Police arrest ex-SSS official who ‘stole’ N310 million allegedly belonging to Saraki

The police have arrested a former operative of the State Security Service who was dismissed from the service over his alleged robbery of a bureau de change operator.

Abdulrasheed Maigari, 35, was arrested in Abuja by police anti-kidnap squad in a surveillance operation conducted between March 26 and 28.

Mr. Maigari, a native of Taraba State, was arrested alongside 10 other suspected criminals for allegedly kidnapping Issa Salami, a former General Manager of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria.

The other suspects as identified in a statement released by police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, are: Kelvin Emeka, 28, from Owgu LGA in Enugu State; Ndubusi Prince Ozor, 31, from Nsukwato LGA Abia State; Sunday Travnor, 33, from Ovi LGA in Nasarawa State and Zayor Alfred 23, from Obi LGA of Nasarawa State

The remaining suspects are: Avah Joseph, 25, from Ogbadibo LGA in Benue State; Gabriel Friday, 33, from Ogbadibo LGA Benue State; Rajab Baba Ishiaka, 22, from Wukari LGA Taraba State; Ali Sani, 27, from Takum LGA Taraba State; Nuhu Sule, 20, from Takum LGA Taraba State and Mohammed Abubakar, 21, Mokwa LGA of Niger State.

The police said the suspects were identified by their victims.

“They also confessed to the crime admitting to the various roles they played in the commission of various kidnappings, armed robberies and other violent crimes linked to them,” Mr. Moshood, a chief superintendent of police, said.

In December 2015, the State Security Service announced the arrest of its personnel, including Mr. Maigari, who allegedly robbed a bureau de change operator in Abuja of N310 million.

But the secret police was silent on the identity of the victim.

Sahara Reporters later identified Mr. Saraki as the owner of the huge sum and detailed how the Senate President allegedly engaged the service of a money changer, Abubakar Dantani, to help move the money to his house.

Mr. Maigari and his colleagues in the SSS allegedly robbed a van bearing the N310 million cash as it was about driving into Mr. Saraki’s residence in Abuja.

But Mr. Saraki denied ownership of the fund at the time.

The police said the robbery case was still pending in court, but Mr. Maigari was granted bail.

He allegedly joined another gang that had terrorised people in Abuja metropolis within the last few months until he was arrested this week in connection with Mr. Salami’s kidnap.

The police said the following arms and ammunition were recovered from the suspects: One AK 47 rifle, three AK 47 magazines, ninety rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition, two pistols, fourteen rounds of 9mm live ammunition.

Two bedroom apartments used by the suspects at different locations in Suleija, near Abuja, were also recovered and will be used as exhibit, the police said.

Mr. Moshood said Mr. Maigari and other suspects will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.

 

Source: Premium Times

In Kaduna, Police arraign SSS operative for drunk driving.

The police has arraigned an operative of the State Security Service before a Kaduna Magistrate Court for drunk driving.

The operative, Julius Johnson, was charged with causing a fatal road accident on December 4, 2015 while driving his car along Constitution Road, Kaduna under the influence of alcohol.

According to police prosecutor, Nimze Hinga, Mr. Johnson had hit and severely damaged a Pontiac 2010 model car belonging to one Garba Ahmed.

The cost of repair of the damages to the vehicle was estimated at over N470,000, for which the accused agreed to pay but later defaulted.

The Chief Magistrate, Nasheed Abdullahi, had earlier adjourned the case to Monday for the accused to enter his defence.

Due to the absence of counsel to the plaintiff who is the owner of the car, Sadau Garba, and that of the defendant, T.Y Luka, the judge on Monday adjourned the case to March 6 for continuation of the case.

According to Mr. Ahmed, after the SSS operative was arrested following the accident, he had slept throughout the night on a bench at the Magajin Gari police station because of the heavy influence of alcohol on him.

“He (DSS operative) only knew where he was the next day and was not even aware of his missing service weapon that is still with the police.

“My major concern now is that he has refused to fulfil the written agreement of a N20,000 monthly instalment for the repairs of my car.

“I reported the case to his State Director, yet no tangible measure has been taken against him,” he said.
The service rifle of the operative is being held by the police pending the determination of the court.

VIDEO: I Was Kidnapped By Fulani Gunmen, Not Fulani Herdsmen – Mike Ejiofor

A former senior official at the State Security Service Mike Ejiofor, who served as a state director with the service, was kidnapped on Sunday in Kogi State, according to initial reports by Sahara Reporters.

He was however released on Monday night after his relatives paid N15 million ransom to his kidnappers, his associate said.

In a recent interview on Channels TV, he narrated his ordeal in the hands of his abductors.

Below is a video clip of the interview:

Kidnapped former SSS official regains freedom.

Abductors of a former state director at the State Security Service have freed him.

Mike Ejiofor was kidnapped on Sunday night in Kogi State.

He was released on Monday night after his relatives paid N15 million ransom to his kidnappers, his associate said.

The source, who did not want to be named, said that Mr. Ejiofor, who now works as a private security consultant, was seized by suspected herdsmen.

“We have been able to confirm that he was kidnapped by herdsmen,” a source said. “We paid them N15 million and he’s now back to Abuja.”

Mr. Ejiofor has been the chairman of Apex Safety and Security Consultants in Abuja since retiring from service years ago.

JUST IN: Ex-SSS official kidnapped

A former senior official at the State Security Service has been kidnapped.

Mike Ejiofor, who served as a state director with the service, was kidnapped on Sunday in Kogi State, according to initial reports by Sahara Reporters.

Some of his friends later confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES and said efforts are underway to secure his release.

“He was kidnapped truly,” a close associate of Mr. Ejiofor said. “But we are making frantic efforts to secure his safe release without further hassles.”

“I will get back to you if we have further updates.”

The source did not say if Mr. Ejiofor’s abductors have made demands.

Mr. Ejiofor has been the chairman of Apex Safety and Security Consultants in Abuja since retiring from service years ago.

Police, SSS, Army to join in enforcement of speed-limiters — FRSC

The Federal Road Safety Commission on Wednesday said all was set for the whole scale enforcement of speed limiting device in commercial vehicles across Nigeria.

