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Maina’s son drew a pistol to resist father’s arrest – DSS

The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed arresting Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT).

Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the agency, confirmed the arrest in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He said Maina was arrested at a hotel in Abuja on September 30, 2019, saying his son attempted to open fire on the DSS operatives involved in the operation.

“The arrest which was effected at the Pennsylvania Avenue Hotel, Utako, Abuja followed a request by the EFCC to the Service to assist in the apprehension of the suspect,” the statement read.

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

“Items recovered from the suspects include a pistol with live ammunition, a bullet proof Range Rover SUV, a BMW Saloon car, foreign currencies, a phantom 7 drone and sensitive documents.

“The suspects and the recovered items will be handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and appropriate necessary actions.”
The federal civil service commission had dismissed Maina in 2013 for absconding from duty following recommendation by the office of the head of service.

He was accused of being involved in pension fraud running into over N100 billion. After an investigation by the senate joint committee on public service establishment, a warrant of arrest was issued against him.

Subsequently, the police declared him wanted and he went into hiding.

However, in 2017, he returned to the country under controversial circumstances and was reinstated as a director in the ministry of interior.

But President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his dismissal and demanded a probe into his recall.

Onumah: DSS asked why I wasn’t carrying a Biafran passport

Chido Onumah, coordinator of African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), says the Department of State Services (DSS) queried him on why he was carrying a Nigerian passport despite being a “Biafran.”

Onumah said this while narrating his encounter with the DSS operatives.

DSS operatives had detained the journalist at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Abuja, Abuja, upon his arrival from Europe.

He spent at least four hours in their custody before he was freed around 10pm.

In a statement issued on Monday, Onumah said the operatives accosted him for wearing a “Biafra” T-shirt.

He said: “A DSS officer said they had intel (likely from people who were with me on the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Abuja) that I had come into the country to join some people planning to cause disaffection.

“That since I am a Biafran, why should I carry a Nigerian passport. I told them I am a Nigerian and that’s why I have a Nigerian passport; that there is no country called Biafra, therefore, I couldn’t possibly hold a Biafran passport.

“He replied: ‘But that is not what is written on your T-shirt.’ When I replied that the inscription is the title of a book, (and that the book was available on Amazon and bookshops in the country) another officer said “there is a difference between the book and the T-shirt’.”

He added that the DSS operatives requested for his T-shirt and “a “commitment” that I won’t do anything that would cause ethic, religious or political tension in the country.”

Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, had earlier confirmed Onumah’s shirt got the service’ attention.

Sowore: DSS denied me telephone access but granted same to Boko Haram commanders

Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, says while arrested Boko Haram commanders in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) are allowed to make calls, he has been denied access to telephone.

According to SaharaReporters, Sowore said this on Monday at the federal high court in Abuja where he is currently being arraigned for “conspiracy to commit treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari”.

The activist said he was yet to know what charge was brought against him as he had not spoken with his lawyers.

“I am not allowed to see sunshine. I’ve not been outside except today. I am happy people are staying strong,” he said.

“I have no doubt this will come to an end in favour of the Nigerian people. Whether you like it or not, the revolution will happen. It is only a matter of time. They gave me no access to telephone. No TV. No newspapers.

“What is interesting is that Boko Haram commanders who are engaged in high level terrorism have access to telephone, TV and even cable in their cells. So you wonder which one is better: a freedom fighter or a terrorist.”

He also said he has a bad shoulder following the way he was rough handled when arrested.

Sowore, who was presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections, was arrested in Lagos on August 3 ahead of a planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest.

The protest, the government said, was aimed at removing the president during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means.

The court had earlier granted the DSS request to keep Sowore for 45 days but he was later granted bail.

The agency refused to release him despite fulfilling his bail condition.

Court sends Sowore back to DSS custody

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has remanded Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement, in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The activist has been in detention since August 3 when he was arrested in Lagos.

A court had earlier granted him bail but the secret police refused to release him.

On Monday, he was arraigned on a 7-count charge of felony brought against him and Olawale Bakare, his co-defendant, by the federal government.

The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Olumide Fusika, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Sowore’s counsel, had asked the court to allow his client enjoy the bail earlier granted to him.

But Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge, refused, ordering that Sowore and Bakare should return to DSS custody pending Friday when she would hear their application for bail.

Falana: DSS not petitioning NJC over judge who granted Sowore bail

Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says there is no plan by the Department of State Services (DSS) to report a federal high court judge to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for granting Omoyele Sowore bail.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Falana said the report on the secret service petitioning the NJC against Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, who granted bail to Sowore, is false.

He said it was designed to blackmail and intimidate judges in the case of the activist.

“However, in a desperate bid to divert public attention from the contemptuous conduct of the SSS the federal government has hurriedly pressurised the federal high court to assign the case for the arraignment of Mr. Sowore,” he said.

“I wish to state without any fear of contradiction, that the federal high court is competent to admit a person charged with a capital offence to bail by virtue of section 161 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. But in this case, Mr. Sowore has not been charged with a capital offence.

“Treasonable felony is not a capital offence under section 41 of the Criminal Code. Even under the most brutal dictatorial regimes in Nigeria our courts did not hesitate to uphold the fundamental right of the victims of repression to personal liberty including those who were charged with treasonable felony.

“Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this case, the SSS cannot complain against the handling of the case by Justice Taiwo who did not even entertain our application to quash the order for Mr. Sowore’s detention for 45 days. We had wanted to show that Mr. Sowore did not engage in any terrorist activity to warrant his incarceration.

“In urging Nigerians to disregard the dubious report it ought to be pointed out that Justice Taiwo has not been accused of any act of judicial misconduct in ordering the conditional release of Mr. Sowore from unlawful custody. After all, it was the SSS counsel, Mr. Godwin Agbadua who withdrew his fresh motion ex parte motion for an order to further detain him for 20 days.

“To that extent, the National Judicial Council has no power to sanction a judicial officer for exercising his/her discretion judicially and judicially in an application for the bail of a citizen. In other words, since the NJC is not an appellate court it cannot review the order for the conditional release of Mr. Sowore from illegal custody.”

Taiwo had ordered the secret service to release the publisher of Sahara Reporters immediately to his lawyer.

The judge held there was no subsisting order to keep him in detention.

But the DSS is yet to comply with the court’s decision.

BREAKING: SSS arrests Nigerian activist Chido Onumah

Nigeria’s State Security Service, SSS, has arrested an activist, Chido Onumah.

Mr Onumah, a journalist and author, was arrested at the Abuja airport on Sunday evening, an associate told Premium Times

The journalist returned to Nigeria from Spain where he recently bagged a doctorate in communication studies.

He arrived via a Lufthansa airline and was waiting for his luggage at about 5:00 p.m. when SSS officials accosted him, the associate who was at the airport to receive Mr Onumah said.

It is believed that Mr Onumah, at about 5:00 p.m., was taken to the SSS headquarters in Abuja.

Court orders DSS to release Sowore

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the release the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, from the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS immediately.

The judge said the activist should be released to his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), who is to produce him for arraignment whenever he is required.

The judge, however, said since charges had already been filed against the activist, he must deposit his passport and other travel documents to guarantee his availability for trial.

The judge had earlier stood down the case after hearing arguments from legal teams of Sowore and the DSS.

Leading Sowore’s team, Femi Falana (SAN), noted that the order issued by the court on August 8, 2019 permitting the DSS to hold the activist for 45 days, had expired on September 21.

He urged the court to issue a consequential order releasing the publisher of SaharaReporters from custody.

But responding, DSS’ lawyer, G.O Agbadua, said that since the charges had been filed against the activist on September 20, it was lawful to continue to keep until arraignment.

But Falana said, “Filing of charges cannot metamorphose into a detention order. “A citizen cannot detain a citizen in anticipation of arraignment.”

Earlier, Agbadua withdrew the DSS’ application asking for the extension of the period of the detention of Sowore for further 20 days.

Agbadua’s request for the withdrawal of the said application was based on the fact that charges had been filed against the activist.

Falana also withdrew Sowore’s application for bail on the grounds that the application had become academic since the order of detention had expired.

On the grounds of the expiration of the detention order and the withdrawal of the DSS’ request for further detention of Sowore, Falana urged the court to order his client’s release.

The judge in his ruling agreed with Falana by ordering the immediate release of Sowore from custody.

