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HomeNewsInauguration: DSS Fires Fresh Warning

Inauguration: DSS Fires Fresh Warning

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  • Heavy Security In Abuja, Environs Ahead Of Inauguration
  • Allow Peaceful Demonstration, Police Urged
  • Group Reveals Why Protest Against Tinubu’s Inauguration Was Stopped
  • Ex-Presidential Candidate Slammed With N40m Fine For Trying To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration

A few days to the inauguration of President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President-Elect, Kashim Shettima, the Department of State Security Service (DSS) has issued a fresh warning against any unruly behaviour and non-adherence to protocols during the presidential inauguration activities.

The DSS disclosed that it was aware of plans by subversive elements to disrupt the programmes in parts of the country, with the aim of undermining security agencies’ efforts at ensuring peaceful ceremonies as well as creating panic and fear among members of the public.

The Service also warned all unauthorised (and unaccredited) persons to stay away from restricted and certain designated areas at the event venues.

Part of the DSS statement signed by its spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, stated: “It would be recalled that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Transition Council (PTC) on May 18, 2023 held a world press conference during which he announced activities for the presidential inauguration.

“The major highlight of the activities is the swearing-in of the President on May 29, 2023 in Abuja. On the same date, new Governors will also be inaugurated in most of the States.

“The Service is, however, aware of plans by subversive elements to disrupt the programmes in parts of the country. The aim is to undermine security agencies’ efforts at ensuring peaceful ceremonies as well as creating panic and fear among members of the public.

“Based on these, citizens, the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are advised to adhere strictly to security and civil protocols during the events. They are also urged to shun fake news, false alarms, skewed reportage/narratives and sensationalism that may likely inflame division, tension and violence prior to and after the exercises.

“This is more so that such undesirable acts will serve no purpose other than destroying national unity and cohesion. Additionally, all unauthorised (and unaccredited) persons are warned to stay away from restricted and certain designated areas at the event venues.

“The Service reiterates its earlier call for the populace to remain calm and law abiding. Meanwhile, it will continue to sustain collaboration with sister agencies to ensure successful inaugurations.”

Meanwhile, there is a heavy security presence in Abuja and its environs ahead of the D-Day.

A move around the city center will see the presence of the Nigeria Police Force personnel and the military all over strategic places.

In a related development, Udenta Udenta, founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD), has urged security agencies not to stop any citizen from protesting on May 29 during the inauguration.

Udenta spoke on Thursday at the public presentation of a book titled “Media and Nigeria’s Constitutional Democracy: Threats, Constraints and Resilience” organised by the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.

He said stopping aggrieved Nigerians from protesting on May 29 is against the constitution and a violation of fundamental human rights.

“In two or three days’ time, there will be an inauguration. The Inspector-General Of Police is already speaking, the Director-General, of the Department of State Service (DSS), is speaking, the military is also speaking,” he said.

“However, my sense of it is that they are shutting down democratic conversation and we should not allow that. While you’re going to swear people in, you should equally allow those that want to protest to do that peacefully, legitimately constitutionally.

“If you have your security perimeter, within which you don’t expect anybody except invited guests and those with clearance, outside the perimeter,  thousands if possible millions of Nigerians are permitted to gather with their placards and protest. That is part of democracy.

Also, a group, Free Nigeria Movement, FNM, has called for the end of the protest against the presidential election that produced the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC’s candidate Tinubu as the winner.

The group made the call in a statement by the Convener, Moses Paul, on Thursday, barely four days before the inauguration of the president-elect.

Paul said the group was retreating from the protest to strategize on other means of getting justice, stressing that it can no longer guarantee the safety of members in the face of daunting threats and intimidation.

He said, “Our focus is unshakably Nigerian. Our rules are written by justice. Consequently, the Free Nigeria Movement will no longer participate in any protests or gatherings to contest the outcome of the presidential election of February 25, 2023.

“This is in keeping with our commitment to ensure that no life is lost in our protest. Given the weight of threats and intimidation daily received by our leaders, we can no longer guarantee the safety of members and therefore call for the cessation of public outings for protests. We make this announcement today and will send copies to the police and DSS.

“Henceforth, our banners or placards will not be used in any protests pertaining to the presidential election until further notice. Any sighting of our banner or the likeness of such at any protest, kindly note, is not us.”

In another related development, the Court of Appeal, Abuja has fined a former presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, N40m for filing a frivolous suit seeking to stop the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29.

The Court ordered Owuru to pay the sum of N10m each to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Tinubu.

Justice Jamil Tukur, who read the lead judgment of the three man panel of the court, held that Owuru embarked on a gross abuse of court process by filing a frivolous, suit to provoke the respondents.

The Court of Appeal held that the grievances of Owuru against the 2019 presidential election was not only strange but uncalled for because the grievances had been pursued up to Supreme Court and was dismissed for want of merit.

Justice Tukur said that the action of Owuru to resuscitate the case that died since 2019 at the Supreme Court, was aimed at making the lower courts to go on a collision course with the supremacy of the Apex Court.

Owuru, a presidential candidate of the defunct political party, Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 presidential election had prayed the Court of Appeal Abuja to prohibit Buhari, Malami and INEC from inaugurating the President-elect on May 29.

Owuru predicated his grouse against inauguration of Tinubu or anybody else as successor to Buhari on the ground that he is the constitutionally adjudged winner of the 2019 election and has not spent his tenure as required by law.

Among others, Owuru insisted that Buhari has been usurping his tenure of office since 2019 because the Supreme Court has not determined his petition filed in 2019 in which he challenged the purported declaration of Buhari as the election winner.

He also applied for another order directing and placing on notice that any form of handover inauguration, organized and Superintended by Buhari on May 29, 2023, outside the adjudged winner of the 2019 presidential election, subject of the pending appeal, remains as an “interim place holder” administration pending the hearing and determination of his substantive appeal on the constitutional interpretation thereof.

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