Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Cuba, Laraba Elsie Bhutto, has instituted a fundamental right enforcement suit against the Inspector General of Police over her beating, unlawful arrest and detention by officers of the Nigerian Police Force.
Bhutto was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba between 2011 and 2014.
Other respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/444/2018, include the Nigeria Police, the Police Service Commission, and the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The originating motion dated April 26, 2018 was brought pursuant to Sections 34, 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, as well as under Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamentals Right Enforcement Procedure Rules 2000, and Articles 5, 6, 8, 12(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right.
As a result of alleged infringement on her fundamental rights, Ambassador Bhutto is praying for “An order of court directing the respondent jointly and severally to pay the sum of N100,000,000 (One hundred million) to her for the beating, unlawful arrest and detention being damages for the unlawful and unjustified violation of her right to the dignity of her person and to her freedom of movement as guaranteed her both in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
By the suit, the plaintiff wants, “A declaration that the beating, unlawful arrest and detention of the applicant for no justifiable reason whatsoever is unlawful and violation of the applicants fundamental right to liberty and dignity of the Human Person as guaranteed under 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
“A declaration that the beating, unlawful arrest and detention of the applicant without lawful justification is unlawful, barbaric and reckless infringement on the fundamental rights of the applicant as protected both in the Constitution of the FRN 1999 (as amended) and the African Charter on Human And People’s Rights.
“An order of injunction perpetually restraining the respondents, their servants, agents and privies from arresting, causing the arrest, inducing or instigating the arrest, dehumanizing and detaining or in any manner interfering with the applicant’s right to freedom of movement, to personal liberty, to personal respect and dignity.
In an affidavit dated April 26, in support of the suit, Ambassador Bhutto deposed that on the 24th of April 2018, she went for medical consultation with her Doctors at Zankili Hospital Mabushi, Abuja sometime between 5pm and 6pm.
The same hospital and day Senator Dino Melaye was admitted when he jumped out from the vehicle of the police.
Bhutto averred that after consultation with her doctor, she came out of the Hospital and noticed the presence of a large number of Police officers, some in uniform while others were in mufti.
“That I noticed the Police Officers beating up and manhandling some people within the premises of the Hospital.
“That I tried to inquire what was going on when I suddenly heard “carry her, arrest her” and I was grabbed by some Police Officers.
That the Police Officers started beating me furiously and I fell to the ground but they picked me up and forced me into one of their waiting vehicles along with other people I don’t know who were also arrested by the police.
“That my bag was taken away from me and I was prevented from making any Phone calls with my handset.
“That I was kept in the vehicle of the Respondents for several hours.
“That it took the intervention of my doctor, Dr. Deshi before I was finally released.