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INAHURAT, Neptune Prime, visits DSS, seeks audience on Bawa’s continued detention

*I have no idea whose name is Bawa in our custody, DSS protocol officer.

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INAHURAT, Neptune Prime, visits DSS, seeks audience on Bawa’s continued detention

Story from Vivian DANIEL, Abuja.

A coalition of civil society organisations and concerned citizens with the support of the Initiative Against Human Rights Abuse and Torture (INAHURAT) took it upon themselves to seek an audience with the Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, in connection with the continued detention of the suspended EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa was told that there was no one with that name in the custody of DSS.

The chief protocol officer to the DG, DSS (who refused to mention her name) when querying the purpose of the INAHURAT Group’s visit, said she had no idea of anyone with the name Abdulrasheed Bawa while instructing them to write officially when seeking an audience to see the DG of DSS.

“I have no idea who is Bawa. Do you mean you mean we keep people here? I am not aware whether or not there is any Bawa in detention here, my job is to clear visitors who come here to see my boss – the DG, DSS and since your group is not on any appointment, you will have to write officially to the DG.”

Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa

And while responding to NEPTUNE  PRIME on whether or not everyone who comes to the DSS office in respect of any citizen who is in detention goes through the process of writing officially to the DG, the chief protocol officer responded by saying yes. But on how long the process would take to meet with the DG, DSS, she became quiet.

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The convener of the INAHURAT group, Vivian Bellonwu, who is also a former presidential aspirant (the only female aspirant) during the 2023 general elections said they are not just seeking an audience with the DG, DSS but the fact that they are concerned citizens of Nigeria which Mr Bawa belongs to deserved to be treated fairly.

“We are concerned that the continued detention of Mr Bawa without proper trial amounts to the gross violation of his Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedom as guaranteed him by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as provided for him by the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights including as contained by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights of which Nigeria is duly signatory to.”

“We are therefore concerned that your highly respected organisation which is built on “Loyalty, Vigilance, and Verity” is recently being seen as being in violation of the Rule of Law and infringing on the Fundamental Rights of Citizens.

According to the group, they look forward to a useful interaction with the DSS on these issues to reaffirm the confidence of the citizens which the noble organisation represent.

Group’s letter

Attached is the detail of the INAHURAT Group’s letter to the Director-General, DSS, which is dated August 14, 2023, as they look forward

It should be recalled that the suspended EFCC Chairman, Mr Bawa Abdulrasheed has been in the custody of the DSS since June 14, 2023.

The indefinite suspension was announced in a terse statement released on Wednesday night (June 14, 2023) by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The statement was signed by Willie Bassey, Director of Information at the SGF’s office, and added that the EFCC boss’ suspension resulted from “weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him,” hence, Mr Bawa’s suspension, was “to allow for proper investigation into his conduct while in office.”

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