In December 2013, Joseph Martins was shot by Olumide Ariyo, a police sergeant, at a beer parlour and football viewing center in Utako, Abuja, during a football match between Nigeria and Mexico, for challenging him to pay for the two bottles of Gulder that he had consumed.
He was subsequently dumped at Wuse General Hospital and the bullet left in his thigh for 25 days before it was finally removed at the Airforce Hospital. In a judgement delivered yesterday at an Abuja High Court, the Nigerian Police Force was ordered to pay him the sum of N50m, for violating his fundamental human rights and damages.
The Court also ordered the IG of Police to produce and charge Sergeant Olumide Ariyo for attempted murder, instead of assault that he was earlier charged with in a Magistrate Court. Martins’ lawyer, Barr. Tolu Babaleye, who handled the case for free, said: “I took the matter to court after writing petitions to various offices of government in protest and nothing was done.
At last, the judgment came up today after a long, tidious and almost hopeless wait. I am grateful to the judge for doing judicial activism on this matter. I wish to re-affirm my believe in Nigeria and the judiciary as the bastion of hope for the downthroden and the oppressed. If Joseph Martins who is a bricklayer can get justice, then there is hope and hope beacons!”