Abuja High Court Orders Nigeria Police Force to Pay N50 Million and Issue Public Apology to Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola for Human Rights Violations

Abuja High Court Orders Nigeria Police Force to Pay N50 Million and Issue Public Apology to Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola for Human Rights Violations

Abuja High Court Delivers Landmark Ruling Against Nigeria Police Force

In a groundbreaking judgment, the Abuja High Court, Gudu, has directed the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to pay N50 million in compensation to Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola, wife of the late Chief MKO Abiola, for the infringement of her fundamental rights.

The ruling, delivered by Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi, also mandates the police to issue a public apology to Prof. Abiola in two national dailies.

Background of the Case: Alleged Violation of Rights

The judgment stems from a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Prof. Abiola against the Inspector General of Police, the NPF, Inspector Teju Moses, and Engineer Ibrahim, son of former IGP Usman Akali Baba.

Prof. Abiola accused the police of invading her Abuja residence in 2022, arresting her in her nightgown, and detaining her for three days without trial.

Legal Battle and Claims

Prof. Abiola sought N500 million in damages in her suit, which faced challenges from the respondents who denied knowledge of her and labeled her allegations as false.

Despite the contestations, Prof. Abiola presented documentary evidence, including her appointment as a Chief Legal Consultant by the police.

Court Affirms Rights Violation

Justice Osho-Adebiyi, in her judgment, affirmed that the actions of the police constituted a violation of Prof. Abiola’s constitutional rights.

The court awarded her N50 million in compensation and mandated the police to issue a public apology.

Implications of the Ruling: Upholding Human Rights Standards

This ruling serves as a significant acknowledgment of the violation of fundamental human rights, emphasizing the importance of maintaining legal and ethical standards in law enforcement practices.

The court’s declaration reinforces the need to protect personal liberty and dignity, setting a precedent for upholding justice in cases of rights infringement.

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