A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State has dismissed a preliminary objection filed by a defence counsel, challenging the prosecution powers of the Department of State Security (DSS) to prosecute cybercrimes.
The DSS had on October 18, 2021 arraigned a teenager before the court on 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, Andrew Arthur, had filed a Notice of Objection challenging the powers of DSS to investigate and prosecute the charge filed against the defendant.
Delivering a ruling, 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 until September 28,” Dashen said.
The retired Permanent Secretary 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 November 2022.