bank”.

These are facts presented to IGP in the petition yet, Police turned blind eyes and refused to take action against the erring officers.

See photos from the scene of Paviosca Hotel…

Photo of Paviosca Hotel
Photo of Paviosca Hotel
Photo from the scene of the hotel
Photo from the scene of the hotel
Photo from the scene of Paviosca Hotel
Photo from the scene of Paviosca Hotel
Photo from the scene of Paviosca Hotel
Photo from the scene of Paviosca Hotel
Photo from the scene of Paviosca Hotel
Photo from the scene of Paviosca Hotel

Watch video here

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