Woman Demands N350m from DSS, Lebanese Businessman over Illegal Detention


Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

A single mother, Ms Odegua Okojie, has taken the Department of State Security (DSS) and a Lebanese businessman to court for ‘illegally’ detaining her for nine days.

In a suit filed at the Federal High Court in Benin-city, the applicant claimed that during the detention, she was denied access to her lawyer, her two-year-old daughter and family members including her mobile phone that was seized throughout the period she was detained.

Joined in the suit No: FHC/B/CS/120/2019, are the Director-General, Directorate of State Security Service (DSS), Director, Edo State Command of the DSS and Charles Makhoul, a Lebanese businessman.

Okojie said she was first taken into the DSS facility in Benin-city before she was whisked away to Abuja without her knowing the offence she committed.

She said in the night she was taken into custody, her daughter of two cried and wandered about all through the night before she was picked by the road side by her school teacher who came to pick her for school the following morning.

She said at the DSS facility in Abuja, under video recording, she was forced to accept the sum of N6 million as compensation for the atrocities melted on her by the Lebanese business man whom she had lived with from minor to her adult age.

Okojie said the illegal detention from July 9 to 16, 2019, was not only an infringement on her fundamental human rights, but also unlawful and unconstitutional.

She subsequently demanded N300 million as compensation/damage for the violation of her fundamental rights by the first to third respondents.

The applicant is also asking the court to award her N50 million as exemplary damages for the unlawful and unwarranted infraction on her rights.

When the case came up for hearing yesterday before Justice M. G. Umar, counsel to the third respondents, (Lebanese Businessman), J. O. Bisan, filed two applications requesting for extension of time to enable him file a counter affidavit to the application file by the applicant since the extension of time provided by the court rules had expired.

The applications were granted by Justice Umar after counsel to the applicant, Mr. T. A. Akahomen, and counsel to the first and second respondent (DSS), Mrs. O. A. Odigie, did not object to the request.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to February 12 for hearing.