Court Strikes out DSS Application Seeking to Stop Enforcement of Judgment Debt in SIM Card Case

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Court Strikes out DSS Application Seeking to Stop Enforcement of Judgment Debt in SIM Card Case

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State, has struck out an application by the Department of State Services seeking to stop a trader, who was awarded N10m from enforcing payment of the money.

The Federal High Court had in May 2020 ordered the DSS to pay N10m to Mr. Anthony Okolie as compensation for unlawfully detaining him for 10 weeks over an MTN SIM Card he purchased, which was previously used and abandoned by Hanan, daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Okolie’s lawyer, Tope Akinyode, had threatened to institute contempt proceedings against the Director-General of the DSS over the non-payment of the judgment sum. 

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When the DSS filed the application for stay of execution, Akinyode, who is also the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, told newsmen 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 will 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 for hearing, Justice Dimgba struck out the DSS application, saying the Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

The judge said an appeal had been entered at the Court of Appeal, adding that by virtue of Order 4 Rule 11 of the Court of Appeal Rules only the appellate court can hear the case.

The judge therefore struck out the application.

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