An Akwa Ibom State High Court has ordered a policeman, CSP Celestine Umeh, the Nigeria Police Force and the state commissioner of police, to pay the sum of N4 million as compensation to a businessman, Clement Asuquo Etim.
Etim, a businessman, was said to have been arrested, detained and tortured for three straight days after Umeh caught him with his wife on their matrimonial bed in May 2020, at Aba Ukpo Estate in Uyo, the state capital.
The man then filed a case against Umeh and in the 46-page court document, he explained how Umeh, who is now the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Itu Division in Akwa Ibom, violated his fundamental right to private and family life guaranteed by Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution, when he broke into his matrimonial home in his absence.
Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer who represented the plaintiff, Etim, filed the lawsuit marked HU/FHR.72/2020.
Effiong asked the court to enforce the fundamental rights of his client to dignity of the human person, personal liberty, private and family lives and freedom of movement.
Delivering judgement on August 16, 2021, the presiding judge, Justice Charles Ikpe, found that the police violated the fundamental right of the applicant to personal liberty by detaining him for three days without justification.
The judge also confirmed that Etim was tortured, thereby violating his right to dignity of the human person.
The court found the police guilty of violating the fundamental rights of the applicant to private and family life by intruding into Etim’s matrimonial home without his consent.
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