Justice Mohammed Yunusa of a Federal High Court Lagos, last Friday awarded N10 million as damages against three policemen for negligently shooting one Mr Darlington Amaiham.
The judge awarded the amount in a judgment delivered in a suit filed by Amaiham, to challenge the violation of his fundamental human rights by the police.
The respondents in the suit are the Nigeria Police Force, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Insp. Usman Shehu, Cpl. Alex Edomagbon and Cpl. Seun Adewale.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the applicant had filed the suit on Sept. 19, 2012, through his Counsel, Mr Joseph Odeh, seeking the enforcement of his fundamental human right.
Amaiham had sought to claim the sum of N10 million as general damages for the reckless shooting by the fourth to sixth respondents, which had led to his incapacitation.
He also claimed five million as exemplary and aggravated damages, plus the sum of N128,800 as special damages for his medical expenses.
The judge granted all the reliefs sought by the applicant, adding that he was bound by law to do so, since the respondents had failed to defend the suit since it was instituted.
“The respondent failed to enter any appearance, or file any process to show that it intends to defend this suit.
“Since the court can only act, based on the evidence produce before it, I am satisfied that the applicant has sufficiently established threat to his life by the respondents.
“The reliefs sought by the applicant are accordingly granted,” Yunusa ruled.
NAN recalls that in his affidavit, the applicant averred that on May 12, 2012, he was leaving the Maladino Night Club in Apapa, when he encountered the fourth to sixth respondents shooting sporadically.
“Upon enquiry, I discovered that they had acted as escort to one Capt. George.
“The respondents were cautioned by the agitated audience, to desist from such reckless shooting, but for no apparent reason, they continued.
“Suddenly, the bullets from the respondents hit the bumper of a jeep close to where I was, and I felt a sharp pain on my back and leg, and subsequently, began to bleed from those spots.
“I fell down and cried for help but later heard screams from several directions, that the officers had also shot two other persons who died on the spot,” he said.
The applicant said that he, subsequently, went to a traditional medical health centre, where the bullets were extracted with a razor blade.
He said that his knee had been a source of severe pain since the incident.
Amaiham said that the case was reported at the Area B Police Station, Apapa but that nothing was done.
The applicant, subsequently, claimed the amount against the respondents, jointly and severally. (NAN)