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MR. CHUKWUDI OKELU v. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, ABUJA & ORS

(2018) LPELR-45062(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 13th day of July, 2018

CA/E/287/2013


Before Their Lordships

HELEN MORONKEJI OGUNWUMIJU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

IGNATIUS IGWE AGUBE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JOSEPH TINE TUR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

MR. CHUKWUDI OKELU - Appellant(s)

AND

1. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE ABUJA
2. THE ASST. INSPECTOR
GENERAL OF POLICE, ZONE 9, UMUAHIA
3. COMMISIONER OF POLICE ANAMBRA STATE
4. SGT. GEORGE, SARS OFFICE AWKUZU (IPO)
5. DANIEL CHUKWUEMEKA NWANKWO - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Anambra State, delivered by Hon. Justice P.N.C Umeadi on 28/1/2011 wherein judgment was given in favour of the 5th Respondent at trial.

The Appellant and the 5th Respondent herein had a dispute over the sale of land wherein the Appellant alleged that the 5th Respondent collected the sum of N1, 070, 000 from him as vendor of a piece of land which transaction fell through and the 5th Respondent herein refused to refund the purchase price for the consideration that had failed. The Appellant petitioned the office of the 3rd Respondent over the failed cheque and the threats of the 5th Respondent to his life and family members. The 3rd Respondent through the 4th Respondent in the course of their investigation detained the 5th Respondent and later released him on bail. The 5th Respondent later brought Suit No. 0/290m/2010 for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights and prayed for the following:
???a. An order declaring the arrest, detention and torture of the Applicant in filthy police cell at SARS office Awkuzu from Friday 21st May, 2010 to Friday 28th May, 2010, unlawful.
b. An order of stay of all actions on the Respondents in connection with the matter.
c. An order of injunction restraining the Respondents from further arrest, detention and torture of the Applicant in connection with the matter in any manner whatsoever in future.
d. An order for the payment of sum of N10 Million to the Applicants by the Respondents for infringing the Applicants fundamental rights as compensation and apology.
e. Any further order.

The learned trial Judge granted all the reliefs of the 5th Respondent as Applicant and ordered the Appellant and the 1st - 4th Respondents to pay to the 5th Respondent the sum of 300, 000 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) only and to render public apology to the 5th Respondent within 30 days.

Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court considered the following issues in the determination of the appeal:
1. Whether there was proper commencement of the fundamental rights proceedings in this case to make the determination of the High Court competent.
2. Whether the Appellant activated the machinery of state through the 1st -4th Respondents to cause the unlawful arrest and detention of the 5th Respondent.

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision allowed the appeal.


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