SWITZERLAND, MARCH 02 – The State Security Service (SSS) has told the Federal High Court in Asaba on Friday that it arrested and detained Anthony Okolie, based on a directive from the presidency to investigate him over the use of a SIM card previously used by Hanan, President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter.
Mr Okolie was arrested in July 2019 and eventually detained for 10 weeks without trial despite the provision of the Nigerian law that mandates that a suspect not be detained for more than 48 hours by the police (or government agency) without bail or without charging the individual to court.
After his release, Mr Okolie through his lawyer, Tope Akinyode, sued Hanan, the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS) and telecoms provider, MTN, over his ‘illegal detention’.
Mr Okolie is seeking an order to “compel the respondents to jointly or severally to pay the applicant the sum of N500 million 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.”
Speaking at the hearing of the suit filed by Mr Okolie at the Federal High Court in Asaba on February 12, the president’s daughter, through her lawyer M.E. Sheriff, told the court Hanan would not be responding to the allegations “because there was no need.”
The judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, furiously responded saying: “What do you mean you haven’t seen a reason? Sheriff, how can you not see a reason? Somebody has accused you. Even if it is to say, ‘I didn’t do so’, can’t you respond? You’re saying you did not see a reason. Sheriff, what kind of thing is this?”
On his part, the SSS lawyer, E.E. Daobri, said “he did not receive the necessary documents from the SSS headquarters in Abuja on time, hence, could not file a counter-affidavit.”