Following the ruling of a Federal High Court in Awka, the Anambra State capital, that it should pay former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nasir el-Rufai, N2 million for unlawful detention, the Department of State Services, DSS, on Tuesday said it would appeal the judgment.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar, the DSS said that it would appeal the ruling because the Judge may have disregarded some proofs in arriving at his verdict.
Ogar stressed that the 1999 Constitution authorized the service to detain any suspect for not more than 48 hours before recourse to a court of law.
She further argued that if the power to arrest and investigate suspects is withdrawn, the service will not be different from other federal government ministries.
“If we cannot intercept, detain and investigate, then we would, with due respect, be operating like any Ministry of the Federal Government,” she said.
“The instrument setting up the Service and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended gives the Service statutory powers to detain and investigate any suspect for not more than 48 hours before recourse to a Court of Law. In this instance, the complainant was not confined or ‘detained’ for more than two hours,” Ogar further noted.
Contrary to the claim made by the former minister, Ogar said that the service did not restrict movement during the election in Anambra state.
She said it was the responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to put measures in place in order to forestall peace any election as she also stated that it was the commission that thought it wise to restrict movement during voting hours.