By Favour Goodness
A Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Gudu Judicial Division, Abuja, has delivered judgement in a fundamental rights suit filed to challenge the illegal arrest, torture and continued detention of Mrs. Ngozi Umeadi since February 2021.
Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi on Thursday declared Umeadi’s arrest and continued detention by the operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Unit, hitherto led by suspended Deputy Police Commissioner, Abba Kyari, as illegal, and a gross violation of her fundamental human rights.
The court further ordered her immediate and unconditional release from custody, and consequently awarded exemplary and aggravated damages of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira Only) against the police as reparation.
The court further directed in her judgement that the police should tender an unreserved apology to Mrs Umeadi, to be published in two national dailies.
It was reported in August that the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team under the then leadership of Kyari, now under suspension, extorted at least N1 million each from seven suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The seven suspects were among over 50 persons arrested from the South-East during various raids.
It was learnt that the IPOB suspects were raided by the Kyari-led team between March and June 2021, whisked away to Abuja, and were detained at the former Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters, Abuja, notoriously known as “Abattoir.”
One of the lawyers handling the cases of the detainees have said that the police team under Kyari extorted between N1 million and N1.5 million each from the suspects later freed.
It was learnt that those who could not afford the bribes remained in cells – including four married women.
One of those women is Mrs Ngozi Umeadi, a nursing mother arrested at a hospital in Onitsha (Anambra state) where she was receiving postpartum care.
Speaking on the judgement, counsel for equally detained Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the IPOB, Ejiofor Ifeanyi, noted, “We shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that the terms of this judgment are carried out to the letter.
“We shall also be speedily following up on prompt compliance with these terms of judgment, while other pending applications affecting others still in this category are being addressed in court. Do not lose hope.
“However, be assured that justice can only be delayed but not denied. All persons illegally arrested and still being detained by the lawless Nigerian security agencies shall get justice.
“We are not relenting. We shall give further update on the outcome of today’s visit to our indefatigable client-Mazi Nnamdi Kanu once the visit is concluded. The future is very bright indeed.
“With your understanding and prayers, we shall surmount all the unsurmountable using the extant judicial and civil process. God is with us. Thank you and God bless.”