Department of State Services (DSS) has bereated Senator Emmanuel Orker-Jev over his claim of killed Vanguard reporter Tordue Salem, being in its custody before news of his death.
The senator representing Benue North-West had raised a point of order on Tuesday November 9, alleging that the missing journalist was taken into custody by the DSS. Citing orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Rules, Orker-Jev said “On October 13 between 8-9pm, Salem went missing and all phone contact with him ceased.”
After the point of order was made, the Senate charged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to “as a matter of urgency” direct a special investigation into the disappearance of the journalist. Salem was however found dead two days after.
Reacting to claims made by the Benue-born senator during a one-day seminar on media and national security, DSS’ spokesperson Peter Afunanya accused him of peddling ”fake news” capable of jeopardizing national unity.
Afunanya also stated that the highly placed lawmaker never sought clarifications from the service’s office in the National Assembly, before making the claim.
”I don’t think someone like the Senator should have made such an allegation against a responsible institution like the Department of State Service.
“He should have sought clarifications from the service’s office in the National Assembly.
”The Department of State Service did not arrest, detain or have a hand in Tordue’s death.
“Moreso, Tordue was not covering or related in any way to any security institution or beat and had not done anything to attract any security attention.
”The DSS being a responsible organisation does not embark on indiscriminate and secret arrest and detention or killing of anybody and could therefore not have arrested or detained the dead journalist.
“Whenever we have justifiable reason to arrest or detain anyone, we always make it public and give reasons for such action in accordance with the rules of our engagement.”