We Are Not Detaining Dasuki, El-Zakzaky In Defiance Of Court Orders – DSS

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that it is not detaining certain prominent Nigerians in defiance of court injunctions. 

This is following outcries about the alleged disobedience to Court Orders and illegal detention of some notable persons (particularly Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky) who are undergoing trials at the Courts.

In reaction to the claims, the DSS said the duo had appealed to the Courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres.

According to a communique from the Service, many of those who are within the DSS custody opted to remain there on their own volition, including El-Zakzaky who “opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the Court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India”.

READ ALSO: NECO Dismisses 70 Staff For Certificate Forgery

The DSS says it has continued to extend the best courtesies to the personalities since their stay in the Service’s custody.

“They are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities.

“Among others, their families and trusted persons bring them food of their choices on a daily basis. There could not have been better treatments than these.

“Against the wrong perception that the Service held these persons in defiance to Court Orders, it is obvious, by the above explanations, that they rather chose to be looked after by the DSS. The reason for such a choice is not farfetched. It is simply because the Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards.

“It is not in the character of the DSS to join issues with persons or groups. Yet, silence should not be golden at a time like this. For its compliance with democratic norms, the Service owes the Nigerian public a duty to explain some of its activities. This is more so that these are oftentimes grossly misunderstood or misrepresented,” the DSS communique read in part.

The Service restated its commitment to a strong partnership with the media and other stakeholders including opinion leaders, stating that it is not averse to criticisms and therefore welcomes constructive engagement from all and sundry.

The DSS further stated that it will continue to conduct its operations within the bounds of the law and importantly be guided by that time tested axiom of Usman Dan Fodio that conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it.

Rowdy Session As Buhari Arrives National Assembly For Budget Presentation

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived at the National Assembly complex where he will be presenting the 2019 budget proposal.

The President and members of his cabinet arrived amid a rowdy session in which lawmakers could be heard jeering and cheering loudly.

President Buhari arrived at about 12:40 pm and is expected to table the budget before a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Ahead of his arrival, men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were ensuring all security measures were in place in and around the complex.

READ ALSO: Buhari Proposes N8.8trn Budget For 2019

Also unground to give security support are the Presidential Guards Brigade, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), among others.

Earlier on, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori conduct a rehearsal for the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who will guide Buhari on his movement and presentation in the chamber.

Noticeably absent were the workers at the National Assembly, under the auspices of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, who had crippled business and legislative activities as part of their four-day warning strike.

The workers, who barricaded the entrances to the National Assembly on Monday, and had earlier picketed the chambers, were still at the main entrance to the premises as of 8am, had resolved to stay away from the premises pending the time the budget presentation would last.

National Assembly Shutdown, A National Embarrassment, Says APC

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the shameful development in the National Assembly which has seen parliamentary workers shut down the legislative complex following the commencement of their four-day strike is a sad reminder of what Nigerians witnessed under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration.

The PDP’s 16-year rule was characterised by such incidences of unpaid salaries, ghost workers and a shocking disdain for workers’  welfare, claims the APC in its statement signed by Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party’s national publicity secretary.

The statement read: “While the minority PDP usurpers who parade themselves as the National Assembly leadership have promptly paid themselves their allowances, National Assembly workers under the umbrella of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) are owed their duly earned 28 percent increase in their salaries since 2010.

READ ALSO: Ekweremadu Projects ‘A President Of Igbo Extraction’ In 2023

“Perhaps, if the National Assembly leaders have focused on their core legislative business and operations rather than resort to subterfuge with the sole intent of undermining the APC government, the welfare of parliamentary workers would not have been taken for granted.

“Nigerians will recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in one of its first actions as a government-approved federal government bailout to states to settle salaries owed workers. That is the stuff of people-centered governance which the APC represents. A worker deserves his wages!

“We have now learnt that the parliamentary workers have blocked all entrances into the National Assembly complex and cut off essential services like power and water supply; effectively crippling any form of activity within the premises.