FRSC spokesman, Bisi Kazeem, said in a statement Tuesday that the commission will go ahead with the February 1 deadline for all commercial vehicles to be equipped with speed-limiting devices.

Mr. Kazeem’s statement said “the army, police, civil defence, Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies were on standby to provide security support.”

Similarly, all sector and field commands of the FRSC had been fully mobilised for the exercise, Mr. Kazeem said.

He stated that mobile courts had been set up nationwide for the purpose, adding that defaulters could pay up to N3,000 as penalty depending on the discretion of the courts.

“In readiness for the full enforce tomorrow, the field commands have been fully mobilised to commence full blast enforcement of the SLD nationwide.

“To facilitate enforcement, a portal of speed limiting device (SLD) was created and is operational and a short code to confirm the installation of SLD is active.

“A standard operating procedure (SOP) has been dispatched with a directive that copies of those SOP be shared to security agencies within the commands’ areas of jurisdiction.

“A template for daily report has also be designed and forwarded to commands, while booking sheets with Failure to Install Speed Limiting Device (FSLD) have been distributed to field commands,’’ he said.

For effectiveness, the spokesman added that sector commanders had been instructed to carry out joint patrols with unit commands in the whole of February.

According to him, commands are expected to hold mobile court sittings from the onset, and where mobile courts are likely to slow down enforcement they can proceed without them.

“We have created a situation room to monitor and collate report on daily basis and test-run for the clampdown.

“Sector commands are fully prepared and have made arrangements for security backups and joint patrols with the police, civil defence, army and other security agencies,’’ he said.

The FRSC had deferred the deadlines for the speed-limiters requirement three times between 2015 and 2016.

The commission said the new policy will help curb incessant road crashes in the country while improving traveling experience of motorists.

 

Source: Premium Times

Premium Times: How SSS lied against EFCC boss, Magu.

On Thursday, the Nigerian Senate declined to confirm the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chair of the country’s premier anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The upper legislative chamber claimed it could not approve the presidency’s request to confirm Mr. Magu based on a security report forwarded to it by the State Security Service.

“The Senate wishes to inform the public that based on available security report, the Senate cannot proceed with the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” the spokesperson for the Senate, Aliyu Abdullahi, said in a statement read to journalists.

“The nomination of Ibrahim Magu is hereby rejected and has been returned to the President for further action,” Mr. Abdullahi said.

The Senate did not provide the EFCC chairman an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him.

PREMIUM TIMES has obtained details of the security report on which the lawmakers based their decision and has investigated the claims against Mr. Magu.

We fact-checked some of the claims made by the SSS, and below are our findings:

ALLEGATION ONE: That during the tenure of Farida Waziri as EFCC chairperson, sensitive documents were found in Mr. Magu’s home.

The facts do not support that claim. A reporter for this newspaper extensively reported that event in 2008 when it happened, and is familiar with what transpired at the time.

Based on pressure from political gladiators of the period (among which were former Governors James Ibori and Bukola Saraki), then President Musa Yar’Adua unceremoniously removed Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the EFCC.

After Mr. Ribadu’s departure, his successor, Mrs. Waziri, frustrated some of his closest and most resourceful aides in the commission, and harassed them for prolonged period.

Mr. Magu, who was a chief superintendent of police at the time, was sent away from the EFCC and his Lagos and Abuja homes were raided by operatives even before he had the opportunity to hand over to Umar Sanda as head of the Economic Governance Unit of the commission. He was later detained for three weeks.

Following complaints by Mrs. Waziri, the then Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, queried Mr. Magu, accusing him of serious misconduct. One of the allegations against him was that he removed and withheld EFCC files.

On August 25, 2008, Mr. Magu replied the query, explaining to the IGP that no unauthorized EFCC official documents were found in his home.

“I wish to state that the nature of my assignment at the EFCC is such that I worked round the clock and it was impossible for me to do my work effectively without working on some documents at home,” he wrote to Mr. Okiro at the time. “This is the reason I maintain an office bag where documents relating to investigations were kept. The documents listed were found in my office bag which I was in the process of handing over and were not found hidden anywhere in my house.

“It is therefore not the correct position to say that I bluntly refused to hand over EFCC’s property and documents. I had just concluded handing over the Abuja office and I was in Lagos to conclude handing over the Lagos office when the search was conducted. At the time of the search, I had not reported to my new command. It could therefore not be my intention to keep government documents in my house.

“I have suffered untold humiliation within the past one month. My home was ransacked, vandalized and my properties destroyed by men of the EFCC. I was detained in a cell meant for hardened criminals most of whom are armed robbers for three weeks. My health condition deteriorated as a result of his inhuman treatment meted out to me for doing my job diligently and with the pride required of a senior police officer of my rank in the Nigerian Police Force.

“I humbly implore the Inspector General of Police to totally exonerate me from blame and the said acts of serious misconduct because I was not involved and I am not involved. I will never be discouraged in my unrelenting war against crime and its associated manifestations as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

After investigation, the police IG exonerated Mr. Magu, posted him to the police’s Special Fraud Unit and promoted him to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police shortly afterwards.

ALLEGATION TWO: That Mr. Magu currently occupies a residence rented for N40 million at N20 million per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s (EFCC) finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired.

This claim is also untrue.

PREMIUM TIMES has obtained evidence showing the property in question was paid for by the Federal Capital Development Administration, and not Mr. Umar.

The E-Payment schedule, dated March 31, was issued by to the branch controller of Central Bank, Abuja, in favour of M/S Valcour SA Nigeria Limited.scan-15

The company was paid N39.628 million as payment for two-year rent and furnishing of the property, located in upscale Maitama district of Abuja.

The payment schedule was signed by Isiyaku Ismaila and confirmed by Zanna A. Hamza.

Mr. Magu lived in Karu, a suburb of Abuja, before his appointment as acting EFCC chair. With his new position, Mr. Magu moved into an official residence provided by the FCDA.

ALLEGATION 3: That the acting EFCC chairman regularly embarked on official and private trips through a private jet owned by embattled Air Commodore Mohammed Umar (Rtd).