JUST IN: How I was maltreated in DSS detention —Sowore

The co-convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, who has been in the detention of the Department of State Services since August 3, 2019, has accused the DSS of maltreating him.

“I was abducted in the middle of the night. I was taken to one of your facilities in Lagos. I was beaten up, rough-handled on my way to the facility in the car. And my cousin, who was in the room with me, was also beaten and handcuffed, and my properties were forcefully seized. And when I got there, of course, the maltreatment continued, they threw me on a cold floor and locked the door.

“I had no contact with even the guards for two nights; I was in that facility before I was flown here by your agents. So, I was seriously maltreated,” Sowore reportedly said during an interrogation session by DSS operatives.

READ ALSO: Police, OPC, DSS rescue kidnapped Osun passengers

The National Legal Adviser of African Action Congress, the political party on whose platform Sowore contested the presidential race in this year’s general elections, Inibehe Effiong shared the “Transcript from DSS Interrogation of Sowore Upon Abduction – Excerpt 1,” on his Facebook page on Monday.

According to the transcript, Sowore was interrogated by five DSS operatives in the presence of his lawyer, one “Barrister Sam.”

One Usman Usman, a DSS operative, who led the interrogation, was said to have told Sowore that, “We’ll be asking you questions and our advice is for you to be truthful to the best of your knowledge. We’ll not force you to say anything. Whatever question we ask and you have a problem with or you don’t have an answer to or you don’t want to answer, there is no compulsion, you simply tell us you’re not going to answer these questions.”

When asked by Usman to say “If in the course of your being here anybody has molested you in any way or maltreated you?” Sowore said, “Yes,” and went on to give the response above.

On whether he was denied food, the detainee said, “While in your facility in Lagos, yes, but I decided that because of their hostility I won’t take any food until I am allowed to talk to a lawyer. I continued to refuse food; until I was allowed to speak with a lawyer, and I have seen my lawyer, but I am still being denied access to my immediate family.”

Asked if he had made calls to his family members, Sowore replied his interrogator, “I’ve not made any calls to them. My brother is outside; he wasn’t allowed to see me as we speak.

“No, I’ve not made any call to my family members, I only made calls to people I remember their numbers to bring me food and asked them to call my brother. My brother came in today. But he was denied access to me, so I haven’t been able to see him and as a result, speak with my mum, wife and kids.”(sic)

Some people plotting to set Nigeria on fire, says DSS

The Department of State Services (DSS) says some persons are plotting to set the nation on fire.

Peter Afunaya, spokesman of the agency, said this in a statement issued on Monday.

The spokesman of the secret police did not mention any name or group but said the service would not relent in its bid to secure the country.

“The DSS wishes to reiterate its earlier alert to the nation of plans by subversive groups and individuals to undermine national security, peace and unity in the country,” the statement read.

“These elements are determined to exploit political differences and other occurrences, within and outside the country, to destabilize the nation. They also initiate narratives to deepen their subversive objectives so as to achieve preferred illegal outcomes.

“The aim is to set the country on fire as well as inflame passions across ethnic and religious divides with expected violent consequences.”

Afunaya also asked the public to be conscious of fake news, warning those in the habit of spreading false reports to desist.

“Also, the Service expresses dismay over the increasing use of fake news and unsubstantiated information spread across social media platforms to deceive and incite sections of the populace to civil unrest,” he said.

“While condemning the unpatriotic and misguided activities of these anti-social elements, the Service equally warns them to desist forthwith from their unholy acts as the full weight of the law will be brought against them.

“In the same vein, citizens are enjoined to remain law abiding, peaceful and report any suspicions likely to inhibit public safety to appropriate authorities. On its part, the Service will remain committed in its pursuit of national stability in line with its statutory mandate of protecting the country against crimes and threats to its internal security.”

The warning comes at a time when the presidential election tribunal is set to give its verdict on the petition Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, filed to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari.

DSS: Sowore, Nnamdi Kanu conspired to overthrow Buhari

The Department of State Services (DSS) has alleged that Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, conspired with Nnamdi Kanu to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a counter-affidavit filed at the federal high court, Abuja, in response to an application by Sowore, the DSS said Sowore held a series of meetings with Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to “mobilise strong forces” to realise his agenda.

