The ₦500m lawsuit filed by Dr. Emmanuel David Udo in Uyo under docket FHC/UY/CS/119/2017 against Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke also names the Mr. Courage Noguese, DSS Director; Mr. Muazu Zubairu, Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom and Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, the acting Inspector General of Police as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,4th and 5th respondents in the case.
It alleges a violation of the plaintiff’s fundamental rights to the dignity of his human person, freedom of movement, and freedom from discrimination from an incident that occurred on the 25th of June, 2016. In that ugly incident, Mr. Udo through his lawyer, Mr. Inibehe Effiong details three issues he challenges on the lawsuit:
i) Whether the assault and torture meted on the Applicant by the 2nd Respondent and other officers of the 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents on the instigation, and for the benefit, of the 1st Respondent on 25th June, 2016 amounts to a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental right to dignity of the human person as guaranteed by Section 34(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. A9 LFN 2004.
ii) Whether the interference with and restriction of the free movement of the Applicant along Obot Idim Ibesikpo Road, in Akwa Ibom State on 25th June, 2016 by the 1st and 2nd Respondents and other officers of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Respondents amounts to a breach of the Applicant’s fundamental rights to freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination as guaranteed by Sections 41 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 2, 3 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. A9 LFN 2004.
iii) Whether having regard to the facts and circumstances of this case, the Applicant is entitled to a public apology, compensation, damages, and other reliefs sought in this Application from the Respondents.
Dr. Udo, the current Chairman of the Eket branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Akwa Ibom State recalled the incident. At the time, he alleged that his
car ran into a crowd of protesting youths along the road and because of heavy traffic hold-up, I could not immediately gave way for the Speaker’s convoy to have easy passage.
Suddenly security aides to the Speaker comprising the Police and members of the Department of State Services (led by Mr. Courage Noguese) dragged me out of the car and severely dealt physical attack on my person under the supervision of the Speaker himself.
Confirming last year’s reports on the incident, Dr. Udo confirmed that the Speaker called him to apologize for the incident, and regretted not knowing that he was a medical doctor but a hooligan. It is understood that he been undergoing medical treatment for injuries suffered during the incident, until the filing of the lawsuit. Several exhibits, including a medical report, are attached to the affidavit.
Although a date has not been set for a hearing, if found of wrongdoing, the Speaker and fellow defendants face damages of up to ₦500m on various grounds.