Following the Department of State Services’ (DSS), alert on Monday that it has uncovered a plot by some unnamed persons to stage violent protests, three groups – the Intersociety, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), and South-East Rights and Democracy Coalition
have raised fears that the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has leaked to the secret police.
In a statement titled, “DSS Alarm Over Post Presidential Petitions Judgment Violent Protest: A Clear Case Of Leakage And Confirmation That The Case Will Be Dismissed On “Technical Grounds”, the groups in a joint statement by their heads Messrs Emeka Umeagbalasi (Intersociety),
Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah (South-East CLO), Prof Jerry Chukwuokoro (South-East Rights and Democracy Coalition), the groups claiming a coalition of over 20 rights and democracy groups based in the South-East, stated that the alarm raised by the DSS, is ‘a clear case of leakage and confirmation that the case will be dismissed on technical grounds’.
It adds that the DSS alarm is “also ill-conceived and politically motivated in its entirety and cast a serious doubt on the neutrality, impartiality and credibility of the long-awaited Judgment. It further raises a serious question mark on the integrity and independence of the Five Justices of the Court of Appeal handling the case.
“The alarm by the DSS is correctly logically interpreted to mean that while the PEPT transited its information to the Parties to the case of its readiness to deliver its verdict on Wednesday, Sept 6, 2023, it turned around and leaked the Panel’s verdict outcome to the Executive Arm in the present Government of Nigeria including its internal and external spy police establishments particularly the DSS; warranting its ill-conceived and politically motivated panicky and intimidating alarm. The DSS, therefore, was chronically illiterate in its handling of the subject matter under discourse. For purposes of neutrality, impartiality, credibility, safety and popularity of the long-awaited Judgment, the DSS ought not to have issued the alarm and If it reasonably, credibly and neutrally suspected any planned “violent protest” in connection with the long awaited Judgment, it would have been literately and credibly handled by sharing such intelligence with other security agencies without publicity and creation of panics and fears fears-borne out of desperation, partisanship, repression and abuse of statutorily and constitutionally delegated responsibilities. With the DSS alarm, therefore, it is most likely correct to say that the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has already told Nigerians and international watchers through the DSS the direction of its long-awaited Judgment: “dismissal of the case on the grounds of technicalities; devoid of meritorious consideration”.
Intersociety recalled that it had observed in a joint-statement dated August 5, 2023; issued with the International College of Democracy and Human Rights (Enugu), the Eastern Democracy and Human Rights Coalition, Port Harcourt and the South-East Based Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organizations, Enugu that “apart from a corrupt judge being worst than a demented man running amok with a sharp knife in a crowded market, he also hides under the cloak of ‘technicalities and political orbiters’ as his ‘ratio dicidendi’ or facts derived from weak laws or legal loopholes”. Intersociety also pointed out that “majority of Nigerian Judges and ‘pro establishment lawyers’ have earned ‘notorious and crooked expertise’ in ‘legal technicalities (loopholes) and political orbiters” and that these ‘crooked feats’ so achieved especially since 2015 have left Nigeria with the internationally rated or measured status of second to none in the world; to the extent that in international jurisprudential discourse, the growth of law in Nigeria amounts to under-growth of law in democracy compliant countries with international jurisprudential best practices in that killer-laws such as legal technicalities or loopholes thrive and shape the laws of countries with endemic and pandemic corruption under which Nigeria is unarguably and inescapably classified”.
The DSS in its Monday statement had said that the violent protests whose ring leaders were being monitored are aimed at discrediting the Federal Government and security agencies over sundry socio-economic matters.
It warned that it will not hesitate to legally come against persons and groups behind the devious plans.
The secret police’s statement by Peter Afunanya, Public Relations Officer of the DSS posted on the Service Twitter handle on Monday morning did not name the ring leaders of the planned violent protests.
The DSS said that intelligence reports indicated that the plotters include certain politicians who are desperately mobilising unsuspecting student leaders, ethnic based associations, youth and disgruntled groups for the planned action.
The statement said that the Service apart from identifying the ring leaders of the plot, has sustained monitoring around them in order to deter them from plunging the country into anarchy.
The DSS said; “In view of this development, University Vice-Chancellors and Heads of Tertiary Institutions are advised to discourage their students from engaging in acts capable of derailing public peace.
“Also, parents and guardians are enjoined to admonish their children and wards respectively to shun the lure of participating in inimical behaviours or conducts against law and order,” it said.
The DSS said that it was aware of Government’s efforts and determination to resolve some of the challenges confronting the nation and therefore warned those desirous of subverting national security to retrace their steps.