Anthony Okolie: Man detained by DSS over Buhari’s daughter’s SIM card speaks


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A businessman, Anthony Okolie, has narrated how the Department of State Services (DSS) detained him for 10 weeks for buying and using a SIM card that used to belong to President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.

Okolie’s ordeal was first publicised by the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, who was in DSS custody about the same time as the Asaba, Delta State-based businessman.

Okolie said he bought the SIM card in December 2018 by the roadside, registered it and his biometric data was captured.

He maintained that he was issued a receipt for the SIM card purchased.

However, he said that his ordeal started after he visited a business partner.

“I am based in Asaba, Delta State. I had a business meeting with somebody and we were supposed to go to Onitsha, Anambra State, together. On getting to the man’s house, I saw some armed men taking him away.

“While he was being taken away, the DSS operatives asked him to reveal the identity of the person who called him last. The man told them that I was the person who called him last. Then they arrested me and took me away in their car,” Okolie told The Punch.

Hanan Buhari
Hanan Buhari

He explained that while in the vehicle, the DSS operatives refused to tell him his crime.

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The businessman said he was interrogated briefly in the Asaba office of the secret police, where he was told that “the presidency” ordered his arrest.

Okolie said he was taken to Abuja by road the next day.

He recalled, “They asked how I got the phone line and I told them the whole truth. It was at that point that they told me that the phone line belonged to Buhari’s daughter, Hanan.

“They said they would have to verify the information I gave them and that Hanan must corroborate my claim.

“They said she was the one who reported that her phone line had been hijacked. So, they asked her to come and clarify her allegation.”

Okolie said that throughout his detention, he never set eyes on Hanan, who was studying in the United Kingdom at the time.

Asked if he met the president’s daughter, the businessman said, “No, I did not. She was contacted many times, but her response was that she was busy with her studies in the United Kingdom.

“They kept calling her for several weeks, while I remained in their custody.

“It was when she refused to show up after 10 weeks that the DSS said they had no choice but to release me. I remained there for 10 weeks because she did not clear me.”

Okolie explained that although he sensed that the SIM card was pre-owned as he kept getting calls and messages from some persons in Hausa language, he never impersonated anybody.

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