Human Rights abuse: Court slams N1m fine on Delta SDP guber candidate
A Delta High Court sitting in Warri has fined Mr Kenneth Gbagi, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Governorship candidate in the state a sum of One million Naira for allegedly violating the fundamental human rights of Mr Victor Ephraim.
The presiding judge, Justice Vera Agbodje, gave the order in a judgment on Monday in Warri.
Mr Kunle Edun, on behalf of the Claimant, (Ephraim) had filed a lawsuit No. EHC/FHR/80/2020 against Gbagi and his hotel, Signatious Hotel and Suites Limited as Respondents.
The Claimant, an employee of Gbagi, had alleged that between Sept. 17 and 18, 2020, Gbagi used the Mobile policemen attached to him to forcefully strip him naked and dumped him inside the booth of his car and drove to his community.
Ephraim said that while under the unlawful custody of
the Respondent, he was tortured and dehumanised alongside three other female staff of the hotel.
He said that the female staff were also stripped naked and paraded publicly on the allegation that they failed to remit money paid by a hotel guest.
The Claimant also stated that Gbagi collected their ATM cards and transferred all the money in their bank accounts to the hotel’s account.
Delivering judgment, Justice Agbodje held that the stories presented by Gbagi were false, concocted and not believable.
The judge noted that Gbagi took laws into his own hands by torturing his ex staff and consequently awarded the sum of One million Naira against him and his hotel in favour of Ephraim.
Responding to the judgment, Gbagi in a statement, said the judgment was a ploy by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s led government to demarket him.
“As a law abiding citizen, the expenditure of Okowa’s government to demarket me is a fruitless venture, waste of time and resources.
“We have entered an appeal to set aside the “paid junk judgment” for a competent Court and the National Judicial Council to do justice to the procedure.
“I urge my teeming growing supporters to ignore this Okowa’s paid judgment. You can not demarket what God has marketed,” Gbagi said.