Human Rights

Court slams DSS N10m damages over illegal detention of man who bought SIM card previouslyused by Buhari’s daughter. 

Court slams DSS N10m damages over illegal detention of man who bought SIM card previouslyused by Buhari’s daughter. 

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta state, has ordered the Department of State Service (DSS) to pay a businessman, Mr Anthony Okolie, the sum of N10 million for  illegally detaining him for ten weeks over Okolie’s purchase of an MTN SIM card previously used by President Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.

It would be recalled that on July 19, 2019, Okolie, an Asaba-based Okolie was arrested by the DSS and detained for using a telephone line that was previously owned by Hanan.

Okolie said he was forced to remain in custody, bound by handcuffs till September 22, 2019- a period of 10 weeks, without any charge as the DSS waited for Hanan who was schooling in the UK as at the time.

After his release, Okolie dragged the DSS, President Buhari’s daughter and MTN for N500m in damages “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.”

The court presided by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, on Thursday awarded Okolie N10m in damages to be paid by the DSS for the abuse of Mr Okolie’s fundamental human rights. It, however, struck out the charges against Hanan Buhari, and telecoms company, MTN saying that there is no substantial evidence against Hanan and MTN.

The DSS claimed in court papers that they got a directive from the presidency to arrest Okolie as he was using the phone number to solicit for funds from the public, an allegation Okolie’s legal team flatly denied.

Okolie’s lawyer, Tope Akinyode, in a Twitter post on Thursday confirmed the news of the court ruling. “I’ve been able to persuade the Federal High Court to award N10m against SSS for the 10 weeks detention of Anthony Okolie over an MTN SIM card once used by the daughter of President Buhari, Hanan.”  he said.

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