The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to pay N11million as damages for the breach of fundamental rights of 11 Gombe State indigenes illegally detained by officers of the Nigerian Army.
This followed a fundamental right enforcement suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/777/2018, which the Applicants filed through their lawyer, Mr Mela Audu Nunghe.
The court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, declared the detention of the applicants, James Yusuf, Ishaya Ali Poshiya, Nehemiah Yohanna Poshiya, Husseini Poshiya, Hamma Poshiya, Yusuf Mafindi, Yila Boyi, James Bare, Ezekiel Dandaudu, Ali Ishaku and Ilya Bala since July 6, illegal and unconstitutional.
“The long detention and torture, without detention order, of the Applicants since July 6, 2018, by servants and agents of the 1st defendant, COAS, is illegal and unconstitutional and is a violation of the applicants’ fundamental rights as enshrined under Sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999”, Vanguard quoted the Justice Ojukwu as saying.
“The 1st Respondent shall pay the sum of N11, 000 000 (Eleven Million Naira) only to the applicants (jointly) as damages for the breach of the applicants’ rights under Sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
“No circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as a justification for torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. “All law enforcement officers must conform to accepted norms and rule of law in the discharge of their statutory duties.”