By Ambrose Ologide
A Delta state high court sitting in Warri presided over by Justice Mrs. R.D. Harriman has ordered the Nigeria police to pay as compensation the sum of N10million to a commercial car driver, Matthew Oboroh, who the court also awarded one hundred thousand naira cost from the police for infringing on his fundamental human right by taking possession of his car without compensation.
Barrister Blessing Ahwinahwi of Chief Andi Kayoma Osawota Chambers, Warri, who was the counsel to Oboroh in the suit, told our correspondent in Warri that her client’s commercial car was stolen along Jakpa Road, Effurun in 2015 when he went to worship at a popular new generation church (now relocated to Effurun/Sapele Road) Effurun.
According to the counsel, Mr Oboroh lodged a complaint about his stolen car at the Ekpan police station with the hope of the police searching for his stolen car but this was not to be as the car was rather seen by its owner while he was traveling to Sapele at the ever busy Effurun roundabout.
He stated that the police from Ekpan were using the car for security patrol and that the inscription ‘Operation Ekpan Area’ was boldly written on both sides of the body of the car.
Mr Oboroh, the counsel said, was able to recognize the stolen car which now had new police car registration numbers but still had the same colour at as when it was stolen.
With this shocking discovery, Mr Oboroh was said to have politely approached the policemen from Ekpan police station who were using the car in search of criminals and humbly told them that the car was his and that the car was stolen in 2015.
He was accordingly asked to go to the Ekpan police station where he lodged a complaint about the car and on getting to the said police station, he was told that the stolen car was actually recovered by the police in 2016 and that he could only repossess it on the payment of N115,000.
He was said to have been told also that the said the sum of money that was being demanded for was the cost of the expenses incurred by the police in maintaining his recovered car.
Seeing that the demand by the police was an infringement on his fundamental human right, the commercial car driver then decided to seek the services of a lawyer, with the hope of having justice in the law court.
The case was taken to court where it was tried and the police was found guilty of infringing on the fundamental human right of the commercial car driver, Matthew Oboroh, by forcefully confiscating his car without paying compensation to him.