DSS Issues Comprehensive Response Addressing Allegations of Court Order Violations
DSS Responds to Court Order Controversy
In response to mounting allegations of flouting court orders, the Department of State Services (DSS) has stepped forward to address the claims, asserting that it has adhered to the stipulations of judicial directives. The agency released an extensive statement titled ‘DSS and Accusation of Disobedience to Court Orders – Setting the Records Straight,’ authored by Peter N. Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of the DSS. Afunanya’s comprehensive article outlines the agency’s commitment to following court orders meticulously.
The DSS, often referred to as the secret service, is responsible for safeguarding national security and counterintelligence operations within Nigeria. The statement specifically points out that the DSS has consistently complied with court orders pertaining to several notable cases, including those involving Godwin Emefiele, the former Central Bank Governor; Abdulrasheed Bawa, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Peter N. Afunanya clarifies that the DSS has not only honored judicial orders but has also meticulously adhered to procedural requirements. The statement highlights the agency’s respect for the rule of law and its commitment to lawful conduct.
Godwin Emefiele Case
The article delves into the details of the Godwin Emefiele case, emphasizing that the DSS initiated an investigation into Emefiele’s alleged involvement in Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering in 2022. The DSS then sought a Federal High Court order for Emefiele’s arrest and detention. However, the Chief Judge clarified that the DSS did not require a court order to investigate or arrest Emefiele. Subsequently, Emefiele obtained a restraining order against the DSS from Justice MA Hassan of the FCT High Court. The DSS abided by this order, refraining from arresting or detaining Emefiele.
On June 9, 2023, following Emefiele’s suspension as CBN Governor, the DSS arrested him based on new information and suspected criminal infractions. Justice Hamza Mu’azu of the FCT High Court subsequently ordered Emefiele’s release or prosecution within seven days. The DSS promptly complied with the order and charged Emefiele with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. Additionally, Justice Bello Kawu of the same FCT High Court ordered Emefiele’s release or prosecution within 48 hours, though the DSS had already adhered to Justice Mu’azu’s order.
Emefiele was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on July 25, 2023, for illegal possession of arms and ammunition. The DSS, during the court proceedings, emphasized that its personnel were involved in an incident with the Nigerian Correctional Service staff and pledged to investigate the matter further.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Case and the Importance of Judicial Language
The statement addresses the confusion surrounding Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s case, particularly the distinction between “Discharged and Acquitted” in the final orders of a judge. The DSS clarifies that it has complied with court orders concerning Kanu and that the Court of Appeal judgment on Kanu is recommended for detailed study.
The DSS asserts that its actions are guided by the rule of law and that its decisions are taken with transparency and democratic accountability in mind. The agency highlights its commitment to respecting judicial processes and expresses the importance of allowing judges to discharge their duties without intimidation.
In conclusion, the DSS appeals for a deeper understanding of its role in the nation’s security landscape and emphasizes the necessity of its existence for statecraft, governance, stability, and public order. The statement highlights that the DSS’s commitment to the rule of law remains unwavering and urges stakeholders to support both the agency and Nigeria as a whole.
As controversies and debates continue to surround these cases, the DSS’s comprehensive statement aims to provide clarity on its actions and its dedication to upholding the principles of the Nigerian legal system.