Dasuki/El-Zakzaky: DSS Statement A Justification Of Brazen Abuse Of Power – Falana

 

Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, has berated the Department of State Services for saying that a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and others, freely chose to remain in DSS custody rather than in prison.

Mr. Falana described the statement as put out by DSS Spokesman, Peter Afunaya, as a justification of the brazen abuse of power.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said instead of apologising for exposing Nigeria to underserved odium the spokesperson of the security agency asked Nigerians to believe that Sowore and Bakare, Mr. and Mrs. Elzakzaky and Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) “rather chose to be looked after by the DSS”!

“Since we are counsel to the majority of these detainees in question we are compelled to join issues with the SSS on its latest justification for such brazen abuse of power,” Falana stated.

He went on to argue that at various times in the past 4 years, the Federal High court, the Federal Capital Territory High Court, the Court of Appeal and the ECOWAS court of justice admitted Col. Dasuki to bail pending trial.

According to Falana, upon meeting his bail conditions on 30/12/15 Dasuki was released by the Kuje prison authorities. However, the SSS operatives arrested him at the gate of the prison and have since been detained in defiance of the orders of the aforementioned municipal and regional courts.

READ ALSO: DSS Statement Concerning Sowore’s Release ‘Totally Misleading’, Says Falana

Falana said, “With respect to Elzakzakys the Information Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed had said on June 16, 2017, that “Elzakzaky is actually not in prison custody nor police custody nor DSS custody? El-Zakzaky is in a house with his family, this is the honest truth.

“The court ruled that he will be released after his house has been rebuilt. Nobody wants to accept El-Zakzaky as a neighbor. So we have been able to build a house, where do we release him to?” When was the Elzakzakys transferred to the custody of the sss from the house built for them by the federal government?

“On another occasion, the Federal Government claimed that Mrs. Zeinat Elzakzaky was not detained but that she chose the company of her detained husband, Mr. Elzakzaky. As if that was not enough Mr. Lai Mohammed disclosed that the federal government was spending N3.5 million to feed the Elzakzaky per month. Since the Elzakzakys have been detained illegally for the past 46 months the federal government must have wasted N168 million on feeding the couple!

“The Federal Government has since justified the detention of Col Dasuki and the Elzakzakys by saying that the local and regional courts had failed to take cognisance of the fact that “national security takes precedence over the rule of law.” In fact, for not realising that Sowore ought not to have been admitted to bail the sss was reported to have threatened to report Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the federal high court to the National Judicial Council.”

The human rights lawyer further drew the attention of Mr. Bichi Mogaji, the Director-General of the State Security Service to Section 287 of the Constitution, stating that a duty has been imposed on all authorities and persons to comply with the decisions of all competent courts in Nigeria.

He urged the SSS to urgently comply with the orders of the municipal and regional courts for the release of all detainees and criminal suspects languishing in unlawful custody without any further delay.

Appropriate People Haven’t Come For Sowore, DSS Insists Despite Falana’s Statement

 

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) has insisted that it is ready to release the convener of RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore, but the appropriate persons have not turned up to get him.

“For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE,” the DSS said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Peter Afunanya, on Wednesday, five days after it confirmed receipt of the order of the Federal High Court granting Sowore bail.

It added, “It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them.”

The continued detention of Sowore, days after his lawyers announced that he has met his bail conditions have led to disagreements between the agency and his legal team, supporters, activists and groups such as SERAP.

READ ALSO: DSS Statement Concerning Sowore’s Release ‘Totally Misleading’, Says Falana

One area of disagreement is the claim by the DSS last week that no one has showed up to get Sowore, a position disputed by his lawyers, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Femi Falana.

Falana in a statement on November 9 described the DSS’ position as totally misleading, stressing that lawyers from Sowore’s defense team waited for over four hours at the agency’s headquarters for his release but that did not happen.

But the DSS argued in its statement on Wednesday that those who have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and, therefore, unqualified.

