By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor
#TrackNigeria: Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice A. I. Chikere in its judgement delivered on Friday ruled that it was unlawful for the Nigeria Police to declare Kassim Afegbua, ex-spokesperson of former Military president Badamasi Babangida, as a wanted person.
The court also orders the Police to apologize to Afegbua as well as pay him the sum of N2 million for the infringement of his fundamental rights.
Justice Chikere admitted Afegbua’s application through his counsel, Dr. Kayode Ajulo for the “enforcement of his fundamental rights are deemed admitted.
The court also held that it was a violation of Afegbua’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution for the Police to continue to witch-hunt, harass, intimidate, and persecute him, especially since Babangida had not lodged any complaint to the Police or any other security agency.
Justice Chikere also held that since the Police did not extend formal invitation to Afegbua, it was illegal and unconstitutional for it to have declared him wanted.
The court therefore restrained the Police from continued “witch-hunt, harassment, intimidation, and persecution of the Applicant or threats thereof ostensibly on the basis of a letter he wrote on behalf of his principal, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida GCFR.”
It also ordered that the sum of N2 million be paid as damages as well as apologies to Afegbua.
“The respondents are hereby ordered to pay the Applicant jointly and severally the sum of Two Million Naira (₦2,000,000.00) as damages for breach of his fundamental rights.
“The Respondents are hereby ordered to apologise to the Applicant on the media,” the court ruled.