Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the attorney for incarcerated Indigenous People of Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu, was given N102 million in compensatory damages by Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa of a Federal High Court in Anambra on Friday representing egregious violations of his fundamental rights and court costs.
The court also gave him N5 million in compensation for the cost of his Toyota Camry, which security forces had set ablaze.
In a lawsuit filed under the number FHC/AWK/CS/56/2021, the IPOB attorney challenged the government’s assault of his ancestral house in the state of Oraifite on the 6th of June, 2021, by security personnel, which resulted in the death of his aide.
First through eighth defendants in the lawsuit were added to include the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector General of Police, the State Security Service, the Director-General, State Security Service, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, and Chukwuka Ofoegbu (also known as Ijele Speaks).
In his ruling, Justice Nganjiwa characterized the harsh intrusion by the agents of the eight respondents as an oppressive and grave infringement of the plaintiff’s rights to life, dignity as a human being, fair trial, and private and family life.
The removal and subsequent burning of Ejiofor’s Toyota car with the registration number YAB 60 CB, along with the body of his domestic worker Samuel Okoro, and other important papers and valuables taken by government agents from his home, were also denounced by him as illegal, oppressive, and unlawful.
The court further issued an injunction prohibiting the eight respondents—whether acting alone, through their agents, privies, or in any other capacity—from harassing the plaintiff any further, making death threats against him, or attempting to harm his property.
Justice Nganjiwa ordered the eight respondents to publicly apologize to him for the egregious violation of his fundamental rights in two national newspapers, and he also gave the Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, and Director-General of State Services orders to swiftly identify any of their personnel involved in this heinous act and punish them following the law.
Ejiofor questioned what he had done to deserve such savagery in response to the verdict. He had claimed that during the invasion, his chief driver, Felix Okonkwo, and two of his domestic workers, Lawrence Ugochukwu and Ikenna Chibuike, were also taken into prison by security forces and are still there.