Abba Kyari: Court Says Arrest Without Warrant By Police Is Unconstitutional
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared that the arrest without warrant and media parade of a businessman, Mr Victor Ojionu, by operatives of Nigeria Police Force, is unconstitutional.
Ojionu through his lawyer, Abubakar Marshal, had approached the Court in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/01/2020, praying Justice Zainab Abubakar to determine whether his arrest, handcuffing, detention and pre-trial media parade by the police on September 17, 2019 is not unlawful.
Marshal told the court that his client was brutalized, tortured and subjected to dehumanizing treatment by a police team led by the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
Respondents in the case were the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Part of the reliefs sought include : “A declaration that the arrest (without warrant) of the applicant by armed agents of the respondents on September 17, 2019, is legal and unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental rights to personal liberty and presumption of innocence as enshrined in Section 35 and 36 respectively of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap A10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
But the IGP counsel had urged the court to strike out the application for being incompetent and for failing to disclose a reasonable cause of action thus, robbing the court of jurisdiction to entertain the case.
In her ruling, the judge removed the AGF from the proceedings, but held that the police failed to give evidence in contradiction of the plaintiff’s claims.
Also, the court refused the plaintiff’s claim of unlawful detention because he failed to state where or the place he was detained.
In her ruling obtained by our correspondent on Thursday, Justice Abubakar granted that Ojionu’s arrest without warrant was unconstitutional and subsequently ordered N1m cost against the police.
The court also ordered a number of media platforms which published defamatory publication against the plaintiff to pull it down.