A Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, on Thursday slammed the sum of N10m against Nigeria’s lawless secret police, Department of State Services, for illegally detaining Anthony Okolie for 10 weeks for lawfully purchasing and using a SIM card previously owned by President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.
Telecoms company, MTN, had recycled the mobile telephone number for sale after it became dormant for a long time.
Okolie still has receipt he was given for the purchase of the SIM in question.
Bringing Okolie’s ordeal at the DSS facility in Abuja to public domain in a Twitter post on January 6, 2020, rights activist and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, who was himself detained unlawfully by the DSS for months for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets and demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, described the situation as sad.
A Nigerian, Anthony Okolia, was detained for 10 weeks by the DSS for using an MTN phone line previously used and abandoned by President Buhariâs daughter, Hanan!
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) January 5, 2020
Also sharing his encounter with Okolie at the DSS cell they shared together, Sowore’s co-defendant in the case brought against them by the Nigerian Government, Olawale Bakare widely known as Mandate, in a post on Twitter said, “Only if Nigerians know the level of lawlessness perpetuated by the DSS in the name of ‘order from above’, we will understand the danger of having a tyrant who has no iota of respect for human rights or dignity.
“The level of arrogance and confidence of the DSS to unlawfully detain innocent Nigerians is disgustingly obvious in their manner of operation and approach.
“Anthony Okolie who happened to be my cellmate at the DSS facility even got lucky to have spent only 10 weeks for committing no offence according to a Senior Intelligence Officer.”
Hanan later denied ordering the arrest of Okolie, forcing the DSS to leave the blame at the doorstep of the Presidency.
To seek justice, Okolie, through his lawyer, Tope Akinyode, dragged Hanan, MTN and DSS before the Federal High Court in Asaba.
After the court delivered its judgment on Thursday, Akinyode in a Twitter post said, “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.”
BREAKING: I’ve been able to persuade the Federal High Court to award N10 Million Naira Sum Agaisnt SSS For the 10 Weeks Detention of Anthony Okolie over an MTN SIM Card Once Used by the daughter of President Buhari, Hanan.
— Tope Akinyode (@TopeAkinyode) May 14, 2020