A State High Court in Benin City, Edo State on the 19th day of September 2012 slammed a N15m judgment against the Nigeria Police Force for the extra-judicial killing of one BABA ISAAC EDOH on June 5, 2011 whilst in custody at the State Criminal Department, Sapele Road, Benin – City.
The Court also directed the Police authorities to produce the deceased’s corpse to the family members for burial.
The judgment was sequel to an application for enforcement of the deceased’s right to life filed by the father- MR. ISAAC EDOH through the law firm of FALANA & FALANA’S CHAMBERS. In the suit the applicant sought the following reliefs:
1. A declaration that the parade of Mr. Isaac Edoh as a kidnapper before the media on June 4, 2011 by the respondents and their agents is unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental rights to dignity of his person and fair hearing guaranteed by sections 34 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Articles 4 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights;
2. A declaration that the extra judicial killing of Mr. Isaac Edoh by the respondents and their agents on June 5, 2011 at Benin City, Edo State is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental right of the deceased to life as guaranteed by section 33 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights;
3. An order directing the respondents to prosecute the Policemen who carried out the extra judicial killing of Mr. Isaac Edoh;
4. An order directing the respondents to pay the sum of N200, 000.00, being compensation to the estate of Mr. Isaac Edoh for the infringement of the deceased’s rights to life and dignity of his person; and
5. An order compelling the respondents to produce the corpse of the deceased whom the killed on June 5, 2011 for burial by the deceased’s family.
The Police filed a response to the suit wherein they vehemently denied any scintilla of knowledge of the arrest and incarceration of the deceased let alone killing him in their custody.
To puncture the claims of the Police, the court summoned the Management of Channels Television to produce the master tape of the report in which the father of the deceased claimed to have identified his son when the Police paraded him. Upon the production and replay of the tape in court by Stanley Imhanruor Esq of FALANA & FALANA’S CHAMBERS, the father of the deceased identified him to the embarrassment of the Police.
In the Judgment, the trial Judge, Justice S. E. OMONUA condemned the Police for the extra-judicial killing of the deceased undergraduate and ordered the Police to pay N15m damages to the bereaved parents. The court also ordered the Police to release the body of the deceased to the family for burial.
The late BABA ISAAC EDOH was until his death a 200 level English and Literature Student of Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.