Court Awards N500 Damages to Lawyer Arrested for Refusing Polio Vaccine on Child

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A Federal High Court in Sokoto has declared unlawful the arrest and detention of a lawyer, Aminu Alhassan, for refusing the administration of polio vaccination on his child by polio immunization team.

In the suit marked FHC/S/CS/15/2018, the Sokoto-North Local Govt, Council, Director Primary Health Care Department Sokoto- North Local Govt, The Sultanate Council Sokoto, Mahe Made, Abubakar Mai Zuma( Hakimin Kan Wurin Gida Igwai) and Garba Sulaiman Gatawa. O. C Crime, NSCDC, Sokoto-North Division, were the respondents in the suit.
In a judgment on Monday, 19th November, Justice S. K Idrissa awarded N500,000.00 as exemplary damages against the Mahe Made, Abubakar Mai Zuma( Hakimin Kan Wurin Gida Igwai) and Garba Sulaiman Gatawa. O. C Crime, NSCDC, Sokoto-North Division.

He held that the 4th, 5th and 7th respondents infringed on the plaintiff’s fundamental Right of freedom of liberty under S.35(1) of the constitution, when he was arrested and detained on the 27th of May, 2018 from 10:30am at the facility of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, Sokoto North Local govt because of his religious belief against polio vaccination.
Justice Idrissa rule that there was no existing law of Sokoto North Local Govt, Sokoto state or any other enabling law which criminalizes “non-compliance of hiding/ concealment on religious ground” with immunization program for vaccination against poliomyelitis.

He further held that there was no law which made suspicion of hiding/ concealment of a child in resistance to the vaccination a criminal offence that justifies arrest and detention of persons involved.
Aminu Alhassan, was arrested and detained under the custody of the NSCDC Sokoto-North Local Government divisional office, Sokoto, Sokoto State, on the 27th May 2018.
The reason for the said detention was his non-compliance with requests of the Polio immunization team and other stakeholders, to voluntarily accept vaccination on his child.

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Culled: Jurisdiction 

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