The Department of State Services (DSS), allegedly arrested and detained one Anthony Okolie for 10 weeks for buying and using an MTN SIM card previously used and abandoned by Hanan Buhari, the daughter of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Sahara Reporters, the telephone number was recycled and put up for sale by the popular telecommunications network provider as is usually done.
Okolie is said to still be in possession of the receipt he was given for the purchase of the SIM in question.
Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, who claimed to have met with Okolie during his time in DSS custody, described the incident as disturbing.
He said in a tweet, “A Nigerian man, Anthony Okolie, was detained for 10 weeks for using an MTN phone line previously used and abandoned by President Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.”
Olawale Bakare aka Mandate, who is Sowore’s co-defendant, said he shared a cell with Okolie.
He said in a tweet, “Only if Nigerians know the level of lawlessness perpetrated by the DSS in the name of ‘order from above’, we will understand the danger of having a tyrant who has no iota of respect for human rights or dignity.
“The level of arrogance and confidence of the DSS to unlawfully detain innocent Nigerians is disgustingly obvious in their manner of operation and approach.
“Anthony Okolie who happened to be my cellmate at the DSS facility even got lucky to have spent only 10 weeks for committing no offence according to a Senior Intelligence Officer.
“Till now, no one, including Anthony, knows his offence. He was only released after being told that “You’re now forgiven. I can also recall a man who spent four years for only receiving a phone call from a suspected Boko Haram terrorist.
“His property was sold by his siblings while his wife went ahead to remarry with their two children thinking that he was dead.”
Speaking with Sahara Reporters over the bizarre incident, human rights lawyer, Tope Akinyode, said the situation was truly disturbing.
He said, “This morning, I had a telephone conversation with Anthony Okolie over the incident. I was able to gather that the SIM card which led to his arrest was once used by Hanan, President Buhari’s daughter, but abandoned over two years ago.
“The SIM card became redundant and was recycled by MTN for sale. Okolie lawfully bought the SIM card after years of redundancy unknown to him who the previous owner was.
“He has the receipt for the purchase of the SIM card and all other documents pertaining to it. In arresting him, the DSS monitored his telephone conversation and initially arrested an elderly person who has a relationship with him until they later found Okolie himself.”
The lawyer said he would file a suit against the SSS and Hanan Buhari for human rights abuse.
The Spokesman for the DSS, Peter Afunaya, neither responded to a telephone call nor a text message on Monday.