“The APC calls on the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to do the needful by attending to the demands of the parliamentary workers. The welfare of workers is a cardinal policy of the APC administration. We, therefore, call on the PDP led National Assembly to save the country this national embarrassment”.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the National Assembly has directed the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to ensure adequate security within the vicinity of the National Assembly from tomorrow morning to enable members and staff come in and perform their legitimate duties without any hindrance.

According to a statement signed by Sani Omolori, Clerk of the National Assembly, the directive was passed after a meeting of the joint leadership of the two chambers with the management and representatives of the security agencies.

The meeting was called by the political leadership to listen to the management led by the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) on efforts made so far to address the grievances of the striking staff.

Justice Ademola Withdraws From Dasuki’s Trial

DasukiThe trial judge in the case of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has withdrawn from the case in the wake of allegations that he obtained bribe from Dasuki who is standing trial before his court.

Justice Ademola was among the seven judges detained briefly about a week ago after the Department of State Services (DSS) conducted searches and said that it discovered hundreds of thousands in dollars in addition to documents linking them to very expensive real estates.

The DSS which conducted what it called “sting operations” accused the judges of exhibiting lifestyles which their income could not justify.

Ademola was scheduled to deliver a ruling on the DSS’s request to allow witnesses to wear masks in the case against Dasuki when the trial judge announced his intention to hands off the case.

Before making his decision known, Justice Ademola interviewed Colonel Sambo Dasuki asking him to tell the whole world if he had known him prior to the case and if he had given him any money directly or through his lawyers to which the former NSA replied in the negative.

He thereafter went ahead to announce that he was transferring the file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court “for a reassignment to another judge having regards to the allegations against this court by the complainant, that is the DSS.”

Justice Ademola said that his decision to return the file to the Chief Justice for “further directive” is in line with the principles of fair hearing to parties before the court.”

Justice Ademola, at the time of his arrest, was the trial judge in the case against Biafra’s agitator, Nnamdi Kanu who is standing trial for treasonable felony and Colonel Dasuki who is being tried for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering.

The two cases are being prosecuted by the DSS.

We Are Ready For Governorship Election – Edo CP

Police CommissionerThe Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Lafimihan Adeoye says his command is fully prepared for the challenges ahead of the governorship election in Edo State.

Mr Adeoye made the assertion after an assessment tour of several police formations including the Edo State Police Area Command headquarters in Auchi, Edo North and Irrua, Edo Central.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the election till September 28, 2016, following advice from security agencies in the state.

The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.

The two security agencies say the advise is based on credible intelligence at its disposal which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the Sallah celebrations which took place between 12th and 13th September.

The agencies say Edo State is amongst the states that was earmarked for the planned attacks.

In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.

The statement further adds, “The security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.

Governor Oshiomhole Condemns Postponement of Edo Election

Adams-Oshiomhole-on-Edo-electionEdo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed surprise at the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the state’s governorship election earlier slated for Saturday, September 10, 2016.

The agency on Thursday afternoon announced this decision after it had earlier said that it would go ahead with the polls.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Governor Oshiomhole described the decision as a setback for the state.

He frowned at the time it took the electoral body to make the decision, which he said had affected the parties’ programmes.

He said that if INEC had given the hint earlier that the election would be postponed, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would have also postponed its final rally to suit the new election date.

The Governor also reacted to allegations that his party was behind the postponement of the election by stating that none of the other parties was as ready as the APC for Saturday’s election.

He argued that the large turnout of supporters at the party’s final campaign rally on Tuesday was an indication that Edo State was indeed an APC state.

He maintained that the only issue that involved him as the Governor of the state was INEC’s decision to fix the election to coincide with the West African Examination Council (WAEC), GCE examination, which led to protests by students of the state.

“INEC ought to have known that the West African Examination calendar was out there. It is not something they fix two or three weeks to the time,” he said.

APC/PDP React To Postponement Of Edo Governorship Election

pdp-on-dss-inecc-boss, edo election, INECThe two leading parties in the Edo state have been reacting to the postponement of the governorship election to September 28.

