Court Awards ₦2.25M Against Police For Brutalising MFM Chorister, Richards - 9jaflaver





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Court Awards ₦2.25M Against Police For Brutalising MFM Chorister, Richards


Court Awards ₦2.25M Against Police For Brutalising MFM Chorister, Richards

A High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State has awarded N2 million as aggravated and general damages against the Nigeria Police Force over the brutality and human rights abuse suffered by Ayotunde Richards, a gospel singer and former member of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries (MFM).

It was learnt that the court also awarded two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N250,000) to Ayotunde for the cost of the litigation.

Ayotunde had filed a suit against the General Overseer of the church, Dr. Daniel Olukoya, over an alleged breach of his fundamental human rights.

Other respondents in the case are Davison Olaniran Adejuwon Esq; Superintendent of Police Tawose Ayoleyi Ajayi and the Nigeria Police Force.

Olukoya, Davidson, Ajayi and the Nigeria Police Force are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents respectively.

Ayotunde, who was the leader of the cleric’s backup singers, accused Olukoya of having him locked up at the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon, Ikoyi for eight days.

He described his detention by the police as illegal, oppressive and a brazen abuse of power.

He claimed that his phones were collected and handed over to Olukoya in an attempt to find the names of the perceived enemies of the church.

According to him, Olukoya used his influence to have him detained in connivance with Superintendent Ayoleyi Tawose Ajayi, who is reportedly also a member of MFM and a close ally of the cleric.

Ayotunde also joined Davidson Adejuwon, a legal representative for Olukoya, in the suit.

He accused him of playing critical roles in the perusal of his mobile phones and claimed that his detention in July 2023 at FCID was outrageous.

Ayotunde asked the court to compel the Respondents to issue a letter of unconditional apology for breaching his Right to Privacy.

He also sought from the court: “A DECLARATION that the Applicant, a Nigerian Citizen, has a guarantee to rights to personal liberty, dignity of human life and privacy of his person, home, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications as enshrined in Sections 34,35 and 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

“A DECLARATION that the violent arrest of the Applicant on July 18th 2023 at 12:30 am thereabouts by the 3 and 4th Respondent is WRONGFUL unconstitutional, arbitrary and excessive.

“A DECLARATION that the detention of the Applicant from July 18, 2023, to July 26, 2023, at the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi by the 3 and 4 Respondents before charging him to court as regard the complaint of one Opeyemi Emmanuel against him grossly offends Section 34,35,36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) and therefore illegal, outrageous and oppressive.

“AN ORDER compelling the Respondents to issue a letter of unconditional apology to the Applicant for breaching his Right to Privacy their illegal, unconstitutional access to and use of the information and communication of the Applicant’s SAMSUNG GALAXY S 20 FE and iPhone 12 PRO MAX phones without the authority and consent of the Applicant.

“AND FOR SUCH FURTHER OR OTHER ORDERS as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this suit.”

However, Justice Olatokun of Ikeja High Court, on Friday upheld some of his prayers in part and disallowed some in part.

The family’s lawyer, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, who confirmed the development on his social media handle, noted that the court established that Ayotunde’s arrest and detention were unlawful.

He noted that the evidence before the court was that there was no investigation at all before the police arrested him.

“In two considered rulings, fairly extensive, Honourable Justice Olatokun of Ikeja High Court, upheld some of our prayers in part and disallowed some in part but generally the court outcome is that the court established that Ayotunde’s arrest was unlawful and his detention was equally unlawful,” Ogunlana said.

He continued, “The evidence before the court was that there was no investigation at all before the police pounced on him.

“And of course, the detention was a violation of the constitutional period allowed when you can detain a person. The court also held that the claim of the police was that he stayed in the station because he could not satisfy the condition of bail. The court held that there was no bail granted.

“The proof of the bail granted was a bail bond which was blank. It only contains the name of the applicant. The conditions of the bail were not stated in the so-called bail bond. And so the court held that it was apparent that his detainment was a gross breach of his rights.

“As to the issue of his privacy, the court in its own considered ruling and wisdom held that it will hold, that there was consent given to the police to go into his phone. That was the decision of the honourable Court upon the fact presented before them. The issue of consent according to the honourable Court nullified that his privacy was affronted without his consent.

“At the end of the day, it was a good day. The judge held that Mr Richard Ayotunde be compensated with two million and a letter of public apology. Two hundred and fifty thousand naira was also awarded for the cost because that’s what we sourced after the successful mitigation.

“The counter application by the council for the second respondent in his case, that is Mr Adebisi Adejuwon, was denied by the court. And the court held that citizens should not be discouraged from approaching the court for the enforcement of their fundamental rights and by awarding cost except in very clear cases.”

“We will seek for a review of it with the appellate. But we are grateful to the Honourable Court for finding that indeed, despite all the denials by these respondents the court sifted through all claims to find out that indeed the Police breached the rights of this gentleman and have been ordered to pay the cost,” the statement added.

Source:- SaharaReporters






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