The Department of State Services (DSS) Thursday night explained why its operatives laid siege to the Abuja residence of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
In a statement signed by Tony Opuiyo in Abuja, the DSS said: “This Service wishes to re-emphasise its commitment to the rule of law and strict adherence to democratic ideals.
“However, any person or group, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test the will of the present democratic dispensation, will definitely be checked through the legal provisions of the law.
“The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been brought to the report that its operatives illegally blocked the home of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, in violation of a subsisting court order granting him relief to travel overseas for medical services.
“This is to say the least that such report is not only unfounded and malicious but aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Service.
“It may be recalled that Sambo (Dasuki) was initially arrested and charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering, for which reason his international passport was seized and on the order of the court, returned to the registrar for custody. What has, however, brought the seeming standoff between Sambo and the Service, despite the court-ordered release of his international passport on November 4, 2015, is his refusal to appear before a committee undertaking the investigation of an entirely different case.
“The public may wish to note that the government set up the committee to investigate procurement processes relating to a $2billion arms transaction by the last administration, under which Sambo was the NSA.
“It was on this premise that he was invited by the committee to shed more light on his involvement in the deal.
“It, therefore, remains surprising and shocking that Sambo has refused to honour invitations of the committee but instead resorts to grandstanding and the subtle blackmail of the Service.
“His refusal to appear before the committee has left the Service with no option than to adopt legal means to ensure his attendance”.
But the embattled former NSA, who was billed to travel out of the country to seek medical treatment on Wednesday after Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court ordered the federal government to release his international passport, denied the DSS claim that he shunned the arms procurement probe committee as he was never invited in the first place.
His words: “I was never invited to appear before a committee set up by the current administration to investigate procurement processes relating to any arms transaction by the last administration under which I served.
“It was strange that a committee purported to be operating from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) could have transferred its mandates to DSS”.