Dennis Amachree, a former Assistant Director with the DSS, has said it is procedural for the secret police to issue a wire to sister agencies such as Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs Service for a wanted person to not be allowed out of the country.
“If the DSS declares somebody wanted, the person will be placed on watchlist at all border posts and if the person tries to either leave the country or cross the border, the watchlist will expose the person,” Amachree said in an interview with Saturday PUNCH on Friday.
He was reacting to the manhunt launched by the secret police for Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho. The DSS had on Thursday declared Igboho wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms under the pretext of self-determination for Yoruba nation but the activist had since denied the allegation, noting that he fights with metaphysical powers and not ammunition.
The secret police had also raided Igboho’s Ibadan residence in a Gestapo style on Thursday around 1am. Thirteen of his guards and close associates were arrested and paraded by the DSS while two of his followers were reportedly killed in a gun duel with the secret police.
Though Igboho had escaped the raid, his house and cars were riddled with bullets while bloodstains splattered over the floors of the house.
Asked whether it was also procedural for the DSS to write to financial institutions that the bank accounts of wanted persons be frozen, the former DSS director said, “It depends on the kind of offence the DSS is looking for you for. If it is financial, that will be the duty of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”
On whether the DSS would approach a court for an ex parte order to block Igboho’s bank accounts, Amachree said, “If during their investigation, they (DSS) discover that he has foreign funding, they will decide what to do about that but I cannot second-guess them.”
Efforts to get the DSS spokesman’s comment on whether or not the secret police had requested banks to block Igboho’s accounts proved abortive as of press time as he did not take his calls or reply to text messages by one of our correspondents.
Amachree, however, said Nigerians must wait for the DSS to charge Igboho and his associates to know the exact charges preferred against them.
On the time it would take the secret police to charge the arrested persons to court, he said, “I don’t know but it will be very soon.”
The ex-DSS director advised Igboho to turn himself in to security agencies.
He said, “Of course, the DSS has already asked him to turn himself in at the nearest security post or police station and from there they can go ahead. But if he decides to be a fugitive, that is left to him but the long arm of the law will get to him whenever.
“We want one Nigeria and if all kinds of people are coming as if the country is a failed state, the security agencies will come out and show everybody that the government is still in power and there is no reason for people to start behaving as if there is no government at all. That’s what the DSS has done.
“Self-determination should be carried out in a proper way. People can go to the legislature, people can organise themselves and talk about it and agree without violence, but when you start to carry arms; when you start to accumulate different kinds of arms, then you are not doing self-determination. What you want to start is insurgency or a separatist fight and I don’t think any responsible government will sit down and allow you accumulate arms and attack it.”