A Delta State High Court sitting in Sapele has ordered the Inspector-General of Police IGP and the Nigeria Police to pay the family of a 41-year-old mechanic, late Samson Efe, from Aghalokpe town in Okpe Local Government Area of the state the sum of N20m for their roles in the death of the deceased.
Efe, who reportedly died at the cell of the State Police Command headquarters in Asaba on November 18, 2016 following his arrest by operatives Anti-Kidnap Section of the State Criminal Investigations Department on November 12, 2016 at his mechanic workshop in Sapele.
The deceased who slumped and died before his family could raise the N150,000 demanded by the police operatives before he could be granted bail was reported to have been tortured while in their custody with the claim that he died of heart attack according to police report.
The police without the consent of the deceased family had conducted a postmortem examination on the corpse of the late mechanic whose report claimed that the deceased died of heart attack and was thereafter buried by the Police.
However, the court in a judgment delivered by Hon. Justice A. O. Omamogho last Wednesday ( May 23, 2018) in Suit No: S/6/2017 involving the father of the deceased, Chief Lucky Efe Oseahweke Vs. Inspector General of Police and others awarded the sum of N20m as damages to the Oseahweke family.
The state police had also ignored an earlier order of the High Court No. 1, Sapele directing that the corpse of the deceased be exhumed for a joint postmortem examination to be conducted by Police pathologist and that of the family of the deceased.
A lawyer to the family of the deceased, Oghenejabor Ikimi, in a statement said the police also refused to defend the suit which subsequently led to the judgment in favour of the claimant
According to the statement, “The Police (Defendants) refused to defend the said suit and on Wednesday the 23rd day of May, 2018 Judgment was entered in favour of the Claimant after the adoption of final written address from Mrs. O. J. Egbo of Ikimi Oghenejabor & Co., Legal Practitioners for the Claimant.
“We sincerely hope that the above judgment would teach the Nigeria Police on how to protect lives and properties of Nigerian.