The Department of State Security Service (DSS) last night said the search it conducted on the residences of former National Security Adviser, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, was based on “credible intelligence” linking him with “alleged plans to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian State.”
In a statement issued last night and signed by one of its officials, Tony Opuiyo, DSS also said that some incriminating items were recovered from the houses of the former NSA.
The DSS explanation for storming the residences of Dasuki in Abuja and Sokoto last Thursday came following criticisms that trailed the manner in which the raids on the residences of the former NSA were carried out.
In its statement titled: “Preventing attempts to commit treasonable felony: the search on the residence (s) of Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Col rtd), immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA),” DSS said, “On 16th July, 2015, about 1650 hours, based on credible intelligence linking the immediate past NSA, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Col Rtd) with alleged plans to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian State, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) conducted a search on the properties belonging to the former NSA, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Col Rtd). The properties are on Nos. 13, John Khadya Street, Nos. 46, Nelson Mandela Street, both at Asokoro, Abuja, and Nos. 3 Sabon Birni Road, Gwiwa Area, Sokoto, Sokoto State.
“The search operations was planned to be simultaneously conducted, but Dasuki, refused the operatives entry into his main residence located at No. 13 John Khadya Street, Asokoro, despite being presented with a genuine and duly signed search warrant. Consequently, what was to last not more than two (2) hours, lasted more than ten (10) hours, up till the early hours of 17th July, 2015.
“Indeed if not for the sense of maturity and professionalism of the officers and men assigned this task and the very good understanding and timely intervention of the new Chief of Army Staff, Tsukur Y. Buratai (Maj Gen), there would have been a clash between the Army operatives guarding the house and Service operatives, as Sambo directed the soldiers on duty not to allow any movement into his house, despite the subsisting court order. Sambo thereafter raised a false alarm to the military authorities to come to his aid as he failed to correctly tell the military that his property was about to be legitimately searched.”
The statement said that the search was thoroughly conducted and several items recovered, among which were some incriminating items, which include seven (7) high caliber rifles, (high assault weapons), several magazines and military related gears.
“The team also recovered twelve (12) new vehicles, out of which five (5) were bullet proofs. These vehicles which are all exotic vehicles were retrieved from Sambo’s residence having failed to produce evidence of ownership. For instance, what could he be doing with five (5) bullet proof cars as a retired NSA?. These cars which from all available evidence were purchased with tax payers money, were being kept for possible sinister enterprise,” the statement said.
Claiming that it was aware that the lethal arms and the vehicles recovered from Dasuki’s homes were not reflected in his handover note, it wondered, “what could a former NSA be doing with destructive weapons and bullet proof cars which put together could disrupt the peace of any city in Nigeria for a while”
Justifying the search conducted on his three properties, including the Sokoto residence, DSS said it was aware that “in his capacity and given his antecedents, he might decide to use any of his residences for such diabolical plans, rather than his main residence.”
Noting that Dasuki retired from the Army as a Colonel, and was therefore not entitled to have military guards, but for the fact he was NSA, the DSS said “even as NSA, such guards should have been withdrawn after his removal as NSA since he would not have been entitled.”
Debunking insinuations that the raid on Dasuki’s residence was a witch hunt, it said the service decided “to move at this time in line with current management resolve to be proactive and pre-empt individuals with penchant for impunity and lawlessness from putting back the nation to the dark days.”
While reassuring Nigerians that it would not trample on the freedom of individuals or groups as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and emphasized by the current administration’s position on transparency and probity underlined by justice and equity for all Nigerians, which it described as the driving force for all DSS operations, it however, said “the Service would not hesitate to go after any person or group of persons, no matter how highly placed once such individual (s) breach or attempt to breach the laws of the federation.”
It warned that, “the days for impunity and indecisiveness in the face of unpatriotic acts by individuals operating against the State are over.”
“The Service hereby appeal to all Nigerians to be law abiding and partner with it in ensuring a peaceful and secured nation. In the same vein, those that are bent on breaking the rules governing our peaceful co-existence due to either the huge ill gotten wealth they have acquired or imaginary hold they think they have on our nation’s survival, are being warned to rethink. The DSS will use all constitutional means as defined by its mandate to deal decisively with such unpatriotic individuals” it added.
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