The court also awarded N4 million as damages to the businessman, Mr Usman Baba, who along with his son, Abubakar Usman, instituted a case against the Police authorities for illegally detaining them for six days.
Both men, resident in Abuja had, in the suit instituted on July 26, 2013, said that the police illegally detained Baba over a business transaction between them and one Hosein Chahakandi.
The men, through their counsel, Mr Francis Mgboh, said that they went into a business relationship with Chahakandi, which involved the sale of a large quantity of carpets.
They, however, told the court that they soon discovered that the business agreement between them and Chahakandi lacked sincerity and therefore, called it off.
In calling the business off, the counsel had told the court, Baba and his son returned all the carpets in their custody to Chahakandi in the presence of a witness but were pursued and harassed by the police at Chahakandi’s instance.
Mgboh said that the police eventually arrested and detained Baba for several days at Asokoro Police Station, adding that the detention resulted in the deterioration of the man’s health.
He therefore prayed the court to declare that the detention of his client for six days was unlawful and a violation of his right to freedom.
He also urged the court to order the police authorities to tender an unreserved public apology to his clients as well as award N500 million as damages to them.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that none of the defendants in the suit appeared in court or had any legal representation while proceedings in the case lasted.
In his judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, said that it was “most evident from the failure of the respondents to file counter affidavit that they have accepted the bond of the applicants’ averments”.
“It is hereby declared that the respondents have violated the applicant’s fundamental right to liberty.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from arresting, detaining, molesting and intimidating the applicants is hereby granted,” Halilu said.
He held that the action of the police in arresting and detaining the first applicant for a long period without justification was condemnable and must be compensated for.
According to him, the action of the Nigerian police, most times, is tyrannical and unprofessional, and the police must learn to limit itself within the confines of the law.
“I hereby award the sum of N4 million against the respondents jointly,” Halilu ruled.
The judge also condemned the action of a police officer, ASP Kayode Momoh, “for demanding bribe from relatives of the applicants for their release from police detention”.