American Nurse Sues Lagos Police Commissioner Over ‘Unlawful And Indefinite Detention’, Demands N100m Compensation
An American nurse, Kari-Ann R’ouke, has approached Federal High Court, Lagos, over her ‘unlawful and indefinite’ detention by Nigerian Police Force.
R’ouke, through her counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, filed the lawsuit on Thursday against the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu, and the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, Adegoke Fayoade.
R’ouke was arrested on February 9 and has been detained indefinitely over the death of her partner.
Despite the clear provision of the law over detention periods, the complainant has been detained for more than one month over a murder case, without being charged to court for the alleged crime.
According to her counsel, Mr Adegboruwa, the complainant in suit no FHC/L/CS/434/2021 is asking the court to order her release from police custody.
The American nurse who is seeking her release from police custody and an award of N100 million as “general, aggravated, special and exceptional damages against the police“, said she has been detained for more than one month over a murder case without being charged to court for the alleged crime.
In the court affidavit, R’ouke disclosed that she met her partner online and came to Nigeria on January 21, 2021 with the aim of establishing a humanitarian outfit.
The suit partly reads;
In the affidavit in support of the case, it is stated that Kari Ann is a certified nurse in America, who came to Nigeria sometime in or about January 21, 2021, to partner with someone she met online to establish a humanitarian outfit. Upon completing her assignment in Nigeria, she departed for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on February 8, 2021, en route to America.
She was however stopped by the Immigration Department on the grounds that her COVID-19 test result had expired, whereupon she was made to sleep at the airport purportedly for a new COVID-19 test. It was later the following day that she was informed that she was being arrested because her friend had passed on, unknown to her. She has been in police custody ever since.
The CCTV footage of the hotel showed clearly that Kari Ann left her friend in the hotel room in good health in the company of his friends and relatives, all of whom were initially arrested but have now been released upon the autopsy report which showed that he died of cardiac arrest, without any foul play.
The suit further stated that K’oure has been extorted by the men of Lagos State Police Command since she has been in their custody illegally.
Kari Ann has been a subject of extortion ever since, even though no prima facie case has been established against her. Since her incarceration, Kari Ann has lost about 23 pounds in weight, she has emaciated tremendously, she has suffered bouts of malaria, dysentery and she is going through extreme emotional and mental stress, without any link to her family or relatives.
It is further stated in the case that she has a delicate medical condition, R’ouke is anaemic and thus requires constant medical check-up and treatment.
The lady, who has allegedly been a victim of extortion since her detention, stated that she is entitled to bail and only being persecuted because of her status as a foreign citizen.
R’ouke, therefore, wants the court to order her release so that she could take care of her delicate health condition and go back to America to join her family.
Asides seeking to be released and a compensation of N100m, R’ouke also seeks an order directing that she is entitled to move freely in any part of Nigeria, without let or hindrance from the police.
The nurse also asked the court to order the respondents to fortwith cease and abstain from applying for a remand order against her over matters pertaining to financial crimes to which she has been in detention since the February 9, 2021.