Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Sunday, flayed the Department of States Services (DSS) over its attempted abduction of a lawmaker-elect, Onyekachukwu Ike from the Anambra State House of Assembly complex last week.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said the secret police flouted their rules of engagement and desecrated the sanctity of the hallowed chamber with their invasion of the Assembly Complex.
The group said the actions of the DSS last week in Anambra is a demonstration of one of the dangerous and unsavoury lawlessness of despotic and dictatorial military era, totally alien to democracy.
HURIWA said the DSS must stick to its constitutional and statutory responsibilities of protecting the Nigerian state through the supplies of the right intelligence, adding that the secret police must learn to be civil in their approach.
Recall that a commotion ensued at the Anambra Assembly complex last week when DSS operatives invaded the assembly complex and tried to whisk away the lawmaker-elect for Nnewi North constituency. They arrested him and bundled into the trunk of a car and made to leave the complex before they were stopped by the inhouse security officials at the entrance of the Assembly Complex.
The incident reportedly happened after the said lawmaker-elect participated in a valedictory thanksgiving service for the outgoing seventh Assembly and it took the intervention of the Deputy Governor, Onyekachi Ibezim, and the outgoing speaker, Uche Okafor to release Ike from the grip of the secret police.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The invasion of the Anambra State House of Assembly by DSS operatives and their attempt to abduct lawmaker-elect is totally unconstitutional, a desecration of the hallowed chamber and a threat to the ideals of democracy.
“The revelation that DSS operatives bundled Onyekachukwu Ike in the trunk of a car to whisk him away before the resistance of inhouse security men at the Assembly Complex is totally condemnable as this is against his fundamental human rights or the rights of any citizen.
“Why the secret police still chose to conduct themselves in a Gestapo style is still unthinkable. Are the secret police kidnappers or armed robbers? Where are the rules of engagements? What happens to warrant of arrest? What happens to civil invitation to the lawmaker-elect to come to the DSS office in the state for interrogation? Why invasion of the Assembly Complex and attempted abduction of the lawmaker-elect?
“The Anambra Assembly incident adds to the DSS’ infamous record of Gestapo operations. Just a day after the inauguration of the new President last week, the DSS occupied the Lagos office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and barred all officials of the anti-graft agency from gaining access to the facility.
“In October 2016, gun-wielding security agents swooped on the residences of senior judges, breaking doors and arrested the judges who had ruled against the DSS and condemned its disregard of the laws of the land during its operations.
“In December 2021, the police also conducted their operations like kidnappers and unknown gunmen when they, in a Gestapo style, invaded a church service in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State and whisked away, Uche Nwosu, a son-in-law to an ex-governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
“How about the July 2021 DSS Gestapo and bloody raid on the Ibadan residence of Yoruba Nation campaigner, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho?
“The DSS must turn a new leaf, especially under the new administration of President Bola Tinubu who should call them to order.”
June 11, 2023
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.