Commenting further on the reactions to the continued detention of Sowore, the DSS said, “In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers.”
It also accused Mr Falana of wrongly guiding Sowore.

“He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones,” the DSS said.

The DSS spokesman, who called for calm, also said the agency would not waste a second to release Sowore if the proper processes are followed, adding Falana knows what needs to be done to get his client released.

Sowore’s continued detention led some Nigerians to stage a protest, at the DSS headquarters on Tuesday, demanding his release.

However, during the protest, security agents dispersed the crowd with tear gas and gunshots.

While reports from protesters and some media clips suggest that the security operatives shot at crowd, the agency denied the reports in its statement insisting its operatives did not open fire on “alleged protesters” who had “stormed” its facility.

“As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye Sowore.

“Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible Organisation, did not shoot at the so-called protesters. It could not have done so,” the DSS stated.

DSS Disperses Protesters Demanding Sowore’s Release

Protesters at the DSS headquarters on November 9, 2019. PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) have dispersed protesters who stormed the headquarters of the service over the continued detention of the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.

The protesters had stormed the DSS office on Tuesday morning but were met with resistance by the officials who then started shooting sporadically to disperse them.

Read Also: Protesters Storm DSS Headquarters Over Continued Detention Of Sowore, Bakare

Meanwhile, before they were dispersed, rights activist and leader of the protest, Deji Adeyanju, alleged that he was offered the sum of N1million by some persons to suspend the protest.

He displayed the cash, adding that the money was offered to him at gunpoint.

He, however, failed to disclose the identity of the persons.

See Photos Below.

Protesters Storm DSS Headquarters Over Continued Detention Of Sowore, Bakare

 

A group of protesters have stormed the headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) over the continued detention of the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, and Bakare.

This comes days after the DSS failed to comply with a Federal High Court’s order for their release, following a bail application.

The service had claimed that it was yet to receive the order as at Friday November 8.

The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Dr Peter Afunanya however, later confirmed that they had been served the bail order, but were yet to release the accused because nobody turned up to receive them.

But contrary to the claims of the DSS, counsel to Sowore, Mr Femi Falana, noted that they deliberately refused to release his clients despite lawyers waiting at the agency’s headquarters for up to four hours on Friday.

He, thereafter, stated that two lawyers from his law firm had been directed to contact the management of the DSS for the release of their clients by 10:00 am on Saturday (November 9).

They were, however, still not released to the lawyers.


RELATED

DSS Disperses Protesters Demanding Sowore’s Release

DSS Statement Concerning Sowore’s Release ‘Totally Misleading’, Says Falana

DSS Yet To Release Omoyele Sowore


A member of the legal team, Barrister Marshal Abubakar, who led a team of family members to the headquarters of the DSS to receive him, confirmed this to Channels Television.

Abubakar said after putting calls across through to some high ranking DSS officials, they were told to wait, as the persons who could authorise Sowore’s release were unavailable.

Frustrated with the process, after nearly a week of the court order, supporters have now stormed the DSS office over the continued detention.

Deji Adeyanju is among those who have arrived at the venue.

DSS Yet To Release Omoyele Sowore

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) is yet to release Mr Omoyele Sowore, despite meeting his bail conditions.

This is according to a member of Mr Sowore’s legal team, Marshal Abubakar, who led a team of family members to the Headquarters of the Service to receive the convener of #RevolutionNow protest.

Abubakar said after putting calls across to some high-ranking DSS officials, they were told to wait as the persons who could authorise Mr Sowore’s release were unavailable.

He said, “We are asking the DSS to please, in the interest of justice and rule of law, release Mr Omoyele Sowore, to us to go with him.

“We have been here for the past two hours and we are demanding that Mr Sowore be released to the lawyers and his family, in line with the orders of the court.”

READ ALSO: Two Fuel Tankers Fall, Truck Crashes In Lagos

Mr Omoyele Sowore speaks in a courtroom at the Federal High Court in Abuja on October 4, 2019.

