A Federal High Court in Abuja has asked the Nigerian Police to pay N60 million in punitive and general damages to 21-year-old, Glory Okolie, who was unlawfully detained for more than 150 days over alleged links to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
KanyiDaily recalls that the police were accused of detaining Miss Okolie ‘illegally’ for almost five months and turning her into a maid in police custody after she was arrested by officers of the Intelligence Response Team in Owerri, Imo State.
The young lady was arrested on June 17, the same day she sat for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME) in Owerri, and accused of spying for her boyfriend who is a suspected member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Okolie was later taken to Abuja after she was accused of being a member of the IPOB/ESN and forced to be washing and cooking for the IRT officers.
Her family members had been searching for her in hospitals and mortuaries for over two months until a man released from prison told them that he saw their daughter in IRT custody cooking and washing clothes for the officers.
On November 23, 2021, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted bail to Gloria Okolie in the sum of N10 million with two sureties, but she regained her freedom on March 23, 2022, after perfecting her bail condition.
Following her release, Okolie filed a fundamental rights enforcement case against the police which was supported by more than 51 civil society groups.
Okolie in the case filed at the FCT High Court was asking the court to mandate the respondents being the Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigeria Police Force to pay her the sum of N100,000,000,000.00 (One hundred billion naira) as general and punitive damages separately for infringing on her rights.
In his Judgement on Thursday, June 23, 2022, Justice Y. Haliyu granted every relief sought in Okolie’s case and awarded a total sum of n60,000,000 (sixty million naira) in punitive and general damages caused to her by the police.
Her legal representative, Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr, who was visibly elated, thanked the industry of the FCT high court in the case, every civil society involved in this case, SaharaReporters, and One Love Foundation.
He described the judgement as a timely birthday gift to him, as his birthday falls on the same day the judgement was delivered.
KanyiDaily had also reported how the police ‘wrongly’ arrested a 40-year-old oil worker, Casmir Ibegbulem, and accused him of being one of the unknown gunmen attacking security formations in Imo state.