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 Muhammadu Buhari, 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 associated announced that it was me.
“That immediately afterwards, 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 labelled 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 making 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.
FirstBank Wins Best Mobile Banking App, Fastest Growing Retail Bank Awards
FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has been named 2019 “Best Mobile Banking App” and “Fastest Growing Retail Bank” winner by Global Business Outlook. The Global Business Outlook Award recognises and rewards excellence in business in companies across the world, both in the public and private sectors. The award rewards innovation, creativity and the drive to create value.
FirstBank earned the Fastest Growing Retail Bank recognition because of its leading role in promoting financial inclusion in the country, a drive which has resulted in its 44,000 Agent Banking network designed to complement the provision of bespoke financial services at its over 750 branches nationwide.
It also won the Best Mobile Banking App award thanks to its Firstmobile banking app’s capability at performing a wide range of financial transactions in a safe, adaptable, futuristic and efficient manner. The user friendly app is widely renowned for its ease of navigation and state of the art security features to mitigate risk against fraud.
In the course of 2019, FirstBank bagged numerous awards across various areas of its business operations. The awards comprise Women Empowerment Category – Sustainable Banking Awards by CBN Bankers Committee, Best Private Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Global Finance Magazine and World Finance Magazine respectively; Best Process Automation Initiative, Application or Programme by Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services; Best Banking Brand Nigeria 2019 by Global Brands Magazine; Best Retail Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking and Finance Review and Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards respectively; Cashless Driver: Highest Volume in Bill Payments and Highest Transaction Volume in Real-Time Payments by CBN Electronic Payments Incentive Scheme (EPIS) – Efficiency Awards; Long Service Corporate Award by Nigerian Economic Summit Group; Best Financial Inclusion Program – Nigeria 2019 and Bank of The Year – Nigeria 2019 by International Investor, amongst many others.
Speaking on the awards, Folake Ani-Mumuney, the Bank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications said, ”We appreciate these awards and the recognition by the respective awarding bodies. The awards are dedicated to all our customers across the globe as their continued patronage of our services is appreciated. We remain steadfast and would not rest on our laurels at rendering bespoke financial services tailored to meet the financial needs of our valued customers, irrespective of where they may be.”
UK-Based Techpreneur, Popoola, Makes Case for Siting of Proposed Federal College of Education in Gbongan
Popoola spoke in the light of the Federal Government’s decision to establish six new federal colleges of education in each of the six geo-political areas in the country to compliment the 22 already existing ones. This the government said is intended to increase the number of quality teachers in the country.
According to the public relations officer of National Commission for Colleges of Education, Mr Ameh Isaac, the newly approved institutions would be situated in Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Osun, Sokoto, and Edo states, where there were no presence of Federal Colleges of Education.
During a press conference in Gbongan City Hall on January 15, 2020, the paramount ruler of Gbongan kingdom,
Nigeria Needs 300,000 Medical Doctors to Meet WHO Recommendation, Says NUC
The National Universities Commission says Nigeria needs about 300,000 medical doctors to meet the doctor-patient ratio of 1:600 recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said this during the maiden matriculation of the Bayelsa Medical University held on the university campus, Amarata, Yenagoa, on Wednesday.
About 208 pioneer students took the matriculation oath on the occasion.
The BMU, which started on January 31, 2018, received the NUC accreditation five months’ after.
Rasheed said the current “doctor-patient ratio in the country stands at 1: 3,500,” stressing that this was among the several challenges bedeviling the nation’s health sector.
According to him, the nation’s medical schools produce about 3,000 doctors yearly and this is not enough to achieve the WHO standards to deliver on health care services.
The NUC boss, who was represented by the Director, Protocol and Special Duties, Mr Chris Maiyaki, said, “With less than 40,000 registered medical doctors practising in Nigeria, the doctor-patient ratio in the country is about 1:3,500.
“What this means is that we need about 300,000 doctors to meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended doctor-patient ratio of 1:600.
“It is also common knowledge that the Nigerian health care sector continues to face myriad of challenges, chief among which is the brain-drain syndrome occasioned by an absence of the enabling environment for medical practitioners to thrive.”
Rasheed further noted that medical tourism embarked upon by patients seeking “robust health care systems of other countries” had also significantly affected the Nigeria’s health care system.
He said there was an urgent need for huge investment in health education and health care services by all stakeholders to mitigate the acute shortage of manpower and services in the sector.
In his address, the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of BMU, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, said the institution was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to aid teaching, learning and research.
Also speaking, the Pro-Chancellor, BMU and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs, described the medical university as “a dream come true in our section of the country.”
He commended Governor Seriake Dickson for conceiving the idea of a specialised medical school and charged the students to focus on their studies as the institution had given them hope of an assured future.
Dickson, in his remarks, said the establishment of the BMU was “a strategic decision to maximize the state’s investment in education and development.”
The outgoing governor called on the incoming government to support the university to achieve the objectives for which it was established.