In July, the duo had met in New York to discuss “how to fight Nigerian oppressors”.

A few weeks later, the secret police arrested Sowore just two days to the kick off of the #RevolutionNow protest.

In the application filed by Godwin Agbadua, an official of the DSS, the agency said its investigations had shown that the protest was a smokescreen for Sowore and his allies “to topple the government”.

The security agency said it would approach the court to extend the 45 days order to detain Sowore to 90 days it initially requested for.

“The respondent/applicant (Sowore) planned to violently change the government through the hashtag RevolutionNow, ” the agency said.

“The respondent/applicant hid under the cover of call for mass protest with the hashtag RevolutionNow to mislead unsuspecting and innocent members of the public into joining him to topple the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“In his plot to topple the government the respondent/applicant held series of meetings with members at a prescribed terrorist organisation, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) with a view to mobilising strong forces to realise his agenda at changing the government.

“The respondent formed an alliance with a fugitive, Nnamdi Kanu, a self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed terrorists group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to launch series of attacks on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“After series of closed-door meetings between the duo in the United States of America, they addressed a press conference wherein they both stated their resolve to form alliance against the Nigerian government. The duo stated that they have a well-planned out strategy to realize their objective, which is toppling the government.”

The DSS said Sowore was arrested on reasonable suspicion of having committed a capital offence, upon his alleged involvement in terrorists’ activities.

“The applicant/respondent is investigating the activities of the respondent /applicant as it relates to a terrorist organisation, IPOB. The facts show a conjecture between the respondent/applicant and IPOB activities,” the application read.

“There is the need for the applicant/respondent to investigate such reasonable suspicion of the relationship between the respondent/applicant and IPOB.

“The respondent held series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria including Dubai where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and freeing Ibrahim El-Zakzaky (Sheikh).

“In furtherance to the plans to violently free El-Zakzaky from lawful custody. the respondent held several meetings with a proscribed terrorists organisation. Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) where they strategized on how to carry out attacks to force the government to free Elzakzaky.

“The investigation is still ongoing. Upon the completion of investigation, the case file will be forwarded to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for advice and possible prosecution.”

 

DSS operatives detain El-Zakzaky on return to Nigeria

Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), is back in the country.

He arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 11:40am but operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) prevented journalists and some of his supporters from having access to him.

It was learnt that immediately the Ethiopian Airlines flight conveying El-Zakzaky and Zeenat, his wife, touched down, the security operatives drove an ambulance to the tarmac and picked them up.

They were said to have been taken through the presidential wing of the airport.

He, his wife, some family members and security operatives had left the country on Monday but 24 hours after he landed in India, the cleric raised the alarm that he was being frustrated.

Journalists who were denied access to El-Zakzaky at the airport

In an audio tape that went viral on Wednesday, he had said he was being re-detained under heavy security, expressing the desire to return home.

El-Zakzaky said he was not given access to his preferred doctors, adding that he did not trust those they asked to examine him.

But the federal government had dismissed the claim accusing him of not complying with the terms of the Kaduna high court which granted him medical leave.

In a statement, Grace Gekpe, permanent secretary, ministry of information, said the IMN leader demanded to have his passport and sought free movement. She added that he wanted to receive visitors and also made a request to be checked into a 5-star hotel.

She said he had behaved so badly that the Indian authorities were willing to return him to Nigeria.

Suhaila, a daughter of El-Zakzaky, had earlier told BBC that her father was suffering from lead poisoning which could result to his death.

The cleric and his wife have been in detention since their arrest in 2015 following a clash between their supporters and some soldiers.

Adeyanju, Atoye, Raphael lead one million man #FreeSoworeNow protest Wednesday

Deji Adeyanju, the convener of pro-democracy and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians; Ariyo Dare Atoye of Concerned Nigerians, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution and Adebayo Raphael of Free Nigeria Movement, alongside several other comrades, have said that the groups are set to stage a one-million man protest tomorrow being Wednesday, the 14th of August, 2019 to demand the unconditional release of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the 2019 general elections, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

They said that the protest is equally aimed at demanding the unconditional release of those they described as prisoners of conscience such as Jones Abiri, Steven Kefas, Dadiyata and others. Recall that while Jones Abiri, Steven Kefas and Dadiyata have variously been detained and are still in detention till date.

