The sum of N75,000,000 has been awarded by a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt against the Nigeria Police in a fundamental Human Rights suit filed by the family of the late auto mechanic, Chima Ikwunado, Daily Post reports.
The family of Ikwunado had instituted a fundamental human rights action against the Inspector General of Police, Rivers State Commissioner of Police, former E-Crack Commander in Rivers State, SP Benson Adetuyi, and 4 dismissed police officers.
DAILY POST reports that the trial Judge, Justice S. I Mark, in her judgment on Friday, granted all the reliefs sought by counsel to the plaintiff and fined the Police the sum of 75,000,000 for damages.
Ikwunado, who was an auto-mechanic, was reported to have died in the custody of the police from severe torture in 2019.
He was arrested and tortured alongside 4 of his apprentices, Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifeanyi Onyekwere, by men of the now defunct E-Crack Unit, attached to the Mile 1 Police Division, while test-driving two cars they were repairing along Olu-Obasanjo Road in PortHarcourt.
They were charged with robbery and cultism. The case had sparked criticisms from several quarters.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, counsel to the family of the late Ikwunado, Princess Lawrence said, they were happy with the judgment even though they are aware that no amount of money can bring back the life of the victim.
“We are happy, although we expected a higher award for damages. Like I said in court, no amount of monetary damages will bring the late Chima Ikwunado back to life. But we thank God for what the court awarded today.” She said.
The plaintiff had demanded N14,000,000,000 for damages.
On his part, the elder brother to the kate auto mechanic, Anthony Ikwunado, described the judgment as a welcome development.
He said his younger brother’s death created an irreplaceable vacuum in the family.
4 dismissed police officers, Ayogu Fidelis, Eke Chinuzor, Rose Georgewill and Egbunedu Felix are currently facing trial at the state High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, for the murder of late Ikwunado and the torture of 4 other men that were in their custody.