The Department of State Services (DSS) Wednesday denied arresting Mr. Edward Onoja, an aide of Kogi State Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello.
The DSS said a media report claiming that Onoja was arrested was fake news.
According to the report, Onoja was purportedly arrested following a tip-off of an impending attack on a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Jibrin Usman by mercenaries identified as ex-Niger Delta militants.
The purported ex-militants were said to have allegedly implicated Onoja in the plot, following which he was detained last Friday till the early hours of Saturday, according to the report.
Vice Admiral Usman, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, is a major contender for the gubernatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi, in the August primaries, ahead of the state’s November 2019 election.
But the DSS debunked the report in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO) PN. Afunaya, titled ‘Edward Onoja not arrested by the DSS’.
It reads: “The said news (relating to the arrest of Onoja) is fake and misleading and should be disregarded as the DSS never carried out such operation.
“The service recognises that the media is a strategic partner in nation-building and hopes that cordiality and mutual respectability are maintained in the relationship between them.
“In this vein, it wishes to advise that stories are verified or authenticated before their publication.
“It, however, warns that persons or organisations that falsely use the name of the Service will be liable to prosecution.
“The DSS will, no doubt, continue to collaborate with all well-meaning stakeholders to ensure that peace and order are maintained, not only in Kogi State but every part of the country.”
Similarly, Onoja in a video he released on social media last Sunday, denied the arrest story.
“I want to categorically state that it was a lie from the pit of hell. I was never arrested, never invited…”, he said in the video.