PREMIUM TIMES checks show that this is not entirely correct. Our investigations indicate that Mr. Magu first met Mr. Umar when both of them worked as members of the Presidential Committee on the investigation of arms procurement. At the time, Mr. Umar was very close to President Muhammadu Buhari and had unlimited access to the presidential villa. Both men became close during the assignment.

Our investigations indicate that once this year, Mr. Magu travelled to Kano in company of EFCC’s director of finance and that in charge of organizational support. Those familiar with the trip said on their way back to Abuja, Mr. Umar, who at the time remained Mr. Magu’s colleague at the presidential committee, and who was at the time not in any trouble with the SSS, gave the two officials a lift.

We are unable to find any evidence that Mr. Magu flew in Mr. Umar’s private jet at any other time. Neither were we able to establish that the EFCC chairman flew to Maiduguri alongside Mr. Umar and a bank MD being investigated by the EFCC over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

While some insiders at the commission denied the allegation, we could not independently verify the claims.

ALLEGATION 4: On 24 June, 2016, he (Magu) flew Emirate airlines first-class to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9m. This is in spite of Mr President’s directive to all public servants to fly economy class.

Insiders say while it was true that Mr. Magu indeed flew first class to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, he did not pay for the ticket with public funds. We could not however confirm this claim independently.

 

Source: Premium Times

Nigerian journalist detained for writing ‘offensive’ story against SSS – NUJ

The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kogi council, has dragged the State Security Service, SSS, to a Federal High Court, Lokoja, over ‘unlawful’ arrest and continued detention of its member, Friday Ogungbemi.

Mr. Ogungbemi, a Lokoja-based journalist and publisher, was arrested and detained by the SSS, also called DSS, on November 30 over alleged offensive publication in the November 23 – December 15, 2016 edition of the Policy and Lawmakers magazine.

The NUJ, which filed the suit on behalf of the journalist, is seeking enforcement of his fundamental human rights and N5 million damages for unlawful incarceration and infringement on his fundamental rights.

The NUJ’s counsel, J.U. Usman, filed the motion on notice on Tuesday.

Mr. Usman sought four reliefs, including an order enforcing the journalist’s rights to personal liberty, freedom of movement and fair hearing being violated by the respondent since Nov. 30.

He also sought an order of the court to enforce the rights being infringed upon by the respondent’s continued detention of Mr. Ogungbemi at the DSS detention facility “which is unreasonable, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void”.

The NUJ also demanded N5 million only as compensation for his unlawful arrest and detention and asked for further order(s) the court might consider just and appropriate to make for the redress of the infringement of his rights.

The reliefs, according to the counsel, are based on three grounds including that the applicant had no criminal records and that his arrest and continued detention over the publication was unreasonable, illegal and unconstitutional.

He also held that there was a competent court of jurisdiction within 16-kilometer radius from the detention facility of the respondent wherein the applicant was detained but the respondent refused or neglected to charge him to court within the constitutional period.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the motion was supported by a seven-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one T. S. Luka Esq. of J.U. Usman and Co. law firm, Lokoja.

In the written address in support of the applicant’s motion on notice, the counsel raised two issues for determination.

They include whether the arrest and continued detention of the applicant was not a violation of his rights to personal liberty, freedom of movement and fair hearing and whether the applicant was not entitled to the compensation claimed therein.

SR: How SSS Tortured Man To Death, Paid Family N15m To Keep Quiet

After “torturing” a man to death, Nigeria’s secret police, SSS, exploited the influence of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, to pay a paltry N15 million compensation to the victim’s family, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

At about 2.30 a.m. on April 4, SSS operatives on the trail of a suspect accused of cloning the phone number of the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, stormed No 37, Aje Street, Pleasure, in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos in commando style.

Residents of the address said the operatives scaled the fence of the compound, screaming and threatening as they knocked down doors and shattered ceilings. They rough-handled residents, who thought they were armed robbers as they did not introduce themselves, dragged them from their beds, ordered them out of their apartments and forced them to sit on the dusty ground of the compound.

About an hour later, when they were done harassing the residents, Saheed Eyitayo, 34, a friend to the suspect the operatives were looking for, laid in the dust motionless – beaten to a pulp by the operatives.

One resident, who described the entire experience as “nightmarish,” told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Eyitayo was so battered that he couldn’t stand unaided – three operatives had to drag his him into one of the vans the armed men brought with them.

Unfortunately, that was the last time he would be seen alive in public.

The operatives were led to the residence by Adejoke Ogunbona, the wife of the wanted man, Rilwanu Jamiu. While on the run for the alleged crime, Mr. Jamiu, who is now facing trial alongside another suspect, had spent few days at Mr. Eyitayo’s apartment before moving on to another place in the Oke Aro area of Lagos, where he was eventually arrested.

It is not clear if Mr. Eyitayo knew his friend was a fugitive when he allowed him to stay at his apartment.

Mr. Jamiu’s wife had visited her husband while he was hiding at Mr. Eyitayo’s apartment. Though she later confessed that even though she knew her husband was no longer at Mr. Eyitayo’s apartment, she took the SSS operatives there.

Suspicious death

Three days after the raid, the SSS invited Mr. Eyitayo’s landlord, Mathew Sobiye, to the Lagos office in Shangisha and told him, for the first time, that they had carried out the raid on his compound and that Mr. Eyitayo was dead.

They warned him not to disclose this to anyone, the Septuagenarian said.

The SSS claimed Mr. Eyitayo was resisting arrest on the night of the raid and tried to jump from the moving van as he was being conveyed to their office. They said he died from injuries sustained in the process.

But Mr. Eyitayo’s family would have none of that. They claimed that from account of fellow tenants at his Pleasure residence, he was already unconscious when he was handcuffed and carried into the waiting van.

They wondered how an unconscious man in chains could overpower several SSS operatives and jump to his death. They said if the SSS had nothing to hide, it shouldn’t have waited for 19 days before formally informing them of Mr. Eyitayo’s death.

Michael Lasisi, one of Mr. Eyitayo’s relatives, told PREMIUM TIMES that the SSS waited that long because they were trying to perfect a fabricated story to hide the fact that they tortured Mr. Eyitayo to death.

