BREAKING: ALH SALMANU vs NIGERIA ARMY: COURT ORDERS ARMY TO PAY APPLICANT, N5MILLION FOR BARBARIC ACTS, UNLAWFUL ARREST AND DETENTION

By: Valentine Adese (JP), Musa Gabriel and Hauwa Kabir Lawal,

Plateau State High Court has ordered the Nigerian Army to pay, Alhaji Salmanu Bature Muhammed, the sum of Five Million Naira (N5, 000,000.00), as compensation for alleged, their “Barbaric acts and unwarranted breach of his Fundamental Human Right, as provided for under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

ALH. SALMANU

You would recall that the 62 years old farmer, Alhaji Salmanu Bature Muhammed had dragged the Army, the Chief of Defence Staff, to the Plateau State High Court, seeking the Court’s Order, directing the Respondents, jointly and severally, to pay him the sum of Twenty Million Naira (N20, 000,000.00), as compensation for alleged, “unwarranted breach of his Fundamental Human Right, as provided for under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Other Respondents to the Originating Motion on Notice, dated 6th June, 2019, brought pursuant to Order2 Rule2 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009, chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap 10 LFN,2004, are Major Gen. Augustine Agundo (STF Commander, Operation Save Heaven, Plateau State) and Major P.A. Omoniyi (the 2IC, STF Sector5, Officer in Charge of Kurra Falls Barkin-Ladi Plateau State).

However, in considering this prayer while ruling on the Motion this morning, the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Daniel Longji, awarded only the sum of Five Million Naira (N5, 000,000.00), to the Applicant.

The Court also declared in its ruling that, the 4th Respondent, (Major P.A. Omoniyi) has no power in law to harass, intimidate, arrest and subsequently, detain the Applicant in an unhygienic detention cell for the period of 3 days from 22nd May, 2019 to 25th May, 2019, without access to his relations and his Counsel on account of an alleged offence of rustling two cows by his adult son Kabiru Bature, who is living apart with the Applicant over the years.

The court agreed with the Applicant that, his arrest and detention in an unhygienic detention cell for the period of 3 days from 22nd May, 2019, to 25th May, 2019, without access to his relations and his Counsel by the 4th Respondent in lieu of his adult son, Kabiru Bature, who allegedly participated in the rustling of two-cows is unlawful, unjustifiable, and a gross violation of the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

PLATEAU STATE HIGH COURT

The court has ordered that, the Respondents, jointly and severally, to pay the sum of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00), as compensation to the Applicant for the unwarranted breach of the Applicants Fundamental Human Rights, as provided for under the Constitution, among other declarations.

R-L: AKIBU P. IDRIS (Esq) AND ALH. SALMANU

You would recall that Alhaji Salmanu Bature Muhammed, in the Motion on Notice, filed by his Counsel, Akibu P. Idris (Esq), of Messers: Akib Idris & Associates, who appeared for the Applicant Pro Bono, owing to the financial status of the Applicant, had sought the court’s order that, the Respondents publish an unreserved public apology in two national dailies to the Applicant for the unwarranted infringement of the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights and also an Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Respondents, their officers, Agents or any person howsoever, acting on their behalf, orders or directives from further harassment, arrest, detention or threat of arrest of the Applicant, his relations or his Counsel on account of an alleged offence of cow rustling committed by the Applicant’s adult son, Kabiru Bature, who is living apart with the Applicant over the years and the Court has so ordered.

The Judge in his ruling said he had to reject the Counter Affidavit filed by the Respondents because they failed to appear before the court to give oral evidence in support of the Counter Affidavit, even when they were given opportunity to.

 

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