…As he sues Buhari’s daughter, Hanan and MTN N500mn over his arrest
A man, Anthony Okolie, was arrested for using a phone line previously owned by Hanan, daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, he has sued Buhari’s daughter and MTN Nigeria as well as the Department of State Services (DSS) for N500m over his arrest.
Okolie was reportedly arrested in July in Asaba, Delta state, and spent about 15 weeks in custody before he was released in December.
In a suit filed by Tope Akinloye, his lawyer, before the federal high court in Asaba, Okolie also demanded N500m from Hanan and MTN.
In a supporting affidavit, he explained how he was arrested and detained while waiting for the president’s daughter to come clear him.
He also attached the receipt and SIM certificate he was issued after purchasing the SIM card.
The suit is seeking an order to “compel the respondents (DSS, Hanan and MTN) jointly or severally to pay the applicant the sum of N500,000,000 only as general and aggravated damages for the gross and unlawful violation of the applicant’s right to acquire moveable properties, freedom of movement and self-dignity.”
“That on December 8, 2019, at Ogbeogonogo Market, Nebu Road, Asaba, Delta State, I purchased a SIM card with Phone Number, 09035666662, for the sum of N1,000 only and I received a SIM pack with accompanying documents as a result as evidence of purchase receipt,” the affidavit read in part.
“That in line with relevant regulations, I approached a kit operator of the 3rd respondent (MTN) named Jeff, who captured my biometric and registered the SIM card in my name and on my behalf.
“That in July 2019, I visited my business associate at his residence in Asaba and saw him being taken away by officers of the 1st respondent (DSS). During the process, they obtained information from him on who he communicated with last over the phone and my associate announced that it was me.
“That immediately afterward, officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) arrested me and led me to their vehicle, asking me to keep quiet and drove me to their offices in Asaba, Delta, State.
“That after a while, they disclosed that my arrest was ordered by the Presidency and I had to be taken to Abuja for further interrogation on which basis they drove me to Abuja by road the following day.”
Okolie said he explained to the DSS how he bought the SIM card but was labelled a criminal for using a line that previously belonged to the president’s daughter and was denied access to his lawyer.
He, therefore, asked the court to declare that his detention was an abuse of his fundamental human rights and to declare that the actions of the DSS contravened sections 35 and 34 of the 1999 constitution.
“They thereafter labelled me a criminal for using a phone line that previously belonged to the 2nd respondent,” he said.
“They also disclosed to me that the President wants to see me and my case was boldly earmarked, First Family. Based on the foregoing, officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) maintained that the 2nd respondent (Hanan) must be available to clarify her allegations against me before I was allowed freedom from their facilities.
“That the 2nd respondent (Hanan) was contacted several times by officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) but the 2nd respondent (Hanan) declined making herself available by claiming that she was busy with studies in the United Kingdom.”