BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—THE legal battle between the Executive Director of African Network for Economics and Environmental Justice, ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, and the Nigeria Police over the N5 million awarded against the Inspector- General of Police by an Edo State High Court has shifted to the Supreme Court, with the IG urging the apex court to set aside the ruling of Appeal Court on the judgment sum.
Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar, and the Nigeria Police in their appeal are challenging the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Benin Division, which ordered the IG and police to deposit the sum of N5 million awarded against them in an interest yielding account with a commercial bank.
It will be recalled that an Edo State High Court sitting in Benin and presided over by Justice Edigin awarded the sum of N5 million as damages in favour of Rev. David Ugolor over his unlawful detention, following the murder of the late Oyerinde, Private Principal Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court, the IG and the Nigeria Police Force approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment.
However, the Court of Appeal in its ruling upheld the submission of Rev. Ugolor’s counsel, Afolabi Olayiwola, to the effect that the judgment sum of N5 million must be paid into an interest yielding account, pending the determination of the appeal.
However, the IG and the Nigeria Police in the appeal before the Supreme Court, by their counsel, Onwuka Igwe, prayed the apex court for an order of stay of execution of the order of the Court of Appeal requesting the appellants to put the sum of N5 million into an interest yielding account to be managed by the Deputy Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Benin Division, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal before it.
In their appeal, the appellants/applicants argued that the appellate court erred in law when it held in its rulings “that the 1st and 2nd appellants/applicants shall deposit the judgment sum of N5m with 60 days with the Deputy Registrar of the court.”
They also held that the appellate court erred in law when it failed to accept that the appellants, being statutory agencies of government, were buoyant enough to satisfy payment of the judgment sum.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the appeal.