“We had gone to the SSS office several times, and they told us ‘come back you cannot see him.’ Until finally on the 23rd (of April), 19 days after he was killed, they now told one of my brothers Oyetunji that he had died. Meanwhile they had told the landlord not to tell anybody that he had died.

“They did that so as the days elapsed they would be able to manufacture lies to cover up the official criminality. They could not tell us what he has done. They said his friend was part of those who cloned the governor’s number. They traced the friend to his house but they did not see him.

At a meeting between Mr. Eyitayo’s family and the SSS on May 3 at their Shangisha office, angered by an SSS attempt to implicate Mr. Eyitayo in the number cloning scam, Mr. Lasisi and other family members walked out on the officials of the secret service threatening to drag the agency to court.

“A SHOW OF SHAME”

Not wanting the story of the alleged extrajudicial killing by its operatives out in the open, the SSS approached Mr. Akiolu, the paramount traditional monarch in Lagos, to appeal to the family of the dead man, after its original attempt to use officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice failed to assuage Mr. Eyitayo’s family.

Some members of the family said they first suspected that something was fishy when those who had resisted the antics of the Lagos State officials were exempted from the delegation to meet with Mr. Akiolu.

“I think the SSS had told the Oba that some members of the family who gave them a hard time during the initial discussion shouldn’t be allowed to be part of the negotiation. The excuse they gave was that the Oba did not want a crowd in his palace,” a family member, who sought anonymity for security reasons, said.

Several family sources present described the negotiation at the monarch’s palace as a show of shame. They said the moment the SSS offered to pay N15 million, some of the most outspoken members of the delegation suddenly became quiet.

They said Mr. Akiolu doused the flickering flame of resistance from the family members when he appealed to them to accept what the SSS was offering in order to bring a closure to the matter and stop acting like they were there to sell the body of their dead kin.

“The family lawyer put up a spirited effort to make the DSS [as the SSS is also called] pay more compensation, but members of Saheed’s family would have none of that,” an attendee at the meeting said.

“In fact, one of them was stepping on his (lawyer’s) feet and telling him not to be too hard of the DSS and to accept whatever the DSS was offering so that the matter can be settled. The lawyer was almost in tears,” another family source said.

“At a point, they even threatened to fire the lawyer if he would not agree with the decision of the family.”

“One of them said that they should accept the offer of the DSS because the body of Saheed was suffering and they needed to bury him urgently to stop the suffering,” the source said.

Another source, however, added that Mr Akiolu insisted that N10 million be given entirely to the parents of the deceased. He also insisted that the SSS must pay the lawyer’s professional fees.

According to our sources, the five million that was remaining from the compensation paid was shared among members of the deceased’s family involved in the negotiation.

Meanwhile, even as they agreed to accept the compensation, none of the victim’s family members had seen his corpse as the SSS did not disclose where it kept the body.

The family did not also press the SSS to conduct an autopsy on the deceased as required by Lagos State laws for persons who died under suspicious circumstances like Mr. Eyitayo

“The DSS did not allow the family see the corpse of the dead victim before they forced the family to reach a negotiation. That was the plan. When they finished the negotiation, they called Saheed’s uncle to come and look at the body but he was only shown his legs,” one of our sources said.

CUT AND BRUISES ALL OVER

Family members who saw Mr. Eyitayo’s corpse after it was released for burial by the SSS said it dawned on them the reason the agency refused to let his family see the body before the negotiation was concluded and all documents signed.

“If you see the corpse, you would know that he was tortured and killed in a brutal manner. He had two deep cuts in the back of his head, apparently inflicted by a machete or other similar sharp objects. There were cuts and bruises all over his body,” the source said.

As part of the agreement reached with the deceased family, the SSS agreed to foot the bill for his funeral. Mr. Eyitayo’s body was carried to his hometown in Oyo for burial in the most disrespectful manner, the source said.

“If you see the way they carried his body home. They couldn’t even get a proper vehicle to deliver his body to his family.

“They got a rickety vehicle. On their way to Oyo State, the vehicle conveying his body was so old that its tyres bust twice before it got to the town. And they spent several hours on the road fixing the tyres.

“His body was not even put in a casket. He was taken home for burial in a body bag made of jute sack. The type used for keeping rice.

Babs Animashaun, the lawyer who represented the family, declined to discuss details of the negotiation when reached for comments. He however said the family has moved on after settlement.

“That is strictly confidential between the parties. I cannot share the details of the settlement with the public,” he said.

“The family agreed to settle with the SSS out of court. They can never be happy with what has happened but at least they were able to move on. That is what is important,” he added.

The SSS could not be reached for comments. The agency does not have a spokesperson, neither does it have an email address or phone number through which it can be contacted. Before the current administration, the SSS used to have a spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, but the current leadership of the agency led by Lawal Daura, has refused to appoint one or disclose how it should be officially contacted for enquiries.

When PREMIUM TIMES visited the palace of the Oba of Lagos to ask about his role in the saga, officials requested a formal letter. About two weeks after the letter was delivered, the monarch has not responded or agreed to a formal interview.

Buhari, SSS acted right on raid, arrest of judges – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has backed the State Security Services’ invasion of the homes of some Nigerian judges last month, saying the action was necessary to cleanse the judiciary.

Delivering a speech at the First Akintola Williams annual lecture in Lagos Wednesday, Mr. Obasanjo saluted the executive branch’s “necessary wisdom and courage to clean the dirty stable of the Judiciary.”

“Three weeks before the first three judges were arrested for corruption, I was talking to a fairly senior retired public officer who put things this way, ‘The Judiciary is gone, the National Assembly is gone, the military is sunk and the civil service was gone before them; God save Nigeria.’ I said a loud Amen,” Mr. Obasanjo said in the speech titled ‘Nigeria Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Governance and Accountability.’

“Three weeks later, the process of saving the Judiciary began. And if what I have gathered is anything to go by, there may be not less than two score of judicial officers that may have questions to answer. That will be salutary for the Judiciary and for the Nation.”

