The Department of State Services (DSS) says convener of the Revolution Now movement, Omoyele Sowore, who is still in their custody, has been using his phone to make calls to mobilize people and call for violence and action against the Nigerian State.
Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, who addressed reporters in Abuja on Tuesday, said though they have received the court order that Sowore be released, they could not just let him go without releasing him without proper documentation to the appropriate sureties.
Afunanya, also said Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana, had not been to the DSS office or being in touch with them since the issue of the bail started.
He alleged that personnel of the Service have also received death threats from various quarters over Sowore’s detention.
“There is nothing that Sowore needs that we do not provide him. He has been using his phone and making contacts and even using it to mobilize people and call for violence and call for action against the Nigerian state, and call for destruction of the Nigerian entity.
When you throw a stone in the market place, you sure would not know on whose head it would land. Sowore has family members in Nigeria who go to local markets, he has relatives. He has uncles and sisters. If you set a fire, of course, you may not know who will get the burns,” Afunanya said.
He said they could not have released Sowore to the protesters, led by Deji Adeyanju, who were at the DSS headquarters last week, because they were not the right people to receive them.
“The stand of the Director-General (Yusuf Bichi) and the stand of the Service is not ambiguous about respect for justice, for rule of law and for human rights. There is no division, no doubt that in unison, the entire staff of the service would always pursue what is good for Nigeria and what is good for her unity and progress and stability.
We have to carry out our duties and would continue to do so in honour and good conscience despite deliberate efforts to harass and intimidate us. The issue of human right in the last week, the custody of suspects and all of that have been in the front burner.
“We have issued statements in the past week and the statements have been unambiguous. They were straight, direct and plain and at all times we were explaining our stance on issues. That he was granted bail by the courts, we said yes, we have received the court order.
Now, every legislative enactment and judicial pronouncement needs to be enforced. They need to be enforced and that is why there are law enforcement agencies operatives
“If Sowore was granted bail and was in our custody and we said yes you have been granted bail, now do we bring Sowore at the gate and ask him to go. Is it a discharge of responsibility that we do that? What if Sowore was going on the road and was knocked down by a car. We said people who should take Sowore through proper documentation had not come and up till now they have not come.
“Rather what some experienced persons, people who ordinarily should be respected, came out to say that some people came and did not see us, and we said this and that. That is not true.
Miscreants, protesters and some people who were not parties, unqualified to stand and document properly and take responsibility that Sowore had been released to them, those were the kinds of person we saw.
So they were not the appropriate persons and by every argument of good conscience, is it the right thing for us to have released Sowore to a mob? People who came and acted unruly and were fighting and forcing themselves into the facility. And that brings us to the issue of using guns on them. No gun was used on any person.
The DSS is a very responsible organization and discharges its duties with utmost responsibility and accountability. We have standard operating procedures on the use of arms. So our staff couldn’t have used guns on any person.
“These people were not the kinds of persons that should have come forward. We have continued to receive various threats on our officers and personnel on how they would be mauled down on then streets, how they would be physically attacked. Sowore people, people who believed that they can harass security officer, intimidate them, sending messages to their phones and threatening that they would kill them and give them treatment they would live to regret.
“Mind you this is not personal. We are doing a job that we must do. The institution of security services or law enforcement must exist for the good of the nation, otherwise, you can imagine what the situation or the environment would be.
“If someone has stood in for Sowore, why wouldn’t the person also come and take him and document properly. Documentation is imperative in the discharge of security duty. We saw what happened in the case of Nnamdi Kanu. He was granted a bail of this nature. He went under and the social media and the public went accusing security agencies of undermining him. Some even said he was killed by the state.
But it was not true that he was killed. Recent events have proved otherwise. So how therefore is the DSS wrong that they said that the administrative component of the judicial pronouncement, that let people come forward and document properly and take possession of the man they have stood for. That responsibility is for issue of security accountability and we stand on that,” he said.