Alleged Police Brutality: Kwara lawyer demands N50m compensation, apology

Date: 2018-11-23

A lawyer Lukman Olarewaju Bello has approached the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, to demand for the sum of N50million from the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Command and six others as compensation, over alleged brutality he suffered from the police at the force Training School, Ilorin, while trying to secure bail of his client.

Bello also requested from the respondents an apology published in two national dailies

Meanwhile, the court could not hear the matter following its official engagement elsewhere and the matter was adjourned to November 27, 2018.

The originating motion before the court seeking the payment of the cost was filled by Prof. Wahab Egbewole SAN among other SANs and senior lawyers.

Also joined as respondents in the motion are; Police Service Commission, Commandant, Police Training School, Ilorin, Badiru Musftau, Inspector Oladele Matthew, Inspector Yusuf Omowumi and Inspector Adeyemi Mulikat.

The applicant's counsels on Monday sought the relief of court to serve the 1st and 2nd respondents who are outside the court jurisdiction. They also sought the approval of the court to serve 4th to 8th respondents, who were allegedly evading court service through 3rd respondent.

The originating motion was brought under section 46 (I) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as (amended); order 2 rules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009. The applicant, through his counsels sought several reliefs and orders including, a declaration that the physical assault, harassment, unlawful arrest and detention of Bello at the Police Training School, Ilorin constitute flagrant violation of the applicant’s right to personal liberty.

It was also sought that the gross assault and psychological torture, harassment and intimidation meted out to the applicant by 1st -4th, 5th – 8th respondents during the unlawful arrest and detention at the Police Training School, Ilorin constitute grave violation of the applicant's right to human dignity.

The applicant counsels further sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents by themselves, agents, privies or whosoever acting through them or for them from further arresting, intimidating or harassing the applicant.

"An order of mandatory injunction compelling the respondents jointly and severally to write an unalloyed and unmitigated letter of apology to the applicant as required under the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended for violation of his fundamental rights and to publish same in not less two national dailies.

"A sum of N50million jointly and severally against the respondent as damages for violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights to personal liberty and dignity of human person.

Recall that Bello, who is a member of the YLF was said to have gone to the 'A' Divisional Police station to seek the release of his client who was arrested by the police but ended up in police cell same day.

The legal practitioner was said to have been stripped before being pushed inside the police cell where he was thoroughly beaten by some officers and trainees.

Bello, who narrated his ordeal while receiving treatment at the Civil Service Hospital, Ilorin said he had to feign death inside the cell in order to stay alive.

"I went to the police station on Tuesday (16th October) to seek the release of my client who was arrested by a traffic warden.

"When I saw the policeman who arrested him, I called him but he was moving fast towards the Police Training School. He then dashed out of the gate, so, I decided to turn back but I met an officer inside the premises and in a bid to explain my situation to him, he insisted that he won't grant me audience and that I should leave the vicinity.

"I tried to persuade him saying police and lawyers are friends, he became annoyed, held my shirt and started pushing me towards the gate. I reacted just to caution him but shortly, a recruit hit me from behind with training gun and dragged me roughly. I turned towards him and asked, why are you doing this? He replied that I was raising my voice against a superior officer.

"A man who introduced himself as headmaster waded in but he was not actually allowed to talk. When I got outside the gate, some officers said that I should show them my Identification Card, my response was that lawyers don’t always go about with it."

Bello said his response further annoyed the policemen as about 15 of them descended on him, stripping him before pushing him into the cell.

“When I realised that there was no way I could outmuscle them, I pretended as if I was dead.

"A female officer, who claimed I held her cloth while being beaten, came into the cell with stick with some of the trainees to beat me again. While she was leaving, she spat on my face which was very derogatory. Adeyemi Mulikat was the only name I was able to pick among the officers who beat me."

Speaking further, Bello said, when he was brought out of the police cell, he saw the Ilorin NBA Chairman, Muhammed Idowu Akande and Dr. Mustapha Adua who took my picture and who were also dealt with mercilessly.

"While I was being returned to the police cell, Mulikat said, if I pass a night in the cell, I will forget ever coming to this world."

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