DSS Detains PDP Supporters, Fintiri’s Security Aide Following Attack On INEC Official
The Department of State Services (DSS) has detained a senior security officer and the head of the governor’s security detail for the state of Adamawa, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, on suspicion of sexually assaulting election officials.
Following the contentious declaration of Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for governor of Adamawa State, as the winner of the election, by the now-suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Barrister Hudu Yunusa Ari, a mob had broken into the Green City Hotel in Yola and dragged some officials from their rooms.
An old man identified as Professor Zuru, one of the two national commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) assigned to oversee the April 15 supplementary governorship election in the state, is humiliated in a video that has gone viral on social media.
The senior officer simply known as Halilu, who was already at the hotel when the governor’s chief detail arrived there with some police officers from the government house and a group of young people, was allegedly personally assaulted by Ahmad Umar, the governor’s chief detail, before being whisked away to another location.
A video of the senior staff members who had been attacked and were wearing torn kaftans being questioned by some unidentified people was shared on social media, which was seen by many as a humiliation for the secret police organization.
At least three PDP supporters were also detained by the police for allegedly taking part in the attacks at various locations throughout the state.
Barrister Tahir Shehu, the state PDP chairman, led a demonstration to the DSS office in Yola on Wednesday to call for the release of the three detainees.
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We delivered our official letter to the Director DSS, Adamawa State, requesting that he grant those detained access to their attorneys and to their families because it is against the law to hold someone for longer than 24 hours without taking him to court, and we came in this number to register our peaceful protest and demand the immediate and unconditional release of our party members who have been unjustly detained for days without being taken to court.
A High Court ordered the DSS to release the three detainees unconditionally on Thursday, presided over by Justice Christopher Dominic Mapeo.
The hearing on the notice of motion was postponed by the judge until May 3, 2023.
In a related development, the government of Adamawa State has requested that the police launch an investigation into the crisis that followed the APC governorship candidate’s illegitimate declaration.
According to a press release issued by Humwashi Wonosikou, press secretary to the state’s governor and PDP candidate Fintiri, Afraimu Jingi, the state’s commissioner of justice, had written to the police requesting that those who contributed to the crisis be charged.
The DSS office in Yola could not be reached for comment, but an official did direct our reporter to the Abuja headquarters.