The Supreme Court has ordered the Rivers State Commissioner of Police to pay N2 million as damages to Mr. Gabriel Jim- Jaja for the violation of his rights by the police in the state.
The apex court gave the order Friday in a unanimous decision while allowing an appeal filed by Mr. Gabriel Jim-Jaja (the appellant).
Those joined as co-respondents are the police commissioner, Inspector Alari (SIIB) and Nelson Douglas. The appellant was detained by the police on the complaint of Douglas who claimed that the appellant owed him some money.
The appellant had his case dismissed on May25, 2005 by the Port-Harcourt High court, dissatisfied, he went on appeal to the court of Appeal Port-Harcourt.
The appeal court allowed his appeal but did not award damages. Dissatisfied with the decision, he appealed further to the Supreme Court.
The panel, made up of five justices- Mahmud Mohammed, Muhammad Saifullah Muntaka-Coomassie, Nwali Sylvester Ngwata, Musa Dattijo Muhammad and clara Bata Ogunbiyi-held that the appeal was pregnant with a lot of merits and deserving to be allowed.
The apex court held that when a breach of the fundamental right is proved, the victim is entitled to compensation even if no specific amount was claimed.