The Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Thursday ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N10 million as compensation to the family of Alidu Hakeem, a commercial driver shot dead by a policeman at Saki.
Hakeem was shot to death by a police inspector, Ifeayin Onynbu on March 9, 2016 along Saki-Okere International Market road in Saki.
Consequently, Hakeem’s son, Afeez, instituted a suit bordering on enforcement of fundamental human right against the police.
Joined in the suit are the Inspector General of Police, Oyo State Police Commissioner, his Deputy and the Saki Police Divisional Headquarter.
The plaintiff had prayed the court to award N500 million as compensation for the unlawful killing of his father.
In the petition, the plaintiff said his father was shot in the head by Onynbu for refusing to give him an additional N100 bribe after he had collected the usual N100 paid by all commercial drivers at the police check point.
The Judge, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, in his ruling held that everyone has right to life and that deliberate killing of any individual in the society is against the law.
The Judge held that Onynbu’s refusal to contradict or challenge any of the arguments and exhibits tendered against him, meant that the court shall accept them as the truth.
“The applicant in this case has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Insp. Ifeayin Onynbu, the fifth respondent, committed the crime because he did nothing to defend himself despite the fact that he was aware of the case.
“There is no evidence before the court contradicting the facts presented by the applicant in the matter.
“I therefore believe same to be the true reflection of what happened before life was sniffed out of the deceased.
“It is evidence from the record before this court that the applicant’s father had three wives and several children.
“For this and many other reasons, a sum of N10 million is hereby awarded to the family of the deceased.
“The Inspector General of Police is therefore directed to investigate this matter and bring the said Onynbu to justice,” ruled the Judge.
Ayo-Emmanuel also indicted the first to the fourth respondents for complicity.
He stressed that the Nigeria Police Force, Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Divisional Police Headquarter at Saki were also responsible for the action of the fifth respondent, Onynbu.
The Judge noted that the submissions of the first to fourth respondents were discountenanced because they were filed out of time as stipulated by law.