 

 

The legal practitioner added, “They have acknowledged the fact that they have received the said court orders; they have also acknowledged the fact that we have been here on two, three occasions.

“We have called all the authorities who we’ve been assessing over the years at the DSS and they told us to wait that they are going to comply. We are waiting for compliance with the court orders.”

This comes barely a day after the DSS said it has received a court order releasing Sowore, but nobody has turned up at the Service’s office to take him delivery.

In a statement on Friday, the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Dr Peter Afunanya, explained that the decision to make the situation public was important for the sake of accountability.

The DSS spokesman noted that the court had been properly briefed about the development and the steps being taken to comply with its order.

He said the DSS would never obstruct justice or disobey court orders but would rather do the needful as soon as the appropriate processes have been concluded.

[UPDATED] DSS Statement Concerning Sowore’s Release ‘Totally Misleading’, Says Falana

 

 

Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has described as totally misleading, a statement by the Department of State Service (DSS), concerning the release of the convener of the #RevolutionNow Protest, Omoyele Sowore.

A Federal High Court had on Wednesday, November 6, ordered the release of Sowore and Bakare, following an application for their bail.

But the anti-graft agency failed to comply with the order, claiming that it was yet to receive it.

The service later confirmed on Friday that it had been served the bail order, but was yet to release the accused.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Dr Peter Afunanya, nobody turned up at the Service’s office to take delivery of Sowore.

But contrary to the claims of the DSS, Mr Falana noted that they yet again failed to release his clients to the lawyers who waited in vain in the agency’s headquarters for up to four hours on Friday.

Read More: DSS Receives Court Order, Says Nobody Has Come For Sowore

He, thereafter, stated that two lawyers from his law firm had been directed to contact the management of the DSS for the release of their clients by 10:00 am on Saturday.

Read the full statement below.

FRN V Sowore & Another: The Statement Of The SSS Is Totally Misleading.

On 6/11/19 the bailiff of the federal high court wanted to serve the reproduction warrants issued by the court on the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS).

But the sss asked the Bailiff to call back at 10.00 am on 7/11/19. The bailiff did and was able to serve the reproduction warrants on the DG of the SSS.

Upon acknowledging the service of the reproduction warrants the sss assured the bailliff and 5 lawyers from the defence team that our clients would be released yesterday. But the sss decided not to release our clients to our lawyers who waited in vain in the agency’s headquarters for not less than 4 hours.

When Sowore said that he would not make a statement without first consulting with me the sss management called me on phone on 6/8/19.

Assuming the sss had wanted to release our clients since yesterday the management would have contacted me.

It is pertinent to point out that the meaning of reproduction warrant issued by a trial court is that the defendants be produced for the purpose of releasing them having met their bail conditions.

In the instant case, the Federal High Court did not order the sss to hand over Messrs Sowore and Bakare to any person but to produce them for the purpose of releasing them having met the suffocating bail conditions imposed on them by the trial court.

Even though the SSS disobeyed the order of the Honourable Justice Taiwo for the release of Mr Sowore on 24/9/19 it has turned round to announce its readiness to comply with the order of the Honourable Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu for the release of Sowore and Bakare from illegal custody.

While thanking the Nigerian people for demanding for unconditional compliance with the orders of the federal high court we have directed two lawyers from our law firm to contact the management of the SSS for the release of our clients at 10.00 am on 9/11/19.

Meanwhile, we appeal to Sowore to call off his hunger strike forthwith.

Femi Falana SAN


[UPDATE] DSS Yet To Release Sowore – Lawyer

Hours after lawyers were sent to the headquarters of the Department of State Services on Saturday, to receive Sowore, he is yet to be released.

A member of his legal team, Barrister Marshal Abubakar, who led a team of family members to the headquarters of the DSS to receive him, confirmed this to Channels Television.

Barrister Abubakar said after putting calls across to some high ranking DSS officials, they were told to wait, as the persons who could authorise Sowore’s release were unavailable.

DSS Receives Court Order, Says Nobody Has Come For Sowore

Convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 30, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has received a court order releasing the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Dr Peter Afunanya, confirmed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Friday.

