APC Condemns DSS Raid Of Data Centre, Suspends Membership Registration

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has again condemned Saturday’s invasion of its data centre in Lagos State by Department of State Security, DSS, operatives, accusing the agency as an agent of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The spokesman of the APC, Lai Mohammed, at a press conference held at the venue of the incident, described as “plainly implausible and a witless afterthought” the reasons given by the DSS for invading the data centre.

The APC spokesman frowned at the explanation by the DSS that it received a petition about the building in which the data centre is located and that it placed it under surveillance and determined that “unwholesome activities” were taking place in it.

“If indeed they put the place under surveillance, would they not have been able to establish that it is an APC Data Centre? Even if they were not sure, what prevents them from obtaining a court order permitting them to enter and search the building instead of carrying out a Gestapo-like operation? Are security agencies above the law?” he queried.

Reacting further, Mohammed said Nigerians should no longer wonder why there has been no positive returns in the fight against Boko Haram if all the nation’s intelligence agency relies on for intelligence-gathering in a politically-charged atmosphere like Nigeria’s was “beer parlour gossips”.

According to Mohammed, it is laughable for the DSS to allege the APC was cloning PVCs when it could not even get the password into the computers found in the centre.

“What did they get when they got there? They couldn’t invite us? In 2014, just a few months to the 2015 elections, they are telling us they did not know it was our office. They could not even get the password. How can you say we are cloning PVCs? Where is the evidence now?”

Mohammed alleged that the real reason the service broke into the offices of the party was to deprive it of its membership data base so it can no longer contact its members, and also to aid and abet the rigging of the 2015 elections by the PDP.

”With the membership data base now in their possession, it has become easy for them to collude with INEC to know which areas we are strong so they can scuttle the distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards there and, during the elections, to also deprive such areas of voting materials.

“The viciousness and barbarism of the attack on the Data Centre and the arrest of 26 innocent workers, which put a lie to the DSS claim, have disrupted and corrupted the continuous offline and online membership registration across the country.

Mohammed said that over 50 security men invaded the data centre, allegedly vandalized the offices and took away the Server and computer systems.

According to the APC spokesman the incident has forced the party to suspend its membership registration and data capturing exercise across the country.

“Their activities have therefore affected the process of online/offline registration and data capture of APC members across the country, hence we are left with no choice than to suspend the process,” he said.

Mohammed had earlier, in an interview with pressmen, affirmed the party’s determination to seek legal redress in the law courts.

““We will definitely go to court to seek redress and enforce our fundamental rights. Two days before then, they went to attack the House of Representatives. We had information that this was going to happen,” he stated.

The spokesperson of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar in a press statement released on Sunday explained that the agency received a petition alleging “unwholesome activities” in the said building and they swung into action.

“The petition alleged that those behind the activities were cloning INEC Permanent Voters Card with the intention of hacking into INEC data base, corrupting it and replacing them with their own data.”

“Based on this information, the service placed the building under surveillance and having been convinced that some unwholesome activities were going on in the building, it undertook a raid of the premises.”

“In the process, some persons were arrested, while a server, three hard drives and 31 Ghana must go bags of hard copy documents were recovered and taken away for further investigation,” Ogar said in the statement.

Reacting also to the development, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has said that the recurring clampdown on the opposition or those with dissenting views has lent credence to the allegation of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo that a killer squad was being put in place in the country.






     

     

    In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Osita Okechukwu, the CNPP said it was “at a loss of how the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of Department of Security Service are violently descending into the political arena.”

    The statement said: “The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP ) calls on the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of Security Service (DSS) to Save Our Democracy.”

    “We are making this clarion call based on our understanding that the NPF, DSS and indeed state security agencies, be it the Army, Navy, Air Force, Road Safety, Civil Defence, as a whole are veritable institutions of democracy; without which no democracy can survive,” it stated.

    The CNPP said it was unclear if the nest of killers, which ex-President Obasanjo warned about had started prowling the country.

     

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