Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday, insisted it does not carry out illegal arrests or undertake enforced disappearances of innocent Nigerians, stressing that it operates within the confines of the law.
The secret police added that it does not operate illegal detention camps in parts of the country.
Spokesperson of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, who gave the clarification in a statement, in Abuja, also urged Nigerians to be on the alert during Yuletide.
He said: “To sustain national stability, the Service will continue to carry out its duties and responsibilities, in line with global best practices, as they affect human rights and the rule of law. This is despite calculated efforts by some interest groups to create impression that persons arrested by the Service are either not taken care of or denied access to their families and/or legal representatives.
“It is instructive to note that the Service has a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on suspect handling. It considers this and general care of suspects sacrosanct and a priority. Those that have passed through its holding facilities can undoubtedly attest to this.
“For every suspect under its detention, the Service allows a family and/or legal representative, who fulfills all the processes and clearance procedures, access to such a suspect.”
Afunanya said: “The public may note that the Service does not carry out illegal arrests or undertake enforced disappearances of innocent persons. It also does not operate illegal detention camps. Its operations and activities are rule-based and governed by transparent and accountable legal processes. The DSS, therefore, enjoins those opposed to its lawful position on issues to approach the court for redress.”
On Yuletide, the spokesman urged community, religious and political leaders to preach peaceful coexistence, tolerance and unity, and enlighten their members on safety measures during and after the season.
According to him, “this becomes necessary as criminal elements may want to capitalise on the festivities to wreak havoc or harm unsuspecting members of the public.”