APPEAL COURT ORDERS NIGERIAN POLICE, OTHERS TO PAY N5M TO ACTIVIST

An Appeal Court in Benin City, Edo State, on Monday asked the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Federation, AGF, Mohammed Adoke, to pay the N5 million fine imposed on them over the illegal detention of David Ugolor.

Mr. Ugolor is accused of involvement in the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, the former Principal Private Secretary to the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.

Justice Helen Ogunwumiju of the Edo State High Court, Benin City, who gave the order, directed that the money be paid to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Appeal Court to remit same into an interest yielding account pending the final resolution of the case.

Following Mr. Oyerinde’s killing last year, David Ugolor, human rights activist and Executive Director, African Network for Economic Justice, ANEJ, was arrested by the police on the orders of the IGP after one of the accused persons reportedly confessed to being sponsored by him to carry out the dastardly act.

Mr. Ugolor was detained for several months, but when the matter was taken to court for trial, he was ordered discharged and acquitted of the accusation, while the IGP and the police were fined N5million for the violation of his fundamental human rights through his illegal arrest and detention.

However, counsel to the Inspector General of Police, Nigeria Police Force and Attorney General of the Federation, Henry Ihonde, had requested a stay of execution of the decision of the lower court and the payment of the money into an interest yielding account in accordance with the rules of the court.

But counsel to the activist, Mr. Afolabi, faulted the police application describing it as legally defective; pointing out that the N5 million must first be paid into an interest yielding account pending the final judgment by the appeal court.

After argument, Mr. Ihonde agreed that his clients would pay the money into an interest yielding account, while both parties agreed a stay of execution pending the appeal court judgment.

The court, thereafter, ruled that the money be paid by the AGF, IGP and the police into any interest yielding account within 60 days when the final ruling is expected to be delivered in the case.

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