Thursday was an unusual day for the Department of State Services as its operations came under the scrutiny of a Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State.
This time, it was about an action it took some months ago regarding one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari identified as Hanan.
The action attracted shock and widespread condemnation as Nigerians wondered when it became an offence to buy a SIM card!
A Nigerian businessman based in Asaba, Anthony Okolie, 35, had bought a SIM card from MTN and started using it for personal and business purposes.
Not long after, he was arrested and detained for 10 weeks by DSS.
Reason: He dared to buy a SIM card for a phone number previously used and discarded by the president’s daughter.
Totally unheard of, you might say.
The secret service did not budge despite strong condemnation from Nigerians.
Not even after the president’s daughter had openly said she never asked the agency to arrest Okolie or help her retrieve her former number.
So, Okolie dragged the agency to court through his lawyer, Tope Akinyode.
He died Hanan, MTN and DSS and demanded N500 million for wrongful detention.
Presidency officials did not allow a court bailiff from serving Hanan the court processes personally.
The Asaba court fixed Thursday May 14, 2020 for judgment in the matter.
Fearing that the judgment might not be in its favour, DSS deployed a large detachment of its agents in the court premises.
However, the court awarded N10 million damages against the agency for unlawful arrest and detention of the plaintiff.
It did not award the N500m claim against them.
The judgment excited Nigerians and shocked DSS.