Ochei Matthew, Asaba
A High Court in Kwale in the Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State on Tuesday ordered the Commissioner of Police in the state to pay one Uche Obidike the sum of N15m as exemplary damages for his unlawful detention and another N200,000 as the cost of the action.
Obidike had sought the sum of N120m earlier through his counsel, K.O. Agbonze, in a Suit No. HCK/M/4/2018, dated 10 May, 2018, alleging that the police violated his right over his unlawful arrest and detention.
Delivering judgment in the suit, Justice V.I. Ofesi said that the court was satisfied that the applicant proved his case before the court, whereas the 1st respondent (commissioner of police) up till date of the judgment, despite the court order still detained the vehicle belonging to the applicant after his unlawful arrest and detention.
The judge observed that the respondent did not file any process in opposition to the applicant’s claims, affidavit of which was served on the two respondents with all processes filed and relied on by the applicant in the case.
Justice Ofesi further explained that the counsel for the applicant, K.O. Agbonze, brought the applicant’s claim under sections 44,46 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2009.
According to him, “The applicant’s counsel sought a declaration that the seizure, continuous distention, retention and conversion of the applicant’s navy blue Toyota Picnic car with Reg: No ABH43 XA, by the 1st respondent was an infraction of the applicant’s constitutional right to moveable property, describing the action as illegal, wrongful ultra vires and of no effect whatsoever.”