By Sadiq Umar
The Director General of Department of State Security Services(DSS), Lawal Daura yesterday dismissed allegations of undue interference in Rivers State Election Petitions saying that the Service never interfere into ongoing tribunal in the state as claimed by Rivers lawmakers.
Rivers State House of Assembly lawmakers had Petitioned Senate over undue interference of Director, Department State Service(DSS) , in Rivers State Election Petitions pending before the Election petition Tribunal.
However, Daura informed the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public petitions that at no time did any INEC staff was arrested or detained as alleged by Rivers State House of Assembly.
Speaking on behalf of Lawal Daura, the Director of Operation States Services, Bassey Etim said although the Service has no power under the constitution on Electoral Petition but the Services consider the issue of National security on the matter going at the Rivers Elections petitions Tribunal.
In his words,”. It is necessary to state unequivocally that no time did service invite any Judicial officers or members of the Rivers State Election for questioning concerning thier handling of election petitions pending before them or for indeed any other matter. Consequently, the Service invite the complainant in this case to provide evidence of such invitation as to names, date and time.
“Further, while it is true that the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Rivers State and some of her staff were orally invited to assist the Service in its investigation, neither she nor any of her staff was arrested or detained as alleged.
” it is necessary to clarify that the Service is quite within it in its investigation and all responsible persons would have no qualms about responding positively to such invitation.”
It could be Recalled that All Progressive Congress(APC), Rivers state chapter petitioned DSS over plans by INEC officials to frustrate the Ongoing Rivers Elections Petition Tribunal.