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    Charly Boy: Appeal Court Slams N50 Million In Damages Against IGP

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    Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday set aside an appeal filed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), and others against a 2018 judgment that awarded N50 million as exemplary damages against the police.

    Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court had handed down the damage award in 2018 against the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory Command and the Nigeria Police Force.

    Justice Tsoho held that the police violently disrupted a peaceful protest led by musician and activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, hence awarded the damages in his favour.

    Delivering judgment in the case on October 22, 2018, Justice Tsoho held that there was no evidence that miscreants invaded or stormed the protest venue and that the protesters were not violent in any way.

    The judge rejected as baseless, the argument of the police that they acted to maintain peace, law and order.

    Dissatisfied with the judgment, the police through their counsel, O. M. Atoyebi (SAN), filed a Notice of Appeal on October 23, 2018, asking the Court of Appeal in Abuja to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court.

    But 3-man panel of the Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment on Tuesday dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court.

    Justice Jumbo-Ofo who delivered the unanimous judgement of the appellate court agreed with the counsel for Charly Boy, Inibehe Effiong, that the musician had proved his case with credible, convincing and unchallenged evidence.

    The appellate court condemned the actions of the officers of the Nigeria Police in using teargas and hot water cannons to disperse the peaceful protesters; saying it was an act of impunity.

    The Appeal Justice held that the officers engaged in “a naked and blatant violation of the rights of the Respondent (Charles Oputa)” to dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

    Consequently, appellate court reaffirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court and insisted that the police must pay Charly Boy the sum of 50 million naira, tender written apologies to him in two national newspapers and also pay the sum of N100,000 as the cost of action

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