Bus driver wins N10m against police after six years detention

Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the immediate release of a commercial bus driver, Jones Ofori, who has been in police custody without trial since 2013.

Mr Ofori had been held for alleged robbery.

Justice Muslim Hassan on Monday awarded him the sum of N10 million as damages for his unlawful detention.

Justice Hassan said he had to grant the relief sought by Ofori after the defendants – the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector-General of Police, and the Deputy Controller of Prisons – failed to serve the plaintiff their counter-affidavit to Ofori’s suit.

Ofori had told the court through his counsel, Adewale Fadipe, that he was arrested by the police in 2013 after a bus entrusted to him by his employer, identified simply as Ikechukwu, went missing from where he parked it overnight in Ajah, Lagos.

He said that after reporting the case to the police, he was detained for two weeks at Ajiwe Police Station, Ajah, before he was transferred to the office of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ikeja, where he spent another two weeks in detention.

The bus driver said he was charged with robbery before a state’s magistrate’s court after which he was remanded in prison.