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Charles Oputa a.k.a Charly Boy

A federal court in Abuja has ordered the Nigeria Police Force, IGP and the FCT Police Commissioner to pay N50 million to Charles Oputa, a.k.a Charly Boy, who called the OurMumuDonDo movement.

Justice John Tsoho awarded the amount on Monday, while ruling in a fundamental rights case initiated by Charly Boy against the police.

He said the sum was a compensation for the violation of his rights to the dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and unification.

He added that the police should apologize to Charly Boy in two national newspapers. In a lawsuit filed on March 29, Charly Boy accused the police and their officials of harassing him and the members of the #OurMumuDonDo campaign during # ResumeOrResign protests.

Charly Boy, through his lawyer Mr. Iniehe Effiong, argued that the police attacked the group during a peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.

He asked the court to decide if the "The use of water cannons, tear gas canisters and wild police dogs to harass him and members of his group during the said peaceful protest on 8 August 2017 is constitutional."

He argued that the act was a violation of his fundamental rights, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and unification, as enshrined in paragraphs 34, 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Charly Boy therefore urged the court to give the FCT police and its commissioner a compelling order to publish a public apology in five national newspapers.

He also demanded that the payment of the sum of N100 million as a general damages to the claimant as well as directly that N400 million be paid as exemplary damage by the police.

Judge Tsoho found that there was no evidence that rogues had invaded or stormed the premises of the protest, the police claimed.

The court ruled that the protesters' right to protest was a constitutionally guaranteed right, provided it was peaceful.

"Respondents (the police) do not need unusual aggression and chaos to fend off alleged rogues.

"Under the law, the court has the right to provide redress to anyone whose rights have been violated and the claimant is entitled to redress.

"The fourth relief is granted and Respondents are requested to make an apology to the complainant in two national newspapers for violating his fundamental rights.

"The sum of N50 million is granted against the respondents as a general and exemplary compensation""Tsoho has ruled.

On the verdict, Charly Boy's advice, Effiong described it as "A resounding victory for democracy, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the country".

"This ruling sends unmistakable message to the Nigerian police that they have no power to stop or disturb peaceful protests from Nigerians.

"The police can not invent flimsy excuses to prevent citizens from exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly." I am delighted about this victory for democracy. "& # 39; he said.

(NAN)

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