The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigeria Police Force,
the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Abuja to
pay musician, Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) N50million for violating his
Justice John Tsoho, in a judgment on Monday, also ordered the Police to
tender public apology to him, which should be published in two national
The judgement was on a fundamental rights enforcement suit by Oputa, filed on March 29 this year.
The applicant had, in an affidavit, said policemen, numbering over 100
from the Federal Capital Territory (FC() Police Command, invaded the
Unity Fountain in Abuja on August 8, 2017 and attacked him and his group
with teargas canisters, hot water cannon and wild police dogs during
the Resume or Resign protest when he led other activists to protest the
prolonged absence of President Muhammadu Buhari from Nigeria on account
of his medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
He claimed that the attack by the policemen was so severe that he collapsed in the process and was rushed to the hospital.
Oputa claimed that the police attacked them because of claims that their
protest over the President’s absence, which had exceeded 90 days on the
second day of their daily sit-out protest, had gone international and
brought serious embarrassment to the country.
Justice Tsoho, in the judgement rejected the respondents’ claim that
miscreants invaded or stormed the premises of the protest. The judge
said there was no evidence to support such claim.
The judge said the applicant was entitled, under the Constitution, to stage a peaceful protest.
Justice Tsoho noted that protest is a constitutionally guaranteed right, provided it is done peacefully