An overnight assault, in early October, on some senior judges in six states across the country by the SSS resulted in the arrest of some of the judges.

Officials of the SSS told PREMIUM TIMES at the time that the operation was ordered after months of investigation, during which the secret police established credibly that the affected judges were involved in questionable financial dealings.

The crackdown on the senior members of the judiciary had generated heated debates across the country, with government critics accusing the executive arm of overstepping its powers.

But Mr. Obasanjo, who was president between 1999 and 2007, said the judiciary left the executive with no choice in the incident.

“While one would not feel unconcerned for the method used, one should also ask if there was an alternative,” the former president said.

“The National Judicial Council, NJC, would not do anything as it was all in-breeding. As now contained in our Constitution, the President of Nigeria cannot influence or make any appointment to the Judiciary at the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court level.

“He can only transmit the decision of the NJC to the Senate even where Senate confirmation is required.
The Constitution which was heavily influenced by the Judiciary ensured that. And yet a drastic disease requires a drastic treatment. When justice is only for sale and can only be purchased by the highest bidder, impunity and anarchy would be the order of the day and no one would be safe.”

Last Monday, Sylvester Ngwuta, one of the judges whose homes was raided by the SSS, was arraigned before a federal court in Abuja.

Mr. Ngwuta, a Supreme Court judge, pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of money laundering.

Mr. Obasanjo said a drastic action was needed to save the situation in the judiciary, adding that an alternative that would serve the same purpose would have been preferred if it was available.

“In the absence of that alternative, we must all thank God for giving the President the wisdom, courage and audacity for giving the security agencies the leeway to act,” he said.

“And where a mistake was made in the action taken, correction must take place with an apology, if necessary.”

The former president also lashed out at Nigerian lawyers, saying that there would be virtually no corrupt judge without being aided by a member of the bar.

“The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has the responsibility to clean up its own house and help with the cleaning of the Judiciary,” he said.

“It is heartening though that some members of the NBA have recently called for judicial reform. Such reform must be deep, comprehensive and entail constitutional amendments as appointment and disciplines of Judges are concerned.

“May God continue to imbue the Executive with the necessary wisdom and courage to clean the dirty stable of the Judiciary and the Bar for the progress and the image of our Nation.

“It must also be said that the good eggs within the Judiciary must be proud of themselves and we must not only be proud of them but also protect them and their integrity.”

Dogara Vows To Amend SSS Law, Condemns Raid On ‘Corrupt’ Judges Homes

Speaker Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday said the invasion of the homes of senior judicial officers by the State Security Service was a disorganised and worrisome act.

The Speaker said the clampdown was a duplication of the function of other anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and promised sweeping reforms to prevent its recurrence.

Mr. Dogara made the observations when he inaugurated a House committee charged with investigating the clampdown and its aftermath.

“It is untidy, it seems, to have multiple agencies exercising similar functions. The EFCC already handles issues of corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria,” Mr. Dogara said. “Should the State Security Service also be charged with the same functions?”

Scores of SSS operatives swooped on the homes of judges in a coordinated raid across the country on October 7. The raid dragged until the next morning on October 8 before the news of the raid filtered to Nigerians.

Two judges of the Supreme Court, an appellate court judge and five high court judges were arrested in the operation.

The SSS also said it recovered a huge amount of money denominated in different currencies from the judicial officers’ homes and said it was the climax of a sting operation launched months before.

Some of the arrested judges are already being prosecuted for corruption while all of them have been granted bail.

Read More:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/216101-dogara-vows-amend-sss-law-condemns-raid-corrupt-judges-homes.html

CBN endorses SSS raid on currency traders.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday endorsed the crackdown on parallel market forex traders by the officials of the Department of State Services (SSS) across the country.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

According to Mr. Emefiele, the foreign exchange regulation in the country forbids trafficking in currency.

He said that the SSS had the right to enforce the law and make sure that currency hawkers were forced out of the “illegal trade.’’

The governor, who said it was demeaning for traders to hawk currency on the streets, urged the traders to legitimise their business by applying for Bureau De Change (BDC) licence.

Officials of the SSS raided the parallel markets in Lagos, Abuja and Onitsha last week over alleged arbitrary sale of forex.

The raid, which worsened dollar scarcity at its wake, forced the naira to settle at N465 to a dollar.

Earlier, members of the MPC unanimously voted in favour of retaining the Monetary Policy Ratio (MPR) at 14 per cent, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent and the liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.

The governor said that the members of the committee took the decision after a critical assessment of the risks to the economy.

SSS clampdown on Bureau De Change continues, 40 arrested in Kano.

The State Security Service has arrested about 40 Bureau de Change operators in Kano for allegedly selling foreign currencies above the official rates.

An official of the Alamant Bureau de Change Association in Kano, Abdulhamid Kabir, said the operators were arrested early Friday.

He said the association had met with officials of the SSS last week on how to ensure that the operators in Kano complied with the official forex rates.

“You know this issue is not affecting only one person, it requires time for us to convince our members to adopt government recognized official rates”, Mr. Kabir said.

“But all of a sudden this morning, the security (agents) raided us, whisking away many of our members”.

A source at the SSS office confirmed the arrest but insisted that those arrested were unlicensed operators who had been trailed for a while.

“I want to assure you that those arrested were touts who sell above official prices”, said the source who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the development.

Security agents had last week carried out similar raids on some Bureau De Change operators in Abuja and Lagos.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how a meeting between the SSS, the Bureau De Change and Central Bank agreed that the dollar not be sold beyond N400 to buyers.

The agreement was to help government reduce the exchange rate and enable importers easy access to forex.

Critics have said the clampdown will further make the dollar scarce and reflects government not allowing a free market.

The clampdown has, however, forced some of the money changers to go into hiding to sell at a higher rate to buyers.

LEDAP sues SSS, AGF for arresting judges, seeks injunction to stop arraignment.

Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to declare as unlawful the raid and arrest of judges by the Department State Services (DSS).

The group also prayed for an order of injunction stopping the planned charge and arraignment in court of some of the arrested judges.
LEDAP claimed in the suit that the judges cannot be charged and arraigned in court without the authorization of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Respondents in the suit are the SSS and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice (AGF).

