By Joseph Onyekwere
A subscriber to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Chidi Johnson had slammed a N250 million suit on the telecommunications company before the Federal High Court in Lagos, over his alleged harassment, arrest and illegal detention without a reasonable cause.
Johnson is claiming the sum as compensation for the inconvenience and loss of business he suffered as a result of his alleged arrest and detention by the police, which was allegedly instigated by MTN.
The claimant, in a 30 paragraph affidavit he personally deposed to, 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, 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 detained him on the allegation that his picture in the defendant’s computer system resembled that of one of the defendant’s subscribers, whom the defendant had kept on its watch list to apprehend.
The Claimant further alleged that he was thereafter led to the security post of one commercial Banks 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 investigation, it was discovered that the picture on the defendant’s computer system was not his, but that of some other person that purportedly resemble him.
But MTN in its response to the claimant’s letter had absolved itself completely from the incident of his unlawful arrest, detention and harassment.