Court orders Nigerian Police to pay suspect N2 million for unlawful arrest and detention

A Federal High Court in Osun, on Thursday, awarded N2 million damages against the police and two others in favour of one Yekeen Abass over his unlawful arrest and prolonged detention.

The judge, Peter Lifu, delivered the judgment in Mr Abass’s fundamental human rights suit against the state police commissioner and two officers, Adams Adam and Abiodun Olalekan, respectively, as first, second and third respondents.

The applicant had sometimes sued the respondents at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Osogbo after his unlawful detention and violation of human rights in 2017.

Mr Lifu held that, as required by law, the police unlawfully detained the complainant for more than 48 hours without finding fault with him or charging him to court.

He said the unlawful detention led the complainant to seek justice over the abuse of his fundamental human rights.

The judge also noted that during the trial, the third respondent also failed to appear in court to defend the lawsuit against him.

He further stated that the complainant’s fundamental rights were truly infringed as the respondents failed to defend the case against them.

He said Mr Abass, a tailor, was illegally detained and subsequently released from police custody without charges or theft evidence against him.

The court recorded that the plaintiff was arrested and detained by the police after Mr Olalekan had accused him of stealing his floor tiles on his unfinished building site.

Although the police had a duty to arrest and investigate suspects, the judge said it was unlawful to detain them for more than 48 hours.

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