The Ekiti State Government has described as “ridiculous, and open display of contempt for the rule of law”, the claim by the Department of State Services (DSS) that it detained a member of the state House of Assembly, Afolabi Akanni, for committing security breach and that it was not aware of a court order on his release.
A spokesperson for the DSS, Abdullahi Garba, had while presenting Akanni, the member representing Efon-Alaaye state constituency in the Ekiti House of Assembly before newsmen at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, to dispel rumors of the lawmaker’s death, said he was being held over weighty but unspecified security issues.
In its reaction on Friday, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and new Media, Lere Olayinka said the DSS should tell Nigerians “when Hon. Akanni committed those offences amounting to breach of security? Did Hon. Akanni plot coup or is he leading insurgents to warrant his detention without trial?”
Olayinka, who was flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Idowu Adelusi, said as a result of DSS’ refusal to be served with the Court Order on March 11, the order was published in a national daily Thursday, as directed by the court.
The government, which explained why it raised the alarm over Mr. Akanni’s possible death on Wednesday, said; “We wish to reiterate that the state government addressed the press yesterday, based on the information available to it and since the DSS was not talking to anyone concerning the status of Hon Afolabi Akanni and others in its custody, the government had no option than to bring the disturbing information to the public domain and also call for calm among residents of the State”.
It said; “From the pictures of Hon. Akanni that we saw on television and published in the newspapers, it is without doubt that he is terribly sick and in need of urgent medical attention, and the disturbing information about his death could have been informed by his critical state of health. Hon. Akanni even told journalists that he slumped twice yesterday and that he was refused access to medication.
“Evidently and as even reported in the newspapers today, the Hon. Akanni paraded before the press by the DSS yesterday was very sick.
“The press reported that he could not stand on his feet and we wish to ask the DSS whether it actually wants him (Akanni) to die!
“If truly the DSS has facts and evidences that Hon. Akanni committed offence of security breach, why not charge him to court and prosecute him with the facts and evidences before the service? Or is the DSS waiting for Hon. Akanni to supply evidences with which he will be prosecuted?
“If the DSS is claiming that Hon. Akanni is being held for committing serious security breach, why was the State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo invited by the DSS? What is the correlation between Ecological Fund, claim of Federal Government refund to Ekiti State on construction of federal roads and State Security?
“For clarity, Chief Toyin Ojo was asked by the DSS investigators how much was refunded to Ekiti State by the federal government on federal roads constructed/rehabilitated by the State government and how ecological fund released to the State was spent. He was also asked how Governor Ayodele Fayose election was funded. How are these issues related to the security of Nigeria? What is the business of the DSS with the finances of Ekiti State?
“Also, former Special Assistant to the governor on Internally Generated Revenue, Ropo Ogunjobi is being kept in the DSS custody since March 4.
“Did he also commit ‘serious security breach’ or he is just being held to extract information as to the finances of Ekiti State in furtherance to the mandate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gladiators in the State, who are working on what they called the ‘2006 Template’?
“Did Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Dupe Alade, Chief of Staff; Chief Dipo Anisulowo, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice; Owoseni Ajayi, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Kola Kolade, Commissioner for Works; Kayode Osho, Special Adviser on Political Matters; Alhaji Demola Bello and other officials of the State government already listed for arrest and indefinite detention also commit serious security breach?”