The Department of State Services (DSS), has rebuffed claims that it was holding a former National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuku (rtd), as well as leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, illegally.
The secret service said Dasuku and El-Zakzaky had, during separate court rulings, pleaded to be left in its custody, rather than being remanded in correctional centres (prisons).
In a statement Friday by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the DSS also cited the case of the detained convener of #Revolution Now, Mr. Omoyele Sowore who, it said, had chosen a similar path.
The position came few days after a group of protesters demanding the release of Sowore from detention, were dispersed by personnel.
According to Afunanya, the decisions by the trio to be held in the intelligence agency’s custody, was eloquent testimony to the claim that the “Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards”.
To buttress the position, Afunanya said the service allowed them access to their families, choice of foods, telephone calls among others.
“There has been outcry about alleged illegal detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the courts and disobedience to court orders by the Service. To put the records straight, the Service wishes to avert public attention to the circumstances that warranted the custody of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in its facility.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the duo had appealed to the courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres. Well meaning Nigerians are equally witnesses to the case of Omoleye Sowore, who, on a similar order of the court, was to be remanded at the Kuje or Suleja Centre, but preferred to be kept at the DSS.
“Everyone, also, saw what eventually played out with El-Zakzaky, when he opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India. These were choices these personalities made on their own volition.
“Since their stay, the Service has continued to extend the best courtesies to them.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 daily basis. There could not have been better treatments than these,” Afunabya said.