Stephen Davis, the Australian negotiator who sparked off a controversy by naming two prominent Nigerians as sponsors of Boko Haram, has accused the State Security Service (SSS), also known as DSS, of doing the bidding of Ali Modu Sheriff, one of the alleged sponsors of the terror group.
Davis had in August named Ihejirika Azubuike, former chief of army staff, and Ali Modu Sheriff, former governor of Borno state, as sponsors of Boko Haram. Both denied the allegation.
Davis is now accusing the Nigerian secret security agency of shielding Sheriff from justice and doing his bidding.
In a statement made available to TheCable, the Australian negotiator also raised the issue of arrest of some community workers known as Shehuri North Community Development Youth Empowerment Association in Maiduguri.
The group is accused of working for Boko haram.
According to Davis, the Shehuri association is a small group of young men and women who provide community service for people affected by insurgency.
He alleged intimidation of Theophilus Danjuma, chairman of the Victims’ Support Fund, and deputy chairman of the fund, by the SSS with the aim of stopping them from intervening in the case of the arrested members of the Shehuri group.
He also alleged that the arrest of members of the group was on the behest of Sheriff who declared afterwards that those who framed him as a sponsor of Boko Haram had been arrested, and were undergoing interrogation.
The SSS, however, reacted to one of Davis’ claims.
Speaking with TheCable, spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar, denied that the SSS was shielding the former Borno state governor, adding that he was entitled to protection just like every Nigerian.
“Is Sheriff a member of the SSS? Is he working with us? They say we are trying to shield him, how? How can somebody say we are trying to shield Sheriff? He does not work with us. He is a Nigerian, and every Nigerian comes under the protection of the SSS. We do not have exceptions. This is a democracy and it is election period so people can come up with all sort of propaganda. The SSS is a government institution owned by the people and managed the people,” she said.
On the arrest of the community workers, she said the officer in charge of such matters would verify the claim.