House of Assembly

By Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly,  Hon. Kola Oluwawole, has again accused the Department of State Services (DSS) of deceiving Nigerians over the detention of a lawmaker, Hon. Afolabi Akanni, saying it has reneged on its promise to release the suspect on Saturday.

A statement by his Special Assistant  on Media, Stephen Gbadamosi, yesterday noted that if it was not a case of political vendetta and misuse of state’s  machinery , the DSS would have adhered to its promise to release the incarcerated lawmaker.
Oluwawole said it was  rather incongruous, illegal and undemocratic for the DSS to have promised that the service was already contemplating releasing  Akanni before the House staged a protest to its state office along New Iyin Road on Thursday only for the lawmaker to still be in custody of DSS till yesterday.

“We have said that injustice to one is injustice to all. This is the only one of our missing four lawmakers that the DSS has accepted is with them. We said if you are holding him, tell us why, or if you have any evidence against him, charge him to court. We are law-abiding people in Ekiti.
“If you can’t charge him to court, then, you have no reason under the law to continue to hold him. He has been in your custody for close to three weeks now, yet, you have not proffered any charge against him.

What kind of democracy is this? “On Thursday, the Director of DSS  in Ekiti State promised us that they were already contemplating to release Akanni, and that latest, by Saturday, he would be released. Why is he not with his family now? We forced them to show him on television to know whether he is alive or not.

“They showed him. Is that man alive? He needs immediate medical attention. You have denied him access to doctor, family, lawyer and medication in about three weeks. Even a common criminal has right to live until otherwise decided by the court,” the speaker said.
He added: “People should not toy with human lives that they cannot create, in the name of politics. If anybody has done anything wrong,
take him/her to court. Let the court be the last arbiter.

“You can’t, as DSS, be the judge in a case you institute. DSS has proved partisanship again, as it promised to release Akanni latest on Saturday and it failed to do so. It is obvious that there is ulterior political motive in this.

“I’m saying my own; this trend is dangerous to democracy in Nigeria, if we are serious about entrenching it. We are drifting to autocracy gradually. In fact, this federal government is already autocratic.

“Release Akanni now, before he dies in DSS custody for no just cause.
Nigeria belongs to us all and nobody should be above the
constitution,” Oluwawole said.