Tortured couple sue police for N100m

The couple brutalized by a police corporal in Lagos, Ejeh and Grace Smith, is suing the police authorities for damages.

The Lagos couple that was brutalized by a police corporal attached to the Ikoyi Police Division a few weeks ago , Ejeh and Grace Smith, has slammed a N100 million suit on the police as damages.

Filing the suit on their behalf by the Femi Falana Chamber, the couple say they want the police to pay them for the injuries and trauma they went through in the attack by the officer, Dada Ogunsanya.

The case that has drawn a lot of condemnation by Nigerians and human rights lawyers, is said to be one too many and showcases the high handedness exhibited by the police on Nigerian citizens.

The couple, according to reports, were accosted on their way home in a cab around Lekki area of Lagos, by a police team on a stop and search duty and in the process of checking the taxi cab they rode in, the police corporal, Ogunsanya, flashed his torch on the couple and when they protested, the power-drunk officer ordered them down and proceeded to brutalize them, leaving them with black eyes and other bruizes.

The Ikoyi Divisional Police Officer, Aisha Haruna, who was called to the scene to try and bring her men to order, allegedly backed the police corporal’s action on her arrival at the scene and ordered that the couple be arrested and taken to the station where she confiscated Ejeh's camera and destroyed the recordings of the incident from Grace's phone.

When the case came to light, the police alleged that Ejeh was drunk on the night of the incident and took a snapshot of the DPO, threatening to send her picture to his pastor who would pray against her.

But fiery Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, has decided to take up the case for the couple pro bono, a gesture the victims accepted.

His chamber has now filed a claim for N100m damages on behalf of the victims having been briefed by the couple.

A statement released by chamber states:

"We are suing the police for N100m. We will finalise all documentations by Friday and latest by Monday, we will be in court.

Frankly speaking, in a democratic setting, what happened to the couple was uncalled for. It is unfortunate that we now have policemen who have no regard for citizens’ rights and have little or no regard for authorities.

There is need for the society to rise up and checkmate them at this stage. If we don’t do anything, things could get out of control.

The police said they have started taking some administrative decisions, that they have transferred the DPO. That is not enough. We want the in-house administrative discipline publicised in the media."

The Inspector General of Police, Abba Suleiman, has ordered immediate investigation into the case while the Lagos police say the erring officer and those who were in the team on the night of the incidence has been arrested and are now in detention awaiting trial if they are found guilty of the offence leveled against them

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