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Court Orders policeman to pay Businessman N4M compensation after being caught in bed with wife

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An Akwa Ibom State High Court has ordered a policeman, CSP Celestine Umeh, the Nigeria Police Force and the state commissioner of police, to pay the sum of N4 million as compensation to a businessman, Clement Asuquo Etim

A businessman, Etim was said to have been arrested, detained and tortured for three straight days after Umeh caught him with his wife on their matrimonial bed in May 2020, at Aba Ukpo Estate in Uyo, the state capital.

Etim had filed a case against Umeh and in a 46-page court document, he explained how Umeh who is now the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Itu Division in Akwa Ibom State, violated his fundamental right to private and family life guaranteed by Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution when he evaded his matrimonial home in his absence at Aba Ukpo Estate in Uyo to be with his wife, Mrs Laurentia Asuquo Etim.

Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer representing the Plaintiff, Etim, filed the lawsuit with Suit No: HU/FHR.72/2020 at the High Court of Akwa Ibom State, and asked the court to enforce the fundamental rights of his client to dignity of the human person, personal liberty, private and family lives and freedom of movement.

Delivering judgement on August 16, 2021, the presiding judge, Justice Charles Ikpe, found that the police violated the fundamental right of the Applicant to personal liberty by detaining him for three days without justification. He also confirmed that Mr Etim was tortured thereby violating his right to dignity of the human person.

The court found guilty of violation of the fundamental right of the Applicant to private and family life by intruding into the matrimonial home of Mr Etim without his consent, hence, the compensation judgement was ruled.
Seeing justice take its course, Effiong commended the judge for his industry and the lucidity expressed in the judgment.

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