FINAL JUDGMENT ON THE COURT CASE BETWEEN NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND EDO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS
The court case between NPF and EDOCSO came up on Thursday being the 27th day of July, 2023 for judgment at the Evbuoriaria magistrate court 5, Sapele road, Benin city.
Comrades were present in their numbers and were ably represented by Bar. Dele Igbinedion’s chamber.
The magistrate delivering his judgement read inter alia and I quote:
- Videoing or recording in public place is not an offence, citizens have rights to do recordings anywhere, anytime.
- She also said that there is no law in Edo state that banned or restrict the movement of tricycles (keke) from major roads or streets. Tricycles can move from one point to another without any form of restrictions.
The magistrate also said that the case lacks merit, that the police was unable to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, and he therefore ruled that the case be struck out for lack of merit before the law.
You will recall that on the 26th day of July, 2022, one Brighton Odion, a tricycle rider who was riding his tricycle along limit road of Sapele road in benin city was apprehended by men of the Nigeria Police Force, New Etete division for riding in a restricted area according to the police and accused him of violating the Governor’s order and was subsequently charged to court when he refused to give them bribe.
One Mr. Vision Nelson was also charged
alongside, with an offence of been an unregistered photographer and unlicensed journalist because he was using his Android phone to record the event of arrest.
The case had since been in court for one year now, however the court delivered judgment in favour of the accused.
It is usually said that justice can be delayed but can never be denied
We want to use this medium to charge the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force to always do diligent work in putting only well trained, educated and exposed personnel to head police formations in order to reducing similar embarrassment and ridicule to the force.
It would appear the police just want to charge suspects to court for charging sake without minding the final implication of the outcome which are not limited to making a caricature of the force and emboldening criminals to challenge such charge in court and not to talk about the wastage of time, resources of the country for frivolous and unintelligent pursuit of non existent criminal case.
If the institutions in Nigeria knows what they are doing, the DPO or whoever that charged this case to court would be reprimanded and possibly defaulted for dragging the police force into ridicule and shame.
At any rate, the statement had been made loud and clear that the court is made for everyone to sue for justice and truth. We will continue to urge citizens to pursue matters in court. The day citizens will wake up and start suing intimidating and oppressive institutions in Nigeria, only then we will be on our way to total liberation from the internal feudal lords.
Going forward, anymore harassment of tricycle riders in Edo state by police officers would be seen as comtempt of court and the appropriate steps will be taken on such officer(s). EDOCSO will ensure the full wrath of the law takes it course. Those that have heard this should inform those that have not.
Leftist Aliyu Umweni
Interim Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations
MASSES HOUSE: 6B, Obakhavbaye Street (Eagle heights building) opposite Spirit and Life Bible Church, off Oba Market Road,
Benin city, Edo state. 08118013331, 08186617904.