In this interview with Eniola Akinkuotu, businessman, Anthony Okolie, speaks on his 10-week ordeal in the custody of the Department of State Services after purchasing a Sim card that was once used by Hanan, the daughter of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
“In December 2018, I bought a SIM card, I registered and started using it. I did not buy it from a third party. I bought the SIM pack from the roadside and I was issued a receipt. I registered the SIM and my biometric data was captured.”
“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.”
“While in the vehicle, I asked them to tell me what offence I had committed, but they did not say anything. They asked me to keep quiet. Then they took me to their office in Asaba. After a while, they said my arrest was ordered by the Presidency and I had to be taken to Abuja for questioning. The next day, they took me to Abuja by road.”
“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.”
“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.”