The Department of State Security Service, DSS, has disagreed with an Awka high court judgment, in Anambra State, ordering it to apologise and pay N2million damage sum to former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai over his illegal detention last November. El-Rufai had challenged his detention and harassment during the last governorship election in Anambra State by the service. Reacting, the DSS said “some facts may have been inadvertently overlooked” in the case, hence the ruling. The agency spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, said that “As a responsive Service, we hold the Judiciary and its sanctity in high esteem, but when you disagree with certain pronouncements of Court, you have the right to appeal and in this case, we will appeal.”
She added: “The instrument setting up the Service and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended gives the Service statutory powers to detain and investigate any suspect for not more than 48 hours before recourse to a Court of Law.
“In this instance, the complainant was not confined or ‘detained’ for more than two hours. If we cannot intercept, detain and investigate, then we would, with due respect, be operating like any Ministry of the Federal Government.
“It is also pertinent to clarify that the Service never imposed a general restriction on movement during the elections as averred. It is the duty of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to take measures necessary for the smooth conduct of any election, and in this case they deemed it proper to restrict movement during voting hours.”