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Illegal Detention: Single Mother Demands N350 million from DSS, Lebanese biz man

A single mother, Odegua Okojie, has slammed a N350 million suit on the Department of State Security, DSS, and a Lebanese businessman, Charles Makhoul for alleged illegal detention for nine days. In the suit No. FHC/B/cs/120/2019  filed at the Federal High Court, Benin City, Edo State, Okojie is demanding N300 million as compensation/damages over the violation of her fundamental human rights by the defendants, and another N50 million as exemplary damages for the unlawful and unwarranted infraction on her rights. The case has the Director-General of the DSS, Makoul, and Edo State Director of the DSS as defendants. The plaintiff claimed that during the period of detention, she was denied access to her lawyer and family members while her telephone was also seized.

Odegua Okojie Photo
Odegua Okojie

Okojie said she was first taken into DSS facility in Benin before she was whisked to Abuja without knowing the offence she had committed. She said on the night that she was taken into custody, her two-year-old daughter cried and wandered about all night before she was recovered in the morning from the roadside by her school teacher who came to pick her to school. She further stated that at the DSS facility in Abuja, under video recording, she was forced to accept the sum of six million naira as compensation for the atrocities meted on her by the Lebanese businessman whom she claimed she had lived with as a minor to her adult age.

According to Okojie, her illegal detention from July 9 to 16, 2019, was not only an infringement on her fundamental human rights but also unlawful and unconstitutional. The case which came up before Justice Mohammed G. Umar on Thursday, saw the counsel to the 3rd respondent, file two applications for extension of time to enable him file a counter-affidavit to the one filed by the applicant. The applications were granted by Umar after counsel to the applicant, T. A. Akahomen, and counsel to the 1st and 2nd respondents, Mrs. O. A. Odigwe did not object to the applications. Similarly, Akahomen and Odigwe also had their respective applications on the matter granted by the judge. The matter was subsequently adjourned to February 12 for hearing.

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