DSS official | INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu
The Department of State Services (DSS) has distanced itself from reports that it was planning to arrest the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
Reports had emerged earlier that a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) court barred the Nigeria Police, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the DSS from arresting the electoral commission chairman over alleged false asset declaration.
We understands that one Somadina Uzoabaka had approached the court with a suit seeking to sack the electoral commission’s boss ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The court judge, Justice M. A. Hassan, however, on Wednesday refused the application alongside the 14 reliefs brought by the claimants.
The judge held that Prof Yakubu’s asset declaration was lawful, valid and in compliance with the law. Hassan forbade the security agencies mentioned in the ruling from arresting Yakubu.
Reacting, however, to the said court mention, DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, said in a statement released on Friday (today) that the agency has no such case against the INEC chairman.
Afunanya described the report as false, saying the agency was aware of mischievous elements who are only interested in stirring unnecessary controversies in the face of the forthcoming general elections.
The statement read, “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to a 5th January, 2023 online publication by the Daily Trust in which it reported that “Court Stops DSS from Arresting INEC Chairman.
“This statement, however, becomes important to guide public understanding and perception, especially that the said report is misleading. It falsely left an impression that the Service went to Court against the INEC Chairman.
“Nonetheless, the Service is aware of the antics of some mischievous elements who are desirous of fomenting crisis in the country, including creating unnecessary controversies around the forthcoming general elections.
“One of their strategies is to subvert the efforts of the Service in ensuring peaceful coexistence and harmony.
“Another is a determination to overheat the polity and subtly exploit the judiciary to distract or even undermine not only the Service but other security and law enforcement agencies from undertaking their constitutional roles.”
The DSS, thereby, warn the concerned individuals and groups to desist from their devious plans.
Afunanya stressed that the agency has devised all critical stakeholders to be vigilant and resist attempts to use them to thwart the law.
“While assuring Nigerians and the International Community of the Service’s commitment to the maintenance of law and order, including an accomplishment of a free and fair 2023 election as already pledged by President and Commander-in-Chief, the Service urges all and sundry to join in the pursuit of national stability and unity,” the statement added.