A Federal High Court in Yenagoa on Friday dismissed a preliminary objection filed by a defence counsel challenging the prosecution powers of Department of State Security to prosecute cybercrimes.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had on Oct. 18, 2021 arraigned a teenage girl before the court on a one count charge of cyber-stalking.
The defendant, according to prosecution, allegedly engaged in cyber-stalking by circulating the nude picture of a retired Permanent Secretary on social media after she tried to blackmail the retiree, into paying her N15 million.
Counsel to the teenage girl Mr Andrew Arthur had filed a Notice of Objection challenging the powers of DSS to investigate and prosecute the charge filed against the defendant.
Ruling on the objection, trial Judge, Justice Isa Dashen said that he had carefully get ne through the arguments and judicial authorities cited by defence and prosecution counsels to arrive at his decision.
“I have carefully considered the submission of counsels on both sides and the cases they cited and I understand them.I disagree with the defence that DSS lacks the powers to prosecute cybercrimes.
“Under the Cybercrimes Prevention and Prohibition Act 2015, the DSS is a relevant security Agency and has competence to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes.
“The DSS has competently investigated this case and prosecuting counsel for DSS, Victor Uchendu has the powers of prosecution and I dismiss the Notice of Preliminary Objection.
“The case is hereby adjourned to September 28,” Dashen said.
The retired Perm Sec, now deceased who is a witness for the DSS following a petition he submitted to DSS had in his testimony told the court that the teenager made a nude video of him when they had sex at a hotel in Yenagoa in August 2021.
The retired permanent secretary died in Nov. 2022.
MEANWHILE, NAIJA LIVE TV had earlier reported that, a Bayelsa State High Court in Yenagoa awarded N3 million in damages to the teenage girl facing trial for allegedly circulating nude video of the retired Permanent Secretary who’s now late as of the time of this report.
The teenage girl had through her counsel Andrew Arthur sued the Late 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 by NAIJA LIVE TV, 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 N 2 million to the teenager as damages.
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