A former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, has spoken on the viral video which was recorded in Wuse 2, Abuja, showing men in suits conveying armed thugs in a black Sports Utility Vehicle to attack protesters.
Amachree said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme that the men in suits were not DSS officials but actually aides to a senator.
He said just as the DSS had been able to identify and arrest impersonators, the Nigerian Army ought to do the same rather than just claim that those who opened fire on protesters at the Lekki toll plaza may have been impersonators.
The former DSS officials said, “I don’t want to follow the style of the army where they said people can buy uniforms and wear them and come out. If you wear a dark suit and tie and drive a black SUV, many people would say that is the DSS but I actually inquired about that.
“I called the headquarters to find out. Those people were working for a particular senator. And if that is the case, I think they should (arrest them). If anybody tries to impersonate security personnel, he should be arrested immediately.
“Don’t allow it to happen and then you go ahead and then do inquiries or panels or whatever. I know a lot of people impersonating SSS, taking letters to different places have been arrested and they have been dealt with immediately. Those people you are referring to were not SSS officials.”
Armed thugs conveyed in what appeared to be black government Sports Utility Vehicles with concealed number plates were seen attacking #EndSARS protesters in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja on Tuesday.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, some of the thugs are seen jumping into a black Prado driven by a man in a suit on Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent Wuse 2.
The vehicle is seen reversing unto Hospital Avenue and then the doors are flung open while thugs wielding stones and sticks run riot.
Another vehicle, which is a black Range Rover, soon joins the thugs while four buses filled with thugs park on the roadside as more thugs alight from the buses.
There were unconfirmed reports that the thugs were coordinated by an official of the Department of State Services attached to a top government official.
However, the DSS in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunaya, denied the allegation, adding that the agency could not identify any of the persons in the videos.
The statement titled, ‘DSS Not Aiding Attacks on #EndSARS Protesters’ read in part, “Part of the untruth being spewed to the public is that some of its officials attached to certain VIPs aided thugs in this regard.
“In view of the false accusations, no DSS personnel has, so far, been identified to be involved in the alleged acts. It begs the question to conclude that SUVs and persons dressed in suits and sighted in conflict environments are of the DSS.
“Fact is that no staff of the DSS will engage in acts as the ones being peddled by these rumour mongers and hate speakers.”
The #EndSARs protesters had accused the government of sponsoring thugs to compromise the demonstrations.
On Monday, a photo of a police van conveying about 10 armed thugs to disrupt protests went viral on social media.