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Sim Card: Court Orders DSS To Pay N10m To Man Detained Unlawfully

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Ganiyat Ganiyu

A Federal High Court in Asaba on Thursday ordered the Department of State Services, DSS to pay N10 million to Anthony Okolie, the man arrested for using the previous phone number of President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.

Okolie, a trader in Asaba was arrested in July 2019 and detained for 10 weeks without charge.

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Upon his release, he sued the DSS, MTN and Hanan Buhari for the violation of his rights having been in detention unlawfully for 10 weeks.

The suit, with number FHC/ASB/CS/3/2020, sought 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.”

In the suit filed by his lawyer, Tope Akinloye, Okolie said he purchased the SIM card for N1,000 at a market in Asaba. He also attached the receipt he was issued after purchasing the SIM card as well as the SIM certificate.

In its defence, the DSS claimed the plaintiff was detained for 10 weeks because his offence threatened national security.

Hanan Buhari denied the allegation that she asked the DSS to arrest Okolie.

However, delivering judgment on Thursday, the judge upheld Okolie’s arguments and awarded N10 million cost in his favour.

Akinloye who confirmed the judgment on his Twitter page said: ”I’ve been able to persuade the federal high court to award N10 Million naira sum against SSS for the 10 weeks detention of Anthony Okolie over an MTN sim card once used by the daughter of President Buhari, Hanan.”

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