Nigeria’s Secret Police, the State Security Service (SSS) has in custody, Mr. Gordon Obua, former Chief Security Officer of President Goodluck Jonathan since Thursday, July 16, 2015.
According to reports, Obua’s detention is part of ‘on-going investigations on the spending of security funds and oil theft’ during the Jonathan administration.
Obua was reported Saturday, to have begun a hunger strike as he is being held in solitary confinement in an underground cell in the SSS headquarters in Abuja and denied access to his lawyers and to his family.
Onochie Onwuegbuna, the lead partner at Zeran Legal, has issued a press statement on behalf of Obua’s family complaining about the conditions in which his client is being detained and says that his client is 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, is an employee of the SSS and his employer knows about his medical conditions but has decided to deny him access to his medicines and doctor, his lawyer alleges.
Onwuegbuna said that the Buhari government has ‘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”.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE STATEMENT
We have been briefed and our services retained by the family of Mr. Gordon Obua, the Chief Security Officer to former President Goodluck Jonathan (Our Client) in respect of his present harassment and detention by the State Security Services (SSS).
The facts as narrated to us by our Client’s family are as follows:
Our Client, a serving officer of the State Security Services was ordered to report to the Headquarters to meet with the Acting Director General (A.D.G). He consequently reported at the Headquarters at about 9am on the 8th of July 20 15 and he was kept waiting till late in the night by the Acting D.G who finally asked him to report again the next day.
The exact situation played out the next day and the day after resulting on our Client reporting to the office of the A.D.G everyday from the 8th of July 2015 till the 16th of July 2015.
On the 3rd day of reporting, our Client was orally informed by the A.D.G that there was a petition against him without telling him the contents of the alleged Petition or the identity or the Petitioner (s). Our Client requested to be availed a copy of the Petition or its contents to enable him respond accordingly however, his request was not granted, and he was rather told not to worry that such petitions are normal considering the office he previously occupied.
On the 16th of July 2015, he reported at the office of the A.D.G by 5pm as directed, and as usual he was kept waiting till about 1am on Friday 17th July 2015 when the A.D.G informed him that he will be detained and he has been in detention since then without being informed what offence (if any) he is alleged to have committed or the reason for his detention.
Our Client is hypertensive and diabetic to the knowledge of his employers the SSS. and as a result he has been on daily medications to manage these very severe ailments and since his detention, he has completely been denied access to these medications.
Our Client has also been denied access to members of his family, his doctor and his lawyers and even more worrisome is the information obtained by his family that he has not eaten or drank water ever since he was detained.
The actions of the SSS and our Client’s subsequent detention constitute undue harassment and gross violation of his fundamental rights to respect for the dignity of his person and personal liberty as guaranteed by Sections 31 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In view of the much publicised siege by the SSS on the residences of the Former National Security Adviser coincidentally in the evening of the 16th of July 2015, our Client’s family believe and are justifiably apprehensive that he is being harassed and detained in furtherance of what seems to be a well calculated witch hunt, unlawful harassment gross violation of his fundamental human rights of certain “marked” individuals who served and held offices in the administration of Former President Goodluck Jonathan in other to implicate them by all means for phantom crimes or offences.
This view is further strengthened by the fact that our Client was made to report everyday since the 6th of July 2015, only to be detained in the early hours of Friday 17th of July 2015 which was public holiday with the knowledge that Monday the 20th of July 2015 is also a public holiday. The aim was clearly to ensure he is kept in detention for the period and to ensure that the earliest date available to his lawyers to approach the Courts to enforce his fundamental right is Tuesday the 21st of July 2015.
Our Client is presently languishing in the custody of the SSS without access to his medication, food, water and drugs or to any member of his family, doctors or his lawyers and in the circumstance, we hereby call on the SSS to immediately release him as he has not been informed the facts and grounds of his detention in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The general public is also invited to note that the SSS should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to our Client in their custody or subsequently as a consequence of his unlawful detention.