The Uyo Division of the High Court in Akwa Ibom State has delivered a verdict in favor of a commercial tricycle operator, Jeremiah Sunday Udo, who was unlawfully detained and had his tricycle seized by Policewoman Inspector, Iniobong Umoren.
The court ruled that Inspector Umoren must pay Udo the sum of N5 million for the wrongful arrest and seizure, while Mr. Udoka David, a friend of the tricycle rider, is also ordered to pay an additional N5 million for instigating the arrest.
The court excluded the Commissioner of Police, advising him to ensure officers adhere to the law. Udo, the petitioner, had fulfilled a hire purchase agreement and claimed economic challenges led to his unexpected arrest on February 12, 2023.
Justice Ntong Ntong, presiding over the case, questioned Inspector Umoren’s actions and criticized Mr. Udoka David for taking the law into his own hands. The court emphasized the unlawful act as “satanic, nefarious, and unwholesome antics against the applicant.” Justice Ntong noted that Inspector Umoren, driven by greed, had usurped the role of the court, encroaching on the tricyclist’s fundamental rights.
The court, in its decision, called for the immediate release of the applicant’s tricycle, stressing adherence to the hire purchase agreement until a competent court orders otherwise.
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