By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described the denial of the Department of State Services (DSS) that it was not aware of any court ruling, ordering the release of the detained Ekiti State House of Assembly member, Hon Afolabi Akanni, as “ridiculous, height of executive rascality and open display of contempt for the rule of law”.
Fayose said it was the highest point of wickedness and barbarism in a democratic setting, for a Nigerian to be arrested by DSS and kept behind bars for 15 days without coming out openly to state his offence.
He called the attention of Nigerians to the alarm raised on Thursday that Akanni had died in detention, saying he did this because the DSS had kept the whole Ekiti in abeyance about the health status of the lawmaker.
Governor Fayose, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, said the fact that Akanni told journalists that he slumped twice in detention on Wednesday gave credence to the alarm raised about his ‘purported’ death.
He said the DSS should tell Nigerians “when Hon. Akanni committed those offences amounting to breach of security? Did Hon. Akanni plot coup or is he leading insurgents to warrant his detention without trial?
“We wish to reiterate that government addressed the press yesterday based on the information available to it and since the DSS was not talking to anyone concerning the status of Hon Akanni, the government had no option than to bring the disturbing information to the public domain.
“From the picture of Hon Akanni that we saw on television and published in the newspapers, it is without doubt that he is terribly sick and in need of urgent medical attention , and disturbing state of health could have been informed by his critical state of health”.
Fayose told the DSS to release Akanni or charged him to court , having
complied with the order of substituted service granted by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court on March 16, which ordered that the production warrant issued on DSS be published in a national newspapers.
The governor stated that since Nigeria is operating a constitutional democracy that it must release the detainee with immediate effect or charge him to court.
“While we are not questioning the rights of the DSS to handle matters relating to breach of security, we however, wish to ask how and when in particular did Akanni committed those offences amounting to breach of security? Did he plot a coup or led insurgents to warrant his detention without trial?
“If truly the DSS has evidence against him, he should be prosecuted , this is what they do in a civilized clime”, he said.
On the position allegedly canvassed by DSS that it has not been served the production warrant issued by federal high court in Ado Ekiti, compelling the agency to produce the suspect in court on March 16, Fayose said: “The court bailiff, one Araromi Ademola was at the DSS office on March 14, but they refused to accept it.
“The DSS officers according to Araromi said they were acting on order from above. On March 16, the court ordered that they should be served through newspaper publication, we published on pages 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of the Tribune edition of March 17. Can the DSS claims that it didn’t see the publication?”.
He appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to call the DSS to order and stop harassing officials of state government.