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DSS Invasion Of Ekiti House Of Assembly: Lawmakers Demand Apology, Threaten Lawsuit

By Lere Olayinka
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Members of Ekiti State House of Assembly have demanded an unreserved apology from the Department of State Services (DSS) over the March 4, 2016 invasion of the House of Assembly and unlawful detention of a member of the House, representing Efon Constituency, Hon Afolabi Akanni for 18 days, threatening to seek redress and damages in court.

The lawmakers, who described the act of impunity by the DSS under

President Mohammadu Buhari as undemocratic, unpatriotic, dictatorial

and brutish, also demanded a thorough medical examination of Hon.

Akanni, saying; “we fear that his health and general well-being could

have been compromised while in the DSS custody.”

Addressing the press today, Chairman of the House Committee on

Information, Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, who was flanked by the Speaker,

Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole, Deputy Speaker; Hon Segun Adewumi and 16

others, said the DSS must explain to Nigerians whether in a democracy,

it was part of the its mandate to disobey court orders and dump

Nigerians in detention for 18 days on unfounded allegations.

The statement read in full; “Yesterday, we read online like other

Nigerians that our member, representing Efon Constituency, Hon Afolabi

Akanni who has been in the Department of State Services (DSS)

detention in Abuja since March 4 was on admission at a private

hospital in Abuja.
“Up till this moment, we have not been told officially by the DSS

whether or not Hon Akanni was formally released from incarceration

after spending 18 days without access to his doctors, lawyers and

family members.
“However, preliminary information available to us suggests that Hon

Akanni may have been brought to the hospital by men of the DSS and

abandoned there because they could no longer hold him in captivity

because of his deteriorating health condition.
“Nigerians should be reminded that it took the rumour of Hon Akanni’s

death for the DSS to admit officially that it was holding him after

spending 15 days in detention without access to anyone.

“As we speak, Hon Akanni is in very critical condition and he has not

been able to speak with anyone of us.
“As reported in the media, Hon Akanni could only say that he was sick,

he was not well when press men sought to speak with him yesterday.

“We therefore demand an official explanation from the DSS as to why

Hon. Akanni was abducted and held incommunicado for 18 days, only for

us to be told that he was admitted at a private hospital in Abuja.

“We also demand a thorough medical examination of Hon. Akanni as we

fear that his health and general well-being could have been

compromised while in the DSS custody.
“Furthermore, we demand an explanation from the DSS whether in a

democracy, it is part of the its mandate to disobey court orders and

dump Nigerians in detention for 18 DAYS on unfounded allegations.

“Most importantly, we condemn strongly the DSS illegal arrest,

detention and dehumanisation of Hon Akanni and we demand an unreserved

apology forthwith.
“We have also directed our counsel to seek redress and damages in

court because to us, this act of impunity by the DSS under President

Mohammadu Buhari is undemocratic, unpatriotic, dictatorial and

brutish.
“Detaining Nigerians for weeks without trial is a clear return of

Decree 2, with which President Buhari hounded Nigerians in detention

when he was a military dictator and we in the Ekiti State House of

Assembly will continue to support our leader and Governor, Peter

Ayodele Fayose in his fight against tyranny.
“We wish to also alert the public that men of the DSS have been

visiting schools attended by some of our members, in search of their

academic records.
“Though we are not afraid of anyone or agency of government

investigating the academic background of our members, it is important

that the DSS face its core mandate of gathering intelligence for the

security of Nigeria and its people.
“We wish to advise the DSS to pay more attention to the growing

insecurity in the country, instead of acting as an arm of the All

Progressives Congress (APC) to pursue the evil agenda of destabilising

the Fayose-led government.
“Lastly, we wish to reiterate our commitment to the development of

Ekiti State, which is being championed committedly by Governor Ayodele

Fayose and we state that no amount of intimidation and harassment will

make us join the enemies of Ekiti, whose only interest is to grab

power for their personal gains.”