The Akwa Ibom State High Court, situated in the capital city of Uyo has ruled in favor of the Village Head of Ikot Oku Ikono, Eteidung Okon Nnanah Akpan, ordering the Nigeria Police Force to pay a sum of N20 million in damages for what the court deemed an unlawful arrest and detention. The incident in question pertained to matters surrounding an electric transformer in the village.
Presiding over the case, Justice Ntong Ntong mandated the Nigeria Police Force to compensate Eteidung Okon Nnanah Akpan with N20 million, specifying that this amount was for his arrest on February 28, 2022, and April 28, 2022, at the Anti-cultism Unit (ACU) of the state Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia. The court further noted that the harassment endured by the village head persisted beyond these dates.
In distributing the financial responsibility, the court outlined that Jimmy Godwin, identified as the instigator behind the police action, was directed to pay N10 million. The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) for Zone 6 in Calabar, Cross River state, who authorized the alleged unlawful action, was ordered to pay N6 million.
Additionally, Inspector Wofai Johnson of the Anti-vice Unit (AVU), Zone 6, Calabar, the investigative police officer who executed the order, was held accountable for N4 million.
Justice Ntong emphasized the adverse impact of the police’s actions on the village head, stating that it resulted in sustained psychological and aggravated harassment.
The judgment held the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 6, and the other two respondents responsible for breaching the fundamental rights of the applicant.