….demands N500m damages for harassment, intimidation
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Following alleged attempt to arrest them for staging a protest to the National Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Senators Dino Melaye and Ben Murray-Bruce, on Monday, dragged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to court.
The Applicants who were among leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that marched to INEC office to protest against the outcome of the Osun State governorship election, in the suit, alleged attempt by the Nigerian Police Force to arrest them.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/03/095/2018, the Applicants, through their lawyer, Mr. Mahmud Magaji, SAN, prayed the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare that the harassment that was given to them by the Police during their peaceful protest on October 5, including the teargas that was fired at them, amounted to gross violation of their fundamental human rights.
They specifically urged the court to declare “that the threat, intimidation and unlawful harassment of the Applicants by the agents of the 1st and 2nd Respondents via a letter of invitation wherein the Applicants were directed to appear before the agents of the Respondents on the 8th of October, 2018, is illegal, unconstitutional and a gross violation of the Applicants’ fundamental right as guaranteed under section 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999( as amended) and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Acts, Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
Aside praying the court to set aside the invitation letter with respect to “the lawful and peaceful procession organized by members of the Peoples Democratic Party on the 5th of October, 2018”, the plaintiffs demanded for an order directing the Respondents to jointly and severally, pay them the sum of N500bmillion as pecuniary and exemplary damages arising from humiliation, intimidation, harassment and unlawful attempt to arrest them by the 2nd Respondent.
While the IGP was cited as the 1st Respondent in the matter, the Commissioner of Police in the FCF was sued as the 2nd Respondent.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.