The Oyo State High Court, has awarded a sum of N150, 000 as damages and costs against a former Divisional Police Officer of Iyaganku, Ibadan, CSP Alex Gwazah, for violation of rights of a fashion designer, Lukman Adeniyi.
The judgement, has delivered by Justice Rachael Boyede Akintola of Court 4, on Tuesday, February 23, ruled that the act of the former DPO, who is the first respondent, was unlawful in respect of the things he did to the applicant.
It would be noted that the Counsel to the applicant, Barrister Mohammed Jubril, had filed a motion on notice, in which Adeniyi applied for an order for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights to personal liberty and dignity.
The applicant sought for an order to protect him against torture and inhuman treatment, as enshrined under Sections 34(1)(a) and 35(1) and (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The motion on notice also sought, among others, a declaration that the arrest, interrogation, assault, torture and detention of the applicant by the first respondent on the 1st day of November, 2020, based on a baseless and false allegation that applicant destroyed the clothes he gave him to sew.
In an affidavit, Adeniyi swore to an oath on how he was physically assaulted, detained in the cell and arraigned in court over accusation that he (Adeniyi) damaged his (Officer Gwazah) clothes.
But the charge was eventually struck off by a magistrate sitting over Court 8, at Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court, Ibadan, under Mrs Olajumoke Akande, for want of diligent prosecution.
This, the applicant said, was because the first respondent (Officer Gwazah) did not attend court proceedings the two times the matter came up for hearing.
Adeniyi also pointed out in the affidavit that Gwazah failed to pay him his professional fee of N60, 000, which he legitimately earned through mutual agreement, despite several demands and that since his matter was struck off the Magistrate Court’s list, he had been receiving threats from the Officer Gwazah for a re-arrest unless he dropped his demand for payment of professional fee among other accusations.
On his part, it will be noted that the former DPO however arraigned Adeniyi in court on November 3, 2020, accusing him of malicious damage of his clothes worth N181,000, which he gave Adeniyi to sew in September.
Gwazah claimed that though Adeniyi delivered the sewn 12 pieces of clothes to him, they were made by his apprentice, which was against their agreement.
After several court appearances and arguments, Justice Akintola finally granted Adeniyi damages but did not grant any fine against the commissioner of police who was charged as a second respondent, as the judge ruled that she could not be held liable to the act on Officer Gwazah, because he acted of his own volition