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Sanwo-Olu orders payment of N5 mln to UBER driver assaulted by state agents during #endsars protest

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By Samuel Bankole

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday directed the payment of N5 million in compensation to an Uber driver, Adedotun Clement, who was assaulted on October 20, 2021, during a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest in the state.

A statement posted on the official Twitter handle said he had “directed the Honorable Attorney General to set up a meeting and pay him the compensation awarded by the court.”

Sanwo-Olu said though the state has appealed the ruling of the Federal High Court that awarded the compensation, he ordered the commissioner of justice in the state to comply with the ruling.

He said his intervention was done in the interest of the public good, noting that as a strong advocate for the rule of law, “I commend all parties for seeking justice through the appropriate channels.

“Good evening, Lagos. As Governor, I’m committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens’ rights with empathy and authority. I recently became aware of the case involving Clement Adedotun and the judgment by the Federal High Court, and I understand the impact this legal battle has had on him.

“After reviewing Clement’s case, I’ve directed the Honorable Attorney General to set up a meeting and pay him the compensation awarded by the Court.”

“Although the State Government has appealed the ruling, I’ve interceded in this instance in the interest of the public good and requested that the State’s Attorney General comply with the court’s ruling.

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“As a strong advocate for the rule of law, I commend all parties for seeking justice through the appropriate channels, and I remain committed to upholding the rights of all Lagosians,” the governor wrote on his Twitter handle.

Adedotun’s counsel, Inibehe Effiong, had in a statement on Friday claimed the Lagos government was rejecting the judgment of the High Court over “lack of evidence for the torture.”

Adedotun, according to his lawyer, was carrying a passenger to the 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.”

Earlier in a statement, the Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Justice, Grace Alo, said during the hearing of the matter, the state government opposed the claims of the applicant on grounds of law and facts.

“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.

“Filing the appeal and asking for a stay of the judgment do 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.”

(Edited By Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom +234 8033 964 138)

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