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News: Court orders DSS to pay N5m, apologise to Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Opara

News: Court orders DSS to pay N5m, apologise to Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Opara





News: Court orders DSS to pay N5m, apologise to Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, Opara

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the Department of State Service, DSS, to pay N5 million to one of the lawyers defending the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, Mr Maxwell Opara.


The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Zainab Abubakar, equally directed the security agency to tender a written apology to Opara and also publish the same in a national daily.


The judgement followed a fundamental right enforcement suit the lawyer filed to protest the alleged degrading treatment he was subjected to, when he paid a visit to the IPOB leader, Kanu, at the DSS detention facility in Abuja.


Opara, told the court that the DSS had on August 30, 2021, when he paid a routine visit to Nnamdi Kanu, commandeered him to a particular room within its facility for purposes of alleged bodily search, “wherein they forced him to remove his medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, belt, jacket and shoes and accordingly left him shabbily dressed”.


He told the court that he was subjected to the humiliation of holding his trousers with his hands, wearing bathroom slippers meant for awaiting trial inmates and exposed to Air Conditioner inflicted cold for 3 hours.


Opara maintained that the action the DSS took against him, amounted to a gross violation of his right to dignity of the human person as guaranteed under Sections 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), as well as Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People Rights (Ratification and enforcement) Act Cap A9 Vol. 1 LFN.


He specifically prayed the court for; “A declaration that the Respondents, whilst in the execution of their duties must respect the fundamental rights of citizens and accordingly abide by the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the provisions of the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.


As well as, “A declaration that the actions of the men, operatives and officers under the command/commission of the Respondents on the 30th of August, 2021 during the Applicant’s visit to see his client in their detention facility, wherefore they commandeered the Applicant to a particular room within their facility; for purposes of alleged bodily search, wherein they forcibly removed his belt, medicated eye-glasses, wedding ring, jacket and shoes, and subjected him to the humiliation of holding his trousers with his hands, wearing a bathroom slippers meant for awaiting trial inmates and exposed to Air Conditioner inflicted cold for 3 hours, are not permitted by law; even during bodily search”.


Opara, prayed the court to award him N50m as compensation for the infringement of his fundamental rights to dignity and a human person.






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