The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to draw the attention of the public to the infamous activities of some unscrupulous elements who have resorted to condemnable tactics aimed at blackmailing and extorting money from unsuspecting and innocent people. The group uses scaremongering, social climbing and name dropping to hoodwink their victims into parting with money to avoid such victims’ names being tarnished. The activities of this group have become widespread that the DSS have decided to alert law abiding Nigerians and residents.
A pertinent fact that investigations have revealed is that this group, in order to further their illegal act, is taking advantage of the clear and sustained anti-corruption war being waged by this administration. A method used by the group is to tell lies against their victims and also plant rumours about them in certain government circles so as to create the impression that the targets are corrupt and have breached legal procedures in the discharge of their responsibilities. The aim is usually to make these targets seek their attention and invariably sort out with them based on negotiated sums of money or they will threaten to “report the matter to the President.”
A typical instance is the arrest of the trio of Usman Ahmed DANMALLAM and Nura Shehu Lawal GIWA (aka Marafan Zazzau) on 17th February, 2016 at Unguwar Sarki, Kaduna North LGA of Kaduna State and Hussaini A. MONGUNO (aka Colonel) in Abuja. This three-man gang had perfected plans to blackmail the DGSS solely based on falsehood. The group claimed that the DGSS collected the sum of N4 billion from the PDP Governors of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Abia and Taraba States to influence the judgement of the Supreme Court in their favour in the recently decided electoral cases by the court.
They were also to misinform the President and in fact, the Nigerian public that the DGSS had acquired choice properties in Maitama and Asokoro areas of Abuja. The overall objective was to scare the DGSS and put him under pressure just for the group to extort money from him to serve their pecuniary interest.
To state the obvious truth, the DGSS couldn’t have approached the justices to accomplish the said feat attributed to him because his Office doesn’t work in that manner. Again, the DG couldn’t have helped the same PDP Governors who daily accuse him even in the press of not supporting them. All these therefore give a lie to the accusations of this band of mischief makers.
It may further interest the public to know the actual personalities of this gang. MOGUNO hails from Yerwa village of Monguno LGA of Borno State. He claims to be a security expert and goes by the Military title of COLONEL. It is regrettable to reveal that MONGUNO never served in the Nigerian Army. Rather, he averred that he was hired as a “Civilian Body Guard” shortly after his stint with the defunct National Guard. He said he was recruited and trained as a Body Guard towards the end of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) regime, but served Late General Sani ABACHA (rtd) who addressed him as Colonel. He also disclosed that he received training on close-body security in Libya and Nigeria. It is not yet known the nature of assignments he undertook for the various regimes he claimed to have served. DANMALLAM who hails from Matazu LGA of Katsina State admitted like the other two members of his group, to the crime but claimed that the smear campaign was initiated by GIWA who came up with the various allegations.
He also revealed that he co-opted MONGUNO into their plans based on his self-confessed expertise in National Security as well as alleged connection with high profile personalities including Mr. President. GIWA hails from Zaria and claims to be the Marafan Zazzau, a traditional title of the respected Emirate. He is the initiator of this plot. He is yet to disclose his main motive for initiating this dangerous plot other than his penchant for name dropping and propensity to extort money from people. Meanwhile, the trio have confessed that the whole allegation against the DG is baseless and only a scam meant to serve their purpose.
This Service and indeed its leadership refuses to be distracted and will remain resolute in its commitment to the anti-corruption efforts of Mr. President and his indefatigable team. The DSS therefore sounds a clear warning to mischief makers and self appointed National Security experts who go about claiming capacity and expertise/skills on sensitive security matters to henceforth desist from doing so. Let it be known that they lack the requisite knowledge of security but engage in this antics to simply create confusion in the polity and enrich themselves. It is to be emphasized that the Service will not hesitate to decisively deal with such persons and groups within the ambit of the law.
Department of State Services,
26th February, 2016