BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed arresting the alleged mastermind of the doctored and shared fake videos of President Muhammadu Buhari’s wedding ceremonies with Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq.
The suspect, Kabiru Mohammed, 32, was paraded at the DSS National Headquarters on Friday by the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Dr Peter Afunanya, who disclosed that on the strength of a formal complaint lodged by the Finance Minister, Mrs Ahmed, an investigation was launched into the case.
According to the DSS reports, Mohammed reportedly created the fake videos that went viral on the social media between August and October 2019.
Afunanya said in a statement that, “Last year, 2019 between August and October, there was a defamatory video that circulated widely across Nigeria and showing false engagement of Mr President in marriage with some members of his cabinet. One was the Minister for Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and another was that of the Minister for Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq.
“On the 11th of October, 2019, the Honourable Minister for Finance, brought a formal complaint to the Service in which she stated that the video had cost her big embarrassment and asked that an investigation be opened into that audio/video and the materials associated with it, the infographics and all the materials that were in circulation at the moment.
“She asked that a detailed investigation be opened in that regard with a view to identifying the persons or groups of persons that may have been behind the circulation of such defamatory materials.”
Unveiling further details on the case, the DSS Spokesman said; “The Service went into investigation and we can announce that it had apprehended the person that is involved and the person who started this and who circulated the materials. His name is Kabiru Mohammed. He hails from Kano. He is 32 years. He holds a diploma in Hausa and Fulfulde from the Federal College of Education, Kano and also holds a diploma in Mass Communication from Aminu Kano Islamic School, according to him.
“He has confessed and investigation has also revealed his involvement in the creation of these materials and the circulation of the materials. Investigation is continuing to determine the actual reasons behind his intent. What we can assure you as Nigerians is that we would continue to deepen this investigation and bring it to a logical conclusion.”
Afunanya, who gave assurances that the DSS will not relent in its efforts to unravel all issues surrounding the fake videos, said; “We will do everything needful within the ambit of the law to bring this to a logical conclusion, as to determine whether there is or not other persons, interests and motives behind this other than what he has said.
“We want to use this opportunity to once again please ask Nigerians as always that the spread of false news through the social media does not do well for any person. You may enjoy the spread of such falsehood when you are not the victim. But if you become the victim, you will know the pain.
“And we want to urge every citizen and residents and of course Nigerians, that anywhere they are, they should desist from spreading falsehoods, misrepresentations, rumours against one another, against then government, and against institutions of government.
“By the time you click that button and you spread or participate in sharing news that is not true, you are helping in causing disharmony, you are helping in bringing problem in the country. And you are also feeding on differences in the country to bring about chaos, anarchy and instability.
“As we go into the New Year, we urge everyone to make a new attitude and begin to find reasons to be more patriotic, to be more law abiding, and be better citizens and to help move Nigeria forward”, the DSS said
Afunanya however pleaded for public understanding in the Service’s resolve to remain focused on its statutory functions, adding; “On our part, we would continue to perform our duties and responsibilities without let or fear and will always collaborate with all stakeholders particularly the media and strategic partners to make sure there is lasting peace in the country.”