He, however, said nobody has turned up at the Service’s office to take delivery of Sowore, adding that the decision to make the situation was important for the sake of accountability.

The DSS spokesman noted that the court has been properly briefed the development and the steps being taken by the Service to comply with its order.

He stated that the DSS would never obstruct justice or disobey court orders but would rather do the needful as soon as the appropriate processes have been concluded.

The statement came hours after human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, vowed to return to court over the continued detention of Mr Sowore by the DSS.

He described the action of the Service as utter contempt of court and pledged to seek legal measures against the agency to force it to comply with the bail order.

Mr Sowore and his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare, who are standing trial for alleged treasonable felony, have yet to regain their freedom from the DSS custody since a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered their release on Wednesday.

Read the full statement below:

The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to confirm that it has received the Court Order for the release of Omoyele Sowore.

It is important that the public notes that since the receipt of the Order, no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him.

This becomes imperative for reasons of accountability.

However, the Court has been properly briefed on this development and the steps being taken to ensure compliance with its Order.

The Service, under the leadership of Yusuf Magaji Bichi (fwc), as the Director-General, is not a lawless organization and will never obstruct justice or disobey Court Orders.

It, therefore, affirms that it will do all that is needful once the appropriate processes have been concluded.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D

Public Relations Officer,

Department of State Services,

National Headquarters,

Abuja

8th November 2019​

Sowore’s Bail: Counsels Confirm Service Of Release Order On DSS

Convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 30, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

A team of lawyers representing Mr Omoyele Sowore in court say they have served the order of the court on the Department of State Services (DSS) to release their client.

One of the counsels to Sowore, Mr Inibehe Effiong, confirmed this to Channels Television on Thursday in Abuja.

Effiong who shared copies of the documents, however, insisted that the service has yet to comply with the order of the court.


RELATED
DSS Denies Refusing To Release Sowore
Sowore’s Trial: My Clients Have Fulfilled Bail Conditions, Will Be Freed Soon – Falana



Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, and his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare, have since been granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants were arraigned by the Federal Government on September 30 before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on seven counts bordering on alleged conspiracy to commit treason and money laundering among other charges but they pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Upon listening to the submissions of the prosecuting and defence counsels, the trial judge had granted bail to Sowore and Bakare in a total sum of N150 million and with some conditions that must be met.

The court had also adjourned the trial of both men until December 5 and 6 while a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights lawyer, who is among the defence team, noted that his clients have met the bail conditions.

He, however, decried that the DSS has continually denied the lawyers access to the defendants.

In its reaction, the Service denied the claims that it has refused to comply with court order granting bail to the defendants.

Border Closure Has Helped To Checkmate Inflow Of Firearms, Says DG DSS

 

The Director-General of the Department for State Services (DSS), Mr. Magaji Bichi has said that the closure of Nigeria’s borders has helped to reduce the inflow of smuggled firearm and enabled security agencies to keep track of the movement of people who pose a threat to the security of the country.

Mr. Bichi said this at the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course of the National Institute for Security Studies in Abuja.

He appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the closure until normalcy is returned.

“The recent closure of our borders attest to what we intend to achieve despite the criticism, the closure of our borders so far, have succeeded in checkmating not only smuggling of goods that are illegally brought into the country, even firearms and then checkmating the movement of people that are likely to undermine the security of this country.”

READ ALSO: Emefiele: Border Closure Will Reduce Kidnapping, ‘Yahoo Yahoo’

The DSS boss urged the graduating participants to use their knowledge in their respective duty posts to help the government handle the nation’s security challenges effectively.

Nigeria’s four major borders in the North-West, North-Central, South- West, and South-South geopolitical zones were closed on August 21 in a bid to free the country from criminal activities including smuggling and enhance the economy, a move that has generated mixed reactions.

According to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major General Babagana Monguno, the border closure will remain until the objectives behind the closure are achieved.

