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Erring police officers should personally pay damages for rights violations —Falana



femi Falana

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said at the weekend individual police officers caught for rights violations should be made to personally pay damages imposed by the court.

The lawyer, who stated this at a virtual workshop on human rights violation in Nigeria, added that the major reason for the rising cases of human rights abuses in Nigeria was because the Nigeria Police Force and erring forces paid the damages imposed by the court.

The symposium was also attended by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, human rights activist, Mr. Femi Aborisade, and a former special adviser to the FCT Minister, Henry Shield.

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Falana said: “Arresting people in lieu of criminal suspects has been prohibited but still goes on everyday and the other painful one, and we must make this clear to the public; why is the Nigeria Police Force paying damages for the responsibilities and negligence of its officers?

“I have been pleading with the human rights community; if your client is detained, don’t sue the police alone, sue the police officer involved and ask for specific damages against him.

“If by the time the judgment is delivered, he has retired, let them take part of his pension; that will serve as a lesson for people. But right now, they detain illegally, some get killed, the officers involved get promoted, retire with their benefits. For me, that should not be allowed.”

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