Court Orders DSS To Pay Trader Detained Ten Weeks For Using Sim Card Previously Owned By Buhari’s Daughter N10m Damages


A Federal High Court in Asaba has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to pay a trader, Anthony Okolie, for illegally detaining 10 weeks without charge.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba delivered the judgement on Thursday.

The judge however, struck out the prayer requesting the President Muhammadu Buhari’s  daughter, Hanan and telecoms company, MTN, to pay N500m to the plaintiff.

Okolie had dragged the President’s daughter, DSS and MTN to court over his 10-week detention after purchasing a SIM card previously owned by Hanan.

In a suit filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Tope Akinyode, the applicant sought N500m jointly and separately from the defendants as damages.

The 33-year-old man said in a supporting affidavit that he was arrested on July 19, 2019 in Asaba, Delta State for using a telephone line that was previously owned by Hanan.

He said he was kept in custody, bound by handcuffs till September 22, 2019 as the DSS waited for Hanan, who was schooling in the United Kingdom, to come and clear him but she never did.

Okolie had attached the receipt he was issued after purchasing the SIM card as well as the SIM certificate.

However, the President’s daughter, through her lawyer, M.E Sheriff, asked the court not to grant Okolie’s reliefs, insisting that she had never met the applicant before and he should instead channel his anger towards the DSS that detained him.

The DSS, on its part, in a counter-affidavit said the Presidency ordered the investigation of Okolie, adding that the sensitivity of the case was what led to Okolie’s prolonged detention.

The DSS lawyer E.E Daubry, who is the Principal Staff Officer, Legal Services, DSS, said the agency decided to detain Okolie without a court order because of the sensitivity of the case.

The agency accused Okolie of using Hanan’s SIM card to solicit money from unsuspecting members of the public.

Okolie denied the allegation.

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