Court orders DSS to pay N10m to Delta man detained for using SIM card previously owned by Hanan Buhari
The court ruled that the DSS abused the plaintiff’s fundamental human rights.
A Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to pay the sum of N10 million to Anthony Okolie, a man accused of fraudulently using a SIM card.
The agency had arrested Okolie in July 2019 and detained him in custody for 10 weeks for allegedly using an MTN SIM card previously owned by President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.
The agency said it received a petition from the presidency and detained the plaintiff between July 19 and September 22, 2019 because his offence threatened national security.
After his release, Okolie sued the DSS, MTN, and Hanan, demanding the sum of N500 million as compensation for his ordeal.
He said his detention was a gross and unlawful violation of his right to acquire moveable properties, freedom of movement, and self dignity.
Hanan Buhari was studying in the United Kingdom when Okolie was arrested and detained, and insists she didn’t petition the DSS to take action against him.
While delivering judgement on the case on Thursday, May 14, 2020, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba awarded the sum of N10 million against the DSS for the abuse of the plaintiff’s fundamental human rights.
However, the judge ruled that there was no substantial evidence against MTN, or Hanan, who denied ordering the DSS to arrest Okolie.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Tope Akinloye, said the ruling is a symbolism of judgement for the masses.
He also told Premium Times that his client will challenge the judge’s ruling that there was no substantial evidence to find Hanan and MTN culpable for his ordeal.
“We have evidence and they were not challenged (this). The court should rely on it as truth because they are not controverted,” he said.