Monday , October 3 2022
Illegal detention: AGF, police to pay lady accused of spying for IPOB 60m

Illegal detention: AGF, police to pay lady accused of spying for IPOB 60m

Justice Ajayi gave the orders during proceedings on Thursday, August 18, 2022, The Punch reports.

How things got here: It all started back in June 23, 2022, when Justice Haliyu granted every relief sought in favour of Okolie and awarded the said amount in punitive and general damages caused to her by the Nigerian police.

Despite several attempts by Okolie to enforce the judgement, including letters and official representations written to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the police continued to defy the court’s order leading to her counsel to take further legal steps.

AGF’s inaction: Okolie’s lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhien, told The Punch that the AGF’s refusal to attend to the case forced them to seeking the intervention of a vacation judge.

Ihensekhien said, “The action by the AGF was what culminated into our filing of this case, where the court, today, being August 18, 2022, in an interim ruling, ordered and granted two reliefs.

“The court gave an order compelling the AGF to grant Okolie consent to enforce her judgement against the police, and aid her garnishee any of her awarded judgement funds in any public or financial institution owned by the Nigeria Police Force.

“Also, that on receipt of the above orders in the interim, the AGF should with immediate effect, commence the administrative steps and or the grant of the above orders shall be deemed grant of consent in line with section 84 of Sheriff’s and Civil process Act to enable Okolie garnishee or collect her judgement sum in any financial institutions, where the Nigeria police has an account.”

What happened: On June 17, 2021, officers of the Intelligence Response Team in Owerri, Imo State arrested Okolie, same day she sat for 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exam (UTME) in the same state.

It was alleged that the Nigeria Police Force illegally detained Okolie for about five months, and turned her into a maid while in police custody.

The police had accused her of acting as a spy for her boyfriend who is a suspected member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Okolie was later transferred to Abuja where she was accused of being a member of IPOB/Eastern Security Network (ESN).

Okolie was set free: Meanwhile, on November 23, 2021, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted bail to Okolie in the sum of N10 million with two sureties, but she was able to perfect her bail conditions four months later.

Okolie sued police: Following her release on March 23, 2022, Okolie instituted a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the police with the backing of more than 51 civil society groups.

In the case filed at the FCT High Court, she asked the court to mandate the respondents being the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Nigeria Police Force to pay her the sum of N100 billion as general and punitive damages separately for infringing on her rights.

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