The Department of State Services, DSS, has reacted to the allegation by an online news media, Peoples Gazette, that reported that the DSS operatives supply weapons to bandits and split ransom with them.
In a statement signed by Peter Afunanya, Public Relations Officer, Department of State Services, the organization gave three conditions why the Peoples Gazette would not be sued for its reportage.
Below is the letter:
Mr Samuel Ogundipe
1095, Umar Shuaibu Avenue,
RE: WE RECEIVE WEAPONS FROM SSS AGENTS, SPLIT RANSOM PAYMENTS: BANDITS
You may kindly recall that I had called you earlier today to complain about the above misleading publication by your online platform, Peoples Gazette. It alleged that bandits and terrorists had been “receiving arms and ammunition from operatives of the State Security Service and often split ransom payments received at gunpoint”. Your report, as you were made to understand, was unfounded, mischievous and a calculated effort to bring the Service and its hardworking personnel to disrepute.
2. Though you made allusion to the report by Deutsche Welle as your source, you agreed that the said reportage did not in any way refer to the State Security Service as used in Peoples Gazette fake post. You affirmed that the Service was doing so much and did not deserve such negative portrayal. You further expressed disappointment and surprise that your reporter did not reach out to the Service as claimed, the way you would have personally done by means of call, SMS and/or WhatsApp chat.
3. While we agreed that this development has offered you opportunity to step up supervision of your staff, I, on behalf of the Service, made a three point demand namely:
i. That the story should be taken down immediately;
ii. That you should publish a retraction on your platform in the next 24 hours; and
iii. That you render unreserved apology to the Service for deliberately casting it in bad light.
4. In view of the long standing relationship with the media as strategic partners, it is believed that you will speedily comply with these demands otherwise the Service would resort to litigation.
Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services
National Headquarters, Abuja.
10th May, 2021