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Court of Appeal insists police pay Charly Boy N50m for disrupting protest against Buhari

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the appeal by the Inspector-General of Police and FCT Commissioner of Police against a 2018 judgment involving Charly Boy.

The verdict was then delivered by the current Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho.

Tsoho awarded N50million as exemplary damages against the police for violently disrupting a peaceful protest led by the activist, real name Charles Oputa.

Oputa and others, under the aegis of Our Mumu Don Do, gathered at the Unity Fountain in Abuja on August 8, 2017.

They demanded the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari on the grounds that he travelled to the United Kingdom for medical attention and stayed more than 90 days.

In a suit FHC/ABJ/CS/343/2018 filed on March 29, 2018, by his lawyer Inibehe Effiong, Charly Boy gave an account of how about 100 policemen dispersed the protesters with tear-gas canisters, hot water cannons and wild police dogs.

The 72-year-old citizen recalled that the assault was so severe that he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

On October 22, 2018, Justice Tsoho held that there was no evidence that miscreants invaded or stormed the protest venue and that the protesters were not violent in any way.

But the police, through their counsel O. M. Atoyebi (SAN), filed a Notice of Appeal on 23rd October, 2018, asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment.

At the Court of Appeal, a three-man panel of unanimously judgment dismissed the police appeal and affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court.

Justice Jumbo-Ofo, who read the lead judgement, agreed with Charly Boy’s counsel that the musician had proved his case with credible, convincing and unchallenged evidence.

The appellate court, therefore, reaffirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court and insisted that the Police must pay Charly Boy the sum of N50 million.

The police was further ordered to tender written apologies in two national newspapers and also pay the sum of N100,000 as the cost of action.

Effiong and his colleague, S. M. Oyeghe Esq, commended the Court of Appeal for its decision which they said would enhance Nigeria’s democracy.

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