New Telegraph

DSS To Pay N5m For Unlawful Detention Of Abuja Driver

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to pay the sum of N5 million in damages for the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of Sanusi Shuaib, an Abuja-based commercial driver.

The presiding judge, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon declared the driver’s incarceration without trial from January 16, 2023, to be a clear breach of Section 35 of the Nigerian Constitution, which restricts detention without judicial authority to 48 hours.

The court’s decision stressed that the DSS went over its authority by keeping Shuaib for more than the 20 days authorized by the Federal High Court on March 29, last year for investigation purposes.

With no additional application for an extension of detention or charges filed against Shuaib, the judge decided that any imprisonment beyond the initial 20 days was unlawful, unconstitutional, and void.

Shuaib addressed the court through his lawyer, Bala Dakum, to dispute his protracted incarceration without trial, claiming that the DSS arrested him on grounds of possessing weaponry destined for terrorists.


He demanded not only his release but also N50 million in damages for violating his rights.

Justice Olajuwon accepted that Shuaib’s fundamental rights to freedom of movement had been violated, but denied the DSS’s claim that it had been given six months to imprison the driver, emphasizing that only a 20-day detention had been authorized.

The court also rejected claims that Shuaib was transferred to a military detention centre for prosecution on terrorism charges, citing a lack of proof, and chastised the DSS for failing to conduct a new investigation as requested by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

However, the Judge declared the driver’s continuing incarceration unlawful and ordered his immediate release from DSS custody in Abuja.

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