A Bayelsa State High Court in Yenagoa has awarded N3 million in damages to a teenage girl facing trial for allegedly circulating a nude video of a retired Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa.
The teenage girl (name withheld) had through her counsel, Andrew Arthur, sued the retired Permanent Secretary and the Department of State Security (DSS) for her arrest and detention for 13 days without trial.
According to the March 31 judgement sighted on Thursday, Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro awarded the damage and additional N300,000 as costs for breach of her fundamental human rights.
According to the decision of the court, the retired Perm Sec, Dr Walto Liverpool, would pay the damage of N1 million, while the DSS would pay an additional N2 million to the teenager as damages.
Umukoro 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 the 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 a violation of section 266 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Bayelsa 2019,” Umukoro held.
It will be recalled that the DSS had on Oct. 18, 2021 arraigned the teenage girl before the Federal High Court also in Yenagoa where she is being tried on a one count charge of cyber-stalking.
According to the prosecution, the defendant engaged in cyber-stalking by circulating the retiree’s nude video on a WhatsApp group after she tried to blackmail the retired Perm Sec into paying her N15 million.
The teenager allegedly shot the video after an intercourse with the retired Perm Sec at a hotel in Yenagoa in August 2021.
The trial of the teenager is currently ongoing, while the DSS has headed to the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt to challenge the decision of the Bayelsa State High Court on the fundamental human rights enforcement of the teenager