The State Security Service, SSS, has disavowed a publication by a global human rights watchdog organization, Amnesty International, which alleged that service personnel abducted Nigerians during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari .
An online newspaper, Peoples Gazette, had quoted Amnesty International, AI, as saying that the SSS abducted innocent Nigerians under Buhari’s regime.
Reacting with a statement on Wednesday, SSS public relations officer Peter Afunanya denied the allegation, saying the service only shuts down when, where and if necessary.
Mr Afunanya stressed that at no time had the agency undertaken its actions without following established procedures for obtaining arrest warrants or detention orders from the relevant judicial authorities.
“The allegation of abduction or use of enforced disappearances is an absolute lie and a make-up narrative designed to discredit the Service,” the statement noted.
“DSS is law-abiding and committed to protecting sensitive citizens and government facilities. In doing so, it will continue to fulfill its mandate to collect information and disseminate it in a timely manner to action agencies and relevant stakeholders.
The SSS, however, accused Peoples Gazette editor Samuel Ogundipe of deliberate and determined efforts to use his platform to undermine law and order.
“He is known to have, on several occasions, indulged in false and distorted publications to misinform the public. He and his cohorts are hereby warned, for the umpteenth time, to refrain from such deplorable acts against the peace and security of the nation.
“It is time for Ogundipe and his ilk to choose reason over fatuity; and patriotism rather than disloyalty and betrayal. Their mischievous resolve and continued use of fake news and hate speech to set the country on fire is condemnable.
“The country’s media professionals should rise above parochial considerations, clean up their folds and fish out the charlatans among them.
“The media can also conduct peer review and engage in self-censorship as part of the professionalization of the industry. They must reject the lure of incitement by outside forces to use them to incite violence or undermine the government and its institutions.
“Otherwise, those who break the law must be prepared to face justice now or in the future,” the statement noted.