A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has awarded N5 million against former House of Representatives member, Hon. Monsuru Alao and the Nigerian Police Force for unlawful arrest and detention of a contractor, Mr. Lawrence Adeleke Amure.

According to a judgment obtained by CITY LAWYER and delivered last Wednesday by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, the court held that “From the totality of the affidavit evidence placed before the court, the 1st Respondent did not only report a case of alleged fraudulent conduct against the Applicant but was effectively the controlling and directing mind of the actions of the 2nd – 4th Respondents.”

In an application brought by fiery litigator, Mr. Adeleke Agbola SAN on behalf of the Applicant, the court held that “The 1st Respondent firstly lured the Applicant into coming to his residence with the promise of giving him another contract job where he has stationed the 2nd – 4th Respondents waiting to pounce on the Applicant once the Applicant shows up and from there willy-nilly dragged the Applicant to the site of the alleged shoddy work done by the Applicant and finally to the Denton Police Station with all the associated indignities and infractions of his fundamental human rights.”

The court held that “There is no doubt that no matter how aggrieved the 1st Respondent might have been about the alleged shoddiness of the contractual work done by the Applicant and the purported delay thereto that the relationship between the parties is purely one of civil contractual relationship of which the 1st Respondent’s remedy lies in approaching the civil court for redress rather than resort to the Police to settle score.”

Justice Aneke further held that the Respondents “grossly infringed on the fundamental rights of the Applicant.”

The court made a declaration that the arrest of the Applicant by the Police “at the promptings, behest and instigation of the 1st Respondent for the purpose of enforcing refund of the contract sum from the Applicant for the 1st Respondent is a gross violation of the Applicant’s fundamental rights,” adding that the act “is therefore unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional.”

Justice Aneke then gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves, agents, servants or privies from harassing, arresting, detaining, humiliating or otherwise disturbing the Applicant in the lawful pursuance of his work among others.

The judge also gave “AN ORDER awarding the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira Only) to the Applicant as damages and compensation for unlawful detention and violation of his fundamental rights by the Respondents.”

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