In a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed at the Federal High Court Abuja yesterday, LEDAP seeks for “an order restraining the defendants/respondents (DSS and AGF) from filing any charge in court or arraigning before any court or arresting and/or detaining, inviting for questioning or searching the office or residence of any of the judicial officers listed in the schedule hereunder or any other judicial officer in Nigeria unless with the authorization and referral of the NJC, pending the hearing and determination of the originating summons filed in this suit.”

In the originating summons also filed along with the motion for injunction, the court is asked to make a declaration that the statutory functions of the 1st defendant (SSS) is the prevention and detection of crime against the internal security of Nigeria, and the protection and preservation of non-military classified matters concerning internal security of Nigeria.

They also want the court to declare that the 1st defendant is not authorized under its enabling law, namely, the National Security Agencies Act or any other law in force to engage in the investigation and prosecution of corruption, economic, or financial crimes in any form or manner, or in the investigation and prosecution of any crime whatsoever against any criminal suspect in Nigeria.

“A declaration that the statutory functions of the 1st defendant is to collect intelligence information on crimes against internal security and non-military classified matters concerning internal security of Nigeria and to pass such information to the appropriate agency authorized by law to investigate and prosecute such crimes, namely, the Nigerian Police Force created under the Police Act, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission created under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, the Independent anti-Corruption and related Practices Commission created under the Independent anti-Corruption and related Practices Commission Act, the National Agency on the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons created under the National Agency on the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act.”

“The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency created under the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act; and in matters concerning serving judicial officers of any of the courts mentioned in section 6(5) of the 1999 Constitution, to the National Judicial Council established under section 153(1)(i) of the 1999 Constitution and authorized under section 158 (1) and paragraphs 20 and 21 of Part 1 Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution to exclusively deal with matters relating to judicial officers,” they prayed, urging the court o declare the raid on residences of judicial officers as ultra vires and unlawful.

Apart from asking for an award of N1m for each of the judicial officers, LEDAP is praying for an order prohibiting SSS from prosecuting the accused judicial officers. No date has been fixed by the court.

House Of Reps Probes SSS Raid On Judges’ Homes

The House of Representatives on Tuesday named a committee to investigate weekend’s raid by the State Security Service, SSS, on some judges’ homes across the country.

The motion was tabled by a lawmaker from Rivers State, Chinda Ogundu.

Scores of SSS operatives conducted a night raid of the residences of some judges between Friday and Saturday, accusing the judges of fraud.

The six-state sweep also included Mr. Ogundu’s state of Rivers, where Governor Nyesom Wike foiled an attempt to arrest a judge attached to the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court.

The largely unprecedented operation has continued to generate divergent views amongst Nigerians.

The Senate condemned the raid, but rejected a motion to summon the Director General of SSS, Lawal Daura.

The House also refused to summon Mr. Daura, but said the committee to investigate the circumstance of the raid.

A lawmaker, Mojeed Alabi, suggested that the House should respect the principles of separation of powers and stay away from the matter, but the House approved the motion nonetheless.

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SSS official releases details of how Justice Liman allegedly took bribes

The ongoing crackdown on senior judges across the country will not end without the arrest of a judge attached to the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court, PREMIUM TIMES learnt late Sunday.

Sources at the State Security Services (SSS, said Mohammed Liman, among other corrupt conducts, allegedly took bribes from Governor Nyesom Wike to give favourable judgment to the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The sources also accused the judge of habitually crossing Nigerian borders to allegedly receive bribes from litigants.

In a nationwide operation, scores of SSS operatives descended on the homes of senior judges between late Friday and Saturday, arresting seven of them after searching their residences.

The development sparked divergent reactions across the country, with some Nigerians and professional bodies condemning the raids.

Most of the critics said the raids were reminiscent of the dark military era which Nigerians assumed had ended with the return of democracy in 1999.

But an undaunted SSS in a statement Saturday said the nocturnal operation yielded recoveries of huge sums of money denominated in different currencies, including the U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds.

On Sunday evening, a top SSS official told PREMIUM TIMES that operatives were still tracking Mr. Liman and would ensure his arrest in the coming days after the initial attempt was thwarted by Mr. Wike.

Mr. Liman is among eight other judges being investigated apart from the seven arrested in the Friday night raids.

The source said Mr. Liman allegedly took bribes to subvert justice in the leadership tussle within the PDP which has left the party factionalised for several months.

Mr. Liman’s July ruling authenticated the Ahmed Makarfi faction? of the PDP which had been deemed illegal by Justice Okon Abang.

The PDP crisis culminated in another botched convention in August, although the opposing parties are currently working to end the quagmire.

“We received a petition that he (Mr. Liman) received bribes to give his ruling and our investigations confirmed it,” a top SSS official told PREMIUM TIMES.

The source added that Mr. Liman is “also a distributor” who receives bribes on behalf of other judges and helps distribute it.

“He travels across the border to Ghana, Republic of Benin and other West African countries to meet lawyers in hotels to take bribes for himself and his colleagues on the bench,” he said.

The source also said the amount involved in Mr. Liman’s botched arrest on Saturday morning was actually $2.5 million, and gave more explanation as to why operatives’ failed to arrest the judge or get the money.

“The vehicle that was used to cart away the $2million was faster than our men’s own,” the source said. “They just couldn’t catch up with them at such a high speed. It’s like chasing a 7-cylinder vehicle with a 3-cylinder.”

“We will arrest him in coming days; we have no doubt about this as we have enough evi?dence to nail him in court. By bringing Governor Wike in, he has worsened his own case.”

But Governor Nyesom Wike whom the SSS blamed for interfering to frustrate the planned Friday night arrest of Mr. Liman, in a statement early Sunday dismissed the allegations as an attempt by the SSS to divert attention from its gross desecration of the constitution.?

The SSS “concocted” the allegations to justify an “unconstitutional assault on the nation’s judiciary,” Mr. Wike said.

Mr. Wike said he didn’t know the judge, but he moved in to prevent him from being taken away because the mode of the SSS arrest did not comply with the dictates of the law.

