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Oyo High Court Fines Ex-DPO N150,000 for Assaulting Tailor

Justice Rachael Boyede Akintola of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, has granted a sum of N150,000 as damages and costs against CSP Alex Gwazah, a former Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Iyaganku, Ibadan, for violating the rights of a fashion designer, Lukman Adeniyi.

Presenting her judgement on Tuesday, Justice Akintola ruled that the actions of the first respondent were illegal in terms of his perpetuated acts to the applicant.

Lukman Adeniyi sued the ex-DPO at the High Court in December 2020 to execute his fundamental human rights, following his discharge from the magistrates’ court that he was initially charged to.

The High Court granted N50,000 as damages against the first respondent, and N100,000 was granted in favour of the applicant.

In an affidavit sworn to by the applicant, the former DPO was named as the first respondent and the state commissioner of police was the second respondent.

In the affidavit, Adeniyi recounted how the DPO contacted him to sew clothes for him, but he got physically assaulted, detained in the cell and charged to court over the accusation that he destroyed his clothes.

He further added that the charge was eventually dropped by a magistrate, Mrs Olajumoke Akande, sitting over Court 8, at Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court, for want of diligent prosecution.

The applicant said this was because the first respondent was not present at the court proceedings twice when the matter came was presented for hearing.

Adeniyi also disclosed in the affidavit that Gwazah did not pay him his professional fee of N60,000, which he legitimately earned through mutual agreement, after several requests.

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He stated that since the matter was dropped off the magistrates’ court’s list, he had been playing host to varying threats from the first respondent on his rearrest and being dealt with unless he withdraws his demand for payment of the professional fee.

Adeniyi said these threats had made him leave his workplace at the Oke Bola area of Ibadan.

He added that the second respondent had declined to take any step on the matter, despite his penning a complaint letter via his lawyer.

But there was no award of damages against the second respondent.

The judge ruled that the second respondent could not be indirectly liable to act on the first respondent, saying that all the first respondent did were of his preference.

We learnt that following the complaint raised over the initial arraignment of the fashion designer, Gwazah has been subsequently redeployed from the Iyaganku division to the Quick Intervention Unit to Head the Unit.

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