The Inspector-General of Police has been ordered by a Federal High Court in Abuja to pay a compensation to a businessman. The IGP was ordered to pay a compensation of N1m to a businessman, Victor Ojionu, for parading him before the media. Justice Zainab Abubakar held that Ojionu, who was arrested for alleged Internet fraud in 2020 by the Intelligence Response Team led by embattled super cop, Abba Kyari, was detained without a warrant and then paraded in handcuffs in violation of his fundamental human rights.
In a bid to clear his name, Ojionu’s lawyer, Abubakar Marshal, sued the IGP and the Attorney-General of the Federation in a fundamental human rights suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/01/2020. Among the seven reliefs sought, Ojionu sought a declaration that the pre-trial parade was illegal and void as it violates Section 34 of the constitution and Articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. He also sought an order compelling the media houses that covered the parade to retract the news item from their platforms.
In her ruling, Justice Abubakar held that the pre-trial media parade of Ojionu was illegal, null and void and in violation of Sections 34 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and Articles 6,4,5 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
The court also made an order compelling some media houses to pull down the defamatory publications. The court awarded N1m in favour of Ojionu for the unlawful violation of his rights The parade of suspects by law enforcement agencies is very common in Nigeria. Last year, the Lagos State House of Assembly promulgated a law making such parades illegal.