The Department of State Services (DSS) has categorically denied recent reports suggesting that Senator Abdulaziz Yari was invited for questioning due to his alleged refusal to answer a phone call from President Bola Tinubu ahead of the Senate President election. In response to what it described as “misleading narratives,” Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of the DSS, issued a statement on Sunday addressing the Yari saga.
The DSS spokesman deemed it “petty, if not laughable,” to assert that Yari was invited for declining the President’s call, calling it a prime example of “junk journalism.” Afunanya stated, “Yari knows why he was invited.”
Afunanya’s statement addressed false reports circulated by certain online media outlets, specifically SaharaReporters, Peoples Gazette, and Jackson Ude. He accused these platforms of disseminating misleading narratives and baseless accusations against the DSS. For instance, SaharaReporters claimed that the DSS raided the offices of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and seized certain files. Additionally, Jackson Ude falsely alleged internal strife within the DSS due to nepotism and accused the agency of snooping on judges of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Peoples Gazette, on the other hand, reported that Senator Abdulaziz Yari had been arrested for purportedly refusing to answer the President’s phone call. Afunanya clarified that these allegations and others lacked factual basis or credibility and were mere fabrications. He further criticized the publishers for their notoriety in peddling fake news, sensationalism, and gutter journalism.
The DSS emphasized that the reports were aimed at tarnishing its integrity and leadership. The agency had previously alerted the public about these developments in June 2023. While aware of the sponsors behind the campaigns of calumny, the DSS stated that it would allow them to exhaust themselves, confident that they would eventually face justice.
The statement emphasized that the writers and their sponsors seemed oblivious to the accolades the DSS has received from the majority of stakeholders for its excellent performance and professional demeanor in handling critical national issues. Rather than acknowledging these achievements, they opted to subvert the agency and undermine its capabilities through their platforms.
Reiterating its respect for the rule of law, independence, and autonomy of other agencies, including the judiciary and legislature, the DSS declared its commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities and carrying out lawful orders. The agency stated that it would not hesitate to invite or take into custody individuals, including Yari, if procedurally done within the confines of the law.
The DSS affirmed its determination to remain focused, resilient, patriotic, and professional in the execution of its duties. It called on the public to disregard the misleading stories intended to sow discord and disparage the leadership of the agency.
The statement concluded by emphasizing that the DSS would continue working with relevant stakeholders to address security challenges in the country in line with its mandate and the directives of the President. It asserted that no matter how many times detractors and hostile agents attempted to distract the agency, it would stay resolute in its mission.
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