The election which was originally slated for Saturday, September 10 has now been shifted to Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

The electoral body made the U-turn on Thursday evening, few hours after it had said that it would go ahead with the election against the advice of Nigerian security agencies.

The Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday for security reasons.

The two security agencies said the advice was based on credible intelligence at its disposal, which suggested that insurgents were planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September.

Meanwhile, the PDP and the APC have reacted to INEC’s decision to postpone the Edo polls.

The State Chairman of the APC, Mr Anslem Ojezua described the postponement as not unusual.

He also said that securing the lives of residents in the state must remain a priority.

Shocking And A ‘Bizarre’

On his part, the PDP Chairman in state, Mr Dan Orbih said that the nation’s democracy is being threatened.

“The political parties in the state should see this as a challenge.

“We must rescue democracy. It is under serious threat with what we are witnessing today in Edo State,” Mr Orbih stressed.

After the security agencies gave the advice, the PDP said it was shocking and a ‘bizarre’.

The PDP, which claims to be the strongest opposition in the state, said it was taken aback on this advice, coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari attended a Mega Rally of the All Progressives Congress in Benin City which was concluded without any hitch.

A statement on September 7 by the party’s spokesman, Day Adeyeye, highlighted that INEC recently conducted a ‘hitch free’ Senatorial By-Election in Borno State which is a high-point of insurgency in the Country and wondered why the Security Agencies saw no reason to call-off the Election.

They have been no report of any bomb attack in Edo State in the last six years that insurgency was at its peak in Nigeria’s northeast, something critics said  apparently made the advice appear shocking to the party.

“It is therefore lamentable to hear from these same security agencies that the Election cannot be held in a State where in less than 24 hours, the President and all the APC leaders and members had an uninterrupted Rally.

“We are calling on the President, Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies and direct them to provide full security, and also to desist doing anything that will jeopardize this forthcoming Gubernatorial Election in Edo State.

“We are equally counting on INEC not to succumb to this false alarm by acting independently and holding election as scheduled.

“We hope that this advice from the security agencies are not in concert with the APC of having seen the indices of losing the Edo State Gubernatorial Election to the PDP,” the statement read.

While the PDP is expressing displeasure over the postponement of the election,  the APC has raised alarm over what it called an alleged plot by the PDP to unleash violence and cause confusion in the state during the governorship election.


The party, which is holding power in the state, claims that the plan would pave way for the opposition to rig the governorship election scheduled for September 10.

Militants From Delta

A statement by the party said “no less than 500 militants from Delta are being mobilised to critical areas of Edo State to carry out this evil plan using the waterways.

“The primary targets are Edo-North using the River Niger to access areas around Agenebode; Edo-South, via the Osse River; and Edo Central, via Ilushi River”.

Citing internal sources within the PDP, the APC also alleged that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to participate in the conduct of the elections were being compromised by the PDP with the lure of huge financial rewards should they agree to act out their script to rig the elections.

INEC To Go Ahead With Edo Governorship Election

pdp-on-dss-inecc-bossThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it will go ahead with the Edo State governorship elections against the advise of Nigerian security agencies.

The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.

The two security agencies said the advise was based on credible intelligence at its disposal, which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September.

The agencies said Edo State is amongst the states being earmarked for these planned attacks.

In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.

The statement further adds that “the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.

 

Shekau Fatally Wounded, Others Dead In Unprecedented Air Strike

Air Force, Niger Delta, ArepoThe Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday said it has killed some key leaders of Boko Haram and wounded many others, including the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, during an airstrike on Friday in Taye Village, Borno State.

A statement released by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said “we have just confirmed that as a result of the interdiction efforts of the Nigerian Air Force, some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed while others were fatally wounded”.

The airstrike, which he described as “the most unprecedented and spectacular air raid”, took place on Friday, August 19, “while the terrorists were performing Friday rituals at Taye village, Gombale general area within Sambisa forest, Borno State.

