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SIM Card: Man Sues Buhari’s Daughter, DSS, Demands N500m

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A trader, Anthony Okolie, who was arrested by the Department of State Services and detained for 10 weeks, has sued the DSS for N500m.

Okolie, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, by his lawyer, Tope Akinyode, also demanded N500m from Hanan Buhari, the daughter of the President, Major General Muhammadu (retd.), as well as a telecommunications company, MTN.

The suit, with number FHC/ASB/CS/3/2020, is seeking an order to “compel the respondents (DSS, Hanan, and MTN) jointly or severally to pay the applicant the sum of N500,000,000 only as general and aggravated damages for the gross and unlawful violation of the applicant’s right to acquire moveable properties, freedom of movement and self-dignity.”

The 33-year-old man said in a supporting affidavit that he was arrested on July 19, 2019, in Asaba, Delta State, for using a telephone line that was previously owned by Hanan.

According to him, he remained in custody, bound by handcuffs, till September 22, 2019, as the DSS waited for Hanan, who was schooling in the United Kingdom, to come and clear him but she never did.

Okolie also attached the receipt he was issued after purchasing the SIM card as well as the SIM certificate.

The affidavit read in part, “That on December 8, 2019, at Ogbeogonogo Market, Nebu Road, Asaba, Delta State, I purchased a SIM card with Phone Number, 09035666662, for the sum of N1,000 only and I received a SIM pack with accompanying documents as a result as evidence of purchase receipt.

“That in line with relevant regulations, I approached a kit operator of the 3rd respondent (MTN) named Jeff, who captured my biometric and registered the SIM card in my name and on my behalf.

“That in July 2019, I visited my business associate at his residence in Asaba and saw him being taken away by officers of the 1st respondent (DSS). During the process, they obtained information from him on who he communicated with last over the phone and my associate announced that it was me.

“That immediately afterward, officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) arrested me and led me to their vehicle, asking me to keep quiet and drove me to their offices in Asaba, Delta, State.

“That after a while, they disclosed that my arrest was ordered by the Presidency and I had to be taken to Abuja for further interrogation on which basis they drove me to Abuja by road the following day.”

The applicant stated that he explained to the DSS how he bought the SIM card but he was informed that the phone line, which was linked to his SIM card, was once used by Hanan.

“They thereafter labeled me a criminal for using a phone line that previously belonged to the 2nd respondent,” he said.

Okolie alleged that because of the personality involved, his case file was tagged, ‘First Family’ and he was denied access to his lawyers.

The trader claimed that his mother, who was not allowed to see him, developed high blood pressure while he lost a N5m business deal.

He added, “They also disclosed to me that the President wants to see me and my case was boldly earmarked, First Family. Based on the foregoing, officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) maintained that the 2nd respondent (Hanan) must be available to clarify her allegations against me before I was allowed freedom from their facilities.

“That the 2nd respondent (Hanan) was contacted several times by officers of the 1st respondent (DSS) but the 2nd respondent (Hanan) declined to make herself available by claiming that she was busy with studies in the United Kingdom.”

Okolie asked the court to declare that his long detention was an abuse of his fundamental human rights.

He asked the court to declare that the actions of the DSS contravened sections 35 and 34 of the 1999 Constitution.

BIG STORY

Aides Of VIPs, Politicians To Be Barred From Airports —- FG

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Aides of Very Important Persons (VIPs) and politicians without business traveling will no longer be allowed to enter the airports when domestic flights would resume, Aviation minister Hadi Sirika said on Thursday.

Sirika spoke at an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Aviation while responding to questions on protocols put in place to stop further spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister said: “We have circulated this information and Mr. President has approved it.

“All those who have no business traveling will certainly have no business to enter the airport. They will not enter the airport, not at all.

“So, anybody coming into the airport this time around as a personality, a minister or even our honourable members, distinguished senators, will not be carrying their aides into the airports any longer.

“We will provide for all their security for the VIPs and the VIP will get in and travel.

“So the VIPs should help us and take responsibility and ensure that they don’t add to our problems in this country.”

Sirika said the Abuja and Lagos airports would resume domestic operations on July 8, as Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, and Maiduguri would resume on July 11, while other airports would resume on July 15.

The minister said the airport authorities were committed to ensuring the provision of necessary safety protocols of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“There is nothing like rush hour. People have to stay safe before anything happens.

“So, I’m sure that as civil aviation, we are responsible to ensure that everybody remains safe.

“There should be no fear, no panic, the industry is highly regulated. It is one aviation and I’m sure that you have seen from what we have been doing lately.

“We have been following international conventions and practices.

“So, this will not be different, there is nothing to panic about, we will ensure physical distancing when required.”

