By ALLAHMAGANI ARMSTRONG
The wife of late Dauda Danladi, Altine, has instituted a case at the Federal High Court, Bauchi, against the Nigeria Police Force, over the alleged torture leading to the death of her husband, seeking N500 million, as general damages for breech of his fundamental right to life.
NATIONAL ACCORD had reported that the 33-year old Danladi, was reportedly arrested by a team of Police patrol operatives in front of his shop located at Yelwa Tsakani, a sub-urb of Bauchi metropolis at about 9pm on Thursday, 8th July, 2021 and taken to the Yelwa Division, where he was allegedly tortured to death.
But the Police, through its Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, a Superintendent of Police, in a statement, claimed that a patrol team went to the area to arrest some suspects, saw Danladi lying in front of his shop “gasping for breadth reasonably suspected to have an asthma attack”, rushed him to the hospital where a medical doctor certified him dead.
In a suit number FHC/BAU/CS/27/2028 with Motion number FHC/BAU/M/60/2021 and sworn to by her team of counsels led by Barrister Shipi Rabo of Shipi Rabo and Associates, the widow seeks the order for the enforcement of her husband’s fundamental right to life as guaranteed by section 33 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the African charter on human and people rights and fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009, CAP 10, laws of the Nigeria 1990.
The Nigeria Police Force is the first respondent while joined in the suit are the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba (second respondent); the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State, Sylvester Alabi (third respondent) and the Divisional Police Officer, Yelwa Division, Philip Akolo (fourth respondent).
Altine, in her motion on notice, stated that those arrested but were later released, including a snooker board close to her late husband’s shop, Markus Hezekiah, told her that when the officers from the Yelwa Division arrested them, they used the sticks they were holding to beat her husband.
She said: “My late husband tried to resist the arrest and was telling them that he was conducting a legitimate business and that he did not do anything wrong. But they refused to allow him to even close his shop and they pushed him towards the Hilux Van.
“When they were about to push him into the Hilux Van, he slumped and they forcefully dragged him into the Hilux Van,” adding that after all those arrested were forced into the Hilux Van but “they realized that my late husband was still lying on the floor of the vehicle and was not moving.
“The people there alerted the officers of the respondents that my late husband was unconscious and was not moving, the officers who were at the back of the van with them replied that he was pretending for the purpose of refusing arrest.”
The widow said that because the officers who came to make the arrests were many, there was no space in the Hilux Van “and the people kept stepping on my late husband as he laid there not moving.
“When they finally arrived at the Yelwa Division, my late husband was still unconscious, they brought him down and laid him on the veranda of the Yelwa Division. After that, the Officers brought water and poured on him but he did not respond.
“At that point, they laid him down behind the counter and when he was still not responding, they quickly moved him out and that was the last time he (Hezekiah), and others saw him.
“The snooker board owner also informed me that it took more than one hour from the time of the arrest before they arrived at the Yelwa Division and all this while, my late husband was lying on the floor of the Hilux unconscious and nobody attended to him.
According to her, the death certificate the family obtained from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, provides that her husband was taken to the hospital by 11.00pm adding that this corroborates the account of the snooker board owner “that the Police spent more than an hour from the point of arrest to the Police station at Yelwa and possibly the rest of the time was used to convey the deceased to the said hospital.”
“All through the time wasted by the respondents’ officers, the deceased was unconscious for more than two hours. Also, from the certificate of death issued by the hospital, the history obtained from the ambulance can be seen as gasping for air and his breathing ceased on the way,” she said.
In the statement in support of her application, she declared that the “arrest and torture” of her husband, Dauda Danladi on the night of 8th July, 2021 by officers of the respondents from Yelwa Division, without just cause, is a violation of his fundamental human right to dignity as enshrined in section 34 of the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as ammended and the African charter on human and people’s rights.
“An order of this Honourable Court awarding the sun of Five Hundred Million Naira (N500,000,000) as general damages against the respondents in favour of the applicant” is being sought.
Altine lamented that: “That I will live forever with the trauma of losing my husband in the most brutal manner which I am constantly traumatized with. That the family of my late husband are also traumatized with the brutal death of their son which they will live with forever.
“That it will serve the best interest of justice to grant this application as the respondents will not be prejudiced in any way. That I will be prejudiced if this application is not granted.”