Suspect’s death in NDLEA custody : Court awards N30m damages against agency
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has awarded the sum of N30 million against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as exemplary damages over the death of a transporter, Mr. Gabriel Ozeigbe Eigbefoh in their custody.
Trial judge, Justice Jude Dagat, in his ruling on a fundamental right application by the deceased’s lawyer Mr. Stevenson Okuchemiya held that the acts of the operatives of the NDLEA were unlawful, unconstitutional and a breach of his right to life as guaranteed under the 1999 constitution (as amended) resulting in the untimely and premature death of the deceased.
He further ordered the respondents to immediately release the
corpse of the deceased, Mr. Eigbefoh for burial forthwith.
The ruling followed the application filed by the children of the deceased, Mr. Stephen and Godfrey OzeigbeEigbefoh on behalf of the family.
The fundamental human right action marked as FHC/L/CS/779/2015 sought compensation for the unlawful and unconstitutional breach of the deceased right to life, which lead to his premature death.
According to court documents, the deceased was arrested on February 19, 2015 by officials of the NDLEA along Gbaji junction near Seme border with substances suspected to be illicit drugs.
The deceased nonetheless explained that he was just a transporter and never knew about nor was he aware of the contents concealed in the tyres he was conveying to Togo.
Despite his explanations, he was however, arrested, taken to his house and also arrest his wife, detained and eventually tortured to death.
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