“In the police, erring and corrupt policemen are first given orderly room trial, sacked and then appropriately prosecuted,” Mr. Wike said. “For judicial officers, the SSS has no role.”

“I am not in support of any judicial support being involved in corruption,” but “this impunity must stop.”

The Nigerian Bar Association, the umbrella organisation of lawyers, condemned the raids as an attempt to intimidate judges and demanded an immediate release of those arrested.

“We are in a democratic society and we cannot accept a situation where armed, masked SSS operatives invade homes of the justices of the Supreme Court and judges of our high courts.

“This is a ploy by the executive to intimidate the judiciary and we will not accept it. The NBA will not accept it. I want to emphasise again that we’re not under military rule and we cannot accept this Gestapo style of operations.” Abubakar Mahmoud, NBA president, said Saturday.

But a senior lawyer, Femi Falana, said the action of the operatives was justified since the bar and the bench had allegedly failed to check corruption in the judiciary.

He called for the prompt trial of the arrested judges.?

President Buhari also said on Sunday that the SSS did not flout the law in its arrest and detention of the judges.

“There is a convergence of views that the country has a corruption problem that needs to be corrected,” Mr. Buhari said in a statement signed by his media aide, Garba Shehu.

Again, SSS Fails To Produce Dasuki In Court.

The Federal Government has again failed to produce the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, before an Abuja High-Court for trial.
Mr. Dasuki is accused of money laundering and corruption.

He was charged along with five others before Justice Peter Affen, and was granted bail. He was re-arrested and kept in custody of the State Security since December 2015.

Others being prosecuted along with the former NSA include a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former finance minister of state, Bashir Yuguda; a former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.
At the resumed trial Thursday, counsel to the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacob, told the judge that he was surprised that Mr. Dasuki was not brought to court by his client.

Mr. Jacob said on his part he notified the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the trial and the need to produce Mr. Dasuki in court, but said that communication gap between the EFCC and SSS was responsible for non-production of the former NSA in court.

Mr. Jacob applied to Justice Affen to stand down the case for him to enable his client to produce Mr. Dasuki in court.
He could not give a definite period within which the EFCC would bring the ex-NSA to court.

The action of the prosecution provoked reactions from Olajide Ayodele (SAN) counsel to former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Yuguda, who opposed the request.

The senior counsel said the failure of the prosecution to give a definite time within which Mr. Dasuki would be brought to court by either EFCC or SSS was an indication that he haD no knowledge of what was transpiring between the EFCC and DSS on the matter.
Mr. Olajide therefore pleaded with the judge to adjourn the trial.

His position was adopted by Jacob Daudu, who stood for Mr. Dasuki and regretted that the government which put the ex-NSA on trial was the one scuttling the trial.

Mr. Daudu said since June when the matter was adjourned, the EFCC which initiated the trial on behalf of the Federal Government ought to have known that it its responsibility to produce Mr. Dasuki in Court as required by the law.

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, who stood for former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, also opposed the request to stand down the case without a definite time.
He pleaded for an adjournment.

In his ruling, Justice Affen agreed that it would be unfair to stand down the case without a definite time within which Mr. Dasuki would be produced in court.

The judge advised the government to ensure Mr. Dasuki is in court, and adjourned the matter till October 21, 2016.

SSS Releases Ahmad Salkida

Ahmad Salkida, the Nigerian journalist taken into custody on Monday, weeks after being declared wanted by the army, has been released.

Sources said Mr. Salkida was released on Tuesday evening by the State Security Service, more than a day after he was arrested at the airport in Abuja.

Mr. Salkida was declared wanted on August 14 alongside two others. The two turned themselves in the second day and were subsequently granted administrative bail.

Mr. Salkida was accused of aiding Boko Haram. Authorities also raised issues about the way he was sourcing video recordings from the sect.

He, however, denied the allegations when quizzed by SSS officials. He was released without conditions, our sources said. All documents and devices confiscated from him were returned.

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SSS Blocks Lawmaker From Travelling, Confiscates His Passport

Sunday Karim, a member of the House of Representatives from Kogi State, is currently being prevented by the State Security Service from boarding a flight at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the lawmaker has said.

Mr. Karim, representing Yagba East and West Federal Constituency, says he was on his way to the United States when state agents suddenly seized his passport as he tried to clear immigration.

The lawmaker said he was scheuled to travel by Air France, and that the flight was already boarding when he was blocked.

Mr. Karim, a PDP lawmaker, said his luggage had already been checked in before the incident, adding that he has “absolutely no prior notice” that the SSS was on his trail.

It is not immediately clear why Mr. Karim is being detained, but law enforcement agencies have recently focused on the activities of lawmakers in the wake of the budget padding scandal.

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Court Fines SSS N5million For ‘Illegal’ Arrest, Detention Of Ekiti Lawmaker

The Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti Division, on Wednesday fined the State Security Services, SSS, N5million for illegally arresting and detaining a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Afolabi Akanni, who represents Efon Constituency 1.

Mr. Akanni was whisked away on March 4 by SSS operatives who invaded the House of Assembly complex for alleged breach of security regulations. He was eventually released on March 22.

Mr. Akanni was not in court on Wednesday.

His counsel, Obafemi Adewale, told the judge, Taiwo Taiwo, his client could not be physically present because he was still receiving “post-traumatic” treatment in a hospital outside the state.

Delivering his  judgment, the judge, noted that the Respondent, SSS, had all along failed to either deny or defend the position, facts and allegations of the applicant.

He said in the eyes of the law, “there is no basis for the court to believe that all that the applicant had alleged against the DSS were not true.”

According to him, Mr. Akanni’s fundamental rights as a citizen of Nigeria, as specified by the principles of the Rule of Law and the African Charter on the Rights of individuals, had been violated by the SSS in illegally arresting and continually detaining him for 18 days.

The court also granted three out of the four reliefs sought by the applicant’s counsel, which are, “whether the applicant’s unlawful arrest and detention is justified , whether the said intimidation, torture and continued detention is not a violation of his fundamental human rights and a violation of the Rule of Law, and whether the applicant’s is not entitled to damages”.

