Bauchi court slams N1.2 million damages against police inspector-general, commissioner

A Bauchi High Court has awarded N1.2 million damages to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Bauchi State Police Commissioner for the Illegal detention and breach of the fundamental rights of a Bauchi based politician, Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo.

Justice Gurama Mahmoud who presided over the court in his ruling on Thursday stated that the arrest and detention of Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo was unconstitutional and an infringement on his human rights as a citizen of the country.

The court further restrained the IGP and his agents from proceeding further with the arrest and detention of the applicant.

Reacting to the ruling, Summi Zakka Bayero, Counsel to Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo, declared that the court is the last resort and hope of the common man, adding that the ruling was also a testimony that those in authority cannot misuse their authority and go scot-free.

Bayero had prayed the court to enforce the ruling in order to serve as a relief to his client who has suffered mental and emotional tortures by the acts of the respondents.

It would be recalled that Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo had sometime in 2018 sued the Inspector-General of Police and the state Commissioner of Police before the state High Court demanding N50 million as damages over alleged illegal detention and violation of his human right.

Barrister Joseph O. Bichi, Counsel to the complainant, had asked the court to declare that the arrest and detention of his client by the Police between August 11 and 12, 2018, constituted a gross violation of his fundamental right to dignity, liberty and fair hearing guaranteed under Section 34, 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 5 and 6 on Humans and People’s Rights Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

The counsel also sought the court to grant him an order restraining the respondents or their agents from further arresting or detaining his client in any other manner interfering with his fundamental rights which is contrary to the law.

In the affidavit he sworn to, Ibrahim Darazo alleged that the respondents in a team called the Inspector General of Police Squad from Abuja in conjunction with some policemen from the Bauchi State Command came to his house heavily armed and forcefully seized his mobile phone, and arrested him.

He further said that the policemen whisked him away without allowing him to tell his family that he was arrested or being taken away by the Nigeria Police and after searching his car and nothing incriminating was found inside the car, they seized the car key and detained him.

Ibrahim Darazo also said that when he demanded to know the reason he was arrested, one of the officers told him that he has no right to know why he was arrested because his arrest was ordered from above while all his pleas to the respondents to give him his phone to enable him inform his wives and friends to let them know that he was arrested was vehemently denied.

He further said that around 10 p.m. in the night of the arrest, one Samaila Idris Esq, whom he met while in detention, informed his counsel and when the counsel came all efforts to get him released on bail were turned down by the respondents, thereby making him to spend the night in detention without knowing the offence he committed.

Ibrahim Darazo who said that he spent the night under detention at the Bauchi State Police Command without knowing the crime he committed, stated that on Sunday around 5 o’clock in the evening, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of CID called him and asked him to go home but with his mobile phone still withheld which the Police later returned to him two days after his release.

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