Court Awards N210m Damages To Victims Of Police Brutality In Bauchi State

Court Awards N210m Damages To Victims Of Police Brutality In Bauchi State

A Federal High Court sitting in Bauchi has delivered a landmark judgement in favour of three victims of police brutality and extrajudicial killing in the state.

The court was convinced that two of the victims – Ibrahim Babangida and Ibrahim Sama’Ila – were tortured to death by the police after being accused of stealing 24 chickens belonging to a retired police officer.

In his ruling on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, awarded the sum of N100 million each to the families of the deceased as compensation.

The only surviving victim, 30-year-old Abdulwahab Bello, was also awarded N10 million compensation for the brutality, senseless arrest, and torture he suffered.

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The events that led to the judgement began with an allegation of chicken theft against the victims on July 21, 2020.

Bello and his late friends were indicted in the crime, after which they were arrested and detained at the Township Division “A” Police Station in Bauchi.

He recalled how one Superintendent Baba Ali, who was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at the time, used a pestle to torture him and his two friends who died as a result of the brutality.

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“He hit Ibrahim continuously until his last breath,” the visibly moody survivour, who now limps, said.

The action of the police was condemned by Bello and the families of his late friends who filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Bauchi.

Joined as respondents were Ali, one Sergeant Jibrin Mohammed, the Commissioner of Police in Bauchi, the Inspector General of Police, and the Police Service Commission.

Five months after the suit was filed, Justice Dikko delivered the final judgement and ruled that there was a clear case of extrajudicial killing.

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According to the judge, the action of the police amounts to the infringement of the victims’ fundamental human right to dignity.

“Justice has been served and I am happy but for the children who lost their lives, I pray for the repose of their souls,” said Babangida Ibrahim, the father of one of the late victims.

The mother of the other victim, Hajara Ismai’l, also said she had lost hope of getting justice and thanked the court for the judgement.

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