From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Bayelsa State High Court has awarded 3 Million in damages to a teenage girl, Charlotte Delhi over breach of her fundamental human rights by the Department of State Security.
Delhi who is standing trial for cyber stalking for circulating the nude video of a retired permanent secretary, Chief Walton Liverpool was arrested and remanded in the custody of the DSS.
In the suit SHC/23FHR/2021 Delhi’s counsel, Andrew Arthur sought an application to remove and quash the order of a Magistrate court which remanded the applicant for 30days in the custody of the DSS and an order to enforce her fundamental human rights.
Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro in his judgment awarded the damage and additional N300, 000 as costs for breach of her fundamental human rights.
According to the decision of the court, Liverpool would pay the sum of N1 million, while the DSS would pay an additional N 2 million to the teenager as damages.
Omukoro noted that while Liverpool had submitted a petition against the teenager to the Police who arrested her and later granted her bail, the permanent secretary submitted the same petition to DSS for the same offence.
He therefore ruled that using multiple security agencies to detain the teenager amounted to intimidation and high handedness which breached the fundamental human rights of the teenager.
“In the final analysis, the Applicant (teenager) has made out a case of infringement of her constitutional rights to personal liberty, dignity and freedom of movement between 5th or 8th of October 2021 to the 13th of October 2021 when she was arrested and detained without charge or a court order by the 3rd respondent (DSS).
“The applicant has equally shown that her remand was without probable cause shown by the 3rd respondent and therefore irregular, null and void and violation of section 266 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Bayelsa 2019,” Omukoro held.
The judge who frowned that she was denied access to her family despite his order of bail ordered the DSS to tender a public apology to her in a newspaper circulating widely within Bayelsa State.
The trial of Delhi over charges of cyber-stalking is ongoing at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa