The Department of State Services (DSS) on Tuesday raised the alarm over what it described as “plots to undermine the Services by some subversive groups and individuals to undertake a negative media campaign against the Services.”
The secret police known for disobeying court orders disclosed this known in a statement made available to journalists by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya.
DSS DG, Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
Although the statement is silent on the specific elements involved in the plot, it claims the subversive persons are out to undermine the service.
The statement reads, “The Department of State Services (DSS) has uncovered plans by some subversive groups and individuals to undertake a negative media campaign against the Service.
“The aim is to further use fake news, propaganda and malicious narratives through sponsored articles, among others, to undermine it.
“The Service has steadily monitored these activities, their perpetrators and therefore wishes to inform the public to disregard the emerging trends and patterns.
“The Service reassures its commitment to the discharge of its mandate. It will not be distracted or silenced. Those engaged in the deliberate efforts to run it down are, however, advised to desist from doing so or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.”
There has been a clampdown on journalists and critics of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government by the secret police in recent times.
In August 2019, the domestic intelligence agency with a history of repression arrested human rights activist and Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore in Lagos.
Sowore was moved to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja where he was illegally detained for 144 days despite different court orders issued for his release.
The DSS accused the activist of baseless crimes like money laundering and that he was plotting to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari even though it failed to produce any evidence to substantiate its claim.
In March 2018, the DSS arrested Daily Independent Abuja Bureau Chief Tony Ezimakor. Later in the year, the secret Police arrested Jones Abiri and detained him for two years for having links with ‘rebels.’ He was re-arrested in March 2019.
In August 2019, former Editor at Daily Trust Ibrahim Dan-Halilu was arrested for a Facebook post expressing support for the ‘RevolutionNow’ campaign.
In December 2019, TVC’s journalist Bukola Samuel-Wemimo was detained by the secret Police at its Magodo office in Lagos.
In 2020, former Premium Times investigative reporter Samuel Ogundipe was hounded by the SSS because he reported on the rift between the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and President Muhammadu Buhari’s late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari.
SaharaReporters, New York