A Federal High Court on Friday in Abuja dismissed the suit filed by George Uboh, Chairman Whistleblowers Network, against the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele; and billionaire businessman, Ned Nwoko.
Uboh alleged that he was detained unlawfully for 28 days by Adamu, Emefiele and Nkwoko.
Delivering ruling, Justice Okon Abang dismissed the suit for lacking in merit and ordered Uboh to pay N150,000 to the Adamu, Emefiele and Nwoko.
Abang held: ““The applicant lied to the court that he was arrested in a commando style and detained for 28 days without an order and this violated him for freedom of fair hearing and an infraction of his fundamental human right.
“The police did not unlawfully detain the applicant as he was detained on May 15, 2019.
“The following day they obtained a remand order from a Magistrate Court, Mararaba, Nassarawa State for 14 days.
“On May 20, 2019, he was arraigned and remanded and on May 31, 2019, they obtained a remand warrant for another 14 days before his release on June 13, 2019.
“They did not detain him for 28 days so he can’t come to court in a fundamental right application to demand for damages when detained by an order of court.
“On the issue of the alleged unlawful detention of the applicant for 28 days, it seems to me that the applicant missed his way to the Federal High Court.”
Justice Abang further held that Nwoko and Emefiele did not maliciously set the law in motion that led to the arrest of the applicant as they only laid complain that was further investigated that led to Uboh’s detention.
According to him, the 3rd and 4th defendants did not violate the fundamental right of the applicant when they wrote the petition to the police upon which the police exercised their statutory power to arrest the applicant.
“Where a person makes a report to the security agency about another person that is suspected of criminal activities, the person who reported cannot be held responsible for breaching the fundamental right of the person,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in an affidavit deposed to by One Dodo Silas, the applicant alleged that through some credible whistleblowers within the CBN and beyond, he was informed of how the 3rd respondent in collusion with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation oversaw and approved of the pilfering and diversion of state funds worth $2.5 billion.
The case was premised on unlawful arrest and detention of the foremost whistleblower in detention for 28 days after a discovery of alleged embezzlement from the coffers of the apex bank.
Udoh in his suit prayed a declaration that his arrest on the May 15, 2019 in Maitama, Abuja was confinement, emotional torture, unlawful, illegal and a violation of his fundamental human rights.
He prayed for the defendants to be ordered to tender an apology published in newspapers and an order of perpetual injunction of the respondent from further arrest.
He also prayed for an order to be awarded N1 billion in damages by the respondents for compensatory damage.