Justice At Last: Court orders senator to pay N100k as damages for slapping newspaper vendor
A High Court in Uyo has ordered a former senator from Akwa Ibom State, Anietie Okon, to pay N100,000 as damages to a newspaper vendor, Ndifreke Etim, whom he assaulted last year in Uyo, PremiumTimes reports.
Mr. Etim, who walks around the city of Uyo, hawking newspapers, had told the court that Mr. Okon slapped him multiple times inside Government House, Uyo, in September last year.
The assault occurred around the state banquet hall where the vendor had gone with the hope of making quick sales during the swearing-in of a new chairman of Akwa Ibom State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Mr. Etim claimed that three able-bodied men, who may have been Mr. Okon’s bodyguards, stood by to watch as the former senator kept slapping him. “When he finished slapping me, he accused me of stealing his wallet.
But God knows I am not a thief, I sell newspapers to take care of myself and my family. He didn’t even search me to see if I had his wallet on me or not,” Etim said.
The victim, backed by the Newspaper Distributors Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State chapter, filed a civil suit against the former senator.
The court, presided over by Justice Winifred Effiong, held that the action of the former senator was degrading, and that it was against Mr. Etim’s right to the dignity of his person.
The court, besides granting an order that Mr. Okon should pay N100,000 as damages to Mr. Etim, also ordered the former senator to pay additional N50, 000 as cost of the litigation to Mr. Etim.
“I am glad that the court has been bold enough to tell the senator that what he did against me was wrong. It’s not about the money,” Etim said.