American Lady Drags Lagos Police to Court over Illegal Detention

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An American lady, Kari Ann R’ouke, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, against the Lagos State Commissioner for Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, asking the court to order her release from police custody.

In Suit No.FHC/L/CS/434/2021 filed yesterday at the Registry of the court, Kari Ann is asking for a declaration that “the police are not entitled to arrest and detain her for an indefinite period of time over a matter that does not disclose any reasonable offence; a declaration that her continued remand in perpetuity without a charge is illegal and unconstitutional and for an order directing the police to forthwith release her from illegal custody”.

Named as respondents in the suit filed on her behalf by legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, are the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Odumosu and the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, DCP Adegoke Fayoade.

In the affidavit in support of the case, it was stated that Kari Ann is a certified nurse in America, who came to Nigeria in January 21, 2021, to partner someone she met online to establish a humanitarian outfit.

Upon completing her assignment in Nigeria, she departed for the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, en route to America.

However, R’ouke said she was stopped by the Immigration Department on the ground that her COVID-19 test result had expired, whereupon she was made to sleep at the Airport purportedly for a new COVID-19 test.

The following day, the American said she was informed that her friend had passed on, “unknown to me”.

“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.

“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 added.

“She is anaemic and thus requires constant medical check-up and treatment. She is entitled to be released on bail in the same way that the principal suspects have been released.”