An Owerri High Court on Wednesday awarded N20 million as damage against the Nigeria Police for assaulting an Owerri-based lawyer, Chukwuemeka Amaghiro, in 2016.
In his judgment, Justice K.A Orjiako, said the respondents were found guilty of gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human right.
Amaghiro had in 2016 filed a suit of violation of his fundamental human right against the Police Service Commission, Nigerian Police Force, Commissioner of Police in Imo State and the OC D8 SARS Investigative Police Officer, Bassey Ikpa, for assaulting him in 2016.
Orjiako further held that all evidence before him proved that the lawyer’s fundamental right was grossly violated.
He said he decided to award the damage considering the reputation of the person assaulted and the provision of the law on human right violation.
The further advised the police to always respect human right while discharging their duties.
Amaghiro and Emeka Iwuchukwu were allegedly assaulted by some police officers when they visited their client, Keziah Nwoha, who was under police detention in 2016.
Iwuchukwu, who was equally assaulted on the same issue was awarded N10 million as damage in Dec. 6, 2016 in an Owerri High Court presided by Justice E.F Njemanze.
The counsel to the applicant, Mr Soronnadi Njoku, told NAN that his clients decided to approach the court due to how they were manhandled by police officers on the instigation of the OC SARS D10, Emenike.
He said the two lawyers visited the police to find out why their client was arrested and detained as her case was still pending in court.
“When the lawyers got to the police, the Investigating Police Officer, Mr Bassey Ikpa became hostile on the two lawyers.
“The lawyers became helpless and decided to approach his superior, who directed the officers to deal with them,” he said.
He said he would enforce the two judgments simultaneously to ensure that the damage awarded to the applicants was paid.
All the respondents and their lawyers were absent during the judgment.