A day after its agents and National Correctional Service (NCoS) operatives openly squabbled as court officials, journalists, and other members of the public watched, filmed and jeered, the Department of State Services (DSS) appears remorseful and has initiated investigations, while maintaining it had good relations with the judiciary on which grounds Tuesday’s show of shame took place.
In the last 30 hours, the DSS has come under blistering criticism for the ugly drama over who keeps suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, after a judge of the Federal High Court, Nicholas Oweibo, had ruled he be kept at the Ikoyi Prison until he perfected his N20 million bail bond.
Emefiele had earlier on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to two counts charges of been in possession of arms and ammunition. He was granted bail, but for a while, operatives of the two federal agencies wielding machine guns were seen rough-handling one another over who was to keep him.
In a statement on Wednesday, titled, DSS INVESTIGATES 25THJULY, 2023, FEDERAL HIGH COURT, IKOYI, LAGOS INCIDENT, DSS spokesman Dr. Peter Afunaya said: “The public will recall that Mr Godwin Emefiele, suspended CBN Governor, was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on 25th July, 2023. The Service has noted the incident that took place between its staff and those of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and wish to state as follows:
i. The incident was unfortunate and does not in any way reflect the professional disposition of the DSS;
ii. The Service did not and would never encourage the incident under reference;
iii. The Service has tremendous respect for the Judiciary as an Arm and Institution of Government and will not go out of its way to undermine it. The DSS recognises the Judiciary as a critical component in nation building, national development and security management. Also, the Service has robust working relationship with sister Security and Law Enforcement agencies including the NCoS;
iv. While noting that the personnel from both Agencies exhibited undue overzealousness, the Service has further initiated detailed investigations into the matter. This is with a view to identifying the role played by specific persons as well as undertaking disciplinary actions if necessary and drawing some lessons going forward.
“For emphasis, the DSS has not broken any laws in handling the Emefiele Case despite efforts by some elements to skew the narratives to the contrary. The Service had since alerted the public of sinister plots to discredit its leadership. In pursuit of its assignments, it will strive to remain professional, maintain ethical standards and high sense of discipline. The Service will ensure that it will not be used for clout and fame chasing or delusional heroism.
“It will, however, remain focused on its national security mandate and, therefore, enjoin well-meaning Nigerians to support it in achieving the desired security goals for the nation. It is imperative to note that we have no other country but Nigeria. We should join hands, with love and tolerance, to build it.”