Col. Usman noted that the Boko Haram terrorists commanders confirmed dead include “Abubakar Mubi, Malam Nuhu and Malam Hamman, amongst others.

“While their leader, so called Abubakar Shekau, is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders” adding that “several other terrorists were also wounded”.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had on Monday announced the arrest of the spiritual leader of the terrorist group and other members.

The DSS said the arrests were part of “successes recorded in the ongoing tactical and counter-terrorism operations to degrade the capabilities of criminal gangs and syndicates in their hideouts across the Nigeria”.

A statement by the DSS said Mudaisiru Jibrin, also known as Namakele Alarama, suspected to be the spiritual leader of the Boko Haram was arrested on July 17 at Sauna quarters, Yankaba area in Kano State.

 

Ekiti Lawmaker In Hospital After His Release From DSS Custody

Ekiti lawmaker in DSS custody The Department of State Services (DSS) has released Mr Afolabi Akanni, a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly who has been in the custody of the DSS since March 4.



The lawmaker is being investigated by the DSS over an alleged forgery during the Peoples Democratic Party’s House of Representatives primaries held in Ekiti North Federal Constituency-Two and an alleged assault on Justice John Adeyeye of the State High Court.

He told reporters that he was released after he collapsed twice in detention.

The lawmaker is currently receiving medical treatment at a private hospital in Abuja the nation’s capital city.

Mr Akanni’s alleged abduction by operatives of the DSS had been condemned by  a federal lawmaker during one of the Senate’s proceedings.

Senator Biodun Olujimi, informed the Senate, that on March 4, armed operatives from the DSS invaded the chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

“The Senate is alarmed that on Friday, March 4, the hallowed chamber of the Ekiti State House of Assembly was invaded by armed men of the Department of State Services.

“Not minding that the various committees of the House were meeting, more than 10 DSS men armed to the teeth invaded the assembly complex shooting sporadically into the air, thereby causing panic among members and staff of the House who had to scamper for safety and were afraid for their lives,” she told the Senate.

After his disappearance, the state government alleged that he was dead, but the DSS on March 17 presented Mr Afolabi before newsmen in Abuja.

After been held for over 20 days, the DSS released him.

 

PDP Lament Alleged Interference Of DSS In Electoral Matters

Olusegun-MimikoThe Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum have raised concern over alleged unnecessary interference in electoral matters by the Department of State Services (DSS) especially in Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Abia States.



According to the Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, the forum condemns the alleged interference saying it is perceived as being used by the ruling party to stifle opposition.

The governors also asked why the DSS has not beamed its searchlight on states under the control of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) where alleged cases of bribery have been reported.

Suspected Kidnappers Claim They Were Forced To Admit Culpability

Kogi PrisonFour persons accused of kidnapping Lagos lawyer, Mr Mike Ozokhome (SAN) have told the court that they were forced to make their statement while in detention at the Department of State Services (DSS) headquarters.

The accused persons therefore asked the court to investigate the veracity of their statements and its admissibility in court.

The accused persons are standing trial on 12 count charge of terrorism and the kidnapping of Mr Ozokhome.

At the commencement of their trial, two of the three witnesses presented by the prosecuting counsel told the court how the accused persons attacked prison warders transporting the second accused person, Frank Azuekor, to court killing two of the prison warders and injuring three others.

However, the third prosecution witness, who is an investigative officer with the DSS told the court that all the accused persons made confessional statements of how they were involved in the kidnapping of prominent persons, between Delta and Edo States, armed robbery and murder of police and prison warders in the course of their operations.

He added that they threatened the Federal Government to grant them amnesty, failing which, they would make their communities ungovernable.

However counsel to the first to third accused persons opposed the admission of the said statements as evidence in court, insisting that there is the need to verify the authenticity of the statements, maintaining that the statements did not comply with Section 104, which stipulates that it must be certified by a superior authority in the DSS.

Lawyer to the fourth accused person however had no objection.