Detained former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Gordon Obua, yesterday told Nigerians that he was in good health and receiving dignified treatment from the management and personnel of the Department of State Security Services, DSS.
Obua, who is a serving officer of the DSS, at a guarded media briefing inside the conference room of the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, thanked Nigerians for the interests they had showed in his case.
The social media was agog with reports that Obua, who was detained last week, died after being tortured by DSS operatives.
In the brief interaction with journalists, Odua said: “I thanked Nigerians and members of my family who have expressed very serious concerns about my wellbeing in the last six days.
“I want to use this medium to tell Nigerians and members of my family that I am hale and hearty.
“As a serving officer of DSS and having completed my duty tour with the last President, the Service felt that I should give a briefing of my stewardship.
“Nigerians should be assured that DSS is a responsible organisation and I am sure that nothing adverse will happen to me once it is ascertained that I did nothing wrong during my last posting”, Obua stated.
When journalists attempted to question him further, Obua declared: “I am a serving staff of DSS and I have limitations regarding speaking with the press. I thank the Director-General of DSS for the way that I have been treated so far.”
Prior to yesterday’s briefing, Obua, who has been detained by the secret police since the night of July 16, was said to have embarked on hunger strike to protest the conditions of his detention.
The DSS allegedly denied him access to outsiders, including his doctor, lawyer and family members, even as his lawyer claimed that Obua was also denied his medications for hypertension and diabetes.
One of Obua’s lawyers, Mr.Andrew Itsekiri, told the Director General of the DSS, Lawan Daura, to either charge his client to court or release him.
Itsekiri stressed that, “If the DSS has any incriminating evidence of commission of crime against him” rather than “detain him in the Gestapo like fashion.”
Obua’s lawyer, in a statement yesterday said Mr. Obuah’s detention is placing life-threatening strain on his health stressing that he who is diabetic and has a serious case of high blood pressure is being “sadistically” denied water, food and life sustaining medications.
Part of the statement reads, “Nigerians should tell Lawan Daura the director general of the SSS to release Mr Gordon Obuah, the immediate past CSO to the former president Jonathan, immediately or to charge him to court if the SSS has any incriminating evidence of commission of crime against him.
“We can tell the public categorically that as we write he has not been confronted with any allegation, neither was he given an opportunity to respond to any allegation before he was taken into custody” the lawyer said.
According to Andrew Itsekiri, Obua’s “ordeal began about a week preceding his eventual arrest last Thursday when the director general of the SSS Lawan Daura sadistically on a daily basis requested that he should report to the SSS headquarters to respond to allegations known only to Lawan Daura and which he repeatedly failed to disclose to him despite repeated demands by the erstwhile CSO.
“On each of the seven days preceding his arrest he would report to the DSS headquarters at about 8am in the morning and released to go home at about 11pm without being confronted with any allegation,” he said.
I was never arrested-Jonathan’s ex-ADC
Meanwhile, former ADC to Jonathan, Mr. Moses Jitoboh, has denied reports that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Jibotoh, a commissioner of police was ADC to Jonathan from 2007 to 2010.
He was reportedly lured into the Presidential Villa last Sunday and subsequently arrested by the anti-graft agency, but Jibotoh said that he spent only 30 minutes at the State House.
He also said he recently changed his phone numbers which might have made it difficult for people to reach him, leading to the alarm being raised.
The purported arrest of Jibotoh was already being interpreted as part of a “witch-hunt” of the former president’s administration, since Jonathan’s National Security Adviser, NSA and Chief Security Adviser, CSO, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and Gordon Obua, respectively, are currently under investigation.
Dasuki’s residences in Abuja and Sokoto have been searched while Obua has been arrested and detained.
Jotoboh was the ADC to DSP Alamieyeseigha when he was governor of Bayelsa state and Jonathan was then deputy governor.