The Trent can confirm that Mr. Gordon Obua, former Chief Security Officer to President Goodluck Jonathan has passed away a few hours ago, July 20, 2015 in the custody of Department of Security Services (DSS) in its Abuja Headquarters where he had been detained since Thursday, July 16, 2015 on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sources who have been monitoring the situation have confirmed Obua’s passing to The Trent. He was arrested on Thursday when he honoured an invitation by the DSS and had been in solitary confinement until his death.
Obua, who was being detained by the DSS in an underground dungeon for undisclosed reasons was being denied access to his lawyers, family, and his doctors on the orders of the new Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura. The DSS (also called SSS) serves as Nigeria’s secret police.
President Buhari appointed Lawal Daura, his kinsman from his hometown in Katsina on July 2, as head of the DSS after firing Ita Ekpeyong. Daura was recalled from retirement as he had retired from the service of the DSS when he reached the mandatory age of 60 according to the Civil Service rules of Nigeria.
Our sources say Obua’s remains are still in the custody of the DSS at the time of filing this report. He was held without charges filed against him.
On July 18, 2015, Onochie Onwuegbuna, the lead partner at Zeran Legal, had issued a press statement on behalf of Obua’s family complaining about the conditions in which his client was being detained and said that his client was being witch-hunted by the Buhari government. He said his client was diabetic and hypertensive and was being denied his drugs as well as food and water by the DSS.
Obua, until his death, was an employee of the DSS and his employer knew about his medical conditions but decided, in impunity, to deny him access to his medicines and doctor, his lawyer alleged.
Onwuegbuna said that the Buhari government had ‘marked’ his client, and other individuals who held offices in Jonathan’s administration and the arrest of his client was a scheme, “in other to implicate them by all means for phantom crimes or offences”.
A non-governmental organisation, the Society for Global Justice had issued a statement on Obua’s continued detention at the DSS, on Saturday calling for the release of the former Chief Security Officer.
Executive director of the group, Mr. Marcus Ogabe confirmed that Obua was detained at the SSS headquarters in Abuja since Thursday.
The group also said the continued detention of Obua is indicative of “the tyrannical, autocratic and dictatorship tendency of the Muhammadu Buhari administration”.
“Obua has been detained since last Thursday at the headquarters of the State Security Services in Abuja without charge.
“He was also not told the reason for which he is being detained, the group said.
Editor’s Note: There is an important update on this story, Death Scare Forces Obua’s Release From DSS Custody