December 20 (THEWILL) – The Department of State Security Services (DSS) has denied allegation made by leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, that the Service diverted N4million meant for feeding while in detention.
El-Zakzaky had in an interview with a national daily alleged that he and his wife, fed themselves during their five-year incarceration at a DSS facility.
El-Zakzaky, was reacting to Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed’s revelation that the federal government spent N3.5m on a monthly basis to feed him,
He had said: “Actually, we were not given the opportunity to tell the real story while we were in detention because the people who were detaining us made things difficult for us.
“The real truth is that all through our detention we fed ourselves. Since the time we reached Kaduna, after we were released, nobody gave us a single bottle of water! We were feeding ourselves.
“Even during our stay in Abuja, we were feeding ourselves. But this is something that cannot be disclosed because it was illegal. Legally, they were supposed to feed us. But they didn’t want anybody to hear that we were feeding ourselves. For the entire five years, seven months that we were in detention, we fed ourselves; nobody gave us a bottle of water!
“We were even paying electricity and water bills, while in detention. We were paying also for the fuel to power the generator. We bought our own generator in Abuja, even when we were in detention and we were buying fuel to run it.”
But DSS spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, described the allegation as falsehood.
“This is a complete falsehood spread by someone desirous of maligning a noble organisation like the DSS. The Service is completely guided by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) which governs its suspect handling rules.
“El-Zakzaky is talking tongue in cheek. It is unfortunate someone like him chose to lie. Possibly, he lost complete memory about the facts and the truth. The DSS doesn’t maltreat suspects. While in India years back, he chose or preferred to be returned to the DSS custody. Why? Because according to him, he had better treatment. So, we will ignore him.
“Those who have issues before the court should face their cases and stop blaming the DSS. We respect the laws and will always be governed by the principles of rule of law. The DGSS, Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi, is a democrat who respects rules of engagement and democracy”, said Afunanya.