Sowore was arrested by the operatives of the Department of States Services, DSS, in his hotel room in Lagos over his call for nationwide revolutionary protest tagged, #RevolutionNow, against alleged maladministration by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

The protest held in various parts of the country despite his arrest, although not without stiff resistance from security agencies, with some of the protesters arrested and subsequently arraigned in Lagos.

Also, the DSS, in an application it brought before Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who is sitting as a vacation Judge, had obtained the leave to detain Sowore in its custody till all its investigations were concluded.

Ever since then, many prominent Nigerians, including civil society organisations and socio-political groups like PANDEF, Ohanaeze-Ndigbo, Afenifere, among others have condemned Sowore’s arrest and called for his immediate release.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Adeyanju, on behalf of the other groups, said they would lead a one million man #FreeSoworeNow protest to demand the unconditional release of the detained activists. According to him, the #FreeSoworeNow protest will take place at the Unity Fountain, Abuja by 11am on Wednesday. He said, “We are protesting for other prisoners of conscience too.”

Court grants DSS permission to detain Sowore for 45 days

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted permission to detain the publisher of SaharaReporters and convener of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, for 45 days.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruling on an ex parte application by the Department of State Services, whose operatives arrested Sowore last Saturday, held that the detention order would be renewable after the expiration of the first 45 days on September 21.

The DSS had on Tuesday applied for permission to keep Sowore for 90 days to investigate him over his call for revolution ahead of the RevolutionNow protests which held in some parts of the country on Monday.

The security agency anchored its application on the provision of section 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act.

Ruling on ex parte application, a one-sided request by the DSS without counter-argument by Sowore’s legal team, Justice Taiwo, said he had to grant the application, “only to the extent” of allowing the security agency to keep the respondent in custody for only 45 days for the applicant to conclude its investigation.”

He said, although the hearing of the application was one-sided as provided by 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act, the use of the word, “may”, in the provision “is directory” and not “discretionary”.

He said he would, therefore, be failing in his duty not to grant the request for a detention order.

He also said should the applicant require more time to conclude its investigation after the expiration of the first 45 days, it had the liberty to apply for its renewal.

We visited Sowore in detention —Deji Adeyanju

Deji Adeyanju, an associate of the publisher of the online medium, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, says members of the ‘Take it Back’ movement visited the incarcerated activist on Monday.

“He’s in high spirit and unmoved,” Adeyanju said.

The post was accompanied by an aerial shot of Sowore giving a revolutionary salute. A Google search revealed that the photograph first surfaced online on February 12, 2019.

Omoyele, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February election, was arrested in the early hours of Saturday and taken to Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Services.

The DSS has since confirmed his arrest and detention.

Sowore had expressed the intention to spearhead nationwide protests against the Federal Government, tagged ‘#RevolutionNow Days of Rage,’ scheduled for Monday, August 5, 2019.

The protests held in some states of the federation, during which security agents clashed with protesters, arresting and tear-gassing some.

Some journalists were also arrested and detained in the course of covering the protests.

Taking to his Facebook wall, Adeyanju had posted, “‪UNBOWED AND UNBROKEN: Take it Back Members visit defiant Sowore in DSS Detention.” ‬

He said the group visited Sowore on Monday evening and was allowed to see him at 6pm.

He had written, “At 6pm today, 5th August, 2019, members of the Take it Back Movement were allowed to visit Sowore, for the first time since his armed abduction He’s in high spirit & unmoved.”‬

We’ll comply with order on El-Zakzaky’s release, says DSS

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it will comply with the order that Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), should be allowed to go to India for medical treatment.

A high court in Kaduna had given the order on Monday following an application filed by Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

In a statement on Monday, Peter Afunaya, spokesman of the secret police, acknowledged that the service had received the order.

“This is to inform the public that the Department of State Services (DSS) has received the order granting Ibrahim El-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment,” the statement read.

“Consequently, the Service is liaising with relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance. Conformity with the order is in line with the Service’s avowed commitment to the Rule of Law inherent in a democracy.”

