By Samuel Luka
The Nigeria’s Police Inspector General, and a Commissioner of Police in the northeastern state of Bauchi, has been ordered by a High Court in the state to pay N1.2m as damages of illegal detention and breach of fundamental rights of a politician in Bauchi, Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo.
Justice Gurama Mahmoud who presided over the case while giving its ruling on Thursday declared that the arrest and detention of Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo was unconstitutional, thereby infringing on his human rights as a free citizen of Nigeria.
He therefore awarded a cost of the sum of N1.2m against the respondent just as it further restrained the Inspector General of Police and his agents from further arresting and or detaining the applicant.
While reacting to the ruling, Counsel to Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo, Summi Zakka Bayero said that, “the court has further established that it is the last resort and hope of the common man.
“The ruling is also a testimony that those in authority cannot misuse their authority and go free”.
Bayero however said that the next step is to ensure the enforcement of the ruling in order to serve as a relief to his client who has suffered mental and emotional tortures by the acts of the respondents.
It would be recalled that Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo had sometime in 2018 sued the Inspector-General of Police and the State Commissioner of Police before the state High Court demanding the sum of N50m as damages over alleged illegal detention and violation of his human right.
Counsel to the complainant, Barrister Joseph O Bichi had asked the court to declare that the arrest and detention of his client by the Police between 11th and 12th August, 2018, constituted a gross violation of his fundamental right to dignity, liberty and fair hearing guaranteed under Section 34, 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 5 and 6 on Humans and People’s Rights Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
The Counsel also sought the court to grant him an order restraining the respondents or their agents from further arresting or detaining his client in any other manner interfering with his fundamental rights which is contrary to the law.
In the affidavit he sworn to, Ibrahim Darazo alleged that the respondents in a team called the Inspector General of Police Squad from Abuja in conjunction with some Policemen from the Bauchi State Command came to his house heavily armed and forcefully seized his mobile phone, and arrested him.
He further said that the Policemen whisked him away without allowing him to tell his family that he was arrested or being taken away by the Nigerian Police and after searching his car and nothing incriminating was found inside the car, they seized the car key and detained him.
Ibrahim Darazo also said that when he demanded to know the reason why he was arrested, one of the officers told him that he has no right to know why he was arrested because his arrest was ordered from above while all his pleadings to the respondents to give him his phone to enable him informed his wives and friends to let them know that he was arrested was vehemently rejected.
He further said that, “around 10 pm in the night of the arrest, one Samaila Idris Esq, who he met while in detention, informed his Counsel and when the Counsel came all efforts to get him released on bail were turned down by the respondents, thereby making him to spend the night in detention without knowing the offence he committed.
Ibrahim Darazo who said that he spent the night under detention at the Bauchi State Police Command without knowing the crime he committed stated that on Sunday around 5 o’clock in the evening, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of CID called him and asked him to go home but with his mobile phone still withheld which the Police later returned to him two days after his release.