Barely 48 hours to the Saturday 25 February 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the Department of State Services on Thursday said it has recovered weapons from a property along Airport Road, Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano.
The service, however, was described as untrue allegations by a party in the state that the service was intimidating its members.
Although the service in a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, explained that the DSS’ preparedness for the elections did not disclose the party, checks by The PUNCH revealed that the Kano State chapter of the New Nigeria Peoples Party had accused the service of intimidating its members and carrying out raids on its campaign offices in the state.
Afunanya said the operation was intelligence-driven, questioning how the weapons were found on the property.
The statement partly read, “To achieve the desired environment for the elections, the Service engaged in proactive and intelligence-led operations across the States. For instance, on February 22, 2023, the Service conducted a legally backed search operation on a property along Airport Road, Nasarawa LGA, Kano State.
“During the operation, it recovered dangerous weapons including a gun, daggers, swords, and ack-knives from the said building.
Therefore, the accusation that the Service intimidated a particular political party in that State is untrue; otherwise, home to those weapons were found there? Are those objects of violence campaign materials? Whether in Kano or elsewhere, the DSS has provided equal opportunities for all political parties to engage in their lawful activities. We can say this without any form of contradictions or equivocations.”
Afunanya also said on February 22, 2023, the Service arrested a gunrunner, Aliyu Yahaya an associate of Kachalla Damina, a suspected bandit who operates around Dansadau, Zamfara State.
According to him, items recovered from him include one GPMG Rifle; one chain of ammunition, One Hundred and Ninety (190) rounds of GMPG Ammunition, 28 rounds of AK47 Ammunition, and One grenade, adding that the suspect was going to deliver the armaments to Damina before he was arrested.
He also said two arm couriers namely Tukur Usman and Illiyasu Adamu were arrested at Chikun LGA, in Kaduna on 20th February 2023.
Afunanya added that 372 rounds of 7.62 X 39mm ammunition; Twenty-Six (26) rounds of live ammunition for GPMG rifles were recovered from them, stating that the duo was suof expected arm suppliers to bandits in Zamfara State.