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Court rejects DSS’ application for stay of execution in Hanan Buhari’s SIM card case

Court rejects DSS’ application for stay of execution in Hanan Buhari’s SIM card case
July 08
21:47 2020
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A federal high court sitting in Asaba, the Delta capital, has struck out an application filed by the Department of State Services (DSS) seeking a stay of execution on the payment of N10 million fine for illegally detaining Anthony Okolie.

Okolie was arrested in July 2019 in Asaba for using the previous phone line of President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter.

Upon his release, he sued the DSS, MTN and Hanan Buhari, demanding compensation of N500 million for the violation of his rights, having been in detention for 10 weeks.

In May 2020, Nnamdi Dimgba, the trial judge at the federal high court in Asaba where the case was heard, upheld Okolie’s submissions and ordered the DSS to pay N10 million for the violation of his fundamental human rights.

Tope Akinyode, Okolie’s lawyer, had written to Yusuf Bichi, the DSS director-general, demanding the payment of the awarded sum but the DSS had filed an application for stay of execution.

Akinyode, who is also the national president of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, had told TheCable that the application would be “vehemently” opposed as it is “a frivolous ploy to delay payment”, adding that he would urge the court to compel the DSS to pay the money into an interest-yielding account pending the outcome of the appeal.

However, on Wednesday when the matter came up, Dimgba struck out the DSS’ application, saying the federal high court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

The judge said an appeal has been entered at the court of appeal, and according to order 4 rule 11 of the court, only the appeal court can hear the case.

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