By Jethro Ibileke
A Benin-based single mother, Ms. Odegua Okojie, has dragged the Department of State Service (DSS) and a Lebanese business man, Charles Makhoul, before Justice M. G. Umar, of the Federal High Court, Benin, Edo state, for illegally detaining her for nine days.
The applicant in the suit No. FHC/B/cs/120/2019, claimed that during her detention, she was denied access to her lawyer and family members and her telephone was seized from her.
Joined in the suit are the Director-General, the Director, Edo State Command of the DSS and Charles Makhoul, a Lebanese business man.
Odegua alleged that she was first taken into DSS facility in Benin before she was whisked to Abuja without her knowing her offence.
She further alleged that in the night she was taken into custody, her two-year-old daughter cried and wondered about all night, before she was recovered from the road side by her school teacher who came to pick her to school.
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 meted on her by the Lebanese business man whom she had lived with as a minor to her adult age.
She said that 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 for “N300 million as compensation/damages over the violation of her fundamental rights by the 1st to 3rd 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 was mentioned on Thursday, Counsel to the 3rd respondents filed two applications for extension of time to enable him file a counter affidavit to the one file by the applicant.
The applications were granted by Justice Umar after counsel to the applicant, Mr. T. A. Akakhomen, 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 them by the judge.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to February 12, for hearing.