Davis’ associates confessed without torture, says Ogar

The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied allegations that it uses torture to extract confessions from suspects.

In September, an Amnesty International report titled Welcome to Hell Fire: Torture and other Ill-treatment in Nigeria, indicted Nigerian security agencies, especially the police, of routinely torturing women, girls and boys to obtain statements from them.

Earlier in December at the height of accusations and counter-accusations on the DSS raid on an alleged permanent voter card cloning centre of the All progressives Congress (APC), the opposition party accused DSS of torturing its staff to obtain false statements from them.

But the security agency now says it uses any means, bar torture, to get confessions from suspects.

Responding to a question from TheCable at the national information centrein Abuja on Thursday, Marilyn Ogar, spokesperson of the DSS, stated that the seven associates of Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis, paraded before journalists as fake Boko Haram members on Tuesday made confessions without duress.

The suspects paraded ‎were Junaid Idrissa Khadi, an aide of Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno state, as well as Abubakar Yusuf, Saleh Alhaji Ibrahim, Abdullah Saleh, Nurudeen Ibrahim, Mubarak Adamu and Mustapha Maidugu.

According to Ogar, they were arrested for making merchandise of the insurgency in the country.

“The suspects were willing on their own volition to say what they have done; we did not force anything down their throats. Let us not bring foreign sentiments into what we do because of the CIA torture report,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Mike Omeri, coordinator of the centre‎ and the director-general of the national orientation agency, has reiterated the government’s commitment to rescuing the abducted Chibok girls, saying: ” We will not give up until the girls are back alive.”

He also urged citizens to be security conscious, adding that security agencies had been directed to beef up surveillance in soft locations across the country.