Vincent Anaele, a native of Ikeduru local government area of Imo state, has accused the Department of State Services (DSS) of holding his younger brother – Chisom Anaele – in custody for over three months “for no just cause”.
In a petition seen by TheCable, Anaele narrated how DSS operatives had arrested the younger brother – who is a pastor – at their residence at 12 Nzeocha street, Aba, Abia state, on April, 3.
He said since the arrest, operatives of the security agency had allegedly refused any access to him either by the family members or Austin Nwosu, the lawyer the family contacted.
Anaele said while DSS operatives at Abia, Imo and Rivers states denied knowledge of his arrest, family members were able to track the victim’s phone and discovered that he was kept at the office of the secret police in Port Harcourt.
“At the time of this arrest, he was on night gown which they did not allow him to change. When he demanded to know his offence, they slapped him,” he said.
“They did not tell my siblings who were in the same house with him about his offence, or the place they were taking him to, or who they were. They collected four phones and the torchlight and a wallet.”
Anaele said on getting to DSS office in Port Harcourt, the officer he met told him not to worry that his brother would be released after investigation.
The officer, according to him, however, insisted on not telling him the brother’s offence.
“I contacted a lawyer and he went several times and they refused to let him see my brother after several attempts. I have made attempts too but the officer in charge (OC) of legal issues at DSS met my lawyer and he agreed to bring him to court so that he will be bailed from there,” he said, adding however that the officer is yet to fulfil the promise.
“He even requested that we give him some money which we also did. The day he said my brother will be in court, they brought in two different persons instead of my brother, he was not one of those they brought. When my lawyer asked him, he said it was a mistake from them and pleaded with him. Up till now, he has not done anything about it.
“I am confused, my family is poor and my little siblings are not doing anything serious for a living. The little savings I had out of my job as a sales man with a company in Owerri is gone over this matter and yet there is no positive result so far.”
He said the DSS operatives later claimed they arrested Chisom as a result of the comment he made on the social media “which is not true”.
According to him, “it is a conspiracy against him from his fellow pastors and neighbourhood to humiliate him”.
“As a matter of fact, a man who identified himself as one Francis called me recently and said he was in the same cell with my brother at DSS, Port Harcourt, before he was released. He said he was there when my brother was brought in and it was my brother that gave him the contact to reach my family,” he said.
“He, however, said they moved him from there a day after they brought him into the cell… he also promised to testify in court about this if he is called upon to do so.”
Anaele added that his brother was later transferred to the DSS office in Abuja while the agency refused to either release him or to charge him to court.
He said a letter had been written to the DSS headquarters in Abuja through Henry Nwawuba, a member of the house of representatives, but no response had been received.
“Till now, they’ve refused to say what my brother said (on the social media). I was in their office last week Thursday, they confirmed he’s there but they said they’re not the ones that came to arrest him. They want to kill my brother,” he lamented.
The DSS could not be reached for comments as the agency has not appointed a spokesman. One Tony Opuiyo who acts as the agency’s spokesman only sign press releases and statements but has no dedicated line through which inquiries can be made.