The Department of State Services (DSS), has denied violating court Orders in its continued detention of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
In a statement issued on Friday by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya said the trio chose to remain in the DSS detention facilities rather than move to Correctional facilities.
The statement reads in part
“There has been outcry about alleged illegal detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the Courts and disobedience to Court Orders by the Service.
“To put the records straight, the Service wishes to avert public attention to the circumstances that warranted the custody of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in its facility.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the duo had appealed to the Courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres.
“Well meaning Nigerians are equally witnesses to the case of Omoleye Sowore, who, on a similar order of the Court, was to be remanded at the Kuje or Suleja Centre, but preferred to be kept at the DSS.
“Everyone, also, saw what eventually played out with El-Zakzaky, when he opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the Court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India. These were choices these personalities made on their own volition.
“Since their stay, the Service has continued to extend the best courtesies to them. They are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities.
“Among others, their families and trusted persons bring them food of their choices on daily basis.
“There could not have been better treatments than these,” Afunabya said.
“Against the wrong perception that the Service held these persons in defiance to Court Orders, it is obvious, by the above explanations, that they rather chose be looked after by the DSS.
“The reason for such choice is not farfetched. It is simply because the Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards” the statement further said.