The All Progressives Congress, APC has described as the height of lawlessness and an orchestrated provocation the second raid that was carried out on the party’s data centre in Ikeja, Lagos, by the State Security Service, SSS, on Monday night.
The party said the out-of-control agency must urgently be called to order.
“The raid by over 40 armed DSS officers, despite a court order restraining the service from such action, shows that the DSS considers itself to be above the laws of the land, and this is totally condemnable,” the party said in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.
“Even under a PDP government that has nothing but contempt for constitutional order, the lack of respect for a court order by an institution of state like the DSS has plumbed the depth of anomie, and shows that our democracy is in clear and present danger from anarchists,” it said.
APC said the 40 armed DSS officers, who came with trucks, shoved the security personnel at the building aside and broke into the storage facility from where they carted away over 30 bags filled with the APC membership registration forms.
The party said the raid came on the same day it challenged the SSS to make public its findings after the first raid that was widely condemned within and outside Nigeria, and described as the worst political scandal in the nation’s history.
“It is sensible to conclude that the DSS’ second raid was its own crude reaction to the challenge we posed to it. Apparently yet to find any evidence of PVC cloning as alleged by the DSS, it is now quite desperate to manufacture evidence to justify its raids. Or how else does one explain the claim by the service that its ‘findings’ will shock Nigerians, even at a time it is still in search of evidence? Is this how self-respecting intelligence agencies conduct their operations?
“It is curious that an institution of state will continue to act like an enforcement arm of the ruling party by constantly harassing the opposition. It is strange that an organization that should be deploying its best staff to gather useful intelligence that can help the nation to win the anti-terrorism war is instead engaging in terrorizing the opposition.
“It is time to call the DSS to order, and to remind those at the helms of affairs that while they may be having a free rein today, they will one day rue their actions at this critical time in our nation’s history,” it said.
APC said it was particularly alarming that the SSS carried out its raid despite the November 26 order by Justice Mohammed Yenusa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, restraining the DSS from further sealing off the data centre or taking further steps in connection with the property.
The party said the moment Nigerians could no longer seek redress in court, just because the law enforcement agencies have elevated themselves above the law, the country could as well bid good goodbye to constitutional order.
It blamed the prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness in the country on the culture of impunity that has become institutionalized under the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, wondering whether that is the legacy the President wanted to leave after his tenure.
All Progressives Congress, APC
A separate statement of the Lagos chapter of APC confirmed the raid:
The Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has alerted the nation once again that impunity and brigandage is fast assuming a way of life in Nigeria and unless our Security Agencies are called to order now they may inflict maximum damage to our hard earned democracy.
In a release signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the Party says “that despite the public outcry and opprobrium that followed Saturday November 22 invasion of APC Data Centre in Lagos and a Court order asking DSS to release those arrested, 40 DSS officers returned yesterday night to further vandalize the office and took away 30 bags containing vital documents.
“This frightening and fragrant display of impunity, brute force and disobedience of Court order portends grave danger to our now fragile polity and it may brutally affect the 2015 General elections if the ruling party, police or DSS are not called to order.”
“We are still at a loss that more than two weeks after the first invasion, DSS has not told the world what its findings are, why it is still detaining workers of the Data Centre, and why it is still keeping the APC computers and vital documents.”
“This desperation and confusion that is now the hallmark of the ruling party, PDP and their agents in uniform has been long expected and we know that this party cannot go down without a fight.”
“APC has come a long way, the party has walked a long road, faced many challenges, obstacles and scaled many walls but it is not over until it is over. This cup will pass away and Nigeria will be liberated from the choking grip of PDP.”
Lagos APC appeals to its teeming supporters to remain calm and resolute in the face of these provocations. We shall overcome. We will defeat impunity. We will defeat political corruption. We will defeat abuse of power and political brigandage. We will liberate Nigeria in the fullness of time. When a drowning man is holding on to something he may never let go until his hands are cut off”.