Nigerian authorities have been fined N5,000,000.00 ($13,500USD) for assaulting, torturing and illegally detaining a villager in Plateau State.
Mr. Dalyop Bulus was arrested on 12th November 2017 at Tyana, Ra-hoss village, in Riyom Local Government Area, by military Task Force personnel allegedly possessing a missing person’s cellphone.
He was “detained and tortured” along with his elder brother, Benjamin Bulus at the Department of State Security, Jos.
Bulus was later charged but acquitted by a Jos Federal High Court for want of “diligent prosecution” but Gyang remained in custody.
He sued the Federal Government in a suit No. PLD/J154M2/19 after over 16 months in custody.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff, State Security Service, and the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, Jos are also respondents.
Judgment on the case was delivered on 2nd August, 2019 in favor of the applicant.
The presiding Judge, Justice S. P. Gang held that the action of the Respondents contravanes the Provisions of Section 35 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) which provide that any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with subsection (1) shall be brought before a Court of Law within a reasonable time.
The Judge declared the prolonged arrest, assault, torture, and detention of the Applicant “illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional.”
He therefore ordered his ‘immediate’ release with a public apology, in addition to the N5, 000,000.00 “general damages/compensation”.
He further issued an order restraining the respondents, their agents, privies, and representatives from further arresting, and detaining the applicant “for no just cause”.
None of the orders has however been complied with to this moment.
The Applicant’s Council, Gyang Zi hopes to explore all available options to ensure the enforcement of the judgment.