Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has rejected a court order to compensate the Uber driver who was tortured during the EndSARS memorial in the state.
A Federal High Court in Lagos had on March 14, 2023, ordered the Lagos State Government to pay the sum of N5 Million as compensation to Adedotun Clement, an Uber driver who was assaulted on October 20, 2021, at the Lekki Toll-Gate during the first EndSARS memorial.
Clement was carrying a passenger to Lagos Mainland when he encountered a gridlock at the Lekki Toll-Gate during a march to commemorate the first anniversary of EndSARS. He was tortured and pepper-sprayed by officers of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency and policemen.
The attack on the Uber driver was captured on video and went viral, sparing outrage.
Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, filed a lawsuit against the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police Force to seek redress.
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Following the judgment, Effiong wrote a letter Governor Sanwo-Olu on March 16, 2023 demanding compliance with the judgment. However, the governor refused to act on the demand.
The Lagos State Government has now filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Lagos against the judgment.
In a Notice of Appeal filed on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, but served on Friday, March 24, signed by Dr. Babajide Martins, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, the government said there was no evidence that the Uber driver was tortured.
Responding to the appeal, Effiong said his client was disappointed by the action of the Lagos State Government but that he was ready to face the government at the Court of Appeal.
“I’m not surprised by their decision not to obey a judgment that everyone knows is justifiable. Since they’ve chosen this infamous path, I will equally file a cross-appeal against the N5 Million damages and ask the Court of Appeal to increase it significantly.” Effiong said.
The Lagos lawyer added that “the message derivable from this action is that Lagosians are back to the regime of real Governor Sanwo-Olu that they know, and not the pretentious one who tried to project himself as a populist or respecter of human rights during the campaigns.