On May 16 2014,The late Mrs. Patricia Onyeabo ,a former NRC Secretary/Legal Adviser died in detention,about four weeks after being arrested over her alleged involvement in Nigerian Railway Corporation N1billion pension scam.
Her daughter, Amaka, filed a fundamental rights enforcement action and sought damages for her mother’s death.
Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos held that the police denied the deceased access to medical treatment while in custody.
“I hold that the Nigeria Police had failed in its responsibility. The applicant had a right to life and dignity of human person but was denied them while in the custody of the police, thereby leading to her life being terminated.
“If she was allowed access to the hospital, she would not have died. The police denied her the opportunity to visit the hospital for the treatment of her ailment,Therefore, the applicant is entitled to general damages in the sum of N100 million.””
The deceased and others were being investigated over the alleged mismanagement of the NRC workers’ contributory pension scheme.They were said to have been initially detained at the Nigerian Railway Police Command in Ebute-Meta, Lagos, before being transferred to the Federal Criminal Investigation Department in Abuja.Onyeabo reportedly died about five days after she was transferred to Abuja.
Her daughter, through Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), claimed N1billion for general and aggravated damages over the “unlawful detention, harassment and intimidation of her deceased mother.”