Court orders Nigerian Police to pay N100m compensation over the death of a detainee


The order was given today at a Federal High Court in Lagos that the family of Patricia Onyeabo who died in Police custody due to lack of medical care be compensated. This was after a N1billion suit was filed by Patricia’s daughter, Miss Amaka Onyeabo, a lawyer, against
the IG of Police.

Amaka in an affidavit, asked for declarations that the unsubstantiated indictment in a letter, leading to the harassment, detention, intimidation, humiliation and restriction of movement of her late mother since April 25, 2014, until her death on May 16, 2014, by the respondents was frivolous, vindictive, wicked, smacked of gross impunity, and was unlawful, unconstitutional and a breach of the fundamental rights of the deceased.
She asked for an order of the court directing the respondents to tender an unreserved apology to her and her entire family in any two Daily newspapers in Nigeria.

She also asked the court to grant an order directing the respondents to pay her family the sum of N1billion. She averred that her mother received a letter on April 25, 2014, signed by the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s managing Director, Engr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, accusing her to have conspired with 69 other staff of the Corporation to embezzle over N1.5 billion between 2011 to 2013, before her retirement from the Corporation in February 2014.

She also averred that deceased was arrested and detained till she died on May 16, 2014. She said all efforts by her lawyer to secure her bail, so that she could get adequate medical care was rebuffed by the police authorities, and that during her detention, she suffered stroke and she eventually died.

Justice Mohammed Idris while delivering judgement, ssaid: “I held that the Nigerian Police have failed in their responsibility. The applicant has liberty to life while in custody but was denied, thereby leading to her death. Therefore,the applicant is entitled to general damages in the sum of N100m.”…… after d judgement d mom called in to a program on Cool Fm to dedicate d song “better pikin,” to her beloved daughter…….

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