*Orders police to apologise, pay N2m to victim
By Ndubuisi Michaels
A Federal High Court, Abuja, Friday ruled as unlawful, the declaration of Kassim Afegbua as a ‘wanted person’ by the police.
Hon. Justice A. I. Chikere, who made the ruling, also ordered the police to apologize and pay the victim N2m for the infringement of his rights.
SUMMARY OF THE COURT’S JUDGMENT DELIVERED ON THE 12TH DAY OF APRIL, 2019 IN SUIT NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/129/2018 – KASSIM AFEGBUA v. THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE & 4 ORS
Hon. Justice A. I. Chikere of the Federal High Court No. 4, Abuja Judicial Division upon consideration of Kassim Afegbua’ counsel, Dr. Kayode Ajulo’s arguments inter alia held in the above-named suit as follows:
1. That the averments contained in the Applicant’s Affidavit in support of his application for enforcement of his fundamental rights are deemed admitted; same having not been challenged or controverted by the Respondents.
2. That the continued witch-hunt, harassment, intimidation, and persecution of the Applicant or threats thereof by the Respondents ostensibly upon the basis of a letter he wrote on behalf of his principal, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida GCFR, when his principal has not lodged any complaint to the Police or any other security agency is a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, LFN, 2004.
3. That the declaration by the 1st to 3rd Respondents that the Applicant is wanted when there has been no formal invitation extended to the Applicant or any attempt has been made to arrest him and he has resisted or refused to honour such invitation is illegal and unconstitutional.
4. That the Respondents are hereby restrained from the continued with-hunt, harassment, intimidation, and persecution of the Applicant or threats thereof ostensibly on the basis of a letter he wrote on behalf of his principal, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida GCFR.
5. That the Respondents are hereby orderd to pay the Applicant jointly and severally the sum of Two Million Naira (₦2,000,000) as damages for breach of his fundamental rights.
6. That the Respondents are hereby ordered to apologise to the Applicant on the media.