A Federal High Court sitting in Jos on Tuesday ordered some officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to pay N15.69 million in damages to staff members of a Jos, Plateau State-based Oil firm, Judduco Nigeria Limited, for violating their fundamental human rights.
The staffers of the oil company, through their Counsel, ames Attah, sued officials of the DPR, Douglas Caesar, Umar Farouk, Yamu Anakare and Jeremiah Elisha; and an official of the NSCDC, Kachim Obadiah, for violating their fundamental human rights.
Justice Musa Kurya gave the order while delivering two judgments in cases brought against the officials of the said organizations by Pius Emmanuel, Margaret Daboer and Emmanuel Dayong, all staff members of Judduco Nigeria Limited
Kurya awarded N10 million in damages and a refund of N42,000 confiscated by the officials of the DRP and NSCDC to Daboer and Dayong and another N5.650 million to Emmanuel.
“This awards are against the officials of DPR and NSCDC as they (organizations) did not authorize their agents to act the way they did; this is to serve as a deterrent to officials, who are fond of taking the law into their hands against innocent citizens,” the judge declared.
The judge exonerated DPR and NSCDC on the grounds that none of them authorised their agents to act the way they did when they stormed Judduco Nigeria Limited filling stations around Domkat Bali Road and Bauchi Ring Road on February 22, 2016 and March 12, 2016.
The company’s lawyer said: “The officials did the same thing when they stormed the company’s filling station located along Bauchi Ring Road as they collected N42,000 from Margaret Daboer and Emmanuel Dayong, whom they manhandled, arrested and detained them without just cause.
“They also sold the fuel in the two filling stations and kept the proceeds to themselves on flimsy excuses against my clients.
“Their (officials) actions violated their rights contrary to section 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution and article 3,5,6,7 and 15 of the African Charters on peoples’ right CAP A9 LFR 2004 (as amended).”
Kurya declared: “I hereby resolve issues against the officials of the DPR and NSCDC and hold that all the prayers sought in these cases succeed.
“Judgement is hereby entered in the favour of the applicants.
“This is to serve as deterrent to those government officials who are fond of taking the law into their hands against innocent citizens.”