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Court Upholds N500m Damages Awarded To Awosika’s Widow, Dismisses Police Applications


Image source Dalje

Image source Dalje

A LAGOS High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, has dismissed the application brought by the Nigerian Police seeking to set aside the judgment of the court, which awarded N500 million to Mrs. Ebunoluwa Awosika.

Ebunoluwa is the widow of the late Mr. Modebayo Awosika, who was murdered by a Police officer in 2008 in Lekki area of Lagos.

Justice O. Oshodi while ruling on two different applications filed by the Police to stay execution of the judgment as well as to set aside the judgment said the court is functus officio (it has performed its duties) and so cannot set aside its own judgment.

He said: “Rules of the court, which the judgment debtors are relying upon are issues that have to do with civil procedure rules in asking the court to upturn its judgment. The suit is commenced under special procedure rules and there is no provision under the rule where the court has to set aside its won judgment.

“The decision of the court in this case is functus officio. The court has performed its duties. The court will not fall into the trap of setting aside its own judgment. The order nissi is made within the garnishee proceedings. The judgment debtor is not a party to garnishee proceedings.

“Since he is not competent, it makes no sense for the judgment debtor to seek the applications. Consequently, the applications are hereby dismissed.” 

This fundamental human right action was commenced against the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police Lagos State in their capacities as heads of the Nigeria Police charged with giving orders to the officers of the Nigeria Police Force who fired gunshots and killed Ebunoluwa’s late husband. 

The judgment creditor is the wife and next of kin of the late Mr. Awosika who was brutally shot and killed by gunshots fired by officers of the Nigeria Police. 

In the early hours of October 1, 2008, Awosika was stopped at Lekki Phase I Roundabout checkpoint by a team of five police officers on patrol who, for no known reasons, fired shots, which killed him.

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