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DSS appeals judgment awarding N10m to man detained for using Hanan Buhari’s previous phone line

Bolanle Olabimtan

The Department of State Services (DSS) has filed an appeal challenging the judgement which awarded a N10 million fine against them for illegally detaining a man for using the previous phone line of President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter.

Anthony Okolie was arrested in July 2019 in Asaba, and 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.

On May 14, Nnamdi Dimgba, the trial judge at the federal high court in Asaba where the case was heard, had 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, DSS director-general, demanding that the awarded sum be paid.

However, the DSS has filed an appeal and is now seeking a stay of execution on the judgment pending its hearing and determination.

Speaking on the appeal, Akinyode said his client is opposed to the application for stay of execution.

“We are vehemently opposing the application for stay of execution. It’s a frivolous ploy by the SSS to delay payment. We will be asking the court to compel them to make payment into an interest yielding account designated by the court and whoever wins at the appellate court will harvest the money,” he said.

“Also, we’ll be cross appealing against the remaining two defendants, especially the daughter of the president, about who we were able to place convincing evidence of her involvement before the trial court.”

The case has been fixed for July 7 for argument by the parties.

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