A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba on Wednesday struck out an application by the Department of State Services seeking to stop a trader, Anthony Okolie, who was awarded N10m damages from enforcing the judgment.
Okolie was detained for 10 weeks without charge for owning a SIM card previously owned by the President’s daughter, Hanan Buhari.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had in May, 2020 ordered the DSS to pay him for illegal detention.
Okolie’s lawyer, Mr Tope Akinyode had threatened to institute contempt proceedings against the Director-General of the DSS over non-payment of the judgment sum.
When the DSS filed the application for stay of execution, Akinyode who is also the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum told PUNCH that the application would be “vehemently” opposed.
He described it as “a frivolous ploy by the SSS to delay payment”. He said at best, he would urge the court to compel the DSS to pay the money into an interest yielding account pending the outcome of appeal.
However, on Wednesday, when the matter came up, Justice Dimgba struck out the application of the DSS, saying the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
The judge said an appeal had been entered at the Court of Appeal. He said by virtue of Order 4 Rule 11 of the Court of Appeal Rules only the Appellate Court could hear the case.
The judge, therefore, struck out the application.