The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that it is not detaining certain prominent Nigerians in defiance of court injunctions.
This is following outcries about the alleged disobedience to Court Orders and illegal detention of some notable persons (particularly Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky) who are undergoing trials at the Courts.
In reaction to the claims, the DSS said the duo had appealed to the Courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres.
According to a communique from the Service, many of those who are within the DSS custody opted to remain there on their own volition, including El-Zakzaky who “opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the Court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India”.
The DSS says it has continued to extend the best courtesies to the personalities since their stay in the Service’s custody.
“They are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities.
“Among others, their families and trusted persons bring them food of their choices on a daily basis. There could not have been better treatments than these.
“Against the wrong perception that the Service held these persons in defiance to Court Orders, it is obvious, by the above explanations, that they rather chose to be looked after by the DSS. The reason for such a choice is not farfetched. It is simply because the Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards.
“It is not in the character of the DSS to join issues with persons or groups. Yet, silence should not be golden at a time like this. For its compliance with democratic norms, the Service owes the Nigerian public a duty to explain some of its activities. This is more so that these are oftentimes grossly misunderstood or misrepresented,” the DSS communique read in part.
The Service restated its commitment to a strong partnership with the media and other stakeholders including opinion leaders, stating that it is not averse to criticisms and therefore welcomes constructive engagement from all and sundry.
The DSS further stated that it will continue to conduct its operations within the bounds of the law and importantly be guided by that time tested axiom of Usman Dan Fodio that conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it.