Nigerians on social media have blasted the Department of State Services (DSS) for threatening to hunt down citizens criticising the frustrations experienced and expressed by citizens under President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
They asked the agency to desist from attempting to infringe on the rights of Nigerians to freely assemble, organise and express themselves without any intimidation.
Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman had in a statement on Sunday said the service would no longer tolerate those aiming to “throw the country into anarchy.”
“While the Service reaffirms its unambiguous support to an indivisible, indissoluble and united Nigerian State in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, it will no longer tolerate deliberate machinations by subversive and hostile groups whose agenda is to throw the country into anarchy so as to serve the interests of their sponsors.
“Consequently, the Service is assiduously working with other security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the maintenance of peace and internal security of the country,” he said.
Afunanya said among those threatening the federal government and Nigeria’s unity are “some religious and past political leaders who have either called for a forceful change of government or mass action against it.”
“It has been established that the main objective for these is to cause a disintegration of the country,” he added.
“It is unfortunate that those in the forefront of this are respectable individuals who should be patriotic and not allow their personal ambitions to ruin the nation. The Service has also noted their desperation and penchant to collaborate with external forces and influences against Nigeria.
“They are reminded that even though democracy offers free speech, it does not give room to reckless pronouncements capable of undermining security. It is instructive to note that the ballot box remains the vehicle of change in a democracy.
“In this regard, self-centred individuals and groups are warned to stop engaging in acts inimical to the peace and sovereignty of this nation. In the same manner, influential personalities should be sensitive to emerging situations and guard against divisive and inciting utterances that may cause a breakdown of law and order.”
The statement has continued to generate a backlash as many Nigerians urged the service to tackle the insecurity manifested through the marauding unknown gunmen, Boko Haram, kidnappers and bandits.
A Twitter user, @@cvickright, “From whose purse is Buhari and the DSS paid? If it’s Buhari’s money, they have the right to insinuate such, if it’s our money, Buhari and DSS should go away. Buhari has proven to be a disaster, he needed not be pampered, or told what he wants to hear by those morons.#ResignNow.”
Another user, “@OnasanyaG said, ‘DSS suddenly found it has lost voice. During the Pantami saga, DSS went on sabbatical. Now it’s Fr Mbaka, DSS suddenly found it’s voice. This clannish sentiment is overbearing. It’s shameful. They have lost all modicum of trust and integrity.”
For @Achopa5, “Since SSS changed to DSS, they have become a disaster, maybe the D stands for disaster.”
Insecurity: FG Resuscitates Special Terrorism Prosecution Courts
Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has said that special terrorism prosecution courts will soon be resuscitated in Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the AGF, Umar Gwandu, said the decision is part of efforts to address insecurity.
“The federal government is committed to ending insecurity in the country. The courts are to bring to book all those found guilty in connection with terrorism, so as to serve as a deterrent to others,” the statement read.
“In addition to the prosecution of 400 suspected Boko Haram financiers, the measures taken by the government will counter the twin trouble of insurgency and insecurity in the country.”
On April 30, 2013, Ibrahim Auta, the former chief judge of the federal high court, made a practice direction that amended the order 48 rule 4 of the federal high court (civil procedure) rule 2009, which took effect on June 3, 2013.
The practice direction was intended to fast-track criminal trials relating to offences of terrorism, kidnapping, trafficking in persons, rape, corruption, and money laundering cases, and ensure that delays in criminal trials are largely eliminated.
Under this practice, the court shall ensure that criminal cases are fully ready for trial before hearing dates are agreed, in order to minimise undue adjournments and delays.
Parties involved in the trials are also expected to focus only on important matters relating to their cases.
$65m Fraud: ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-in-Law Wanted
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Yau Kumo, son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, wanted over an alleged $65 million fraud.
In a notice published on Thursday, Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson of the anti-graft commission, said Kumo is declared wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over alleged misappropriation and dispersion of national housing funds.
Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in 2016 at Daura, Katsina state.
“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000),” the ICPC said.
“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices or the nearest police station.”
In April, the senate committee on public accounts summoned Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.
Igbo Aren’t Violent People, Ignore ‘Rumour’ of Attack on Lagos – Ohanaeze Tells Sanwo-Olu
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has asked Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to ignore threats of attacks on the state.
On Monday, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, said the command is probing threats of attacks by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua Republic agitators.
The groups have, however, denied the allegations.
Speaking at a meeting with Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos government house on Thursday, George Obiozor, Ohanaeze president-general, said the “rumour” is intended to distract the governor from delivering good governance to the people.
Obiozor said Igbo people are not known for acts of violence.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, in the company of Igbo elders and leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live,” Gboyega Akosile, chief press secretary to the governor, quoted Obiozor as saying.
“[On] the constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossip and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland, we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community, which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the south-west was a source of relief.
“The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary.”