The Department of State Security (DSS) has denied reports that it snooped on judges at the Presidential Election Tribunal, carted away files allegedly implicating President Bola Tinubu and some of his aides from the Independent Corrupt and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
It also denied reports that it arrested former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abdulazeez Yari, following his refusal to pick the president’s call even as it debunked the alleged existence of a rumble in the DSS over nepotism.
A statement issued on Sunday by Spokesman of DSS, Peter Afunanya, said the allegations were unfounded.
“The service ordinarily would not have responded to these inaccuracies but for the fickle minded and vulnerable persons as well as the unsuspecting public that may take the lies for facts.
“To set the records straight, the DSS did not execute operations of any kind at the ICPC and CCB or remove files from their offices. Instructively, the two agencies have, on their own, refuted the news in widely circulated press statements.
“It is petty, if not laughable, to report that Yari was invited for refusing to pick the president’s call. This is the height of junk journalism. Yari knows why he was invited”, he said.
The DSS “denies all the allegations as they lack any factual basis or credibility. They are only figments of the creators’ imaginations.This is more so that the publishers in question have been noted in and outside the country for their notoriety for peddling fake news, sensational and gutter journalism. “Without a modicum of proper and civilised behaviour, they indulge in character assassinations and sundry blackmail as business”.
It said the reports were hatchet jobs designed to smear the agency.
“It is not in doubt that their reports under reference are hatchet jobs designed to smear or impeach the integrity of the service and its leadership. Notably, the service proactively alerted the public about this development earlier in June, 2023.
“While it is aware of the sponsors of these campaigns of calumny, it will simply allow them to exhaust themselves knowing too well that they would someday be brought to justice. Many days, it is said, are sure for the thief but there will be that one day for the owner of the house”, it said.
The agency noted further that “it is clear that the writers and their sponsors are oblivious of the accolades the service has continued to receive from majority of stakeholders for excellent performance and its professional demeanour in handling many critical issues of national importance.
“Rather, they have chosen to use their platforms to subvert the agency and undermine its capabilities”.
Restating its respect for the rule of law, independence and autonomy of other agencies including the judiciary and legislature, DSS maintained that it will not shirk its responsibilities or allow some detractors to prevent it from undertaking its statutory duties or carrying out lawful orders by constituted authorities.
“If Yari or anyone else is to be invited or taken into custody, the service will not hesitate to do so as far as that is procedurally done within the confines of the law.
“The service will remain focused, resilient, patriotic and professional in the conduct of its affairs”, it said. The agency, therefore, enjoined the public not to be mislead by such narratives.
“Members of the public are enjoined to disregard the misleading stories which are aimed at causing disaffection in the country and disparaging the service’ leadership.
“The service will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to address security challenges in the country in line with its mandate and the directives of the President. It does not matter how many times naysayers and hostile agents will plan to distract it”, it said.