An Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo has ordered a former councillor, Uduak Nseobot, and his wife, Aniedi Nseobot, to pay N4 million damages for assaulting one Iniubong Essien of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the state.
The court also mandated the couple to pay an additional N200,000 to the victim to cover the cost of her litigation and tender a public apology in the Punch Newspaper and a local tabloid in the state.
It could be recalled that the former councillor, while in office, together with his wife had accused Iniubong, a family friend, of stealing part of the money sprayed on them during their wedding.
The couple, it was gathered, picked the lady from Uyo to their village in Ibiono Ibom, beat her up, stripped her, robbed charcoal on her body and forced her to dance around the village with claims that she is a thief.
After the incident, it was further gathered that the couple got her arrested by the police and filed a lawsuit against her.
However, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong (Esq) was said to have taken up the case pro bono.
The presiding judge, Justice Edem Akpan, in his ruling described the couple’s action as “totally condemnable.”
The judge also alluded the man’s action to a total disregard Nigerian politicians have for citizens’ rights, adding that by their own affidavits, the man and his wife “admitted to committing the atrocities” and that they had no defence for what they did.
Speaking with journalists after the judgment, the lawyer to the plaintiff, Effiong, who had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit on behalf of Ms. Essien, said his client had been vindicated by the judgment.
“From the outset, the evidence was very compelling. What the former councillor did was quite outrageous. I think that is about one of the most gravous examples of human rights violations (in Nigeria),” he said.