A subscriber to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Chidi Johnson had slammed N250 million suit on the telecommunications company before the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos over his alleged harassment, arrest and illegal detention without a reasonable cause.
Johnson is claiming the sum as compensation for the public harassment, inconvenience and loss of business he suffered as a result of his arrest and detention by the police which was allegedly instigated by MTN.
According to the claimant, in a 30 paragraphs affidavit he deposed to and filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Onu Uche, his arrest and detention was instigated by the telecommunications firm on July 17, 2018 when he visited the Defendant’s Call Centre at No 60, Akowonjo Road, Egbeda, within Lagos metropolis to retrieve his lost MTN line.
He averred that a female customer care representative of the Defendant, Ms Monica Umukoro instead of taking his complaints as was being done with the people who had earlier been attended to, directed him to take a seat at the back of the office.
Johnson also stated that he was thereafter surrounded by the Defendant’s security officials who in the company of Ms. Umukoro, informed him that his picture in the Defendant’s computer system bore an all four resemblance to one of the Defendant’s subscribers whom the Defendant had been staking on its watch list to apprehend.
The Claimant further alleged that he was after that led to the security post of one commercial bank near the Defendant’s call centre, where he was detained for several hours, before he was handed over to the officers of the Gowon Estate Divisional Police Station.
He stated that at the police station he was harassed, abused, demeaned and detained till the next day without food, medical care, and reasonable cause, and was later asked to make a statement.
The claimant further maintained that after the police conducted the investigation, it was discovered that the picture on the Defendant’s computer system was not his but that of some other person that purportedly bore an all four resemblance to him.
He claimed that he was then reluctantly released on bail to one Akajiaku, who acted as his surety.
Johnson also stated that after his released, he wrote a petition against the Defendant through his lawyer to the Human Rights Department of the Lagos State Police Command but due to the inconclusive investigation, his solicitors caused a letter of demand to be written to MTN.
But MTN in its reply absolved itself entirely from the incident of his unlawful arrest, detention, and harassment which was instigated by it.
The claimant is, therefore, seeking a declaration that his arrest, detention and public harassment by the police instigated by Ms. Umukoro, an employee of MTN is illegal, unlawful, wrongful, and amounts to an infringement of his Right to personal liberty.