Court Rewards Man Detained For Using Ex-Sim Card Of Buhari’s Daughter With 10M.

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A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, on Thursday, awarded N10million to Mr. Anthony Okolie who was arrested in 2019 and detained for 10 weeks by the Department of State Service, DSS, for purchasing a SIM card that was previously used by President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, the court held that the security agency violated the fundamental rights of the Applicant by holding him beyond the constitutionally approved period.

It held that refusal of the DSS to notify the Applicant in writing about the grounds and facts of his arrest, within 24 hours of the arrest, amounted to gross violation of his fundamental human rights under Section 35(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

The court further held that the arrest and detention of the Applicant for 10 weeks between 21st July, 2019 and 22nd September, 2019, without any detention order, was illegal as it violated his right to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Okolie, whose arrest and detention sparked outrage on social media, sued the DSS, President Buhari’s daughter, Hanan, and MTN Nigeria to court over the violation of his fundamental human rights.

In the suit marked FHC/ASB/CS/3/2020, the plaintiff, among other reliefs, sought an order of the court to compel the Respondents to pay the sum of N500m damages for his unlawful detention.

He equally requested for a public apology from the Respondents for violating his fundamental human rights.

However, though the court declined to accede to his request for an apology, it issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Respondent (DSS) from further harassing him with respect to the matter.

In conclusion, he was awarded 10 million naira for general damages and unlawful detention by the DSS.

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