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SSS Detains Faleke, Abubakar Audu’s Son- Aide

The Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 21, 2015 Governorship election in Kogi State, James Faleke, and Mohammed, the eldest son of Abubakar Audu, the late APC governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu, were on Saturday invited by the State Security Services for undisclosed reason, and then detained.

The Director, Media and Publicity of Audu/Faleke Campaign Organisation, Duro Meseko, said in a statement on Saturday that the duo arrived the SSS headquarters in Abuja at exactly 10.00am and were kept in an office with assurances that an officer would attend to them only to keep them indefinitely.

Mr. Meseko said the two politicians were kept in an isolated office till 4p.m on Saturday evening.

He said, “I’m surprised my Principal and the eldest son of our political leader, Mohammed are still being kept as I speak with you which is 4pm. What could be responsible for this ill treatment by the SSS?

“Or could they be acting the intimidation script? Trying to arms-twist them into abandoning the sacred mandate freely given to the Audu/Faleke team by the generality of Kogi people?

“Let me make it abundantly clear that our mandate is sacred and no amount of of technical detention, intimidation and harassment would shake our resolve to get justice through the judiciary.?

“I refuse to believe that the presidency has hands in the arrest! But we may not rule out the fact that the power that be must have wielded their influence in the arrest, but we are not not pertubed over the development, because we believe that God ultimately vindicate us.”

The SSS has had no official spokesperson since Marilyn Ogar was removed, and could therefore not be reached for comments.

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EFCC Pressures SSS To Handover Sambo Dasuki For Questioning

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is putting pressure on the State Security Service to hand over former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to it for interrogation over the ongoing investigation into arms procurement contracts during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Mr. Dasuki was arrested by the SSS on Tuesday after about a month-long siege on his residence in Abuja.

The agency thereafter took him to its headquarters where he has been in detention since then.

The senior lawyer heading the former NSA’s legal team, Joseph Daudu, on Tuesday said that he was aware the EFCC applied to Justice Adeniyi Ademola to revoke the bail his court granted Mr. Dasuki.

He also said he was aware the application was pending before the court.

But a source at the EFCC told this newspaper that the anti-graft agency was working hard on getting the SSS to release Mr. Dasuki to it for questioning.

“We are working on that angle, whether he would be handed over today or not is what I cannot say with certainty for now,” the source said.

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SSS Seeks Transfer Of Nnamdi Kanu’s Case To Higher Court

The State Security Service on Monday asked an Abuja magistrate court to discontinue its case against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

Mr. Kanu was arraigned for criminal conspiracy, engaging in unlawful society and criminal intimidation, which violate Section 97, 97B and 397 of the penal code.

The presiding magistrate, Usman Shuaibu, had issued an order for the bail of Mr. Kanu on the condition of presenting a surety of Grade Level 16 with a landed property in Garki or Wuse areas worth N20 million.

On resumption today, the prosecution counsel, Moses Idakwo, told the court the accused person was yet to fully meet the requirement for his bail.

He explained that the reason for Mr. Kanu’s continued detention in the custody of the SSS was his inability to fully meet the requirement for bail.

He told the court that although the service had confirmed the office of the surety presented by the accused, the location of the surety’s plot was yet to be ascertained.

Counsel to the defense, Vincent Obete, however informed the court about the affidavit before it, noting that the prosecution refused taking the necessary step to confirm the location of the surety’s plot of land.

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SSS Maintains Siege On Dasuki’s House, Shuns Court Order

The siege on the home of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, by officials of the State Security Service, SSS, was still on, Sunday, despite a court order.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday reacted angrily to the siege on Mr. Dasuki’s house despite an earlier ruling he gave permitting the retired colonel to travel abroad for medical treatment. “My own orders will not be flouted” the judge said on Friday, while re-iterating his stance that the former security chief be allowed to travel for medical treatment.

It could not be confirmed if the SSS had been served with Friday’s court order as the Service is yet to appoint a spokesperson.

Mr. Dasuki had returned to the court to sue the Federal Government for still plotting to re-arrest him despite the earlier court order.

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Buhari Denies Ejecting SSS From Aso Rock Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday dispelled rumours that State Security Service operatives have been expelled from the Presidential Villa.

Mr. Buhari, who spoke through his Senior Adviser, Femi Adesina, said the speculations on the expulsion of the SSS operatives were unfounded.

A statement from the presidency said: “Rumours that personnel of the State Security Service have been expelled from the Presidential Villa are unfounded. President Muhammadu Buhari has given no such order.

“While it is true that a reorganization of security at the Presidential Villa which involves the realignment of personnel from various services is underway, the exercise does not translate to the expulsion of DSS personnel from the premises in any way. The changes being made are routine adjustments which are not unexpected in any dynamic environment from time to time.”

There had been claims that Mr. Buhari barred SSS personnel from serving as part of his security team. The presidency denied the reports.

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Be Very Vigilant As Boko Haram Plans Attack On Civilians, DSS Urges Public

The Department of State Services (DSS), has advised the public to be vigilant in crowded environment, especially when travelling as fleeing insurgents have resorted to attacking hapless civilians and soft targets.

The advice is contained in a statement issued by Marilyn Ogar, the spokesperson of the service on Friday.

The statement also advised commuters to desist from boarding unmarked vehicles along the road and only use designated motor parks.

It said the insurgents were in disarray following sustained offensive against them by troops in the North-East and they had resorted to vent their anger on civilians.

The statement added that the sustained attacks also accounted for the spate of attacks recorded recently in Yobe, Kano, Borno and Plateau states with intent of distracting security forces.

“We also reiterate our call on motor park managers to ensure proper screening of vehicles, persons and luggage entering their premises.

“They should also look out for new faces, who show up as drivers and conductors.

“Similarly, we want to encourage residents of recaptured towns and communities to return to their homes,” it said.

The statement called on people relocating from one part of the country to the other because of the forthcoming elections to desist from doing so.

“Adequate steps have been taken by security forces to guarantee security of lives and property,” it said.

It urged those with useful information of “untoward activities in their localities” to forward same to security agencies, adding that the security agencies were determined to end the activities of the terrorists.

Source – PM News