Commissioner of Police Andrew Amiengheme; and Chief Superintendent of Police, Celestine Umeh, all of the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, as ordered by the High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State are to pay the sum of four million naira (N4m) to a businessman, Clement Etim.

Clement Etim was arrested, detained and tortured for three days after he apprehended CSP Celestine Umeh with his wife in his house at Aba Ukpo Estate, Uyo. The CSP was the Divisional Police Officer in Itu Local Government Area.

In a suit filed in May 2020, Clement stated that Umeh violated his fundamental rights to privacy and family life guaranteed by Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution by intruding into his house in his absence to be with his wife in the night.

Counsel for Clement, Inibehe Effiong, filed the lawsuit at the High Court of Akwa Ibom State and prayed the court to enforce the fundamental rights of his client.

Delivering judgement in suit no HU/FHR.72/2020 on Monday, presiding Justice Charles Ikpe established that the police violated the fundamental rights of the applicant to personal liberty by detaining him for three days without justification.

The court also discovered that the applicant was tortured by the police, a violation of his right to dignity of the human person.

Police Officer Umeh was also found liable of “violation of the fundamental rights of the applicant to privacy and family life by intruding into the matrimonial home of Clement Etim without his consent.

The court restrained the police from arresting the applicant except on the order of a court.

Counsel to the applicant expressed satisfaction with the court ruling, hailing the court as the last hope of the oppressed.

Meanwhile, the Police PRO in the state, Odiko Macdon said he is not aware of the judgement and could not comment on it.●

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