The Department of State Services (DSS), has vowed never to succumb to what it calls cheap propaganda and intimidation by “individuals or groups when it comes to matters of national security.”
The Service was reacting to protests staged by a coalition of human rights lawyers, Civil Society Organisations, the Arewa Youth Consultative Movement and other groups in Abuja on Monday over attempts by the DSS to arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele over alleged terrorism sponsorship.
The protesting CSOs under the aegies of the Coalition of National Interest Defenders had alleged that the DSS had secretly instituted a court action against Emefiele at the Federal High Court in Abuja with the aim of arresting him without the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.
While addressing a joint press conference in Abuja, the Convener of the Coalition, Tochukwu Ohazuruike, said the DSS had filed a secret motion im the court accusing Emefiele of terrorism financing and other economic crimes of national security dimension.
But in statement on Monday night by the spokesperson of the secret police, Peter Afunanya, the DSS said it “won’t give room for the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.”
Afunanya said the DSS had always “discharged its responsibilities in the overall interest of Nigerian citizens,” noting that the Service will continue to disseminate actionable intelligence to the relevant authorities devoid of any sentiment.
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“While professionally discharging its mandate, the DSS pledges to remain focused and unbiased. It will not, by any means, succumb to propaganda, intimidation and the desperation of hirelings to undermine it.
“It will also not give room to the use of falsehood and deceit to misdirect public understanding and perceptions of issues of national importance.
“Given not to join issues, the Service warns those on a wild goose chase to be mindful of their actions. Similarly, it urges members of the public to disregard the vituperations and rantings of misguided elements and not allow themselves to be used as instruments of destabilisation.
“Notably, these elements should remember the famous axiom that “you will only deceive some people, some of the time, but not all people, all the time”.
“To put it succinctly, the Service will not be distracted by persons and/or groups from carrying out its duties to the Nation, citizens, President and Commander-in-Chief.
“Citizens are, therefore, urged to avoid being used to thwart or undermine the Service and its lawful investigations as those who wish to act in the breach will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” the DSS said.