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updated 1:38 AM UTC, Sep 21, 2022

Court Declares Police Parade Of Suspects Illegal In Nigeria; Awards Damages To Victim

Peoples Gazette, 11 August 2022: The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has outlawed the parade of suspects by Nigerian police officers, stating a court order must be obtained to do so.

Justice Zainab Abubakar gave the ruling in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/01/2020 filed by Victor Ojionu against the Inspector-General of Police and Attorney-General of the Federation over his unlawful arrest, handcuffing, detention and pre-trial media parade on September 17, 2019 by a team of IRT police officers led by disgraced police chief, Abba Kyari.

Represented by Marshall Abubakar of Femi Falana Chambers, the plaintiff successfully argued his pre-trial parade was unlawful and a violation of his fundamental human rights since he had yet to be found guilty by a competent court of law.

Ms Abubakar upon hearing arguments from both parties on the matter, declared Mr Ojionu’s arrest sans warrant, handcuffing and pre-trial media parade as illegal, null and void and in violation of Sections 34 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and Articles 6,4,5 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

She awarded one million naira to compensate the plaintiff and ordered a retraction of the defamatory publications on Instablog, The Guardian, Legit, Naijaloaded, Vanguard and other websites.

The ruling has set a precedent for similar matters, as citizens suspected of criminal activities now have legal grounds to sue the police if paraded without a court order.


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