The Kano State chapter of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has accused the Department of State Services (DSS) of intimidating its members and carrying out raids on its campaign offices in the state.
But the secret police, in a swift reaction, said it had been neutral in carrying out its duties and had offered all political parties equal opportunities, saying it only retrieved dangerous weapons from campaign offices of some politicians.
The allegation by the NNPP, a leading opposition party in the state, came just a few days after the party accused the police leadership in the state of working with the state government to harass and arrest its members.
Daily Trust reports that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has redeployed the commissioner of police (CP) in the state to Plateau State and posted two new CPs and three deputies to oversee the state during the election.
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Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, the state chairman of NNPP, Umar Haruna Doguwa, alleged that the offices of the directors of support groups and that of the director of youth mobilization were raided by men of the DSS.
“We are horrified to note that the men of the DSS were brazenly bringing weapons from their vehicles and putting them in the offices of our directors. This was done in the presence of our campaign staff, who also recorded the incident on video. We have pictures and video evidence of this flagrant setup.
“We write to draw the attention of the Director General of the DSS to call his Command in Kano to order,” Doguwa said.
But when contacted, the spokesman of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, told Daily Trust that its personnel only retrieved dangerous weapons like guns, swords, daggers and jackknives, among others, from some politicians.
Afunanya shared some pictures of dangerous weapons including clubs, cutlasses and guns said to have been recovered from the property with one of our correspondents via WhatsApp.
He said, “The property was searched with a warrant. This is not a true account of what happened. The DSS in Kano didn’t intimidate any political party in that state.
“The service is neutral and has offered all the parties equal opportunities to carry out their activities.”
The commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, could not be reached as of the time of filing this report for the state government’s reaction to the allegation of its connivance with the DSS to rig the election.
From Salim U. Ibrahim (Kano) & Idowu Isamotu (Abuja)