Why Suswam is Still Held in SSS Detention

The State Security Service (SSS), has offered reasons why the former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam is still detained in its cell.
The Service arrested Suswam on February 26 after the SSS raided a building in Abuja, allegedly belonging to the former Governor.
The Service said it recovered firearms and other incriminating items from the said building.
Items the SSS said it recovered from Suswam’s property included: Glock pistol with two magazines and a total of 29 rounds of ammunition.”
The SSS also said “Mini-Uzi with two magazines containing 10 rounds and four rounds respectively; forty-two (42) extra rounds of ammunition contained in a pack; and one AK-47 rifle.
Twenty-one Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and one (1) Offer of Statutory Right of Occupancy; 23 luxury designer watches; and 45 keys to various exotic cars were also said to have been recovered from the property.
In a statement on Wednesday, the SSS said Suswam’s continued detention has to do with his refusal to cooperate with investigators.
The secret Police also said his continued detention was legal.
“The case of former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, is typical.
“The Service has continued to hold him in line with the dictates of the law – more so that he has not cooperated on the issues concerning the recovery of large cache of arms at his facilities,” the statement said.
The SSS said it had “valid detention warrants” to keep Suswam, adding: “He will be charged accordingly, once the investigations are concluded.”
Already his continued detention has nudged his lawyers toward the court as they on April 4 filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit, demanding N10bn from the SSS.
Also, last Tuesday (April 11), a High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered the SSS to produce Suswam in court on May 11, 2017 for fresh arraignment on 32 count charge filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) .
Suswam was to be arraigned alongside his Commissioner of Finance, Omadaji Oklobia and one Janet Anuga.
They were said to have fraudulently diverted the sum of N3.7bn the state’s share of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds, when Suswam was Governor of Benue State between 2007 and 2015.
Suswam and Okolobia were previously docked before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the same high court on a nine-count money laundering charge.
The defendants who were arraigned on November 10, 2015, were accused of diverting proceeds of shares owned by the Benue State government and Benue Investment & Property Company Ltd.
Though they pleaded not guilty to the charge, the EFCC however maintained that it has sufficient evidence to prove that they committed an offence punishable under section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012.

Author: News Editor

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