Anthony Okolie, the young businessman arrested and detained by the Department of State Services for 10 weeks without a court order, has sued the agency, President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, and MTN Nigeria over the violation of his fundamental human rights.
Okolie’s story caused a spark on social media last week when it emerged that he was arrested for purchasing and using a SIM previously owned by Hanan. MTN recycle the telephone number and sold it to Okolie after it became dormant for a while. The lawsuit filed at the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State, with suit number: FHC/ASB/CS/3/2020 is seeking among other things an order of court to compel the respondents to pay the sum of N500m damages for the unlawful detention of the applicant and make public apology for violating the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
Rights lawyer and National President of Revolutionary Lawyer’s Forum, Mr Tope Akinyode, who instituted the case on behalf of the applicant, stated that the lawsuit was filed to serve as exemplary caution against flagrant abuse of power by law enforcement agencies and to sound a note of warning on public officers to ensure their relations do not abuse power arbitrarily.
He said, “We find it worrisome that all through the unlawful detention of our client, Hanan Buhari who ordered his arrest arrogantly declined to show up at the SSS facility to substantiate her allegations against him.
“Instead, she claimed she was facing her studies in the United Kingdom at the expense of a citizens’ liberty. “In addition, as soon as our client’s case became public knowledge, he has been receiving threats by SMS and phone calls from unknown persons.
“The notoriety of the SSS is becoming too unbearable and the idea that a Nigerian can arbitrarily arrest another Nigerian just because she’s the President’s child is among the lawlessness that we’re challenging through this lawsuit.”