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Court Awards N25m Damages Against Kano Govt, Police For Wrongful Accusation Of Rep Doguwa

The Federal High Court in Abuja has awarded N25 million in damages against the Kano State Government and the Nigeria Police Force for wrongly accusing Alhassan Doguwa, a federal lawmaker, of murder.

Alhassan Doguwa, who represents the Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, was initially accused of the murder of three individuals believed to be members of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) during the general elections held on 25 February 2023. 

Doguwa, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), faced these accusations amidst significant political tension.

The accusations against Mr. Doguwa led to his arraignment, during which he claimed bias on the part of the police and the Kano State Government.

 His assertions prompted a review of the police investigation, ultimately resulting in the then-outgoing APC administration exonerating him. 

However, with the advent of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s administration, a renewed commitment to prosecuting Doguwa was announced. 

Governor Yusuf, a member of the NNPP, declared that the new government would pursue the case, alleging that Doguwa was responsible for the deaths of over 15 people in political violence.

In response, Doguwa sued the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police, the Governor of Kano State, and the Attorney-General of Kano State, citing infringements on his rights to dignity, liberty, and freedom of movement.

In a judgment dated 5 December 2023, Justice D.U. Okorowo of the Federal High Court cleared Doguwa of all charges.

 The court barred the Kano State Government from arresting, detaining, or prosecuting him. Justice Okorowo stated that the offences under sections 126 and 128 of the Electoral Act, 2022, which are federal offences, had already been investigated by the police, resulting in Doguwa’s exoneration.

The judgment condemned the threats of arrest and prosecution by the Kano State Governor as illegal and a violation of Doguwa’s fundamental rights.

 The court’s findings highlighted that the political fracas on 26 February 2023 in Tudun Wada Local Government Area was the result of actions by NNPP supporters. Evidence indicated that the violence, including the deaths, was caused by NNPP supporters blocking roads and setting fires.

Justice Okorowo’s ruling emphasized that the actions of the Kano State Government and the police inflicted significant psychological distress on Doguwa.

 Consequently, the court awarded him N25 million in damages. 

The judgment also included a perpetual injunction preventing any further attempts to arrest, detain, or prosecute Doguwa without new evidence.

The decision represents a significant judicial rebuke of the actions taken against Doguwa and underscores the importance of upholding the fundamental rights of individuals against wrongful accusations and political bias.

 

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