From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

A High Court sitting in Yenagoa has slammed a N50 million fine on the Forensic Team of the Nigerian Police as compensation for general damages to Mr. Charles Korobo James over his ‘’unreasonable, illegal confinement and unconstitutional house arrest’’ at his residence Opposite Old Commissioner’s Quarters, Opolo, Yenagoa.

 

The presiding judge, Justice Ebiyon Duke Charlie, gave the order in suit No. BYHC/YHC/FR/47/2024 and filed by Mr. Charles Korobo James(claimant) against the Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police, NPF National Cyber Crime Center, Mr. Simiat Suleiman of NPF Forensic Team, CSP. B. A. Abdullahi and Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd), former Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty program (PAP) as respondents.

The court ordered the payment of the N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) should be paid to the Claimant by the 4th and 5th Respondents jointly and severally for breaching the Applicant’s fundamental rights contained in sections 34(1) (a) and (b), 35(1), 37 and 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 6 and 7(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

 

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According to the Judge, the arrest violates the Applicant’s right to dignity of his human person and right to personal liberty protected by Sections (34) (1)(a) and (b), and 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

 

It could be recalled that the 4th and 5th respondents (Forensic Team of the Nigerian Police and CSP. B.A. Abdullahi) on the 10th of October, 2023, reportedly held Mr. Charles Korobo James at gun point in his residence, took his phone to dial phone numbers and compelled him to call Mr Mienpamo Onitsha Saint, the online publisher and Proprietor of Naija Live TV, and convinced him to come to his house where they arrested Mr. Mienpamo.

 

Despite arresting the Bayelsa based Blogger on the 10th of October 2023, in his friend’s house(Mr. Charles Korobo James at gun point), Mr. Mienpamo was unlawfully detained at the Force Criminal Investigation Department Area 10, Garki, without any court order before he was arraigned at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on the 2nd of November 2023, on a three-count charge cyberstalking against the recently sacked Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Ndiomu (Rtd).

 

Consequently, the court ordered that the Bayelsa News blogger, Mr Mienpamo Onitsha Saint, be remanded at the Kuje Custodial Centre, where he spent several months before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, granted him bail on 25th of January 2024 because the defendant has shown that he is willing to defend the case against him and ready to cooperate with the court.


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