The lawyer representing late Chima Ikwunado's family on fundamental rights enforcement application has said that the family is demanding N10 billion compensation for his death.
Prosecuting counsel, Barrister (Mrs) Princess Chinyere Lawrence, who disclosed this to newsmen after the case was adjourned on Tuesday said the family has asked for “stiff monetary compensation at least to make the police to sit up”.
She said that the family instituted the case to enforce the rights of the late mechanic saying in line with the court's directive she would narrow the application to widow of the late mechanic.
She said so many family members are affected by the death of Ikwunado.
Late Chima Ikwunado was allegedly tortured to death by police of the Eagle Crack Squad in Mile 1 Police Station in Port-Harcourt last December.
The lawyer for the police, Barrister Sokari Egop, who also spoke to newsmen at the court premises after the adjournment said that several suits filed against the police over the matter was abuse of court process.
He said the police are not happy that “somebody” died but said it must be “established” that somebody killed someone for the person to be answerable in law.
He said he was at court to represent the Inspector-General of Police in the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State and Commander of the Eagle Crack Squad as first, third and fourth respondents.
Egop said: “These people do not effect any arrest. So in any way, they cannot be responsible for the alleged death of Chima”.
Asked if the Commander of the Eagle Crack Squad was not aware of what was happening throughout the time Ikwunado was in detention, the police counsel said he might not have known what was “happening exactly”, adding: “You cannot oversee everything…We are bound to make mistake”.
He said: “He is the Commander. We are not doubting. He may not be aware that arrests have been made”.
The matter came up, for hearing at Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt on Tuesday before presiding judge, Justice J.K. Omotosho.
The court acknowledged that all the parties were served but they were not in court for the hearing and the defence counsel had also not filed his response to originating summons at time of the hearing.
However, the presiding judge had pointed out to prosecuting counsel that filing several suits on the same matter could amount to abuse of court process.
It was discovered there were three applications on the matter before different courts.
The prosecuting counsel, Barrister (Mrs) Chinyere Lawrence had said the late mechanic was tortured to death by men of Eagle Crack Squad saying it was in violation of fundamental rights of the deceased.
She said the widow of the deceased is in shock over the incident, adding that she is directly affected by the death of her husband.
The judge adjourned the case to 17 March for continuation of hearing and asked prosecuting counsel to tidy up her application.
The suit was filed by the wife of the late mechanic.
Another suit filed by father of late Chima Ikwunado also came up before the court on Tuesday.
The presiding judge, Justice Omotosho, adjourned the case after brief proceedings to 17 March for hearing.