Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has fixed February 12, 2020, for the hearing of a suit filed by Anthony Okolie, a trader, against the Department of State Services (DSS) and Hanan Buhari, daughter of the President Muhammdu Buhari.
Tope Akinyode, Okolie’s lawyer, who is also the National President of Revolutionary Lawyer’s Forum (RLF) said that the matter would be coming up next month.
“The case has been assigned to Justice Nnamdi Dimgba and it will come up on February 12, 2020,” he said.
Recall that Okolie had sued the DSS and Hanan as well as service providers, MTN, jointly and separately for N500m.
The suit, with number FHC/ASB/CS/3/2020, is seeking 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”.
The 33-year-old man said in a supporting affidavit that he was arrested on July 19, 2019, in Asaba, Delta State for using a telephone line that was previously owned by Hanan.
According to him, he remained in custody, bound by handcuffs till September 22, 2019, as the DSS waited for Hanan, who was schooling in the United Kingdom, to come clear him but she never did.
Okolie also attached the receipt he was issued after purchasing the SIM card as well as the SIM certificate.
The affidavit read in part, “That on December 8, 2019 at Ogbeogonogo Market, Nebu Road, Asaba, Delta State, I purchased a SIM card with Phone Number: 09035666662 at the sum of N1000 only and I received a SIM pack with accompanying documents as a result as evidence of purchase receipt.
“That in line with relevant regulations, I approached a kit operator of the 3rd respondent (MTN) named Jeff who captured my biometric and registered the SIM card in my name and on my behalf.
“That in July 2019, I visited my business associate at his residence in Asaba and saw him being taken away by officers of the 1st respondent (DSS). During the process, they obtained information from him on who he communicated with last over the phone and my associated announced that it was me.
“That immediately afterwards, officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) arrested me and led me into their vehicle asking me to keep quiet and drove me to their offices in Asaba, Delta, State.
“That after a while, they disclosed that my arrest was ordered by the Presidency and I had to be taken to Abuja for further interrogation upon which basis they drove me to Abuja, FCT by road the following day.”
The applicant stated that he explained to the DSS how he bought the SIM card but he was informed that the phone line which is linked to his SIM card was once used by Hanan.
“They thereafter labeled me a criminal for using a phone line that previously belonged to the 2nd respondent (Hanan Buhari),” he said.
Okolie alleged that because of the personality involved, his case file was tagged, ‘first family’ and he was denied access to his lawyers.
The trader claimed that his mother, who was not allowed to see him, developed high blood pressure while he lost a N5m business deal.