Operatives of the Department of State Services have allegedly threatened to kill the informant, who exposed how the agency detained a Nigerian citizen, Mr Abdullahi Ahmadu, since 2013 without access to the court or family members.
One Mr Afiz Jamiu, who met Ahmadu while in DSS custody from April 16 to May 10, 2019, deposed to an affidavit testifying that the victim had been in the detention of the DSS for all these years without trial, access to family and friends as well as adequate medical attention, according to a report by PRNigeria.
Already, the Federal High Court, Abuja, on October 15 entertained an order brought by Ibrahim Hassan and Afolabi Omotoso, counsel to the applicant, to compel the DSS that “his relatives be allowed access to him”.
In an over four minutes telephone chat with the informant's wife, one could hear a caller, who posed as a DSS operative threatening to deal with Jamiu for his indiscretion despite being a beneficiary of assistance from the Service in the past.
The caller while speaking in Pidgin English, told the panicky wife that her husband's "act of foolishness" had not gone unnoticed and should be prepared to face the consequences when the DSS operatives come visiting.
According to him (alleged DSS Operative), Jamiu and his family should prepare for what he described as a hellish experience until death.
Excerpt of the phone conversation:
DSS Operative: I just say (sic) I should pass information to you that you and your children will feel the impact (of what is coming). As a matter of fact, from now till Christmas, in one of the month, there will be an operation to arrest your husband and any attempt he makes, there is an order to gun him down. Shey (sic) you went to newspaper and saw your husband's name, right? He went and told them that the person that he was in cell with has been detained for six years. Read SaharaReporters..., some newspapers carried it as well, that SSS detained a person since 2013. The report claimed that Hafiz Jamiu told them everything they knew. So as he has decided to expose and put SSS in trouble, 'so for him life completely na trouble him go enter till he die. He don enter the real trouble (sic)'.
Woman: Heey oh my God!
DSS Operative: First and foremost... secondly, he was just saying what he does not know about the DSS and it has been published in newspapers. For this indiscretion, he is going to face the tune. All these while I have gone out of my way to help him out but now... if he survives what is coming then he should go and give thanks to God. So, whatever happens to your husband, you the wife will also bear the consequences. Let me tell you... as he was quoted in the newspapers saying that he was with Ahmadu from April to May, he has said everything he needs to say. However, he cannot escape the consequences of what he has done as the DSS will definitely come for him like a terrorist that he will not even have the opportunity to go to cell this time around. So, he should continue saying what he does not know and this time around if he makes any attempt at the point of arrest, they (DSS) will shoot and kill him. 'Your husband dey foolish... as I help him life reach (sic)'.
Woman: I am not aware of this and they warned him the very day they released him that he should shut up his mouth.
Responding to the alleged threat, DSS spokesperson, Mr Peter Afunanya, dismissed it as a "fake news and unbelievable".
According to Afunanya, the DSS is a responsible organisation that adheres strictly to the rule of law and standard operating procedures.
He said, “Does this sound believable? That DSS operatives threatened to kill anyone is unfounded and such fake news and misinformation should be disregarded in its entirety.
“The DSS is a responsible organisation and adheres strictly to rules of law and engagement and democratic principles. It has standard operating procedures on all its activities; internal and external,” he said.
Already, Ahmadu's continued detention since August 20, 2013 is being challenged in the Federal High Court, Abuja, in the suit No: FHC/ABI/CS/645/2019 with the notice of application for order enforcing his fundamental human rights in pursuant of the relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution and of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
In the substantive suit, counsel to the plaintiff, Ibrahim Hassan, sought about six reliefs including a declaration that the arrest and continued detention of citizen Ahmadu since 2013 for "any reason or order of court whatsoever, or for any offence whatsoever without trial is unlawful, inhuman, unconstitutional and an unjustifiable infraction of the fundamental human rights of the applicant as enshrined and guaranteed under Section 34 (1)(a) and 35(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act CAP LFN 2004 respectively".