By Kevwe Ebireri, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the Department of State Service, DSS, of using torture to obtain forced confessions from the workers who were arrested during the first raid on the party’s Data Centre in Ikeja, saying the act contravenes the UN Convention Against Torture to which Nigeria is a signatory and a violation of the citizens’ fundamental human rights.
The national publicity secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, said the DSS personnel who arrested the workers shackled their hands and legs and blindfolded them while they were being taken to Abuja where they were kept in a dark detention cell and made to sleep on the bare floor for a period of 10 days in chains, while none of their family members knew their whereabouts.
Mohammed said among those so badly mistreated was a pregnant woman who was even denied access to her drugs when she started bleeding due to the torture to which she was subjected by the DSS.
“Guns were pointed at their heads by DSS personnel who threatened to shoot them, while verbal insults were hauled at them as if they were common criminals. It is simply incredible that Nigerians can be treated like this under a democratic dispensation,” the APC said.
The party said having coerced, tortured and bullied them to say and write what suits the purpose of the DSS, the agency then issued a statement saying what it has found during its investigations, in the wake of the illegal raid on the APC Data Centre, will shock the world.
The APC vowed to seek justice for members of its staff who it said were treated worse than prisoners of war in their own country by an agency of state that is maintained with tax payers’ funds and which is expected to be fair and non-partisan in its operations.
The party also said every legal measure would be taken to ensure that the DSS does not profit from the use of torture, intimidation and verbal assault of innocent citizens to obtain forced confessions.
It reiterated its earlier call on all Nigerians with the necessary influence, including statesmen, professionals, as well as religious leaders, to call the DSS to order before it plunges the nation into chaos with its shameless, unprofessional and crude tactics..
”Our democracy is in clear and present danger, not just from desperate politicians, but also from institutions of state that have compromised in their roles and resorted to crass lawlessness,” APC said.