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Court compels Lagos to pay ram seller N7m compensation for unlawful detention

By ABDUWAHAB ABDULAH & ONOZURE DANIA

IKEJA – An Ikeja High Court, Lagos, yesterday, dismissed an application by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Ade Ipaye, asking the court for a stay of execution of the judgment of the court delivered in favour of an illegally-detained Nigerian, Mamman Keita.

Justice Habeeb Abiru, had in the judgment last December 16, ordered the Attorney-General to pay N7 million to Keita as compensation for his  detention in prison for over 10 years without trial.

The judge held that Keita’s detention  without proper arraignment and trial in court was a violation of his fundamental human rights as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.

The court also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, and Ipaye to tender an apology to the 43-year-old ram seller for detaining him unjustly for murder.

Abiru, while dismissing the application, said it lacked merit because Keita was unjustly detained for over 10 years and deserved the compensation.

The judge faulted Ipaye’s claim that Keita was remanded in prison by the police without forwarding the case to the office of the Attorney- General.

He said the police and the AG were responsible for ensuring that people were given justice, which was denied Keita in his case.

Ipaye said: “The criminal justice administration law was proposed by the Ministry of Justice and we have a duty to uphold its provisions.”

He had filed an appeal at the Appeal Court, Lagos,against the judgment and had asked the lower court to stay execution of its judgment pending the determination of the appeal.


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