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DSS denies violating human rights, says allegations false

The Department of State Services has informed Nigerians that, despite efforts to damage the service’s reputation, it will continue to carry out its duty in accordance with international best practices.

Claims that suspects were being mistreated and denied access to their attorneys in detention were referred to as untrue by the service.

The DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, on Thursday in a statement maintained that suspects were handled in line with the service’s regular operating procedure, with the general treatment of suspects being prioritised.

This, he said, suspects who had been to its facilities could attest to.

He said, “To sustain national stability, the service will continue to carry out its duties and responsibilities in line with global best practices as they affect human rights and the rule of law.

“This is despite calculated efforts by some interest groups to create the impression that persons arrested by the service are either not taken care of or denied access to their families and/or legal representatives.

“It is instructive to note that the service has a standard operating procedure on suspect handling. It considers this and the general care of suspects sacrosanct and a priority. This can undoubtedly be attested to by those that have passed through its holding facilities.”

He also denied that the service carried out illegal arrests.

Afunanya said, “For every suspect under its detention, the Service allows a family and/or legal representative, who have fulfilled all the processes and clearance procedures, access to such a suspect.

“The public may note that the service does not carry out illegal arrests or undertake enforced disappearances of innocent persons. It also does not operate illegal detention camps.”

He also urged community and religious leaders to preach peaceful coexistence, warning that criminals might want to capitalise on the festive period to wreak havoc.

“Similarly, political actors, while carrying out their campaigns, are expected to play the game according to the rules of engagement,” he added.

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