Extra-judicial Killing: Court Awards N110m Against Police

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A Federal High Court sitting in Bauchi has awarded the sum of N110 million against the Nigeria Police as compensation for the torture which led to the death of two people and injury to the third person for allegations of theft of chickens.

Abdulwahab Bello, Ibrahim Babangida and Ibrahim Samaila, were allegedly beaten by the Divisional Police Officer of the Township Division, SP Baba Ali, on July 21, 2020, over alleged theft of chickens belonging to a retired police officer.

The torture led to the death of Samaila and Babangida while Bello survived with life-threatening injuries. He (Bello) then slammed three separate suits demanding N150 million each for himself and his two friends against the police as damages and compensation.

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Joined in the three separate suits, instituted at the Federal High Court, Bauchi, on October 22, 2020, are the DPO superintendent of Police Baba Ali who is the 1st defendant; Sergeant Jibril Mohammed, 2nd defendant; Inspector General of Police, 3rd defendant; Commissioner of Police Bauchi State, 4th defendant and the Police Service Commission as 5th defendant.

Delivering the three judgements separately against the respondents during the Court’s sitting on Friday, the Presiding Judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, said that the action of the Police against the three accused amounted to an infringement of their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

He declared that the actions of the respondents against the three accused were “callous, cruel and uncivilized.”

He, therefore, awarded the sum of N100 million each to the biological mothers of the two deceased and N10 million to the mother of the survivor as compensation and general damages, with 10 per cent interest rate per annum until the total amounts are fully paid.

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Dikko said, “The killing of Ibrahim Babangida on 23rd day July, 2020 whose death was as a result of his beaten up by the 1st respondent on the 17th day of July 2020, acting under the supervision of the 3rd and 4th respondents for no justifiable reason, constitute extra-judicial killing and is violent deprivation of his fundamental right to life as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and in article 3 and 5 of the African Charter on human rights and dignity, is illegal.

“I hereby, order the payment of compensation in the sum of N100 million only against the respondents jointly and severally to Hafsatu Babangida being the biological mother of late Ibrahim Babangida, now deceased as general damages.”

Also delivering judgement in favour of the second deceased’s family, the Judge said that the 1st and 2nd respondents arrested, detained and brutalized the applicant by tying him firmly on a tree and used a pestle to cause grievous injury and caused fracture on his leg.

“I consider this action by the respondents as callous, cruel and they must be held liable. It is also to tame the shameful and prevalent executive impunity practised by the Nigerian Police Force capable of causing a second wave of #EndSARS with particular consequences on the security of the citizens and government of Nigeria.

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“Extra-judicial killings must be discouraged by all local authorities in every democratic society. The applicant is entitled to compensation for the senseless and brutal intention of torture he endured in the hands of the respondents,” he stated.

(PUNCH)

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