Matthew Seiyefa ...pledges a new beginning
  •  To appoint Agency’s Spokesperson

BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Department of State Services (DSS) says plans are on to review all alleged cases of illegal detention, including that of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and other related human rights violations brought against the Agency.

 Acting Director General of DSS, Mr Mathew Seiyefa also said the nation’s secret service is considering re-appointing a substantive Spokesman to facilitate a smooth working relationship with the Media and members of the public.

Speaking at his maiden media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Saiyefa also vowed to promote national interest and eschew zero tolerance for sectional, group and ethnic interests.

Mr Saiyefa, who hinted that the Agency is determined to review all arrests and detentions after being properly briefed by relevant stakeholders, however did not specify when Dasuki would be released.

He assured that all alleged cases of illegal arrests and detentions against the Service would be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure that no Nigerian was unduly kept in custody.

“I am being briefed on the issue of Dasuki. I will be able to make a statement on it after being properly briefed.

“In the coming days, we will review all situations, particularly as relating to DSS and other agencies working together to promote national security”, the DSS boss assured.

Mr Saiyefa further stated that the service would not shirk its statutory responsibility of protecting the nation’s interest at all times, adding; “Nigeria comes first; the peace and security of this nation come first. That is why we are in business and if not, we will not be.”

“It’s in our collective and enlightened self-interest too to protect our people and execute our mandate within the tenets of the law”, he said

The DSS chief said under his watch, the Service would respect and uphold the legitimate rights of all Nigerians without promoting the individual rights of any person above the interest of the country.

He also pledged the Agency’s readiness to partner all relevant stakeholders in checking any form of threats to national security, warning that though the DSS would give its best to protect the rights of the citizens, it would not tolerate abuse of freedom of speech by individuals or groups.

The Acting Director General said in protecting its constitutional mandate, the Agency would work on all issues which tend to portray it in bad light, noting that such disturbing issues include alleged detention and trial of criminal suspects in the country.

Appointed on acting capacity by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday, Mr Saiyefa took over from Mr Lawal Daura  whose appointment was terminated following the DSS operatives’ barricade of the National Assembly in Abuja that prevented federal lawmakers and staff from accessing the complex. – With agency report

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