Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How SSS treated us, our family, Al-Mizan journalist, wife narrate


Two Al-Mizan journalists were detained for eight days without trial.The family of one of the Al-Mizan journalists detained for eight days without trial have said that they intend to sue the State Security Service for harassment suffered at the hands of security operatives.

Two Al-Mizan journalists, Musa Mohammed Awwal and Aliyu Saleh, were arrested and detained by the State Security Service, SSS, for over a week

The wife of Mr. Awwal, Hannatu Dikko, informed PREMIUM TIMES in an interview, while receiving sympathisers who thronged their residence in Kaduna on Tuesday, that, “we will take legal action against such inhuman treatment and claim damages”.

She said the SSS did not even deem it fit to apologise when she complained about the beating they received.

“Some officers at the SSS headquarters in Abuja just told me to keep silent about that and concentrate on securing the bail of my husband,” she said.

Mrs. Awwal however said, “We are so happy now that our husbands are released and have returned back home safely, but the memory and trauma of that day is still in me and will remain in me for the rest of my life.”

She narrated what transpired on the day of her arrest.

The abuse

“They ordered all of us to come out while others were shouting as they asked for my husband.

“One light complexion soldier slapped me while another one hit me very hard on my head and up till now I am feeling the pain from the beating.

“Two of my children who are anaemic were also beaten despite the fact that none of us resisted or challenged them,” she said.

Mrs. Awwal said about eight of the other soldiers ransacked her bedroom and went away with more than N100, 000 cash, GSM handsets, and her husband’s laptop and ipad.

“I am calling on security agents to be civil in their approach in such kind of operation against innocent persons so that one cannot feel so much pain and inhuman treatment”, she said.

On his part, Mr. Awwal said up till the time he spoke to our reporters,  his GSM handsets,  those of his children, his laptop, and ipad, were yet to be released.

“No identification or search warrant was shown to us when they invaded my house. One of the soldiers even slapped me before their team leader warned them against such brutality,” he said.

“One of my daughters was left with bruises from the beating they received from the soldiers,” he said.

He however said the SSS treated them very well while in detention in Kaduna for one day before being transferred to Abuja.

“We were not hand-cuffed and not covered with a hood. We had access to good toilet and good food even though seven of us were put in a cell but we are not congested and we were not molested by anybody,” he added.

What they asked us

Mr. Awwal said four days after their arrest, he was interrogated and was asked about his paper’s editor-in-chief.

“How well I know him, where he is and so on,” he said, were the questions he was asked.

One of the editors of Al-Mizan, Abdulmumin Giwa, in a chat said the matter had not ended “because our editor-in-chief is still at large and he cannot continue like that.

“We will rather suggest they invite him for questioning or they send him a questionnaire to fill for them instead of subjecting him to such kind of intimidation”, he said.


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