The Department of State Services is set to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court, which awarded N10m against it for violating a citizen’s fundamental human rights over an MTN SIM card once used by Hanan Buhari, daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In May, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State, ordered the DSS to pay N10m to Mr Anthony Okolie for his unlawful detention and rights abuse by the secret police.
The court held that the victim’s detention for 10 weeks without a court order was against the dictates of the Nigerian constitution.
After winning the case, Okolie’s lawyer, Mr Tope Akinyode, vowed to recover the judgment debt and threatened to institute contempt proceedings against the Director-General of the DSS over non-payment.
However, the DSS has lodged an appeal over its defeat and the security agency is seeking to obtain a stay of execution to bar Okolie from enforcing payment of the judgment sum until the appeal was determined.
Reacting to the development, Akinyode, who is also the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, said the application for stay of execution will be opposed and his client would be asking the court to compel the DSS to pay the judgment sum into an interest yielding account to be designated by the court.
The lawyer said, “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.
“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 all parties involved in the matter.