Charly Boy Files N500 Million Lawsuit Against Nigeria Police Over Attack During Resume or Resign Protest

Charly Boy Files N500 Million Lawsuit Against Nigeria Police Over Attack During Resume or Resign Protest

Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos-based legal practitioner and human rights activist who is the counsel to Charly Boy in an Originating Motion dated October 4th 2017 filed the suit at the F.C.T. high Court on Wednesday October 4th 2017 against the Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command who is joined as the respondent in the suit.

In his written address in support of his client’s application with reference number FCT/HC/CV/3037/2017, Effiong is asking the court to determine the following two issues:

i) Whether the use of teargas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs by the agents and officers of the Respondent to attack, harass and disperse the Applicant during a peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 is not unjustifiable, illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to the dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and contrary to Sections 34, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 5, 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Charly Boy and his lawyer, Effiong Inibehe in court
Sahara Reporters Media

ii) Whether having regard to the facts and circumstances of this case and the evidence before this Honourable Court, the Applicant is entitled to a public apology, compensation, damages and other reliefs sought in this Application from the Respondent.

Upon resolution of the above issues, the Applicant, Charles Oputa, is seeking the following eight reliefs from the court:

1. A DECLARATION that the use of teargas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs by the agents and officers of the Respondent to attack, harass and disperse the Applicant during a peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 is unjustifiable, illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental right to dignity of the human person and contrary to Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

2. A DECLARATION that the use of teargas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs by the agents and officers of the Respondent to attack, harass and disperse the Applicant during a peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday August 8th , 2017 where the Applicant and other activists had gathered to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari should either return to the country from his long medical vacation in the United Kingdom or resign is unjustifiable, illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental right to freedom of expression and contrary to Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

3. A DECLARATION that the use of teargas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs by the agents and officers of the Respondent to attack, harass and disperse the Applicant during a peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday, 8th August, 2017, where the Applicant and other activists had assembled under the umbrella of an association known as OurMumuDonDo movement to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari should either return to the country from his long medical vacation in the United Kingdom or resign is unjustifiable, illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to a violation of the Applicant’s fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association and contrary to Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

4. AN ORDER compelling the Respondent to publish a public apology to the Applicant in Five National Newspapers for violating the Applicant’s fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 at Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja.

5. AN ORDER directing the Respondent to pay the sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) as GENERAL DAMAGES to the Applicant for violating the Applicant’s fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 at Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja.

6. AN ORDER directing the Respondent to pay the sum of N400,000,000.00 (Four Hundred Million Naira) as EXEMPLARY DAMAGES to the Applicant violating the Applicant’s fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association on Tuesday, August 8th 2017 at Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja.

7. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Respondent and the Nigeria Police Force from further interfering with or violating the Applicant’s Fundamental Rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

8. AND FOR SUCH FURTHER ORDER or orders as this Court may deem fit to make.

In a 22 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Charles Oputa in support of the suit, the musician gave a graphic and detailed account of how policemen numbering over 100 hundred from the F.C.T. Police Command invaded the Unity Fountain in Abuja on the 8th day of August, 2017 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.

 

The 66-year-old popular musician explained that the invading policemen attacked him and other protesters and dispersed them with wild police dogs, water cannon and teargas canisters despite the fact the seven of them who participated in the sit-out protest that day were very peaceful and did not breach or threaten public peace in any manner.

Charly Boy further narrated that the attack by the policemen was so severe that he collapsed in the process and was rushed to the hospital.

He also stated 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.