Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Etinan has ordered the State Commissioner of Police, and one Inspector Gospel Archibong of the Police Command to pay the sum of N2m as damages for breach of fundamental rights of a murder suspect, Aniekan Bassey Aaron.
The Court presided over by Justice Ezekiel Enang, gave the order on Tuesday in Etinan local government area, on the ‘Enforcement of fundamental rights, application filed by the accused.
Delivering his judgement, Justice Enang said that the N2m damages is to be paid jointly or severally by the Commissioner of Police and Inspector Godswill Archibong (3rd and 4th Respondents) in addition to N50,000 as cost of action against them.
The Court also held that the Respondents breached the Applicant’s fundamental rights, when they caused him to sleep on cold bare floor for a period of three months while in Police detention.
The Court equally held that an accused person is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, irrespective of the seriousness of the offence levelled against a suspect.
According to the Court, “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and no person shall be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment.
“By causing the applicant to sleep on cold bare floor from 28th April 2021 to 6th July, 2021, the 3rd and 4th Respondents subjected the Applicant to inhuman and degrading treatment.
“A suspect or accused person is entitled to the right of dignity of his human person and he is not to be subjected to inhuman treatment, such as the one meted to the applicant by being made to sleep on cold bare floor for a period of three months.“