NASSAU, BAHAMAS- A Supreme Court has awarded a Ghanian man just over $750,000 in damages for false imprisonment for nearly seven years, assault and battery.
The case of Joseph Amihere was strikingly similar to that of Kenyan citizen Douglas Ngumi who was detained at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre for more than six years after being convicted of overstaying back in 2011.
Justice Camille Darville Gomez awarded Amihere $551,200 for general damages, $50,000 assault and battery, $700 in special damages, $100,000 for exemplary damages, and $50,000 for aggravated damages amounting to $751,900.
Amihere arrived in The Bahamas as a visitor on September 25th 2010 and was arrested two days later and held at the Central Police Station for five days. On October 1st, 2010 he was unlawfully transferred by police to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre where he remained for nearly seven years – until May 16th 2017.
According to the facts of case, over the course of his detention, Amihere was beaten several times by Defence Force Immigration Officers at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre during routine searches of the facility’s dorms. On several occasions when searches were conducted Amihere’s clothing outside and if he objected, they punched him in the face repeatedly.
In assessing damages, the judge noted that the case of Amihere who had sought more than $10 million in damages was strikingly similar to that of Douglas Ngumi.
Back in April, the Privy Council yesterday ruled that it was ‘unlawful’ for Ngumi to have been detained for more than two working days pending a deportation order, awarding him an additional $50,000 with interest for the initial three month period he was held awaiting repatriation. The 51 year old Kenyan national Douglas Ngumi had beendetained at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre for more than six years after being convicted of overstaying back in 2011.
During his time in detention Ngumi was badly beaten on several occasion and subjected to “appalling and degrading treatment.” Ngumi testified that he was housed with 500 hundred persons in a dormitory meant for only 50 persons and as a result contracted diseases. He also recounted several raids while he was held at the facility, during which time tear gas was often used on him and other detainees.
Ngumi was initially awarded over $640,000 in damages for his unlawful arrest, detention and inhumane treatment at the Detention Centre and subsequently saw that sum increased to 750,950 by the Court of Appeal, although it was still less than 10 percent of the $11 million he was seeking.