A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigeria Police Force to immediately release Mr. Solomon Onyegbule, one of the supporters of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
This is contained in a judgement given by Justice Z. B. Abubakar, who also awarded the sum of N50 million in favour of Onyegbule as compensatory and exemplary damages.
The judgement reads in part: “By an Originating Motion dated 7 February, 2022 and filed on the same day, the Applicant prayed this Court for the following reliefs:
“1. A Declaration that the arrest and the continued detention of the Applicant since the 8th March, 2021, till date, by the Respondent without being charged to Court or released on bail is illegal, unlawful, oppressive and unconstitutional, as it violates the Applicant’s fundamental rights to fair hearing, dignity of human person, personal liberty and right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by Sections 34, 35, 36 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“2. An Order of this Honourable Court directing the Respondent to unconditionally release the Applicant from their custody forthwith.
“3. Compensatory and exemplary damages of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira only), against the Respondent for the gross violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to dignity of human person, fair hearing, personal liberty and freedom of movement.”
“Therefore, having regard to the unlawful arrest and, the long and continued detention of the Applicant coupled with the injuries suffered by the Applicant as a result of the torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. meted on him by the Respondent, I award the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) to the Applicant against the Respondent as compensatory and exemplary damages,” the judgement added.
Commenting on this verdict, the lawyer for Kanu and separatist organisation IPOB, Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor on his Twitter page, added, “The court also ordered the Inspector General of Police tender a public apology to Mazi Solomon in one national newspaper.”
“We shall keep doing everything within our powers to ensure that Umuchineke unlawfully detained in various facilities of the security agencies across the country, are released and compensated for their unlawful arrests and detentions,” he added.