Operatives of Department of State Service (DSS) has allegedly arrested and detained a man identified as Anthony Okolie for purchasing a sim card that was previously used and abandoned by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s daughter, Hannan.
Okolie was said to have bought the MTN mobile phone sim card in 2018 after it was recycled and put up for sale by the popular telecommunications network provider.
He was arrested by DSS operatives on Monday, July 22 at Nnedisi Road in Asaba, Delta State, and taken to Abuja, where he spent about 15 weeks in custody before he was released in December 2019.
Speaking with The Guardian on Monday, January 6, 2019, his lawyer Tope Akinyode said Okolie lawfully bought the MTN SIM card after Buhari’s daughter abandoned it and it was recycled by the telecommunications company.
According to him, the DSS initially arrested an elderly person who has a relationship with Okolie but released him when they got hold of his client.
“The SIM card became redundant and was recycled to the market for sale,” he said.
“Okolie lawfully bought the sim card after years of redundancy unknown to him who the previous owner was. To start with, all the laws have settled that arrest by proxy is forbidden and unconstitutional in Nigeria.
“Also, the arrest of the victim over a property which he lawfully obtained is outrageously illegal just as the long detention without trial amounts to unlawful detention.”
The lawyer said they are going to file a suit against Hannan and the DSS, adding that “his detention for 10 weeks is unlawful and we will not accept such.”
Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, is yet to respond to the allegation.