The court had said officials of Kaduna government, which is trying the IMN leader for treason, and some DSS operatives would accompany El-Zakzaky on the trip.

The IMN leader has been in detention since December 2015 when he was arrested over a clash between some of his supporters and soldiers.

Different courts had ordered his release but the federal government did not comply with the orders.

DSS: Sowore crossed red-line with #RevolutionNow

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it arrested Omoyele Sowore, ex-presidential candidate, because he threatened the public peace and safety with his planned protest.

On Saturday, agents of the service invaded Sowore’s residence and took him into custody. Before his arrest, he was promoting a protest tagged ‘#RevolutionNow’.

Speaking with journalists on Sunday, Peter Afunaya, DSS spokesman, said Sowore crossed the red-line by calling for a revolution.

He said the secret police would not ‘’just sit idly and watch any individual, group and their cohorts rise and threaten the peace, unity, and constitutionalism of the country’’.

“Though there is apprehension and anxiety among citizens already, we wish to assure friends of Nigeria, and other law-abiding citizens, that there will be no revolution of any kind come Monday, August 5, 2019,’’ he said.

“A democratically elected government is in charge, and we cannot allow any person or group to foment chaos or fan the ember of revolution.’’

Some Nigerians have spoken against the arrest of Sowore. In a statement, Wole Soyinka described the action of the DSS as a breach of the fundamental rights of the ex-presidential candidate.

‘’Deployment of alarmist expressions such as ‘treason’, ‘anarchist’, ‘public incitement’, etc by security forces have become so predictable and banal that they have become meaningless. Beyond the word ‘revolution, another much mis-used and misunderstood word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government.

Nothing that he said to me in private engagement ever remotely approached an intent to destabilise governance or bypass the normal democratic means of changing a government,’’ he said.

BREAKING: DSS moves Sowore to Abuja

The Department of State Services (DSS) has moved Omoyele Sowore, human rights campaigner, from its facility in Lagos to Abuja.

Sources at the DSS said Sowore, who has been held incommunicado since Saturday, is currently in detention in Abuja.

Although the secret police is yet to make any comment on his arrest, it is believed to be in connection with the nationwide protest that he was organising.

Sowore is the convener of “#RevolutionNow: Days of Rage” protest to challenge bad governance in Nigeria.

DSS arrests Sowore over planned protests

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections.

He was said to have been picked up in the early hours of Saturday and taken to the Lagos head office of the secret police on CMD Road, Magodo, Ikosi, Ketu.

At 1:25am, the activist tweeted: “DSS invades Sowore’s.”

Omoyele Sowore@YeleSowore

DSS invades Sowore’s

751 people are talking about this

SaharaReporters, Sowore’s online outfit, said his phone was forcefully seized before the arrest.

“An eyewitness confirming that his phone was forcefully taken from him,” SaharaReporters said in a report.

“He also tweeted ‘Ja p’, confirming his phone must have been seized while trying to raise the alarm about his arrest.”

The medium said the arrest and detention of Sowore are not unconnected to “#RevolutionNow, a series of planned protests against bad governance in Nigeria” scheduled for Monday.

Sowore has been actively involved in the plans for a nationwide protest.

Hours to his arrest, he had tweeted: “All that is needed for a #Revolution is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not subjected to the approval of the oppressor.”

Omoyele Sowore@YeleSowore

All that is needed for a is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not subjected to the approval of the oppressor.

416 people are talking about this

The DSS is yet to make any comment on Sowore’s arrest.

Meanwhile,  Sowore’s driver has narrated how operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested the activist.

In a social media post, the driver, who refused to disclose his identity, said Sowore was picked up in a “gestapo manner”.

“At around past 1am, the armed men knocked on the door. I noticed immediately that these knocks were strange. And didn’t open. I looked and I saw men armed to the teeth,” he wrote.

“They started forcing their way in like armed robbers. But I knew they were DSS men, knowing fully well the attention RevolutionNow has garnered. Sowore wanted to open at first but I immediately told him who they are. He retreated and like magic, he was not in the room when they forced their way in- 8 of them.

“That was when he managed to tweet. By this time, I had been beaten and handcuffed. Phones were snatched from me. An order to block all exits came from the leader when Sowore was not found inside. He was later arrested at the gym in a gestapo manner and dragged after a bit altercation.”

