Justice Innocent Nwabughogu of an Aba, Abia High Court, has ordered a trader in Ariaria International Market, Aba, Chibueze Eze Ezeike, to pay the sum of N10 million to a fellow trader in the market, Anayochukwu Nwafor, for infringing on his fundamental human rights.
Ezeike, the respondent to a case of breach of fundamental human rights, was alleged to have invited the police to arrest and detain the claimant, Nwafor, and also paraded him on handcuffs in an open market, like a common criminal, after which he was stripped naked and thereafter detained with hardened criminals at the Zone 9 Police Headquarters, Umuahia, Abia State.
In his judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Nwabughogu said that the respondent’s actions amounted to the infringement of the fundamental rights of the claimant, Nwafor and therefore ordered him to pay N10 million for infringing on his (the claimant’s) rights.
The suit, according to the trial judge, bordered on the enforcement of the rights of Nwafor and was dated March 21, 2020. The Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 9, Umuahia and one Supol Johnson, who is the Officer in Charge of Zone 9 Monitoring team, was also joined in the suit.
He therefore ruled that the claimant’s arrest and detention at Zone 9 police Headquarters in Umuahia on 18th February 2020, over a trade mark dispute between him and one Chinedu Ezeagu, a third party as posited by the claimant, is “unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal and oppressive”.
The judge said he accepted the claim of the claimant that there was no dispute warranting his arrest and detention and that the respondent, Ezeike even alluded to that fact in his statement, which also the AIG and Supol Johnson failed to contest after being served the processes.
“By virtue of Order viii rules 3 of the FREP Rules, they are deemed to have accepted the facts presented by Nwafor as true and capitulated to him, and having failed to prove the legality of Nwafor’s arrest and detention, Ezeike is liable to Nwafor for breaching the fundamental human rights of Nwafor and should pay the sum of N10 million to Nwafor for the infringement of his rights”, he ruled.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.