Legal Nigeria

Court awards N20m damages against Police for wrongful arrest

A federal High Court in Port Harcourt has slammed a judgement N20 million as damages against Rivers State Commissioner of Police and the disbanded Eagle Crack unit for illegally parading the owner of an Orphanage on allegation of running a baby factory.

It would be recalled that about February last year in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Police Command paraded the owner of Tender Life Initiative Foundation Chinelo Odioakosa-Mmakwe and her staff for allegedly running an orphanage home.

Despite the denials of the allegations and documents tendered to the Police exonerating herself and her Orphanage, Mrs. Odioakosa-Mmakwe all fell on deaf ears.

However, she and her Staff were later released from Police custody.

She later dragged the Police authorities to Court for violating her fundamental human rights and personal dignity and demanded the sum of N200million as damages.

Justice Muhammed Abubakar while delivering his judgment on the matter granted the seven reliefs sought by the Claimant.

Justice Abubakar condemned the actions of the Police and advised that parading of suspects is against their fundamental rights.

The Judge, however, urged the Defendants in the matter to respect the rights of suspects and stop parading them.

In the meantime, Lawyer to the owner of the Orphanage , Henry Ekeni, shortly after the court commended the court for standing up to protect the rights of citizens but expressed worry about how difficult to enforce a judgment of Court, especially when it concerns the Police.

On her part, the owner of the Tender Life Initiative Foundation, Chinelo Odioakosa-Mmakwe in an interview with Journalists said the judgment has vindicated her that she is innocent of the allegations leveled against her by the Police.