#EndSARS memorial: Lagos right to appeal N5m awarded to driver – Ministry
The Lagos State Ministry of Justice has explained why the state government is appealing the Federal High Court judgment that awarded a N5m compensation to a driver allegedly assaulted during the #EndSARS memorial rally in the state, Adedotun Clement.
The ministry in a statement on Saturday by its Public Relations Officer, Grace Alo, said during the hearing of the matter, the state government opposed the claims of the Applicant on grounds of law and facts.
Adedotun’s counsel, Inibehe Effiong, had in a statement on Friday, claimed that the Lagos government was rejecting the judgment of the High Court claiming a “lack of evidence for the torture.”
Adedotun, according to his lawyer, was carrying a passenger to Lagos Mainland when he encountered a gridlock at the Lekki Toll-Gate during a protest to commemorate the first anniversary of EndSARS. “He was tortured and pepper-sprayed by officers of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency and policemen.”
On March 14, 2023, the court ordered the state government to pay the sum of N5 million as compensation to Adedotun who was said to have been tortured on October 20, 2021 at the Lekki Toll-Gate during the first #EndSARS anniversary.
Explaining on Saturday, the ministry stated, “During the hearing of the matter, the Lagos State Government opposed the claims of the Applicant on grounds of law and facts.
“The court, however, upheld the contention of the applicant.
“As is customary when a judgment is delivered against the State Government, the counsel handling the matter is enjoined to file an appeal (a right provided by the Constitution) along with an application to stay execution of the judgment in order to protect and reserve the rights available to the State Government under the law.”
The ministry stated that filing the appeal and asking for a stay of the judgment did not, however, prevent the management of the Ministry of Justice upon obtaining a copy of the judgment from further reviewing the matter and deciding whether to proceed with or withdraw the appeal.
“The process of taking that decision is underway and once a definitive position is taken, members of the public will be notified.
“The state government reassures the public that in carrying out its duties, it will continue to be guided by the rule of law,” Alo added.