The operation has recorded success with over 100 illegal migrants and 117 suspected smugglers arrested. Also, 8360 bags of 50kg foreign rice have been impounded with other banned items seized.

Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, revealed that the demand for local rice rose drastically and about 500,000 bags of local rice have been sold by millers within one week of the border closure.

A move the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) said is part of the N1.4 billion saved and is yielding the desired results as the nation’s consumption of petroleum products has dropped by 10.2 million litres.

DSS: Maina’s 20-Year-Old Son Pulled A Pistol During Arrest

Maina's Recall Reveals Disjointed State Of Government, Says Shehu Sani
File photo: Abdulrasheed Maina

 

The Department of State Services (DSS), says Faisal, the son of former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, pulled a pistol at security operatives while they were trying to arrest him and his father.

The Public Relations Officer of the agency, Peter Afunanya, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to Afunanya, 20-year-old Faisal had pulled the pistol in an attempt to resist the arrest but was not successful.

He was, however, disarmed and arrested alongside his father at the Pennsylvania Avenue Hotel, Utako, Abuja.

Read Also: DSS Arrests Abdulrasheed Maina

Maina’s arrest comes nearly four years after he had been declared wanted by the EFCC for an alleged N2 billion fraud in November 2015.

Afterward, he disappeared from the public glare only to resurface in October 2017 and was reinstated as a Director in the Ministry of Interior – a situation that sparked criticism from Nigerians.

According to the DSS, the arrest was made possible following renewed collaborations between the security and law enforcement agencies.

Items recovered from both Maina and his son include a pistol with live ammunition, a bulletproof Range Rover SUV, a BMW Saloon car, foreign currencies, a Phantom 7 drone and sensitive documents.

They will both be handed over to the EFCC for further investigations.

DSS Arrests Abdulrasheed Maina

Maina's Recall Reveals Disjointed State Of Government, Says Shehu Sani
File photo: Abdulrasheed Maina

 

The Department of State Services (DSS), says it has arrested the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Public Relations Officer of the agency, Peter Afunanya, said the arrest was effected at the Pennsylvania Avenue Hotel, Utako, Abuja on September 30.

According to Afunanya, the arrest followed a request by the EFCC to the service to assist in the apprehension of the suspect.

Read Also: Court Stops EFCC From Declaring Maina Wanted

“Maina was arrested in company of his 20-year-old son, Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, who unsuccessfully tried to resist the arrest.

“The lad even pulled a pistol against the security agents involved in the operation,” the statement read.

“He was, however, disarmed and arrested. He is a final year student at the Canadian University of Dubai where he is studying Telecoms Engineering”.

According to Afunanya, items recovered from the suspects include a pistol with live ammunition, a bulletproof Range Rover SUV, a BMW Saloon car, foreign currencies, a Phantom 7 drone and sensitive documents.

He further stated that the suspects and the recovered items will be handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and actions.

The former pensions boss had been declared wanted by the EFCC for an alleged N2 billion fraud in November 2015.

Afterward, he disappeared from the public glare only to resurface in October 2017 and was reinstated as a Director in the Ministry of Interior – a situation that sparked criticism from Nigerians.

He, however, said he was ready to prove his innocence to President Muhammadu Buhari if given the opportunity.

Watch his exclusive interview with Channels Television below from after his return in 2017.

DSS Loses Two Officers To Car Accident

 

The Department of the State Services (DSS) has disclosed that the commission lost two officers to a car accident.

In a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, (Ph.D.), the DSS said, “Today, 27th September, 2019, the Department of State Services (DSS) lost two (2) of its personnel in a fatal car accident. The incident occurred this evening at Gidan Busa Katari, along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.

“The team was heading to one of the States in the North-West zone for an operation when the Hilux vehicle in which they were travelling somersaulted. Two (2) persons died in the accident while another was injured. He is presently receiving required attention in a medical facility.

“This clarification has become necessary in order to debunk fake news making the round that the gallant officers were attacked by bandits. The public is enjoined to disregard any contrary information”.