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Resident: DSS arrested me after I raised the alarm over unusual deaths in Kogi

Resident: DSS arrested me after I raised the alarm over unusual deaths in Kogi
August 20
18:29 2020

Habib Rabbiu, a resident of Kogi, has narrated how he was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) after raising the alarm about unusual deaths in the state.

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Rabbiu said he was arrested at midnight on Thursday last week, and kept in DSS custody over a post he made on Facebook in June.

In the post, archived here, he wrote: “The rate at which people are dying of fever in Kogi state is alarming.”

Speaking with TheCable over the phone on Thursday, Rabbiu said more than 15 DSS operatives broke into his family’s house in Anyigba, Dekina local government area, and drove him to Lokoja, the state capital.

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He said while the DSS operatives did not identify themselves as personnel of the agency, they told him they were looking for him to assist them in finding someone.

“It was around 12:30am when they broke in through the entrance. They asked my sister about me and when they got to my room, they knocked and simply introduced themselves as security personnel,” he said.

“They said I should put on my trousers and slippers; that there is someone I used to communicate with and I should take them to the person after which I will return before morning.

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“So, I followed them. When we got to the road, they blindfolded me, saying it was for their own security and took me to Lokoja.

“It was while they were profiling me at their office the next morning that they told me of the post I made on Facebook [which stated that] the rate at which people are dying of fever in Kogi state is alarming.

“They said the statement is injurious to the society and I am trying to make people believe there is COVID-19 in Kogi state.”

Rabbiu added that he was arraigned in court where he was charged for “cyber-stalking”, and granted bail at the next sitting on Tuesday.

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He, however, maintained that people in Anyigba were dying unusually, which prompted him to make the post on Facebook.

“People were dying of fever; people around me in Anyigba were dying,” he said.

Although Kogi currently has five confirmed cases of the coronavirus, doctors in the state had accused the government of frustrating efforts to test people for the virus.

TheCable had also reported how the state is turning a blind eye to people reporting symptoms of the virus, as well as fears that the rate of people dying unusually in parts of the state is on the increase.

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Both Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, and Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi commissioner for information, did not immediately respond to enquiries by TheCable.

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