By Christopher Oji, Lagos
The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have debunked the online publication on how a DSS team leader arrested 11 suspects in connection with the killing of David Imoh in Lekki, Lagos.
There is a news publication which went viral about one Adio Oluwole Bashir, who purported to be a former staff of the Service, claiming to have led the team that arrested suspected killers of David Imoh, a sound engineer, allegedly murdered on May 12, 2022 at Lekki, Lagos. He further alleged that the suspects who were of Hausa origin were exchanged with Christians.
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In separate statements, the DSS and the Police have described the report as not only fake but inciting hatred among the good people of Nigeria.
According to Public Relations Officer, Department of State Services National Headquarters, Abuja, Dr Peter Afunanya, “the Service states that Bashir is neither a serving nor retired staff on its roll. Besides, his writing style and use of paraphernalia gave him out as fake and an impostor. Findings have, however, revealed that his aim is to ignite an ethno-religious conflict. His co-conspirators are elements of separatist groups who are desirous of achieving the same objective as well as pitting security agencies against one another.
“Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command has issued an unambiguous statement on the entire episode. The Command’s clarification should guide public understanding of what actually transpired. Dragging the DSS which never participated in the operation at Lekki into his skewed account exposes the lies and intentions of Adio Oluwole Bashir and his cohorts.
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“The DSS wishes to state that the write-up is completely false and frowns at the calculated effort to use its name for malicious purposes. It therefore, requests the public to disregard the misleading narrative. The Service also warns those bent on throwing the country into violence to retrace their steps and give peace a chance. While it reaffirms its commitment to continue to work with sister agencies to ensure lasting peace in the country, it will also not hesitate to bring to book those determined to break the law.
However, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Benjamin Hundeyin in a statement, stated that ‘the attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a write-up making the rounds on social media by a faceless DSS officer, claiming a cover-up by the Police in the unfortunate lynching of David Imoh on May 12, 2022.
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“The Command wishes to debunk this write-up as nothing but a cunningly-crafted work of fiction ill-intended by some unpatriotic persons and warmongers to cause disaffection, and possibly ethnic war, amongst Nigerians.
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“The Command again confirms that the Divisional Police Officer, Maroko Division arrived at the active crime scene, promptly arrested four suspects and rescued the other two persons under attack. The numerous observers of the arrests, some of whom made videos, can attest to this.
“It is therefore ridiculous, frivolous and laughable that the suspects were allegedly paid a miserly One Hundred Thousand Naira each to admit and take the fall for murder.
“Further investigation by the State Criminal Investigation Department led to the arrest of two other suspects. All six suspects were paraded before the press by the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, on May 20. A seventh suspect, Usman Abubakar, 22 (not the mastermind), who literally poured petrol on the victim, was eventually arrested the next day. This brings the total number of arrested suspects to seven.
“Furthermore, not only has the State Director of DSS in Lagos State confirmed to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police that the alleged officer was unknown to them, he equally confirmed that the DSS neither arrested nor handed over any suspect to the police.
“CP Alabi, therefore, urges Nigerians to disregard the write-up as a mischievous attempt by fifth columnists to cause trouble within the country”.