Tony John, Port Harcourt
Justice George Omereji of a Rivers State High Court, in Port Harcourt, has found the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Eneka Police Division, CSP Yahaya Bello-Sam, guilty of unlawful detention of a senior lawyer based in Port Harcourt, Afolabi Olabisi.
Justice Omereji also granted reliefs of the Petitioner, Olabisi, one of which included an award of N10 million compensation.
The trial judge has, in his judgement, on Monday, in the fundamental human rights matter filed by Olabisi, said the action of the Eneka DPO was in flagrant violation of the law.
He condemned the action of the DPO for unlawfully detaining the lawyer in the same cell with suspected criminals, for demanding money for bail and for refusing to obey a court order asking for the release of the lawyer’s vehicle.
Justice Omereji said the Police failed to establish that the lawyer committed any crime before detaining him, adding that the DPO’s action was oppressive.
Meanwhile, counsel for the lawyer, Omoniyi Abdulkareem, has said the judgement was for those who have suffered police oppression.
Abdulkareem told newsmen shortly after the judgement that the verdict of the court would serve as a deterrent to other Police officers, who take the law for granted.
Pennington Ekom, who was the counsel for the DPO of Eneka, hinted on challenging the decision of the court.
On his part, the victim, Olabisi, encouraged Nigerians to always fight for their rights.