Rights Abuse: Court orders Anambra Pastor to pay Bank manager N10 million

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, 10th June, 2024, ordered popular Anambra Cleric and founder of Living Christ Mission, Rev Onokogu Hezekiah (a.k.a Daddy Hezekiah) to pay Polaris Bank Manger, Dr Hezekiah Duru the sum of N10 million for unlawful arrest and detention.

The cleric, Daddy Hezekiah, had written a petition against the Applicant, Dr Duru on an alleged financial misappropriation and breach of trust, which resulted in his arrest and detention under police custody.

However, Justice D. Okorowo faulted the action of Daddy Hezekiah and the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector General of Police and A.C.P. Asuquo (Officer in Charge of S.I.U of the I.G.P Office), through which the arrest and detention was carried out.

Justice Okorowo, in his ruling, held that the action of the Respondents was a denial of the fundamental human right of the applicant, because the allegation was already being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

In the suit: FHC/ABJ/CS/3/2024, Justice D. Okorowo also faulted the warrant order obtained from the Nasarawa State Magistrate Court.

The Court judgment by Justice Okorowo in favour of the Applicant, Dr Duru, holds as follows:

(1) A declaration is made that the arrest, detention and purported investigation of the Applicant from the 11th day of December 2023 till 29th day of December 2023 by the Respondents on the petition of the 1st Respondent on an allegation of financial misappropriation/embezzlement/cheating/breach of trust already being investigated is an infringement of the Applicant’s right to personal liberty, fair hearing, right to dignity of his person as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

(2) A declaration is made that the order/warrant for the detention of the Applicant obtained by the Respondents from the Nasarawa State Magistrate Courts is unlawful, abuse of powers, abuse of judicial process and an infringement of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing, and personal liberty.

(3) An Order is made directing the release of the Applicant, Amb. Dr. Hezekiah Chinenye Duru forthwith from Police custody.

(4) An Order of injunction is made restraining the Nigerian police and it’s officers from arresting, detaining or further violating or doing anything capable of undermining, threatening or interfering on the fundamental rights of the Applicant, His Excellency Amb. Dr. Hezekiah Chinenye Duru.

(5) An award of 10 Million Naira Damages jointly and severally against Rev Onukogu and the Nigerian police, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police and ACP Asuqou (the officer in Charge of the Special Investigation Unit of the IGP office).



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