NANMarch 18, 2017

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State; some cabinet ministers; the National Security Adviser Chief, retired Major General Babagana Monguno; and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, were among those who joined the President in performing the prayer

Emmanuel OnwubikoFebruary 15, 2017

We are aware that over a thousand places of worship for Muslims have been built over the years using legitimate donations from abroad and the heavens hasn’t fallen nor did the Director General of Department of State Services arrested or interrogated any of these Muslim leaders for accepting donations to build their places of worship from their brethren of other nationalities

Popoola BabalolaAugust 7, 2015
The Department of State Services on Thursday described the allegation of undue interference in the Rivers State Elections Petitions Tribunal as a blatant lie by the lawmakers in Rivers State.
The Rivers State House of Assembly lawmakers had petitioned the Senate over alleged undue interference of the DSS in the state’s elections petitions before the tribunal sitting in Abuja.
But in response, the DSS, in a letter dated August 6, obtained by our correspondent, informed the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, that at no time was any staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission arrested or detained as alleged by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The position of the DSS was authored by its Director of Operations, Bassey Etim, on behalf of the Director General, Lawal Daura.
The Services said its only concern in the matter was national security.
Etim said: “It is necessary to state unequivocally that at no time did the Service invite any Judicial officer or member of the Rivers State Election Tribunal for questioning concerning their handling of election petitions pending before them or for indeed any other matter. Consequently, the Service invited the complainant in this case to provide evidence of such invitation as to names, date and time.
“Further, while it is true that the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Rivers State and some of her staff were orally invited to assist the Service in its investigation, neither she nor any of her staff was arrested or detained as alleged.
“It is necessary to clarify that the Service is quite within it in its investigation and all responsible persons would have no qualms about responding positively to such invitation.”
Segun AdebowaleAugust 5, 2015
Lawmakers of the River State House of Assembly have dragged the Director General of the Department State Services, Lawal Daura, to the Senate over alleged interference in the Rivers State Election Petitions pending before the Elections Petitions Tribunal.
It was gathered the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition has already summoned Daura to appear before it on Thursday.
The petition, written by the Rivers State House of Assembly, was dated July 23, 2015.
It alleged DSS’s meddlesomeness in the political affairs of Rivers State on the conduct of the general election in the state.
The letter to the Senate, signed by 31 lawmakers from Rivers State, accused the DSS of witch-hunting, harassment, coercion and actual intimidation of the Independent National Electoral Commission and members of the Elections Petitions Tribunal.
The letter stated: “Our protest letter is premised on the fact that we are reliably informed that the DSS had concluded plans to arrest, witch-hunt, harass, coerce and actually intimidate electoral officials involved in the conduct of the 2015 general election in River State.
“To support this assertion are the recent‎ spate of arrest, witch-hunting, harassment, coercion and actual intimidation of Independent National Electoral Commission and members of the Election Petition Tribunal hearing election petitions from Rivers state on orchestrated and malicious ground in order to compromise their judicial independence and pervert the cause of justice.
“The Department of State Services, in a rather selective manner, invited the Resident Electoral Commissioner Rivers State and other INEC officials as well as members of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal for questioning with a view to directly or indirectly coercing and intimidation then into influencing the outcome of the various election petitions pending before the Election Petition Tribunals.”

Popoola BabalolaAugust 4, 2015

As the controversy over the Director General of the Department for State Services, Lawal Daura’s alleged membership of the All Progressives Congress rages on, an Abuja lawyer and social activist, Barr. Kayode Ajulo has weighed in on the issue, calling for caution, and for confirmation and hard evidence of the DSS boss’s alleged membership of the ruling party.

Speaking at the Abuja Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on his returns from London, Ajulo cautioned against a hasty conclusion that the DSS boss is indeed a registered member of the ruling party as alleged by the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.

“Beyond just hurling accusations and allegation, it is necessary to have credible evidence or proof showing that the DG- Lawal Daura, is truly registered as a member of APC. The ward register should capture such, and would be credible evidence validating Olisa Metuh’s allegation. Anything outside of this will amount to us working ourselves up in futility,” he said.

Ajulo, who is the National Secretary of the Labour Party however acknowledged that the allegation is a serious issue, emphasizing also that it calls for diligent investigation.
He said “The PDP has actually raised up a very serious issue concerning the award of appointments in this administration. This matter should neither be taken lightly nor waved aside. Every attempt to sweep it under the carpets should be resisted too. We need to know the actual truth concerning this matter.”

Ajulo however noted that if indeed the secret police boss was indeed found to be a registered member of the APC, his appointment, by President Muhammadu Buhari, to head the DSS would be indeed condemnable and anti-democratic.

“While the President reserves the right to appoint credible members of his party to political office, there are some sensitive positions that should not be politicized.

The professional sanctity of some institutions must be preserved to prevent a regression to an era of repression and political oppression using state apparatus.

“Positions such as the offices of the Service Chiefs, of Army, Navy and Airforce, Inspector-General of the Police, Director SSS, NIA, the Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission etc should be preserved for non-partisan and credible personalities to ensure that they uphold the principle of neutrality in the execution of their duties,” he stated.

Ajulo, who is the founder and convener of Egalitarian Mission, Africa- an NGO established to maintain and promote the equality of all people regardless of status or political affiliation, stated that it would be anti-democratic of the president to appoint a member of his own party as a boss of such a sensitive institution as the DSS stating further that by the extant law that establishes office, the Department of State Security is a purely on security affairs and has nothing with politics which makes it a department in the Presidency.

“President Buhari described himself as a converted democrat during the campaigns, emphasizing how the dissolution of the USSR converted him to the belief that democracy was indeed the best form of governance. Appointing a party member as boss of Nigeria’s secret police would be an anti-democratic move, and I really hope that is not what he has done here, because this would be countering what we, at Egalitarian Mission, stand for, and we would resist it” he said.

Speaking further on the issue, Ajulo however acknowledged that working for the success of a party during polls should not be construed as proof of membership of the party.

“I am aware that there are many people who worked for the success of specific political parties during the last elections without actually being members of such parties. I know some people who worked for my party- Labour Party, others who worked for the PDP without being members of any of the two parties.

“So the logic as being drawn by the PDP which claims that Daura is a member of the APC because he served on an intelligence or security committee is actually faulty. The PDP will need to come up with better evidence than that.”

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