Court Fines A\Ibom CP, 2 Cops N6m Over Fraudulent Land Deal

Court Fines A\Ibom CP, 2 Cops N6m Over Fraudulent Land Deal

INIOBONG SUNDAY, UYO

The Uyo Judicial Division of the Akwa Ibom High Court has awarded N6m damages against the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Andrew Amiengheme, and two other senior Police officers for deliberately infringing on the fundamental rights of a businessman, Mr.

Okon Asuquo Ibanga, in a fraudulent 1.7million land transaction deal

.Therefore, the presiding Judge, Justice Ntong F. Ntong, in his judgement held that “forcing the businessman to sign an undertaking to refund N1.7m being the consideration for his own land is unlawful, opprobrious and unwholesome”.

Justice Ntong, therefore,  ordered the CP to pay the applicant N3 million, while the first respondent, Superintendent Friday Ojomo is to pay N2million and the third respondent, Investigative Police Officer, IPO, Ekere Etim, will pay N1 million.

Besides, the Court set aside the undertaking, which the Police forcefully extracted from the applicant to refund the proceeds of his land sale.Justice Ntong, noted that  “the Police knew that the case was a civil matter pertaining to the sale of land, which was pending in the High Court, Uyo, but out of greed and over-zealousness, the Police officers molested and intimidated the applicant with arrest and detention”.

However, the Court, while describing the act as “mischievous, malicious and fraudulent”, held that “the Police Officers compromised their statutory roles and embarked on a frolicking journey of their own”.

Justice Ntong, therefore, held that “by engaging in illegal act, the Commissioner of Police and his Officers, Superintendent Friday Ojomo and Mr. Ekere Etim,  have jointly and severally committed an infraction of the Law and become liable to the infringement of the fundamental rights of the applicant”.

Consequently, Chief Ntong ordered the Commissioner of Police and his men to issue a public apology to the applicant for inter-meddling in a contractual transaction between a civilian citizen”.

According to Justice Ntong, “the Police should not in any community of civilized people be used or allowed to be used in a settlement of land disputes”.

He held that “there was no counter affidavit from the Police and their refusal to challenge the action, thereby reducing his burden of stressing himself to make an elaborate appraisal of the case”.

He affirmed that “evidence before the Court is credible to the effect that the Police Officers abandoned their core duty and descended into abysmal level of becoming debt collector in a civil transaction between the applicant and one Mr. Emmanuel Okon Effiong and Mr. Uwem Edem Udo” and, accordingly, found the CP and his two accomplice cops guilty as charge to pay jointly, the N6milion damages as charge to the applicant.


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Akwa Ibom CPAndrew Amiengheme