DSS Operatives Allegedly Brutalise Two National Assembly Staff

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

There was commotion at the National Assembly yesterday, when two senior parliamentary staff members were allegedly brutalised by security operatives from the Department of State Services (DSS), attached to the apex legislative institution in the country.

The incident which degenerated to a protest according to eye witnesses, occurred at about 11:45am at the gate which linked the Senate new  building and the white House.

The two senior staff members, namely John Nnadi of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and Chris Odoh, a Deputy Director, were said to have flashed their Identity cards to the DSS operatives on their way into the premises.

An eye witness, an accredited journalist, covering the National Assembly (names withheld), who was at the scene of the incident, said the DSS operatives manning the gate, claimed that the staff members did not identified themselves properly when they were stopped.

Attempts made by the senior staff members to proceed to the White House segment from the Senate new building were forcefully blocked by the DSS operatives.

The development was said to have resulted into rough handling from both ends and outright physical assault from the DSS operatives.

Efforts by passersby including the journalist to resolve the crisis, allegedly infuriated the DSS operatives.

The secret police officers were said to have been joined by other security agents to descend heavily on the two affected staff by dragging John Nnadi and pushing the Deputy Director (Chris Idoh) to their office at the White House.

The forceful dragging of Nnadi and Odoh to DSS office by the operatives, a distance of about 125 metres, drew the attention of other staff members and other sympathisers, whose offices were along the way.

The unfortunate and highly embarrassing scene, forced members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria to gather at the front of the DSS office and threatened fire and brimstone, if the two senior staff were not released immediately.

The Divisional Police Officer at the National Assembly, Alex Annagu and Deputy Clerk to the Senate (Legislative) Mrs Ilobah Isabella, hurriedly rushed to the scene to calm frayed nerves.

They appealed to everybody to return to their various offices.

While listening to the appeal from the DPO and Deputy Clerk, one of the brutalised staff (John Nnadi), stormed out of the DSS office shouting that the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) , Alhaji Sani Magaji Tambawal , must be notified of the injustice and intimidation the DSS operatives subjected them to.

His suggestion was spontaneously accepted by the crowd, who joined him to march to the office of the CNA to protest.

They however, dispersed about 15 minutes later when it was obviously that the CNA was not in the office.

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