Narrating how he rushed to pick Sowore’s car when the cuffs were off his hands, the driver said the security operatives later threatened to shoot him for trying to prevent Sowore’s arrest.

“I quickly seized that opportunity to drive his car (I drive him) to block their SIENNA and Hilux they came in. They hit the Lexus Jeep like kidnappers would do to make way for themselves,” he wrote.

I followed them immediately till we got to CMD road around Ketu when one of them came down from the Sienna car and corked his gun, threatening to shoot me. I had to escape at that point.”

Sowore, a presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), had tweeted hours to his arrest that; “All that is needed for a #Revolution is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not subjected to the approval of the oppressor.”

Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, did not immediately respond to message seeking updates on the arrest.

DSS arrests social media users for ‘inciting violence’

The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested yet to be identified social media users who who posted “inciting materials and misleading statements”.

Peter Afunanya, DSS public relations officer, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Afunanya accused the individuals of instilling fear in the minds of Nigerians.

“The Department of State Services (DSS) has observed with concern, the deliberate plots and attempts by some subversive and undemocratic elements to incite or pit one ethnic group against the other by stoking the embers of tribal sentiments to cause disaffection and violence across the country,” he said.

“These unpatriotic actors make unguarded public statements and/or use the social media platforms to instill fear in the minds of citizens.

“These are reflected in the misleading statements and articles being circulated among unsuspecting members of the public. Such inciting materials oftentimes are designed to make or convey false accusations by one group against the other.

“They also resort to skewing historical narratives to suit their objective of masterminding ethnic violence in the nation. So far, some of the culprits have been arrested.”

He warned individuals involved in such “divisive acts and tendencies to desist forthwith.”

“Community leaders and persons of influence are, therefore, enjoined to be most responsible in their utterances as well as rein in (their) people for national cohesion and peaceful co-existence,” the spokesman said.

“Aggrieved persons and groups are encouraged to use dialogue as a true means of non violent resolution of disputes or any misgivings.”

Afunanya added that the country could only achieve greatness when it is united.

Justice Bulkachuwa not indicted by DSS – Official

The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied that it indicted Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Chairman, Presidential Election Tribunal, for bribery and corruption.

Public Relations Officer of the service, Peter Afunanya, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, in reaction to reports of such indictment of the judge by DSS.

He urged the public to disregard the report, saying it only existed in the imagination of the authors.

Afunanya described the report as “unfortunate”, adding that making the falsehood public was unethical.

He said the service had commenced a detailed investigation into the controversies surrounding the publication.

The spokesman advised politicians to be law-abiding and respect the process of litigations regarding the activities of the tribunal “and leave the service alone”.

He said that the service would continue to collaborate with the media as strategic partners in nation-building.

Afunanya also admonished media practitioners to be law-abiding and professional in the execution of their responsibility.

He warned mischief makers causing disaffection in the polity to desist from such acts as the full weight of the law would be visited on them.

“The DSS remains unwavering in providing the enabling environment for the pursuit of legitimate aspirations by well-meaning and law-abiding members of the populace.”

The presidency has also slammed the PDP for peddling the false news about Bulkachuwa.

The senior special assistant to the President Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement in Abuja that reports claiming that the DSS had indicted Bulkachuwa of corruption, were designed to cause disaffection between the executive and the judiciary.

“While the PDP and its candidates are free to exercise their right to challenge the results of the 2019 presidential election, it is unacceptable to drag the name of the president or other organs of the executive branch into the campaign of character assassination against the President of the Court of Appeal.

“The DSS doesn’t conduct its duties in the manner so described and you can’t use a fake security report to drag the presidency into a smear campaign against the President of the Court of Appeal.

“Attacking judges because the outcomes of cases don’t favour you and keeping quiet when the verdict is in your favour smacks of insincerity, double standard and mischief. The PDP praised the verdict of the Osun gubernatorial election tribunal because it favoured them, but they are now singing a different tune because they lost their appeal.

“If the PDP continues to blackmail and smear judges with fake news stories, we will ultimately find ourselves dealing with a situation where judges may be afraid to handle cases, thereby creating delays in the dispensation of justice.”