Olupona Olusegun Adewale, a young man who is currently undergoing his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in Ekiti State, has been arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
SaharaReporters reports that Adewale was on March 24, 2022 arrested at a branch of Union Bank in Akure, Ondo state.
It was learnt that the young man has been denied access to his lawyers and family members by the DSS since his arrest.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, human rights lawyer, Tope Temokun accused the secret police of disrespecting the corps member’s rights as if the agency is above the constitution of the land.
“In the early hour of the 24th of March 2022, a Corps Member, Olupona Olusegun Adewale, who is resident in Akure, while observing his mandatory one-year NYSC national assignment at A.U.D Secondary school, Ikere, Ekiti state, was arrested at the premises of the Union Bank Alagbaka Akure, by operatives of the “State Security Services” the security agency of Nigeria, created under the National Security Agencies Act CAP. N74 L.F.N. 2004 and the statutorily known as State Security Services (SSS), but self-styled itself as the Department of State Services (DSS),” the lawyer said.
“On the 25th of March 2022, upon being briefed by the family, B.C. Obilor Esq., a lawyer from our chambers (Tope Temokun Chambers) visited the office of the DSS in Akure, with the family members of Mr. Olupona to find out the reason for his arrest, but they were denied not only access to him but also the opportunity of knowing the reason for the arrest and detention of Mr. Olupona.
“On the 28th of March 2022, the detainee’s mother and B.C. Obilor Esq. from our chambers again visited the DSS office in Akure, to formally apply for bail for Mr. Olupona, but the officer in charge who refused to disclose his name, refused this constitutional request for the detainee to be released on bail, while still refusing to disclose the reason for the arrest and detention of Mr. Olupona.
“The officer in charge of the case in the DSS office demanded that we write a letter to the director, requesting the director’s consent and approval, before we could have access to see the detainee and in a swift response, by a letter signed and presented dated 28th of March 2022, we made the appropriate formal request as directed, but till date, we did not get consent nor the approval of the director for the counsel and the detainee’s mother to see him.
“We have been left with no choice but to approach the court to challenge this serial lawlessness of the secret police, who have perennially indulged in wearing this military toga of disrespect to the rights of Nigerians from state to state as if they are above the constitution of the land.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that the DSS is answerable and responsible to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria only. But they should know that the president is an employee and servant of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a company owned constitutionally by the people, the Nigerian people, whose rights and human dignity the DSS has been disrespecting and trampling underfoot. Neither the SSS nor the President is above the constitution.”