How I was manhandled by DSS, lawyer Ogbankwa narrates ordeal

Lawyer and activist, Douglas Ogbankwa, Director of Strategic Communications, African Bar Association, has narrated how he was manhandled by Department of State Service, DSS, operatives at the service office in Benin City, Edo State.

Ogbankwa, who went with his client, said he was slapped, beaten up, dragged on the ground and threatened with a gun for insisting on being present when his client was making statement.

Dr. Douglas Ogbankwa

In a statement on Tuesday, he said: “I visited the DSS Office at No 1, High Court Road, Benin City, Edo State, with my client and we were at the waiting room when two different ladies at intervals wanted to take my client to go and make statement with out my presence.

“I protested that I need to be present by the Provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA.

“It was at that moment that one man wearing blue native attire that I knew is the PSO, Operations and Intelligence, came out asked my client to come out and shouted at me to go back to the reception.

“It was at this point, I informed him that I was not a kindergarten pupil that should be pushed around, because he was very uncouth, rude and aggressive.

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“He then said I should leave the Office and I told him, the DSS Office is an agency of the Federal Government and I was a freeborn, who should be able to access same at reasonable hours of the day.

“It was then I asked my client that we should leave. We were leaving when the PSO Operations and Intelligence, asked that they should lock the gate that I was under arrest.

“I informed him that being assertive is not a crime, but a right as we are in a free society.

“He slapped me immediately and asked his boys to bundle me into an underground cell. I was dragged on the floor, cleared from my leg, I received over seven slaps and blows.

“I stood up and informed them that they were no longer doing SSS business, but their personal business as I do not know the state command officers to act this way.

“This PSO Operations and Intelligence is new and lawyers have really suffered in his hand. I told him the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must hear this and he said they are the President boys.

“One of them even said they will kill me here and nothing will happen. I am presently scared for my life as, the man holding gun said if I come to the DSS Office again, they will gun me down,” he added.

 

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