Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Five personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) are now cooling their heels in the agency’s cell in Calabar, Cross River State, following their role in the alleged brutalisation of teachers and staff of the Federal Government Girls College, Calabar on January 2, this year.
Sources who pleaded not to be quoted, said the affected personnel were arrested almost immediately after the incident occurred because their conduct was against the rules and regulations of the service, more so as they acted independent of any official directive.
THISDAY checks revealed that the affected personnel were not yet released from their cells as at press time yesterday as they have been subjected to serious interrogations since they were detained.
Apparently embarrassed by the perceive unprofessional conduct of its personnel who participated in the inglorious act, the DSS, it was reliable gathered, detained five security personnel, who allegedly participated in the invasion of the school, and the brutality meted on the teachers and non-teaching staff of one of the foremost institutions in the state.
One of the sources said their arrest and detention was an indication that the DSS has officially commenced investigations into the matter, in line with its set out standards of arresting such issues that involve their personnel.
However, the source who refused to disclose the identity of the arrested DSS personnel said the action of the service was taken, irrespective of the fact that the school authorities had not lodged any official complain with the service concerning the incident.
“As were speak, five of our security personnel are in detention because we have commenced investigation into the incident that happened at the federal girls school. Those who went there did not have official directives to go there. What happened was that the vice principal came to gate and raised the alarm that hoodlums had invaded the school, and they were beating up teachers and students. So, being our neighbours, and the need to ensure that the entire area was safe, some of our men were dispatched immediately to the school, only for them to find out that it was some of our colleagues that were involved in the misunderstanding. The school has not yet reported what happened to us. The matter is going to be thoroughly investigated, and if any of our colleague is found culpable, the person will the punished according to the laws regulating the conduct of DSS staff.
The DSS remain a law-abiding organisation, and will never condone any act of lawlessness from any of its men and officers, “the source who said he was not mandated to speak on the matter disclosed.
The incident has attracted wide reaction, as teachers of the school in conjunction with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, FGGC Wing and the Nigeria Union of Teachers stormed the streets of Calabar on Tuesday as they took their protest to the state government where they demanded for justice to be done on the issue.
The school authorities have also threatened to institute a case against the DSS, if the organisation fails to meet the terms on which they are demanding justice.
While commenting on the matter, the state Director of DSS, Mr. Fubara Duke, had described it as a case of mistaken identity.