The Akwa Ibom State Division of the High Court in Uyo, the state capital on Thursday ordered Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to pay N20 million damages for incessant and unlawful arrests and detention of innocent civilians.
The latest victim is the Village Head of Ikot Oku Ikono in Uyo Local Government Area, Eteidung Okon Nnanah Akpan, who was arrested over issues bordering on electricity transformers in the village.
Presided over by Justice Ntong Ntong, the court ordered the police to pay the royal father N20 million “for arresting him on 28th February, 2022 and 28th April, 2022, at the Anti-Cultism Unit (ACU) of the state Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, and continually harassing him till date.”
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Of the amount, the court held that the respondents, “one Jimmy Godwin, who instigated the Police against the village head, is to cough out N10 million, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 6, Calabar, Cross River State, who authorised the unlawful action, N6 million, while the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), one Inspector Wofai Johnson, of Anti Vice Unit (AVU), Zone 6, Calabar, who obeyed the unlawful order of the AIG, is to pay the village head of Ikot Oku Ikono N4 million.”
“The action of the Police has consistently made the village head to suffer aggravated and psychological harassment, just because he performed his constitutional functions for his community,” adding that “the Police chose to remain aloof after they were served the originating processes in the matter,” the trial Judge ordered.
The court held that “the Nigeria Police should now be more discreet and civil in their investigations especially where the matter is civil and contractual.
“The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 6 and two other respondents are liable for breaching the fundamental rights of the applicant,” the court added.