Court awards N10m costs against DSS boss as fine for human rights infringement

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) and its Director-General DSS to pay N10 million compensation to one Kasim Kayode for fundamental rights infringement.

The presiding judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke, ordered the respondents to either charge Kayode to court or releases him unconditionally. Kekemeke held that the action of the DSS in detaining Kayode since April 10 was unconstitutional, degrading and inhuman.

He said the plaintiff ought to have been charged to court because the respondents did not have power to lock him up for over two months without fair hearing.

The court stated that the right to fair hearing had been breached as provided in Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution which states that very person is entitled to fair hearing.

“In democracy, the law is a king, liberty and freedom of a citizen is being breached when detention is not in accordance with the constitution,” he said.

Kekemeke also said that administrative bail amounted to no bail because only the courts could grant bails in accordance with the law. He said that Kayode was given administrative bail with condition to produce a level 16 civil servant with a landed property in Asokoro, Abuja, which he could not fulfil.

The judge noted that the 19 paragraph affidavit by Kayode’s counsel, Elisha Oloruntobi, said that he arrested at midnight at his place of work in Lagos by security men from the DSS on April 12. He, was however, brought to Abuja and had been detained since then.

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