Wednesday, 1 October 2014

DSS Vows to Appeal Judgement On El-Rufai

In a press statement released today, Deputy Director of Public Relations for the Department of State Services, Marilyn Ogar, reacted on behalf of the department to the judgement of the Federal High Court given yesterday, which ruled in favor of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai in a case against the SSS. The case, which Rl-Rufai brought against the SSS following his detainment last November during the Anambra gubernatiorial election.

Delivering judgment in Awka, Justice Ibrahim Bature Gafai held that the SSS had no statutory powers under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or under any Nigerian law to have detained El Rufai without showing cause to a court of competent jurisdiction. The court therefore ordered the SSS to publish an apology in two national dailies for the unlawful and unconstitutional violation of his liberty. 

The SSS was also ordered to pay El-Rufai N2 million in damages for unlawfully detaining him last November during the Anambra gubernatorial election.
In a statement today, Ogar asserted that some facts were "overlooked", and stated that El-Rufai was not detained for more than two hours, and that the detainment was urgent and necessary. "The Instrument setting up the Service and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended gives the Service statutory powers to detain and investigate any suspect for not more than 48 hours before recourse to a Court of Law," Ogar said. "In this instance, the complainant was not confined or 'detained' for more than two hours. If we cannot intercept, detain and investigate, then we would, with due respect, be operating like any Ministry of the Federal Government."


Read the full statement below.

PRESS STATEMENT
The Department of State Services has reacted to the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Awka asking the Service to apologize and pay N2million to Mallam Nasir el-Rufai saying that some facts may have been inadvertently overlooked and will therefore appeal the judgment.

"As a responsive Service, we hold the Judiciary and its sanctity in high esteem, but when you disagree with certain pronouncements of Court, you have the right to appeal and in this case, we will appeal", Service spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar said when asked to comment on the judgment.
"The Instrument setting up the Service and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended gives the Service statutory powers to detain and investigate any suspect for not more than 48 hours before recourse to a Court of Law. In this instance, the complainant was not confined or 'detained' for more than two hours. If we cannot intercept, detain and investigate, then we would, with due respect, be operating like any Ministry of the Federal Government.
"It is also pertinent to clarify that the Service never imposed a general restriction on movement during the elections as averred. It is the duty of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to take measures necessary for the smooth conduct of any election, and in this case they deemed it proper to restrict movement during voting hours", she added.
Signed:
Marilyn OGAR, msi
Deputy Director, Public Relations
Department of State Services
30th September, 2014

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