An Akwa Ibom state High Court in Uyo has slammed a N100,000 fine on a former senator Anietie Okon in favour of a newspaper vendor.
Okon was said to have slapped the vendor Ndifreke Etim multiple times last year in Uyo.
The incident was said to have occurred at the banquet hall in Akwa Ibom state Government House in September 2015.
Etim had gone to the state house with the hope of making some sales at the swearing-in of a new chairman of Akwa Ibom state council of traditional rulers when Okon slapped him.
He said Okon was guarded by three bodyguards when the incident happened.
“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,” Etim said.
“He didn’t even search me to see if I had his wallet on me or not.”
Subsequently, after the incident last year, the victim and the Newspaper Distributors Association filed a suit against Okon.
Ndifreke Etim, a newspaper vendor, was slapped by a former senator
Etim said he wanted the matter sorted out in a court.
However, luckily for Etim, justice smiled on him at a ruling given by Justice Winifred Effiong.
Justice Effiong held that the former senator’s action was degrading.
The judge also said the action was against Etim’s right to dignity as a person as guaranteed under Section 34 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended as well as the African Charter on human and people’s right.
The court ordered the former senator to pay N100,000 to the assaulted vendor.
Also, the judge also granted perpetual injunction, restraining the former senator or his agents from breaching Etim’s fundamental human rights.
The senator was also ordered to pay an additional N50,000 as cost of legal service rendered to the vendor.
Speaking on the judgment “I am glad that the court has been bold enough to tell the senator that what he did against me was wrong,” Mr. Etim said.
“It’s not about the money,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former senator he was yet to receive a copy of the court judgment.
The newspaper vendor pic below