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Opinion: The DSS Statement and Sowore – By  Richard Akinnola II

I was expecting their Official press statement after first deploying their social media foot soldiers, most of whom don’t even understand how the government works. Right or wrong, they feel obliged to defend all actions of the government. It’s their prerogative. So, no qualms.
When l read the press statement, l had a good laugh, shaking my head intermittently. I intoned – “These people have not changed. Same old tactics”.

But to some of us who were witnesses to history a few decades ago, it’s the same old script.
I recall June 29, 1988. Gani Fawehinmi was charged again for Criminal Defamation before Justice Olu Obadina, of the then Ikeja High court. Before the case was adjourned, plain-clothed security operatives had taken position outside the courtroom.

As soon as Gani came out of the courtroom, a security man, disguising as a supporter of the Babangida junta who was angry with Gani, sauntered towards Gani to attack him.
Momentarily, Okon Aniefok, Gani’s personal assistant (pictured inset), came to the rescue of his boss to stave off the assailant.

Interestingly, the other secret operatives who were pretending to be just bystanders, swooped on Gani in the melee, arresting him and the assailant for “affray”. Laughable charge, isn’t it? Both were taken to the Ikeja police station and locked up in the same cell.
At the police station, the attacker gave his name as “Oseni Sanusi” with an address at Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. We later discovered that the “address” was a piece of land, without any building.

Fortunately for Gani, he knew the DPO who later revealed to him he got wind of the operation that early morning, stating that the script was that after that assailant would have attacked Gani and Gani would have naturally retaliated, the operatives would have shot him, claiming that he was trying to disarm a security man. But as God would have it, Gani’s PA prevented that by disrupting that plan.

In an attempt to cover up their blown plan, they charged both Gani and his assailant to court for affray.
But trust Gani, through his contacts in the security network, he was able to investigate his assailant/co-accused and discovered that he was a serving officer in the military intelligence service. He also got his service number.
At one of the hearings, l sat close to them at the dock and Gani started to wage psychological war on his co-accused by silently tormenting him thus: “I know you are XYZ and your service number is….. I’m going to expose you and your useless government when the trial starts”.

No wonder, when the government later told the court it was withdrawing the charge, apparently having realized that the cover of the assailant had been blown, Gani insisted he wanted to be tried. He apparently was planning to expose the identity of his co-accused during the trial. Eventually, the charges were withdrawn and they were discharged.

So, against this background, l can understand how the DSS had tried to deflect public criticisms of its operatives conduct in the Sowore court saga. Of course, they would disown that guy in a suit who held Sowore down in the melee. Such deflection is standard practice. After all, the General Buhari’s military junta in 1984 disowned the Israeli and other operatives involved in the botched London kidnap of Second Republic powerful minister, Umaru Dikko, though London Scotland Yard managed to get a conviction. So, l can understand.

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