Juliana Francis

The Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability (RULAAC), Okecukwu Nwanguma, today urges the Nigeria Police Force to comply with the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja by awarding N60 million in punitive and general damages to Glory Okolie for the gross violation of her fundamental human rights.

Nwanguma, who commends the doggedness of Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr and other human rights lawyers and activists in fighting to secure justice for Gloria Okorie, said that the judgement was a welcome development.

The court presided over by Justice Y. Haliyu on Thursday, June 23, 2022, granted every relief sought in Okolie’s case

It will be recalled that Okolie was illegally detained and held in a cell by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force for more than 150 days on bogus allegations of being a spy for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Justice Haliyu in granting the originating motion and reliefs filed by Okolie awarded a total sum of N60,000,000 in punitive and general damages caused to her by the police.

Nwanguma said: “RULAAC commends the doggedness of Gloria’s legal representative, Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr, and the FCT high court in delivering Justice in the case.  RULAAC also Commends other human rights lawyers, civil society organisations, and the media whose vigorous and consistent campaign resulted in this happy outcome  RULAAC calls on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigeria Police Force who are respondents in the fundamental human rights application to promptly comply with the court judgment and pay the victim the judgment sum in general and punitive damages separately for infringing on her rights.”

According to the activist, he had noted that the Nigeria Police was notorious for disobedience to court orders made on them, hence the police were carrying several arrears of judgment debts.

“This is not a good record for an organisation established under the law to enforce the law.  It is subversive of the rule of law, and we call on the Inspector General of Police to purge the Nigeria Police of serial contempt for the courts by promptly complying with this order. We also call on the Hon.  Attorney General of the Federation who is the chief law officer of the county with a mandate to ensure compliance with court orders to initiate steps to ensure that the NPF complies with this order.  Nigeria should no longer be portrayed as a lawless state which tramples on the rule of law while laying dubious claims to being a civilised and democratic state.  This judgment provides yet another opportunity for the Nigerian government under General Buhari to acquit itself,” said Nwanguma.

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