A Rights Group, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, RULAAC on Wednesday said it welcomes the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja awarding N60 million in punitive and general damages to Glory Okolie against the Nigeria Police for the gross violation of her fundamental human rights.
The court presided over by Justice Y. Haliyu on Thursday June 23, 2022, granted every relief sought in Okolie’s case.
Recall that Okolie was illegally detained and held in a cell by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force for more than 150 days on bogus allegations of spying for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Despite keeping Gloria in their custody and using her for all manner of tasks, the Police team had denied having her in their custody when the family made inquiries.
It took a revelation of another held in the same facility as Gloria, for the victim to be tracked to the same team who had denied having her in their custody.
In the recent ruling, Justice Haliyu in granting the originating motion and reliefs filed by Okolie awarded a total sum of N60,000,000 (sixty million naira) in punitive and general damages caused to her by the police.
Speaking on the development, the executive director of RULAAC, Okey Nwanguma said the RULAAC commends the doggedness of Gloria’s legal representative, Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr, and the FCT high court in delivering Justice in the case.
He also stated the RULAAC’s commendation for other human rights lawyers, civil society organisations and the media whose vigorous and consistent campaign resulted to the happy outcome.
The RULAAC called on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigeria Police Force who are respondents in the fundamental human rights application to promptly comply with the court judgment and pay the victim the judgment sum in general and punitive damages separately for infringing on her rights.
“We note that the Nigeria Police is notorious for disobedience to court orders made on them, hence the police carry several arrears of judgment debts.
“This is not a good record for an organization established under the law to enforce the law.
“It is subversive of the rule of law and we call on the Inspector General of Police to purge the Nigeria Police of serial contempt for the courts by promptly complying with this order.
“We also call on the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation who is the chief law officer of the county with a mandate to ensure compliance with court orders to initiate steps to ensure that the NPF complies with this order.
“Nigeria should no longer be portrayed as a lawless state which tramples on the rule of law while laying dubious claims to being a civilised and democratic state.
“This judgment provides yet another opportunity for the Nigerian government under General Buhari to acquit itself,” he said.