If the social distancing protocol would result in the reduction of the boarding capacity of an aircraft in terms of the number of passengers, Sirika said: “No, we didn’t say so.

“Bear in mind that most of the flights are not always full. That is number one.

“Number two, I said to you that we are working with the airlines to come up with the protocols before we open. That will be unveiled to you in due course.”

He also assured the Senate committee members that there would not be an issue with the payment of worker’s salaries in the sector.

If the effect of COVID-19 will affect the price of ticketing, he noted that “Price is not in my hands.

“But like I said from what we have put in place, I do not think that anything significant will happen to affect the propensity to fly.”

On the safety of the aircraft for flight operations the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Nuhu Musa, said that immediately the airlines stopped flying NCAA gave them guidelines.

“What is called storage maintenance for them to comply with to ensure that their aircraft are properly stowed and in good condition when ready to fly.

“Despite the guidelines, we also check the aircraft before resuming operations.

“Our inspectors are going there to cross-check what the airlines have put in their checklist.

“We are, however, not taking them for what they said. We are physically verifying the true state of their aircraft.”

He said NCAA would not approve any airline or service provider to begin flight operations “until it fulfills and complies with every international guideline and protocols provided by the international civil aviation authority”.

Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi), said the interactive session was designed to find out steps being taken by the ministry and aviation authorities to ensure the safety of passengers as the airports reopened.

He also said the meeting was also meant to get details on the demands of aviation workers who had earlier complained of non-payment of their salary.

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BIG STORY

Elated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Christened Grandson BAT Jnr

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The current situation of things all over the world failed to take the shine off the christening of Seyi and Layal Tinubu’s newborn son, though the newborn grand-parents could not come physically to the naming ceremony due to the pandemic induced traveling ban, they were virtually present, as they all imputed their own choice of name for the baby.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Named the baby Bolatito, after himself and the rest of the names are Ayyan, Tobias, Jidenna, Oluwaseyifunmi, James, Akanbi Tinubu.

According to a source present on the online christening, the astute politician was full of joy as he gladly proclaimed that the latest addition to his family will now be answering to his own revered initials B. A. T which stands for Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Meanwhile, a very happy Seyi was full of thanks to God for the safe delivery and full of admiration for his darling wife who he explained carry and nurture their bundle of joy safely for 9 months and keep him safe even during the global pandemic and is also taking care of the elder sister even when he was not physically present.

Since the birth was announced last week, congratulatory messages have been trooping in from different people and nations.

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Police Arrest Chinese Couple Who Locked Up Eight Nigerian Domestic Employees For Four Months In Abuja [PHOTOS]

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The police have arrested a Chinese couple in Abuja for allegedly locking up their Nigerians employees in their apartment for the past four months.

Eight domestic workers were rescued by the personnel of the Utako Divisional Police Station on Tuesday following a tip-off by a resident, who reported the incident to the Human Rights radio station.

The police raided the residence of the Chinese in the Jabi area of Abuja and took the unidentified couple and their domestic employees to the station.

In footage provided by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, the victims said they had been locked up in the apartment since February.

A lady, who did not give her name, said the domestic workers were not allowed to move out of the building and that the couple refused to allow her to go for treatment when she took ill.

She stated, “When I was seriously sick, I asked these people (Chinese employers) to open the gate for me, but they refused until I became very angry before they opened the door. I know my life may be at risk but I don’t mind, let the world know what is happening.

“They told us that if someone was going out, he could help buy something for us, but when this man (referring to a colleague) went out to buy sachet water, they deducted his salary. What do they want us to do?

“We had to stay in the room and talk to people through the windows. They didn’t give us food; apart from the salary, they didn’t give us anything; they even cut our salaries.”

The driver of the Chinese, who simply identified himself as Alex, said he and the seven others had been working against their will for the couple since the outbreak of COVID-19 in February.

Alex stated, “They never allowed us to go out since February; if any of us went out and they know, a certain percentage of the person’s salary would be deducted.

“Even on Monday when this man (pointing at one of his co-workers) sent someone to buy water, N500 was deducted from his salary that has yet to be paid.”

Another worker said the couple deducted N3,000 from his salary because he went out to fill his pension form.

But sources told PUNCH Metro on Thursday that the workers were refusing to cooperate with the police, adding that when they got to the station, they claimed that they were not forcefully detained by their employers.

“We were surprised by the refusal of the Nigerians to narrate the details of their ordeal to the police. All of them claimed that they chose to stay with the Chinese couple without coercion, but that was not the information that prompted our visit to the apartment. From the look of things, there may be more to what they are telling us,” a police source said.

The spokesman, Federal Capital Territory Police Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed the incident, noting that investigation had commenced.

He said the Chinese couple had been released on bail.

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