Court Orders Police To Pay ₦50m In Damages To MKO Abiola’s Wife

Justice Modupe Osho-Adeniyi of an FCT, Gudu, has awarded the sum of ₦50 million as damages to one of the wives of the late Chief MKO Abiola, Prof Zainab Abiola, against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for the violation of her fundamental rights to dignity and personal liberty.

The judge awarded the money while delivering judgment in a suit, marked FCT/HC/CV/2431/2023, brought before the court by Abiola and further ordered the police to tender a public apology to the plaintiff in two national dailies.

Oshi-Adebiyi held that arresting her in her nightgown without allowing her to dress decently is not only debasing but also an infringement of her right to personal dignity.

The plaintiff had approached the court to enforce her fundamental human rights and joined the IGP, the Nigeria Police Force, Inspector Teju Moses and Engineer Ibrahim, a son of former IGP Usman Alkali Baba, as respondents in the suit.


Prof Abiola alleged that sometime in 2022, police officers invaded her residence in Abuja arrested her while she was wearing a nightgown and whisked her to the station, where she was detained and tortured for three days without trial.

However, while urging the court to dismiss the suit, the respondents claimed that they did not know the plaintiff.

They added that the allegations she levelled against them were false.

The police claimed that Abiola assaulted a female police officer, Inspector Teju Moses, alongside her (Abiola’s) domestic staff, Rebecca Enechido at her residence in the Garki area of Abuja, on September 20, 2022.

However, in the judgment, a Certified True Copy (CTC) sighted by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Justice Osho-Adebiyi condemned the detention of the plaintiff without arraigning her in a court of law for three days.


She held that such action was a gross violation of her right to personal liberty.

The judge further held that such action is unlawful and unconstitutional.

She, therefore declared that ”that the detention of the Applicant from the 20th day of September 2022 to 23rd September 2022, without arraigning her before a court of competent jurisdiction is a violation of the Applicant’s right to personal liberty under Section 35 of the Constitution and is therefore unlawful and unconstitutional.

“It is further declared that the arrest of the Applicant by the Defendants in her nightgown without giving her the opportunity to dress decently is an infringement of her right to personal dignity.

“It is more debasing and a further Infringement of her right to personal dignity when Applicant was paraded in her nightgown.


“In the circumstances, the sum of N50,000,000.00 only is awarded to the Applicant as compensation against the 1st, 2nd and 4th respondents jointly.

“The respondents are hereby ordered to tender a public apology to the applicant in two of the national daily newspapers in pursuance of the provisions of Section 35 (6) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

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