Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has ordered the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police to pay a barber, one Haggai Oscar Oku from Uyo Itam, Itu Local Government Area, the sum of two million Naira for his unlawful arrest and detention on 18th December 2020.
The Court presided over by Justice Ntong Ntong gave the order in a judgment delivered today in a suit between Haggai Oscar Oku and the Commissioner of Police.
In the judgment, Justice Ntong said Haggai Oscar Oku averred that he was arrested in the place of another person, popularly called Soft Touch, who used to visit Oku’s family compound in Itam, Itu Local Government Area.
Justice Ntong held that the conduct of the Police was uncivilized, reprehensible, and opprobrious.
He said from the evidence before the Court, the Commissioner of Police through his officers and men have violated the personal liberty and sacred rights of the applicant by arresting and detaining him in the place of another person.
Justice Ntong held that such a mistaken identity is so grieved to be ignored.
The Court said it is the duty of the Commissioner of Police to always superintend, supervise and cross-check the activities of his officers and men in all circumstances.
Justice Ntong said although there was no direct evidence of torture of the applicant by the Police, his unlawful arrest and the continued detention without trial, amount to torture as the applicant suffered aggravated psychological harassment.
The Court held that the only situation that can assuage and ameliorate the suffering of the applicant is the payment of damages, hence the applicant is entitled to be compensated by the Commissioner of Police in monetary terms.
Justice Ntong ordered the Commissioner of Police to pay Haggai Oscar Oku, the sum of two million Naira for his unlawful arrest and detention.